TRAINING TIPS: BLOOD FLOW RESISTANCE (BFR) TRAINING FOR FASTER RESULTS
Ever wonder why the Ultimate Warrior was so jacked? Maybe it was BFR Training? What is Blood Flow Resistance (BFR) Training? Not only is it one of the hottest new buzz words, but it may also be useful. And like most new buzz words in the sports industry, the masses are going to try it out. That is why I am going to give you my two cents (like I’ve said before, I like classic clichés). With that being said, let’s jump right into it (another one).
WHAT IS BFR?
BFR isn’t just a cool sounding acronym. It refers to a training system where you limit the amount of blood leaving the working muscles. It first gained popularity with professional athletes. Dwight Howard (NBA Center) used BFR to recover from a serious knee injury. In fact, he had so much success with BFR that he was able to continue
his NBA career, and secure millions of dollars from several unsuspecting franchises. Mr. Howard has proven that BFR works for building muscle, but it also fails at making your basketball game better.
Dwight Howard performed the technique differently than most people. You see, he had an NBA training budget. He used a pressure accurate pump sleeve (like a blood pressure arm cuff) to limit the amount of blood leaving his legs. Most of us are going to have to use bands or wraps to accomplish this feat. However, his results were impressive. He was able to strengthen the muscles around his knee using light weight. Why is this important? I’m glad you asked. Because it allowed for minimal strain to be put on his knee joint while it was recovering. Something that many NBA athletes before him couldn’t do.
HOW DOES BFR WORK?
BFR works by restricting the blood flowing through the veins, away from your muscles, and allows blood to flow through your arteries, to your muscles. You have a balloon like effect. The blood stays trapped in the working muscles longer. A few things are going to happen. You will get a crazy pump that will shock the muscles into growing, and you will deprive the muscles of oxygen. When the muscles are deprived of oxygen, you will have an accumulation of waste materials that causes metabolic stress (acidosis). Metabolic stress is a major mechanism of muscle growth.
Also, your fast twitch muscles will get worked with a smaller load. The increased blood will tax your slow twitch muscles faster and allow you to tap into your fast twitch fibers faster. Usually you must lift heavy, or with fast explosive movements to stimulate your fast twitch fibers. By activating your fast twitch muscles faster, you won’t have to rely on heavy weights and explosive movements for growth. Thus, you can eliminate two types of lifting styles that can easily
HOW DO YOU PERFORM BFR TRAINNG?
BFR training doesn’t require that you are a rocket scientist (3rd use of a classic cliché). You can either buy BFR training bands from Amazon or use knee wraps. The key is not to wrap them too tight. You want to be at around a 7 out of 10, where 10 is so tight that your arms are turning purple. Use light weight and perform a set for a minimum of 30-60 seconds. You will know it is working by the burn, and crazy pump you get.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE BFR?
In conclusion, TRAINING TIPS: BLOOD FLOW RESISTANCE (BFR) TRAINING FOR FASTER RESULTS question is not whether BFR works. I would add it at the end of your workouts for a couple of pump sets. This is like the technique that Hany Rambod and Phil Heath made famous. Hany’s FST-7 Fascia Stretch Training.
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