• Sam

Blood Flow Restriction

Updated: May 29

The research into Blood Flow Restriction training has skyrocketed in the recent literature (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9).

Consistent findings within the research suggest

- It is beneficial and healthy for older populations (2 & 5)

- It improves muscular strength & size as efficiently as high load training in untrained or moderately trained individuals (4 & 7)

- You can achieve similar results to high load training (above 65% of your 1 Rep Max) with loads as low as 35% of your 1 Rep Max) (1, 3, 6, 8 & 9)

So this magical training method seems like the logical way forward for a huge population right?

Kind of yes, however, there are some issues.

One of the theories behind why this way of training works is because it creates very similar "metabolic damage" to traditional heavier load training.

So it feels like that savage muscular burn you get from a really hard set, without having to try as hard, sneaky yet effective.

Also a major concern is a lack of consistency within the research about "how" best to go about it. I have cited some meta-analysis/ review papers and their main reported problem is the inability to compare studies.

On the plus side, it doesn't seem to matter, because it all appears to work, with little to no downside.

Thankfully, Patterson et al. (2019) came to the rescue in May last year (2019) and provided a very comprehensive guide for your needs.

With this all in mind, it has rekindled my curiosity to start utilising this training tool again. I have a feeling isometrics combined with BFR (in a single session not the same exercise) could be an extreme time-effective training methodology. To be continued...

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