Practical Implementation of Blood Flow Restriction Training

If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you likely are aware of the potential benefits of blood flow restriction (BFR) training.  However, you may be unsure about how to implement BFR training into your current routine.  Look no further!  What follows is not meant to be prescriptive, but rather one possible way to implement BFR training into an existing training routine.  In other words, putting principles into practice!

Like any novel stimulus, BFR should be introduced at low intensities and gradually progressed to prevent excessive soreness and allow the repeated bout effect to occur.  In other words, we need to train to train.  Below is one example of how a bodybuilder might introduce BFR into an existing program.  The table below was taken from Nick Rolnick and Brad Schoenfeld’s 2020 paper titled, Blood Flow Restriction Training and the Physique Athlete: A Practical Research-Based Guide to Maximizing Muscle Size.  It can be accessed at this LINK.

Throughout the weeks, BFR is used following traditional heavy load training. Weeks 0-2 start with 1-2 sets of non-failure BFR using single-joint exercises.  In weeks 3-5 BFR training is progressed to 1 multi-joint movement and 1-2 single-joint movements, still avoiding failure.   Weeks 6-7 begin to touch failure and Week 8 uses BFR during a deload from traditional high load training with a mixture of failure and non-failure training.  As mentioned previously, the purpose of this example is not to be prescriptive, but rather offer a practical example of how to integrate principles into practice.  

What other ways have you found to implement BFR training into your current training regimen?  Let us know!

****Remember, the use of BFR training should not be based solely on a success story.  The decision to use BFR, or any treatment for that matter, should be based on the pillars of evidence-based practice.

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