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If you have not yet been introduced to BFR (blood flow restriction) training, it basically means that you wrap a band around the upper part of one of your body parts when doing your workout. The point with this is to restrict blood flow to one or more specific muscles that you are training. If this form of training is being properly executed, it will affect the muscle in the way that it will still be able to receive blood arterially, but the veins on the other hand, are occluded, which will ultimately render the blood being partially restricted from leaving the working muscle/muscles.
This has a very special effect on the muscle/muscles that you are training. This effect involves the swelling of the cells, which is one of the many things that happen inside of the muscle/muscles when training it/them to hypertrophy (growth). The restriction of blood flow also leads to a build-up of metabolites, including lactic acid, which has been scientifically proven a directly stimulating effect on the growth of the muscles. When the muscles are being directly fatigued in this manner, the body’s nervous system will be forced to recruit the muscle fibers with the fastest contraction speed within the body. These types of muscle fibers are called “type II” muscle fibers and are the ones with the biggest potential for generating power and explosiveness, and thus the most potential for growing bigger and stronger when they are stimulated to do so by weight training.
Have you been forced to wrap various types of elastic bands or pieces of gym equipment, like knee wraps, around your legs when doing blood flow restriction training? Has it been going on for too long now and are you contemplating dropping the idea about this type of training completely because of that? Fear not. BFR Bands are now offering their popular “PRO” model in an extra length, which makes it absolutely perfect for your blood flow restriction leg training.
Frequently asked questions
”How do I know if I have tightened the bands too much on one or more of my body parts?”
A general cue for knowing if you have tightened the bands too much is to determine if you feel numbness or a tingling sensation. If this is the case, you will have to loosen up your bands. Another easy way to check for excessive tightness, is to press your thumb against your palm (if you have the bands placed on your upper body) or on the inside of your knee (if you have the band placed on your lower body), and see how long it takes for the blood to return. This should take between 2-3 seconds if you have tightened the bands sufficiently. If you notice that it takes longer than that, if it takes longer than that, the bands need to be tightened up. This is important to check for consistently throughout your workout, but as the workout progresses and your muscle ”pump” increases, the bands will also feel tighter.
”How tight should the bands precisely ”feel” when I am working out while wearing them?”
In all actuality, the bands should not feel as tight as you might think they should. The research that has been done on blood flow restriction training says that in order for you to obtain the best results, the bands should be tightened to a level of 5-7 on a scale of perceived tightness; 10 being the absolute tightest. If you experience that the bands do not feel tight enough initially, then you might need to increase your training volume, i.e. 30-50 repetitions, 3-10 sets. og also decrease your rest times in between sets, i.e. 20-30 seconds of rest. Furthermore, some individuals will find that the ”PRO” or ”ELITE” bands fit them and also feel better to them, while others might find that the ”CLASSIC” model, which is more rigid, is the most appropriate version for them and their specific needs. Please also see the last question for a distinction between all 3 models.
”Is it safe for me to be training using the blood flow restriction bands?”
Yes. There are numerous studies that support the fact that BFR training is both safe and also very effective. One study even concluded that BFR training serves as being more safe than conventional weight training, which is performed using more heavy weights. Since BFR training is performed using lighter weights (~20% of your one rep max), it will put less stress on the body as well as the nervous system. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that you are already performing BFR training when doing regular weight training since the occlusion happens internally.
”Who will benefit the most from doing BFR training?”
BFR training can be serve as being very effective for those who seek to gain lean muscle tissue without lifting heavy weights. This could in example be women, who do not have the preference of lifting heavy weights all of the time, men who are in need of a ”deload” week (a light week of training, serving as a form of active recovery), those who are recovering from one or more injuries, and those who simply seek rapid gains in muscle size. Since training with restricted blood flow to the muscles create a bolus of blood and important nutrients which flood to the muscles and joints, it has been theorized that it also serves as a contribution to the strengthening of tissue such as ligaments and tendons. Stronger and more powerful ligaments and tendons are essential for injury prevention and also helps in lowering the brain’s ”threat levels, ultimately making your brain feel more comfortable to increase the strength contractile capabilities of your muscles.
”How often should I be doing BFR training?”
The general recommendation for the frequency of blood flow restriction training is 4-5 days per week, but if you wish to gain muscle hypertropy more rapidly, the most effective way of going about BFR training will be to do it on a daily basis – at least during the first 2-3 weeks. BFR training can also very well be integreated into a current training routine, i.e. on rest days, as part of an active recovery week or even at the end of every workout. The bands can in fact also be work when doing light cardiovascular training of 30 minutes on a daily basis.
”Where should I place the bands on my body?”
The BFR bands can be placed on the upper part of the arms if you are training the upper body, or the upper part of the legs if you are training the lower body. The bands do not need to directly restrict blood flow to an area to provide the benefits. For example, you will still experience the benefits of the BFR training for muscle groups such as the chest and back when the bands are placed on the arms, even though these areas are not directly occluded.
”How many sets and repetitions should I be doing in my workouts?”
This is entirely dependent on the context of your individual goals, but in general, the best results will be obtained if you peform 4-6 exercises for 3-10 sets each and 20-50 repetitions each. Also, the weights that are being used during workouts should be very low; no more than 20% of your one repetition max number, and the rest periods should be kept very short as well; no more than 20-30 seconds. You are more than welcome to contact us at anytime if you have further questions.
”What are the differences between the ”CLASSIC” model, the ”ELITE” model and the ”PRO” model?”
The ”CLASSIC” bands: These are right under 1 inch wide and constructed of a very rigid and non-elastic material. They are great for beginners in the field of BFR training and also serves as the best choice for people who have bodytypes that require something more rigid.
The ”ELITE” bands: At a width of 1 ½ inches and constructed of a super comfortable and elastic material, these are very good for the more advanced BFR user, and also for those with bodytypes that simply require that they have something more comfortable. The ”ELITE” model is thicher, longer (40 inches long) and include a new marking system, which makes for very accurate precision and symmetry.
The ”PRO” bands: The most popular model. These are 2 inches wide and constructed of a super strong, durable and elastic material. These are very good for the most advanced BFR user, and also might be required for the people with a more muscular type of body. Because of the added width, the ”PRO” model also serves very effective for lower body training. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that these might also be required if you are looking for a very high pressure in your BFR bands.
Do not uset this product outside of the care of a medical physician. All use of this products is at the own risk of the user and individuals who use the product should be aware of the fact that physical training, with or without any form of resistance, involves a risk of potential injury. It is generally not recommended that the BFR bands are used for any lift involving a load that exceeds 20% of the user’s one rep maximum. I.e. if your 1 rep max in a specific lift or exercise is 100 lbs, it is not recommended that you use the BFR bands for that specific lift or exercise with a load that exceeds 20 lbs.