When most people think of getting stronger and transforming the body, they think about hoisting heavy iron. Heavy weight training protocols have been a staple for those who have pursued physical transformation. Heavy weight training works, but there is also another effective way to induce hypertrophy, stimulate the production of anabolic hormones, and improve strength levels.
Enter blood flow restriction training.
This method is being used by professional athletes as well as everyday people looking to get into the best shape of their lives. Restricting blood flow during exercise may seem dangerous or counterintuitive to most people. The common trend in fitness is to use nutritional supplementation, massage, or even electronic stimulation to create a state of vasodilation that increases blood flow to the muscles. With all the focus on getting blood flow to the muscles, how can restricting it be of value? Believe it or not, blood flow restriction training will fill your muscles with blood more effectively than other methods. The following paragraphs will show you why it works, how to do it, and the best equipment to implement the protocols.
The Main Principle Behind BFR
By properly using B STRONG belts, blood flow can be restricted through the veins of the muscles that are being exercised. This results in the blood collecting or “pooling” in the muscle. The crucial point to this process is that the veins become restricted, but the arteries do not. During BFR exercise, the arteries continue to transport blood to the muscle, while the veins are trying to move blood past the blockage and back to the heart. Blood will still be coming in, but will be restricted on the way out. This creates an enormous pumped up feeling as the muscle is engorged with blood. This feeling is something that most trainees chase after in their workouts.
Benefits of BFR Training
Proper BFR training provides this pump every workout, and has a host of benefits:
- One of the main reasons that heavy weight training works is the production of anabolic hormones. Using the B STRONG bands will create an anabolic environment using light weights for high repetitions. The muscle pump from BFR training is one of the most effective ways to increase growth hormone levels. Using the B STRONG belts during exercise will create an extreme accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle. The high lactic acid levels signal the body to release growth hormone. The result of boosting growth hormone levels through blood flow restriction training is increased lean muscle mass.
- Muscle mass is something that breaks down with age. Through BFR training with B STRONG you can experience one of the best ways to stave off the negative physical effects of aging. With increased growth hormone levels bone density is maintained, energy levels improve, and physical performance skyrockets.
- Blood flow restriction training also elevates strength levels. Using the B STRONG belts during exercise helps to recruit type 2 fast twitch muscle fibers and increases muscle size. The result is a stronger more powerful body! It is easy to see why BFR training is so desirable.
What to use
The key to effectively engaging in BFR training is using the proper bands to restrict the blood flow. There are many bands on the market, but l have found that the B STRONG bands are the best option for BFR training. Here’s why:
One of the most important keys to BFR training is finding the right level of compression. If bands are placed too tight, BFR can be dangerous. If the bands are too loose, minimal effects are achieved. B STRONG provides the perfect fit by providing size recommendations. Inferior bands are one size fits all. Wrapping with something like knee wraps is cheap, but it’s very difficult to be consistent, effective, and in a worst case it could be unsafe. In my opinion, if you are serious about your strength and fitness goals, B STRONG is well worth the investment.
With wrapping in particular it is very difficult to dial in the compression as there is no way to measure it, and there is no way to tell the amount of un-intended additional compression that happens as the muscle swells during workouts. You could start in a state where blood flow is not occluded and mid-workout be in a state where you are shutting off flow or compressing nerves. B STRONG’s system is pneumatic with a gauge that gives you consistent compression levels from one training session to the next. The proper restriction for effective BFR training is created by an air pump that inflates the bands. B STRONG also provides recommended pressure readings via its web-app for each individual that can be seen on the pump gage. There is no guess work, simply wrap the bands, pump, and go.
Much of the research on BFR was done using bands that resemble blood pressure cuffs. These cuffs provided accurate, even, and effective pressure around the muscle. These devices are very expensive, costing thousands of dollars. Many elite athletes also have paid to go to special clinics to train with the air pressured cuffs.
The B STRONG bands provide all of the benefits of an air pressure cuff at a fraction of the price.
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