What is Occlusion Training And Should You Do It?
Occlusion training, also known as blood flow restriction training or BFR, is basically when you do a workout while your limb or limbs are operating on a restricted blood flow, which causes the limb being worked out to be engorged with blood. You achieve this state by using some type of tourniquet, pressure cuff, restriction training band, sleeve, wrap, or strap.
This increases the concentration lactate in your blood (which your brain draws on during hard workouts), and stimulates a much harder or intense exercise at a lower intensity or weight – essentially, your brain is tricked into thinking you’re performing a much harder exercise than you actually are and significantly releases more growth hormones, specifically hormones directly related to muscle hypertrophy or muscle growth.
This also helps you achieve the results of a heavier or more intense training while sparing your joints and tendons from the effects of such an exercise.
How It Works
BFR works in 3 ways.
You want your arteries to keep delivering blood to your limbs and the blood to pool in your limbs as your veins struggle to take it back to your heart. The muscle cells then reach a point where they have to either burst or grow.
The low oxygen levels in your muscles during BFR forces your body to recruit larger fast-twitch fibers, which means extreme growth.
And low oxygen levels in your muscles also means lactic acid rapidly accumulates, which helps increase protein synthesis.
Do It Right
Our BFR bands have been designed from the ground up. The custom buckle is a pull to tighten system with no pinching, in addition our elastic is super comfortable and ensures you'll get those vascular pumps! Simply wrap the top of the limb to a point where you restrict or obstruct blood flow to it. Pull the band tight and you're good to go!
It’s important that you only restrict the blood flow in your veins, and NOT the arteries. For your legs, you need to hit a 7 out of 10 for the perceived level of tightness in which you apply the restriction, where 10 is wrapping your leg as tight as possible – you may need to adjust the restriction and loosen or tighten it several times to hit that 7. For your arms, that number is 6.
Select a weight that is only 20 to 40 percent of your 1 rep max (research indicates that there is no benefit in going heavier), with higher reps of about 15 to 30. You can do a normal set range of about 3 to 4 sets, and make sure to rest for about 30 seconds in between sets to maximize the benefits of blood flow restriction.
Proceed with your regular workout activity such as squats or dumbbell curls. Achieving volitional fatigue – where your muscles can no longer perform an exercise in perfect form – is important to gain muscle mass fast. Continue adjusting your sets and reps until you achieve volitional fatigue.
You may feel a little sorer after BFR, and experience some level of pain especially if you’re new to it. If you’re not experiencing any, you may need to wrap a little bit tighter to achieve the desired effects.
When trying out anything new, expect to feel many changes. And with BFR added to your training regimen, trust us, one of those changes will be getting swole with less wear and tear. Of course, our bands ensure you'll stay injury-free and give you mega pumps!