Thoughts on BFR

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  • #14419

    I’ve been seeing more and more about blood flow restriction training. has a lot of information about it for development for climbers. I’ve been able to find some sites like ( which talk about BFR for endurance athletes. Was curious if anyone has tried it for localized endurance in the leg muscles.

    It seems like something that could be utilized on recovery days for increased adaption because of the low cardiovascular load as well as purported lesser muscle damage.

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    Anonymous on #14460

    I have no experience with restricted blood flow training so can’t comment on its efficacy. I would be surprised if it would be a good thing do do for recovery since recovery activities are meant to increase blood flow with as little stress as possible. I cold be missing something though.


    curriespencer on #14466

    Much of what I’ve seen recommends it as something you can do on recovery days. Their reasoning for this is twofold. The overall lead is very low, or around 20% or so. Then the duration is very short. I’ve seen protocols for about 15-20 minutes at 40% VO2max.

    There is also some evidence of increased growth hormone, IGF-1 and MTOR1C after BFR so that could boost recovery if true.

    I might mess with it a bit and see if it has an overall affect on my recovery.

    Michael on #24979

    Scott, it is sort of a combination of restriction and augmentation since it causes blood to pool and gets muscles pumped.

    I have been using it mostly for arms to accelerate healing of connective tissue and now I’m combining it with ARC training. Dt. Tyler Nelson is the main advocate of BFR for climbing.

    My open thoughts/questions are as follows: 1) since BFR increases growth hormones could a moderate amount be used with near net zero additional chronic training stress (for qerobic training since clearly contributes to anaerobic load).

    2) It seems some component of overtraining is tied to the volume of neural signals for the muscles to contract. So if BFR requires even lower ‘neural load’ than zone 1 training, would that imply low contribution to chronic training stress?

    3) Finally, since BFR builds/maintains strength at low intensity, could that enable more time base training and shorter amount of high intensity time needed to peak? In particular, it seems aerobically deficient people that need to focus on just base for a long time might be less slow.

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