In the 21st century, it goes without saying that most of us are becoming mind and body-conscious more than we have ever been. It does not matter if you are an athlete, sportsman, or someone outside the fitness market; more and more people wish to stay fit and build their bodies.
Nowadays, BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) Bands are becoming a popular choice to boost their strength and further build muscles to accomplish bodybuilding goals. But, how to use such bands to build muscle faster, you might ask.
Blood Flow Restriction bands are used to wrap your arms, around hips, or under the shoulder to restrict blood flow during workouts.
As we proceed, we will uncover several necessary bits and pieces of information that should be enough to give you a clear picture of their usage in training.
1. Using BFR Bands for Blood Flow Restriction Training
Occlusion Training, also called Blood Flow Training, is a method of training that comprises the wearing of cuffs or bands wrapped over your limbs when you work out. This training is preferred by many to boost the endurance of muscles and reach successful workout results even with fewer heavyweights.
Experts say various factors should be considered that concern BRF Training. For example, the pressure of the bands, intensity, size, and material of bars, plus restricting time are all points to take into account.
The experts strongly believe that BRB training can be done right and safely in combination with one or more types of workouts or exercises. And for those exercises, the mentioned factors are essential.
2. Using BRF Bands to Restrict Blood Backflow During Exercise
The primary target of this training is to restrict vascular backflow of blood into an exercising muscle while allowing circulatory blood to flow freely. This raises inflammatory responses and tissue dilation, causing more growth hormones to be generated alongside muscle development and more energy.
You may reap the rewards of elevated exercise without the stress or degree of exertion needed to realize your full potential with a BFR workout. That’s what makes the BFR program more successful.
It is slowly making its way into medical strategies to help people who can’t sustain impact loading tension workout or induce voluntary control muscle activation.
As we proceed further, you will also be getting insights into some brands and specific types of BRF bands that can prove to be your next workout buddy, all suggested by us.
3. The Purpose of BRF Bands
We all felt that tingling in our arms as a child when we tied ourselves with a rubber band for a while. We felt this because the blood circulation was slowly being cut off, which was, as we were told, a very bad thing!
But research has shown that it might not be that bad after all. BFR may promote a more rapid gain of muscles whether you are working with weights or without it. This may seem a bit farfetched to you. But as of now, more and more bodybuilders and athletes have been using BFR for faster muscle growth and healing.
BFR bands, also known as occlusion bands, are used to wrap up your arms or your thighs depending on whether you are performing lower body or upper body exercises.
The bands, then apply a firm yet gentle squeeze to the muscles, limiting blood circulation to and from the heart. The BFR stimulus, for apparent reasons, lasts a few minutes. Otherwise, the scary dreams we had as a kid of our limbs turning blue and falling off will be much more likely to become true.
Research shows a slight increase in strength gains by the usage of BRF bands when compared to traditional weight lifting. BFR bands have also been deemed just as safe as conventional resistance training, while some claim they are even safer.
4. Using BRF Bands in the Right Way
Putting on BFR bands wrong can cause injury to your physique. Therefore, you might consider following this instruction on utilizing BFR bands appropriately since it is critical for your BRF training. The position and tightness of the cuffs are essential for a secure and robust training session.
If you asked us, we would suggest you check out the SAGA BFR bands as it has been rated one of the best overall for the outcome of a successful BFR session. This is because these cuffs calibrate to your unique compressive stress region then expand to your optimum occluded area instantly.
However, be it SAGA BFR bands or others, if you are not aware of the correct process of putting the bands on, effectivity would be compromised.
5. Step by Step Guide to Wearing BRF Bands
Knowing the right way to put on BRF bands is easy if you follow the instructions below. Remember that the guidelines are critical to wrap bars properly around limbs and arms. Let’s proceed.
Pull the bands upwards, making sure you get them up as high as you can on the calf/knee/thighs, depending.
Check that the capsule’s name is pointing the right way upright. For example, if you consider our recommended SAGA brand cuffs, they will most likely read the logo from down to up.
Thread the attaching bands through the hook in the application.
Tighten the cuff and secure the straps to ensure a tight fit on the leg at its widest radius.
Make sure there’s enough room around your body and the straps for at-least two fingers.
6. BRF Bands in Your Workout Routine
At about 70 percent of leg occlusion force, the power should be 20 to 30 % of your 1-RM. Typically, four sets are needed, for example, 30 reps, 15, 15, 15 with 30 seconds rest amidst sets. BFR has the drawback of being painful at times and making for a more tough workout, even though the weight is small.
