Blood flow restriction training or BFR training is also called Katsu training. It has been prevalent for the last decade, and much research supports BFR training. If you wrap occlusion bands below your shoulders, it would be good for your biceps, triceps, or maybe forearms muscles. If you wrapped them on your upper legs, it would be suitable for your quads, hammies, and perhaps the calves.
You are impeding the blood flow to those muscles, and therefore they will fatigue faster than you begin to stumble across the research, blood flow restriction training for forces that were not distal to the cuff. There were torso muscles that were the chest and the glutes. When you use BFR, you are doing things that maybe alter the hormonal forces. This increases the signals that ultimately end up increasing muscle protein synthesis all over the body, and then it occurs to many people; well, maybe you are fatiguing the synergists.
In the case of glutes, when you are doing squats and your fatigue the quads so fast, then your glutes have to do more work. If you fatigue the hamstring, the glutes would have to do more work; there, too, assuming the movement was hip extension. The research on pre-exhaustion showed peck activation when you like flies or pre-desk before you do bench presses. The bench press goes down what goes up in your front delt and triceps activation.
So there is another possible explanation through which blood flow restriction training would work. Six potential mechanisms are:
- Secreted hormonal responses
- Translation initiative via intercellular signalling responses
- Metabolite accumulation
- Fibre-type recruitment patterns
- Satellite cell activity
- Muscle cellular swelling
Here is the deal all of these are the exact mechanisms through which heavy resistance training works. When you perform blood flow restriction training, it works. It will build muscles, but what if you already lift heavy weights? Is it going to do anything that heavy weight training would not? Alone would not mean that blood flow restriction training is invaluable.
The main positive of BFR training is that you can use light loads and get good results. Imagine taking something you can do for around 30 reps, then resting like 30 seconds. You do 15 more, and then you rest another 30 seconds, do 15 more, and are done. The joints will not get nearly as beat up, and if that packs a powerful punch, that can prolong your career training.
There are two scenarios where this would be valuable:
- Whenever something’s beating up, something’s not feeling good, especially your shoulder muscles. You can still do BFR and use lighter loads may be preserving the muscles there while that nagging issue heals up.
- The other is for healthy people to maintain specific muscles heavy and other forces lighter, and you can flip-flop with BFR. So you could have a periodized schedule to take advantage of the hypertrophy stimulus. Through BFR training, you focus on others while unloading certain joints and structures.
How might blood flow restriction training help other muscles grow? If you impede your quads and hammies, how will your glutes grow well? One study showed that BFR training with the leg muscles led to more significant results with the upper body muscles as long as you did light training for the upper body if you did no training for the upper body. There were no improvements, but if you did light exercise for the upper body, it showed better results.
Another study involved restricting the arm muscles while doing bench press twice a day with 30 per cent of one rep more which is very light but doing around four sets of 15 to 20 reps. The chest muscles grew in the blood flow restriction group, but in the group that did not restrict their arms, the chest did not succeed. So Blood flow restriction caused the chest muscles to grow larger.
Another study looked at walking and squatting with blood flow restriction training with the less restricted. The walking group did not grow their glutes, but the squatting group did. Then only used 20 per cent of one rep max, which is very light, but they did it twice a day for two weeks. Blood flow restriction training with walking and the glutes did not grow either, so just walking with cuffs would not help the glutes grow.
Another study supporting blood flow restriction for glutes training used a similar design. The subject trained twice a week for 12 weeks, but they did band squats and band leg extensions weird. The glutes did not grow even in the blood flow group. So if you are a lifter who does not like to lift or hate lifting. You want to use light loads and train that hard. Blood flow restriction would work for you, especially in the restricted muscles, but it may also be in the non-restricted forces.
Like the trunk muscles, most people are serious lifters, and right now, there is not much evidence to suggest that blood flow restriction training would be an addition to a pre-existing high-quality glute training program.