From time to time, we’ll hear of “the latest innovation in fitness” that claims to change the way we’ll workout forever.
More often than not, these cutting-edge developments either never come to fruition, or don’t really catch on – even if they do make it to market.
However, there’s always one that’ll manage to prove itself and break through, and once it’s been identified as a game changer, will spread like wildfire among the boutique studios and more exclusive gyms before eventually making its way to the mainstream, sometimes even years after its debut.
Well, I have found what I believe to be one of those right here; a new, innovative way to workout that’s just on the verge of becoming the next big thing in fitness. It’s called Blood Flow Restriction training (BRF), or Occlusion Training.
While the theory is by no means new, and the idea behind it has been kicking around for some time, it’s only now that we are starting to see it become recognised by small studios – especially in the States – as a potentially accessible way to build muscle, faster and with better recovery time.
What exactly is BFR?
Also known as occlusion training, BFR training is essentially a strategy that involves the use of cuffs or wraps placed around a limb during exercise. The aim of this is to safely restrict venous blood flow from a working muscle while allowing arterial blood flow, which is usually done with low-intensity resistance training. Since the ability of that blood to escape is dramatically reduced, metabolic stress and cellular swelling are greatly increased. As a result, increased growth hormone, muscle hypertrophy, and muscle strength (are said) to occur.
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