The spins are the same as your regular exercise regimen. If you usually hit the gym three times per week, you would only have to incorporate this into your everyday routine.
7. How Do BFR Bands Work?
As mentioned above, you have to wrap the BFR band around your arms during upper body exercises and around your legs while you’re performing lower body exercises. They are inflated, so once you wrap them, it will slow the blood flow that leaves the muscle being worked on.
This, in turn, creates a localized hypoxic environment which will cause your muscles to fatigue faster than usual. However, multiple benefits can arise from this physiological adaptation.
8. Advantages of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training
Practical BFR training provides many benefits alongside improving the health of your arms and legs. For instance, you will start to notice improved cardiovascular endurance due to the slowing down of blood flow. You will also begin to see your muscles recovering faster after an intense workout. Thanks to the designs that SAGA, AirBands, Smart Tools, and brands like Taview provide.
You will feel like you are gaining more while working out less, and your sessions will feel shorter. You may also start noticing your body mass increasing. BFR training also has the claimed benefit of improved bone density.
9. Use of BRF Bands in Blood Flow Restriction
Since its inception, much research has already been done on the mechanisms behind BFR training and its subsequent effect on muscle growth. For example, the BFR bands exerting pressure on the most proximal position of your arms and thighs may stimulate skeletal muscle hypertrophy and increase strength.
There might also be notable changes in hormonal concentration, improved signaling pathways for mTOR pathways and other muscle protein synthesis, and increases in biomarkers denoting satellite cell capabilities.
Your ideal approach would be a combination of BFR training using the bands and low-intensity resistance exercises to achieve muscular spring gain and hypertrophic adaptation.
To get to the point where your muscles obtain the advantages of a high-intensity exercise, you must use 60-70 percent of your one-rep maximum (1RM). However, with a BFR strap, you only require 20-30% of your one-rep max to produce the same hypertrophic stimulation.
The benefits of effective degree exercise with blood flow limitation were investigated in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal of sports physiology and performance. BFR or occluded training can increase the efficacy of weight lifting benefits and fracture toughness in trained athletes, according to the findings.
10. What to Consider When Using BRF Bands in Workouts?
With blood flow restriction, almost any workout for endurance and development can be both lightweight and heavy-duty and from an unstructured to a tight kinetic cycle.
Therefore, exercises that require a lot of speed, jumping, or power should be avoided. Instead, Pull-down triceps, bench pressing, leg press, bicep curls are recommended workouts to give your BRF training a head start.
The bands could also be worn on the thighs on consecutive days while performing a gentle aerobics routine.
According to fitness enthusiasts of the BRF training field, it is generally agreed that the bands should be placed near the torso or as close to the chest as possible.
- The upper torso has put the strap slightly below your underarm, across your shoulders and bicep/triceps regions.
On the other hand,
- Hold the band at the base of your thigh, slightly below your hips in terms of your lower body.
Wrapping your upper and bottom body to a tension of 4-7 out of 10 is recommended, with ten being the tightest possible. After you’ve applied the strap, you shouldn’t experience any numbness or tingling; this is how you figure out that you have followed the process right.
These are the standard guidelines that should be followed regarding most brands of BRF bands, including SAGA. However, while most brands like SAGA, Smart Tools and AirBands use automated systems to adjust to the ideal pressure, assuring your safety and, as a result, enhancing the bands’ efficacy, some brands do not.
For example, Performance Health Smart Cuffs do not have an automation system. In such cases, pumps are designed only to work manually and might result in the usage of inaccurate pressure.
11. Make Your BFR Training Even More Effective
Before beginning a high-intensity exercise, warming up is advised before undertaking blood flow restriction activities. Rowing, walking, or even cycling are all simple ways to warm up for your BFR activity.
When you first begin, we suggest you take it slow and easy. When undertaking blood flow restriction exercise for the first time, it’s advisable to start gradually and build it up. This will help you get a feel for how BFR bands behave and indicate what you’re going to be doing in your future exercises to get the best results.
BFR bands could be used for several workouts, allowing you to achieve various objectives, such as building muscle, increasing endurance, or improving fitness.
Suppose you’re still unsure where, to begin with, the BFR bands; try these exercises, which focus on a powerful blend of development and heavy lifts. The activities include single-leg squats, glute thrusts with barbells, and back squats.
The list is not limited to these exercises, though; you can always look more activities up to boost your BFR game.