Are blood flow restrictions bad?

Blood flow restriction (BFR) exercise is recognized as a beneficial strategy to increase skeletal muscle mass and strength. These positive effects can also be obtained with a gentle exercise mode, such as walking. However, BFR exacerbates some perceptual responses, such as exercise-induced response to perceived exertion. If you're a coach, don't add BFR without involving sports medicine staff.

With the current risks and complications, adding BFR for the wrong athlete is a bad idea. Some examples are athletes with concussions and deep vein thrombosis. We think of athletes who need blood flow to heal, and those with restrictions may be susceptible to circulatory problems immediately after. Lowering blood supply to muscles while exercising seems like a bad idea.

Like something with a long list of unpleasant side effects. Without checking Google, most of our Flipping 50 tribe would think this sounds like something terrible. It sounds like something that happens in a laboratory and not on purpose in a training session. If you think there seems to be a risk and that it could be harmful to blood pressure or increase cardiac stress, you are not alone.

It was determined that, with an identical resistance training protocol, bilateral upper limb BFR promotes a significant increase in unrestrained thoracic muscle hypertrophy (pectoralis major) compared to the absence of BFR. And even if you are a real enthusiast, “no pain or gain”, studies on medical tourniquets have shown that you would have to completely cut off blood flow to a limb for about two hours to cause damage to nerves and muscles. Blood flow restriction training is useful in this regard because, while it does not inherently increase muscle activation levels more than normal training, it does allow you to achieve higher total levels of muscle activation in a workout with less muscle damage than would otherwise occur. Initial search terms included “blood flow restriction”, “occlusion training”, “blood flow restriction”, “systemic effects”, “blood flow restriction training”, “partial occlusion”, effect or effects.

With respect to changes in VO2, a research study of the simple walking protocol showed no advantage over unrestricted walking. This review found positive or neutral effects of blood flow restriction training on cardiovascular, endocrinological, musculoskeletal and psychosocial outcomes. A healthy athlete has options, and when he can train without restrictions, the BFR brings little value. As a great case example, elite Olympic weightlifter Jared Fleming broke his ACL at the world championships and did his rehabilitation with me using blood flow restriction training.

Articles were included if researchers used clinically available blood flow restriction equipment, used aerobic or resistance training in combination with BFR, used quantitative outcome measures, and were not ruled out based on exclusion criteria. Sometimes referred to as occlusion training, the method involves placing a specialized tourniquet (such as these) around one of the limbs to control blood flow and, at least theoretically, get big gains from training with low-intensity exercises. During blood flow restriction training, oxygen limited to muscle means that slow-twitch type I muscle fibers are not very active as they require oxygen as fuel. Studies show that blood flow restriction training increases mTOR levels and lowers myostatin levels, creating an environment in the body more conducive to muscle growth.

The heart pumps blood to the muscles through the arteries, which are large tubes with muscular walls that run throughout the body. .