Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Blood flow restriction training, or BFR training, is an exercise modality that uses a manipulation of the body’s circulatory system in combination with light resistance exercise—such as bodyweight work—to achieve improvements in strength and fitness similar to the results of high intensity strength training (traditional heavy weightlifting). Blood exiting the limb via the veins is restricted and the pattern of venous flow altered, while the arterial inflow is reduced, but still present. Using one or multiple belts, the user performs simple exercises with a little added resistance; even partial bodyweight is sufficient in most cases. A typical session involves 3 sets of 3-5 exercises (for lower/upper/core) with 30 seconds rest in between sets. As the muscles use up available oxygen and accumulate metabolic by-products (lactic acid etc.) the user starts to feel a muscle “burn.” After the workout, the user may feel like they’ve completed an hour-long heavy weightlifting workout instead of just 20 minutes of lightweight exercise.

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