Blood flow restriction training (other names are occlusion training, the KAATSU method, BFR training) are used in bodybuilding to quickly gain muscle mass. Does this technique have risks? How effective is it? What can you achieve by restricting the outflow of venous blood? Today we will talk about all this.
How blood flow restriction works during exercise
The principle of operation is as follows: elastic belts compress veins and capillaries, slowing down the movement of blood, but not stopping it. At the same time, the inflow of arterial blood into the muscle remains at the usual level of intensity. All this contributes to the energetic saturation of the muscles with blood, which leads to an increase in the production of muscle protein and the growth of muscle mass. Muscle fibers are not destroyed.
By using the TOC (Blood Flow Restriction Training) technique, you can significantly increase the effectiveness of training and reduce the time it takes to achieve your goal.
For exercises according to the TOK method, you can use the usual fitness equipment, exercise on simulators, with dumbbells or with a barbell. At the same time, light weight will be enough to achieve a good result.
Who invented TOK and why
The blood flow restriction method was developed in Japan by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in 1966 (called the KAATSU method). The goal was to perform physical exercise while recovering from injury, without risk to the cardiovascular system or joints.
The fitness trainer and author of healthy lifestyle books, Kusha Karvandi, adapted the TOK methodology for fitness. Here is a video where he explains how the belts work.
Advantages of the TOK technique
— For stable work, the result is quite small physical activity, 20-30% of the usual.
— Low loads do not jeopardize damaged joints and ligaments, making ECT a good option for recovery from injuries.
— After TOC, there is no soreness (muscle pain on the second day), which indirectly indicates that the muscle protein is destroyed to a lesser extent.
Possible risks associated with TOK
— Incorrect selection of belts and incorrect use. Straps that are too tight can damage soft tissues, while straps that are too tight can cut off blood flow instead of restricting it. Focus on subjective feelings, be attentive to them. If there is a feeling of numbness or tingling, remove the belt immediately.
— Medical contraindications. There are a number of contraindications to TOC, including impaired blood flow or peripheral vascular function, severe injuries with crushing of soft tissues, and edema. Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting classes on the TOK method.
Why you should use BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) belts
Conventional elastic straps can be used for the TBI technique, but the special BFR straps have their own advantages.
— Special BFR straps are an elastic band with a cam closure that is easy to fasten and unfasten, allowing you to quickly put the tape on your arm or leg and quickly take it off.
— BFR belts have the ability to adjust the level of tension.
How to use BFR belts
— When training the upper body, the BFR straps are worn on the arms. Depending on which muscles are supposed to be trained, the belt is located further or closer to the shoulder. When the belt is located on the elbows, the muscles of the arms are pumped up to a greater extent. When located closer to the shoulder — the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
— The same thing happens when putting on belts on the legs: when training the lower body or legs, the belts are put on the middle of the leg or on the thigh.
— Positioning the BFR straps as close to the groin as possible helps to effectively train the gluteal muscles.
Many people strive to form a beautiful figure with the help of physical exercises. Training with BFR belts will help you achieve this result with maximum efficiency in a short time without heavy physical exertion!