What is Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT)?
BFRT (Blood Flow Restriction Training) is the brief and intermittent occlusion or restriction of arterial and venous blood flow that is performed by applying a tourniquet to the upper and lower extremity.
BFRT is becoming a popular tool to improve muscle strength, size and functional aerobic capacity in shorter amounts of time with less stress on the body than typical training.
Local Skeletal Muscle Adaptation
BFRT groups can see 30 – 50% increase in muscle fiber area within the first 4 – 8 weeks during and post training. HIT (high intensity training) groups on average see 15 – 20% increase in muscle fiber area following a 12 – 16-week training period. (Kadi et al., 2004, Olsen et al., 2006, Aagaard et al. 2001)
Cycling with BFRT at 40% VO2Max performed 3 times per week for 15 minutes, over an 8 week period increased absolute VO2Max by 6.4% and a 15.4% improvement in time to fatigue. BFRT group also had increase in muscle strength and hypertrophy. Control group at 40% VO2Max riding for 45 minutes had no change. (Abe, et al., 2006)
Soft Tissue Repair
BFRT when combined with exercise increases Lactate by 290% from base line, which is 1.7 times higher than what is found in free flow heavy resistance training.
BFRT induced analgesia in patients with anterior knee pain. (V. Korakakis, R. Whiteley, K. Epameinontidis (2017).
Benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Benefits in a Nut-Shell
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