If you have been in the gym in recent months and have seen someone with what looks like a blood pressure cuff on their arm while working out, you are right – this is called a blood flow restriction cuff and is commonly used for muscle growth.
Although this is not as popular as other muscle-building methods, such as other therapy modalities, training sets, or supplements, blood flow restriction is still a common practice that is used for people to grow their muscles quicker and easier.
The main benefits of using BFR for muscle growth!
But how does BFR work? Is it effective? Is it safe? Check out everything you need to know about blood flow restriction here.
What is blood flow restriction training?
The first question that people have when they see BFR from Source Fitness being used in a gym or physical therapy locations is what is it and is it effective?
Blood flow restriction training is the process of using a blood pressure cuff – or a pneumonic cuff – to change the flow of blood within the affected limbs while you’re working out.
For example, if you are doing arm exercises, you will typically wear the cuff around your bicep while you’re doing curls, triceps work, or shoulder work.
This style of blood flow training has been used since the late 1970s and has been fairly common ever since. The purpose of this training is to increase muscle mass by changing the direction and rate of blood flow while doing intense exercise.
By using this cuff on a limb, you can change the amount of blood going out of the limb while still allowing blood to flow to the limb – therefore, making it possible to build up the muscle mass within the affected limb without putting too much stress on the body in the meantime.
BFR works to help make the body think you are doing very intense exercise while you are actually doing light work. In this case, it can lead to bigger changes in muscle growth and muscle mass without doing the same types of exercise, such as intense muscle weightlifting, intense cardio, or other exercises.
Instead, you can use this type of BFR in rehabilitation settings to still build muscle mass while coming back from injury.
Using BFR has numerous benefits like:
- Increased rate of lactate to help promote quicker growth in your muscles
- Increases type II fast-twitch fibers, leading to increased athletic performance
- Increased vascularization, meaning more blood vessels into your muscles to allow for increased oxygen (great for endurance sports)
- Increased heart rate, giving you cardiovascular and endurance benefits while under light loads.
Using the BFR is a great method for muscle growth, as this allows the user to perform light workouts with light loads while still obtaining muscle-building benefits and cardiovascular benefits without putting excess stress on your body or your joints.
By using the BFR cuff while doing exercise, you can help patients recover in a rehabilitation setting after an injury, help build muscle mass without doing too much exercise, and provide a cardiovascular benefit while doing light exercise.