Blood flow restriction bands (BFR)

Have you ever used blood flow restriction bands?

Basically, blood flow restriction training involves wrapping a restrictive band around the limbs while lifting. Studies have shown that this increases muscle growth when low-load lifting and more reps is combined with flow restriction. So, for example, instead of doing the usual 8-12 reps of your ‘working weight’, lift lighter but aim for 15-20 reps.

I hadn’t heard much about BFR training until David bought some bands and introduced me to it.

The objective of BFR is to obstruct blood flow without significantly affecting arterial circulation. In this way, blood goes into the muscle but can’t escape. Studies show substantial increases in muscle growth, growth can often be on par with traditional heavy-load training during early-stage training, sometimes even greater. They are often used for people that may be bed-ridden to ensure no muscle depletion.

I use the bands only for my legs at the moment but they can also be used for your arms. I only used them for approximately 20 minutes to do my last 3 exercises, leg curl, leg extension and the stepper. Apparently, it’s best this way, in conjunction with some heavy lifts at the beginning of your workout.

Placement of the wraps is crucial. You must position them as high as possible on the limbs being trained. For the upper arms, they should be wrapped as high on the biceps as you can get. For the thighs, they should be wrapped just beneath the gluteal fold.

If the wraps are positioned too low, you won’t achieve optimal occlusion and the effects will be compromised.

Would love to know if anyone else has tried them?



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