Limiting the flow of blood to the hands and feet during training seems like a crazy idea, but bodybuilding professionals who were at the center of the latest scientific research have proven the effectiveness of cutting-edge reception of hypertrophy stimulation!
Author: Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., a certified specialist in power and general physical training
I constantly hear about occlusive training. Sounds weird. What can you say about this?
Before I answer your question with a short story from my own life, let me explain to the uninitiated what occlusal training is. Occlusive training, or, as it is called by scientists, training with blood flow restriction (CBT, or BFR-training), is based on the restriction of blood circulation in the target group to stimulate muscle hypertrophy and increase in strength. At first it may seem like a crazy idea, but a detailed study of the issue will help us come to a consensus.
Now to my story. Christmas 2008 year. My brother Gabe, another doctor Wilson, handed me a gift. Opening the box, I found in her a pair of elastic bandages for the knees.
I asked the question: "Gabe, why did you decide to give me plaits that I never used?" Then he explained to me that the bundles are not for the knee joints, but for limiting blood flow during training. Although it sounded strange, I believed my brother. Following his instructions, the next training I bandaged my shoulders with these elastic bandages.
Never in my life have I had such a pumping! I assure you, my muscles swelled like inflatable balls. Then I realized that serious scientific experiments should be devoted to this issue.
Since then, I spent an infinite number of hours studying all the corners and crannies of occlusal training, and helped publish many peer-reviewed articles on this topic. Today I can say with certainty that the TOC method deserves close attention of everyone who aspires to the growth of muscles and strength indicators.
Of course, like any other method, BFR-training is effective only on the condition of competent application, and therefore I propose to go over to the questions "how" and "why".
How does occlusive training work?
In sports, in which the lion's share of time we devote to the search for methods of strengthening the muscle circulation, intentional blocking of blood flow seems a giant step back. How can this strategy be effective?
In a nutshell, you do not have to completely block the flow of blood to the muscles. This should be well remembered, and therefore take a second's pause and absorb this information.
The secret of occlusive training lies in the shingling of the upper part of the limb with an air cuff, straps or elastic bandages with a pressure sufficient to block the flow of blood through the venous vessels, but not along arteries! In this way, we provide the limbs with arterial blood, and this blood accumulates in the muscles, since the venous system is not able to fully pump it back to the heart.
There are at least three mechanisms of occlusal training. You probably heard the phrase "overflowing", we all heard it, but you will really understand its meaning only after using the harnesses. During the CUR, the muscle cells reach that "boiling point" in which they are so filled with fluid that they either have to explode or begin to grow.
The second mechanism of action of the TOK is to reduce the oxygenation of the target muscle during blood accumulation. This forces your body to use large, rapidly contracting fibers in full and leads to extreme muscle growth.
Finally, at a low oxygen concentration, the lactic acid level rises rapidly. It does not sound very, but experiments have shown that lactic acid itself can stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein!
Not so long ago, your humble servant, co-authored with Jeremy Lenneke, published a report on a large-scale scientific work devoted to the TOK, in which various aspects of the occlusal training were analyzed in order to find the optimal strategy. We compared BFR-walking and BFR-lifting with 20-40% from the single-repeat maximum and came to the conclusion that such work with weights is more productive than walking.
Nevertheless, we recommend using BFR-walking during recovery from injury or in order to get used to this technique before moving to lifting weights. We also found that shortening the rest periods between the approaches up to 30 seconds increases the filling of muscles and promotes the accumulation of lactic acid.
More recently, Dr. Thibault conducted a study, whose goal was to find the optimal reduction regimen in the CURR. He compared the concentric (lifting of the projectile) contraction with the eccentric (lowering) repetition phase. During the traditional lifting, the eccentric phase stimulates maximum muscle growth, but in occlusal training it has received opposite results! The concentric phase of exercise is of paramount importance. From this it follows that we must strive for pamping due to the number of repetitions in order to fill the muscles with blood and lactic acid.
As for the devices for TOK, most scientists used training equipment known as KAATSU, which costs more than 10 000 dollars. Which bodybuilder agrees to part with this amount? Among my acquaintances there are no such people, but because Lenneke, Ryan Lowery and I recently conducted a series of experiments, which we called "Applied BFR-training."
We used elastic bandages for knee joints for foot bandages and wrist harnesses for hand bandaging. We concluded that, like KAATSU, applied BFR training can dramatically increase blood supply to the muscles, involve muscle fibers and lactic acid in the work.
Lowery, a leading scientist in the field of BFR training, confirmed the effectiveness of the methodology using the 8-week study, in which he showed that applied BFR training can cause the same growth in sports performance as training with KAATSU equipment.
As you might have guessed, the main problem with the BFR training is that most athletes do not know how tightly the limbs have to be bandaged to achieve occlusion of veins, not arteries. Good in this little. In our study, we tackled this problem seriously and came to the conclusion that simple rules will help you stay on the right track.
In a nutshell, pulling your legs follows with pressure, which you will give 7 points on a subjective ten-point scale, and your hands – at the level of 5-6 points. So you securely block the veins and do not interfere with the arterial blood flow. Tighten the limbs can not.
You may need to search for your 7 points by trial and error, but never tighten the harnesses to the maximum, that is, for the entire top ten. As for the working weight, all studies indicate the inadvisability of using exorbitant loads. Enough 20-40% of your one-time maximum, no more. Believe me, by the end of the set, this weight will seem hellishly heavy!
The ideal occlusal training recommended by us should consist of 4 approaches with 30, 15, 15 and 15 repetitions with just 30 seconds to rest. Such a strategy will create optimal conditions for muscular hypertrophy. Repeat the training 2-3 times a week.
It is very important to girdle the limb in a circle in the narrowest place, for example, in the narrowest part of the shoulder. Bandaging in a wide area increases the risk of occlusion of the artery.
Try this progressive training session and share your feelings!
Elastic bandage should be removed during rest between sets?
I wonder how to pump up deltas in this way? Or chest? Neck to draw interest on 70 ?!
In my opinion, this is so complete nonsense. Up to normal proportions you can swing and without harm to health – it is important nutrition and the training process itself. And such methods are either for lazy people who do not want to deal with the mind, either among amateurs-students, or those who want to buy hypertrophic muscles. None of these types has anything close to a healthy sport lifestyle.
And here the harm to health? The method is not so new, I heard about it about two years ago. Reduces the risk of injury to a minimum in comparison with traditional training. Because of what is often used by those who have suffered injuries and can not use heavy loads.