How – The 4 Pillars of Blood Flow Restriction
BFR can be effectively combined with training, in several different ways even in the absence of exercise
Ischemic Pre-Post Conditioning/Cell Swelling
Short passive intervals with partial or total Limb Occlusion Pressure (90-100% LOP).
1. to attenuate loss of muscle mass when partially bedridden after surgery with load bearing restrictions.
2.Post Exercise for faster restitution.
3. Ischmemic Pre-Conditioning (IPC) for improved performance.
Low Intensity Cardiovascular Exercise
Performed continuously or in intervals with your preferred cardio vascular exercise.
Implications: In extension of 1st application simple cycling or walking when weight bearing activities are approved. Used in combination with BFR to regain muscle mass and strength. You can actually improve your muscle mass, strength and aerobic function depending on the starting point even at early rehab stages by applying the 2. Pillar.
Low Intensity Resistance Training
Augment your low-load training by BFR with less joint stress. Implications: Primarily as a bridge towards conventional resistance training during rehab. But also applicable for the average gym rat who would like to increase or maintain strength with less load, which is especially relevant for those who wants to build or maintain muscle mass as a supplement to high-load resistance training programs.
Return To Sport & Performance Applications
Improve athletic performance e.g. sprint speed and aerobic conditioning through interval training at submaximal effort and intensity.
The pillars are a progressive and systematic approach to blood flow restriction to help You or Your client from early rehab such as bedrest to athletic performance. These pillars can be progressed sequentially. The fourth pillar – return to sport & Performance Applications are less explore but expect more research in the future – 101 BFR Research Papers stay tuned for more original research and reviews
Quick Guide for Different BFR Training Protocols
- Resistance Training at about 20-50% of 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM) i.e. light to moderate load 30x15x15x15 reps with 30-45 seconds inter-set rest. Start with one or two exercises of four sets then progress up to three exercises pr. session
- Light plyometric training e.g. skipping and BFR running (not recommended to do powerful jumps such as box-jumps or maximum sprints
- Ischemic post-conditioning for improved restitution after exercise
- As a supplementation to Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) in severe cases of muscle loss or difficulty in recruiting muscle, e.g. after reconstruction of cruciate ligament
- Potential add-on to Virtual Reality Rehab modalities GonioVR
For Additional Information About Specific Protocols Check The Complete Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Guide for a comprehensive run-through on the practical implementation and safety considerations
When & Why?
Occlusion training for bodybuilders only?
No, not at all! In fact, there are important research on miscellaneous muscle and skeletal pathologies which proves that occlusion training (BFR Training) has significant effect on both strength and Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROM). As a rule of thumb occlusion training is indicated if you have an acute or overload injury where you cannot do conventional resistance training i.e. lift heavy. For example, following orthopedic surgeries with absolute weight- or load bearing restrictions, or chronic conditions such as arthritis, as a many will find joint pain or joint swelling worsens during and after conventional resistance training. In such cases BFR exercises should be “first-line therapy”. Considering the above rationale, one can wonder why only a few private or public providers offers BFR therapy? – But as with so much other new technology, thus evidence-based, the implementation is always delayed. But especially considered the amount of high quality research i.e. randomized controlled trials (RCT’s) and the meta-analysis, BFR is here to stay and only tp grow in popularity in the forthcoming.
At 101 BFR Research Papers we present some of the articles on various musculoskeletal pains and other conditions with reference to some of the relevant literature.