Coach's Corner: Blood Flow Restriction Training

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Rethinking The Way We Train & The Benefits Of Blood Flow Restriction Training

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training is a tool that can enhance any training regimen whether the goal is athletic achievement or lifelong health. This month in Coach’s Corner we address the science behind BFR . If you are not familiar with this training tool, you probably should be. For the many Strength Coaches and Physically Therapists around the world BFR is becoming an essential component for their athletes and patients.

Blood flow restriction training (BFR) has been an intriguing topic in the Strength & Conditioning and the Sports Medicine community. More and more sports rehabilitation clinics and strength programs have implemented this type of training in their programs for its claims of increasing muscle hypertrophy, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and speeding up recovery. The traditional method of achieving increases in muscle hypertrophy and strength comes from high intensity resistance training ranging from 70-85% of an athlete’s one repetition max (1RM).

The BRF method does not need high intensity resistance training to achieve these same results. BFR begins with placing constricting devices on the arms and legs to decrease blood flow to the muscle. The modalities that we use here at MAD are called BStrong Belts. While using the BStrong Belts it is important to understand that blood flow to the muscle is restricted and not occluded. Blood will then pool in the limb and low intensity exercises can be performed. During the low intensity resistance exercises type I fibers are immediately fatigued and the recruitment of type II fibers begins, which follows with an immense increase of lactate . This increase of lactate then stimulates receptors in the muscle and leads to elevated levels of growth hormone, adrenaline, and anabolic hormones.

To further understand the science and methods of BFR training please contact us here at