By Naomi Nazario
It’s likely if you ask a random person how to gain muscle, they’d answer by saying you should lift weights. Of course that’s true, but committing to a regular training program means you need to think about longevity and injury prevention.
One of the ways to do that is to find methods that give you more bang for your buck. Training exclusively with heavy weights, even with good technique, can be taxing on the joints. That’s where Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training comes in.
BFR may look intimidating at first, but research shows it’s effective in increasing muscle hypertrophy under lighter loads.
“Blood flow restriction works by restricting blood flow to the veins, but not the arteries. This delivers and keeps blood to the targeted muscle,” says Jeremy Scott, trainer at Jeremy Scott Fitness. It is believed that BFR stimulates muscle protein synthesis and has an anabolic effect even at loads usually considered too low to stimulate hypertrophy. This means you can make gains without the stress of heavy weight on your joints.
Jeremy pairs BFR with a Bulgarian split squat, which targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. “It’s also a great functional movement when performed properly increases mobility, not to mention the amazing fat-burning effects,” Scott says.
BFR can be used on all kinds of exercises. Check out this article by Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour for more about the method and how to apply it to your workout routine.
Directions: Perform the exercises below in the order listed, 30 seconds each:
1a. BFR rear-foot elevated split squat, right
1b. BFR rear-foot elevated split squat, left
That’s one round. Perform 5 rounds.