Blood Flow Restriction Training
What is Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFRT)?
Blood Flow Restriction Training is quickly becoming a very popular tool in the world of Sports Medicine to improve muscle strength, size, and functional aerobic capacity in shorter amounts of time with less stress on the body than typical training. Blood flow restriction training utilizes a medical grade tourniquet on the upper or lower extremity to provide brief and intermittent occlusion of venous and arterial blood flow while at rest or exercising. With the use of blood flow restriction, you can achieve strength gains and muscle growth using significantly less weight than traditional resistance training. This can be very beneficial to reduce the negative effects of injury and surgery during specific phases of rehab.
Although the concept has been around since the 1960’s, new technology has allowed for extensive research and reproducible techniques and results. BFRT is actively used by the Department of Defense, large medical systems, and Professional Sports Teams (NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL) and Elevate Performance couldn’t be more excited to bring it to YOU! Whether it is used for rehabilitation, fitness, performance training, or recovery, BFRT is a safe, effective, and portable solution for people of all ability levels and goals.1
Traditional strength training requires high load training of 70% of 1 rep max for strength & hypertrophy gains. Research on BFRT shows that loads as low as 20-40% of 1 rep max can produce “an exaggerated response for maximizing muscle strength & hypertrophy”, meaning those previously unable to tolerate resistance training will now be able to see strength & hypertrophy gains. Evidence also suggests BFRT can improve “bone health, improve cardiovascular health including VO2 max, and can even improve muscle activation, perfusion, and endurance following surgeries such as ACL reconstruction.”
How Does It Work?
Blood flow restriction training essentially tricks the brain and body into thinking one is performing high intensity exercise. Restriction results in physiological changes that mimic changes associated with high intensity exercise. The results are gains in muscle size, muscle strength and increases in cardiovascular function at much lower intensities than are usually required for adaptation.
How Is It Performed?
BFR is performed by first placing a Smart Cuff on your upper or lower extremity, as close to your trunk as possible. The clinician will inflate the cuff and use an ultrasound doppler to find limb occlusion pressure (The minimum pressure needed to sufficiently occlude deep arteries and the superficial veins). The cuff will be inflated to the appropriate percentage of limb occlusion pressure, where you will either rest or exercise depending on the desired outcome.
What Are The Benefits?
Increased muscle size (Hypertrophy)
Increased muscle strength
Increased cardiovascular capacity
Increased GH, IGF1 and maybe testosterone
Decreased joint/tissue stress
Little to no muscle damage
Little to no recovery needed
Little to no soreness or delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS)
Low Intensity needed (resistance or cardio)
Who Can Benefit?
Immobile or mobility-restricted populations:
Post-operation rehabilitation patients
Decrease joint/tissue loads
Isolated exercises for “weak link” region
**Although most people can benefit from BFRT, there are contraindications and precautions. Please call to speak with a Doctor of Physical Therapy to see if BFRT is right for you!
What Should I Expect?
When the Medical Grade Tourniquets are applied, you will feel pressure, but we take measures to prevent any pain. Our Doctor of Physical Therapy working with you will take your blood pressure before and after performing BFRT. You will have your Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) measured once per week with an ultrasound doppler. You will begin by using the Smart Cuffs at rest or performing low load exercises specific to your goals.
Why We Use Smart Cuffs
The cuffs we use are FDA Listed Class 1 Pneumatic Tourniquets, meaning they are FDA approved and well researched to give you the safest results. They are 4 inches wide, which means they are safer and require lower pressures to achieve the Limb Occlusion Pressure for increased comfort when compared to a narrower cuff. They also use a single-chambered bladder system to allow for reliable limb occlusion pressure measurement in the clinic. We choose the most trusted brands and products to keep you as safe and comfortable as possible and give you the best results.
Blood Flow Restriction Training Rates & Packages
BFRT is applied for a maximum of 25 minutes per session. A minimum of two session per week for 4-6 weeks is recommended to see the best results.
Single Session: $40
BFRT Monthly Memberships:
1 Session Per Week: $150 ($37.50/session)
2 Sessions Per Week: $275 ($34.38/session)
3 Sessions Per Week: $375 ($31.25/session)
**All scheduled sessions require 24-hour cancellation notice or are subject to our cancellation policy.