Top Gym Tips

What Are The Benefits Of Occlusion Training?


Occlusion or Blood Flow Resistance (BFR) Training involves occluding circulation to the working muscle. This is done by wrapping a strap/cloth around the limb whilst performing the exercise. This occludes venous flow without really affecting arterial flow to the muscle, thus blood can enter the muscle but not leave (Loenneke et al., 2012)

BFR has been shown to increase hypertrophy and strength during low intensity exercise compared to normal training (Lowery et al., 2014). The exact mechanism for this increased hypertrophy isn't known. Wilson et al. (2013), showed that BFR doesn't increase muscle damage, hence why it's so useful in rehab (Hughes et al., 2017). So, the consensus is that it's superior due to increased metabolic stress (Loenneke et al., 2012) , which a driver of hypertrophy (Schoenfeld 2010)

It's recommended to use 20-30% 1RM for 20-25 reps with 30 seconds rest in between. Tightness should be a perceived 7/10. Keep the wraps tied though, as untying between sets reduces the metabolic stress negating BFR's benefits (Suga et al., 2010)