Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training is a technique that combines low-intensity exercise with blood flow regulation, producing similar results to high-intensity training. Ultimately, BFR training aims to mimic the effects of high-intensity exercise by recreating a localized hypoxic environment using a cuff.
The cuff is placed proximally to the targeted muscle group during low-intensity activities. The reduced oxygen in the area accelerates fatigue and recruitment of more high threshold motor units. Finally, when the compression is reduced or relieved, the flood gates essentially open, bringing “muscle-building ingredients” to the area.
Why are blood flow restriction protocols necessary at Continuum? Traditionally, building strength requires a combination of load and volume. However, to mimic high-intensity results in a short period, or for when clients cannot endure high loads, BFR becomes a viable option. A prime example of when BFR is appropriate may be following an injury or surgery. Here, high-intensity activity can be substituted with BFR training and low-intensity exercise benefits.