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Blood Flow Restriction Training / Occlusion Training - my experience

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  • Blood Flow Restriction Training / Occlusion Training - my experience

    I heard about this quite a while ago, but I gave this a try for the first time this week. I initially thought the idea of it was just stupid, but maybe there's something to it after all. Anyone else given this a go?

    When I say blood flow restriction training, or occlusion training, I'm talking about wrapping your arms / legs with something like a tourniquet (or knee wraps) so to "trap" the blood in the working muscle while you pump it up. So for example you might wrap around the tops of your arms tight just under the delts before doing multiple pump sets of bicep curls.

    It sounds retarded but I have to admit that I have experienced crazy pumps from this that seem to last for hours after I leave the gym, and my veins really pop out too. Normally when I do pump sets, the muscular pumps last about half an hour tops, but doing so with the muscle wrapped seems to make the pumps last a lot longer.

    I am in no way implying that occlusion training can replace heavy lifting (I've still lifted heavy as normal, but I've tagged on the occlusion sets at the end of my workouts), nor am I implying that occlusion training even has any effect on actual muscle growth at all (you'll have to ask someone clever like Scott about that), but I can say (from my experience at least) that it gives you longer lasting pumps that look really really cool when you go to the supermarket after the gym with your guns on display....

    Let me also add that occlusion training should preferably be done with knee wraps used to wrap the working muscle, but I unfortunately don't own a pair of knee wraps so had to make do with duct tape instead. Yeah, serious. So yes, I did get some strange looks in the gym whilst duct taping my arms and legs........

  • #2
    No experience with this though Scott has spoken about it?
    But just FYI I think the reason why people use knee wraps is because it still lets some blood through and it can be removed quickly. I definitely wouldn't want to be taped too tightly and then struggling to find the end of the tape to remove it after a set..
    If at first you don't succeed... Try doing what Skip told you to do the first time.

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    • #3
      Yeah I'm pretty sure Scott mentions it in his Fortitude Training ebook, since using pump sets followed by stretches to implement an occlusion effect is part of the FT protocol, though I lost my copy of the ebook on my old laptop so I can't tell you exactly what he says.

      And yes, duct tape is certainly not ideal, and I did in fact get stuck trying to get the tape off after a set. I had to limp over to this girl and ask to borrow her car key to cut it off - definitely didn't look cool in front of her at all.

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      • #4
        John Meadows has a good video to watch in regards to occlusion training over at his Mountain Dog site!

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        • #5
          Layne Norton makes use of it in his powerlifting training as a way to get in some hypertrophy without adding in a ton of volume/weight
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          • #6
            The potential for muscle growth is there. The main thing is stretching out the connective tissue around the muscle, creating more separation and allowing the muscle more room to grow. I would recommend doing DC extreme stretches after an occlusion set for further stretch of the connective tissue. Its gonna hurt like a bitch but there's no doubt the stretching following a widowmaker works.

            IMO I dont think there is any extra muscle damage from this since the set isn't heavy enough to cause mechanical damage. It's just massive cell volumizing and energy usage. It's the connective tissue that takes the damage in training like this I would think. Does that warrant needing extra recovery time? Probably.


            Fuck it, Im gonna go ahead and try this. But only for my weaknesses like arms and calves. Ill take measurements and report back in a couple months with the results.

            True Nutrition Discount: SRC745
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            • #7
              Oddly enough Layne Norton and John Meadows don't use duct tape lol. I've ordered some wraps, they're on the way.

              That's a good idea about taking measurements. I'm enjoying this, whether it actually works or not regardless, so I plan on sticking with it for a little while. Will be interesting to compare measurements in a few months time.

              I'll take measurements of arms, legs and calves. Surprisingly though, I do seem to get a massive delt and pec pump too when I wrap and train my arms, though this could be because of their secondarily involvement despite using arm isolation exercises.


              So if I wrap around my neck, will get a massive full body pump? No that's not a serious question, don't nobody actually try that!!!!! Lol

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              • #8
                I have used occlusion training for arms, and the pump is intense and painful. I believe Scott has published something with regards to this working well for the elderly (like myself) who can use less weight and still cause metabolic damage and growth. I can say that even with relatively lighter weights and super high reps, I still had DOMS days later doing this. I am a little concerned with blood pressure while doing this, and if done incorrectly and wrapped too tight (like ... oh.. maybe... duct tape), that you could mess with blood pressure too much and your head may explode! Do some research. I looked at literature and reports and watched videos from Scott, Layne, John and others on Youtube before I tried it. I can see it helping me maintain some size as I age and my joints are completely destroyed. FYI, competition length wrist wraps also work well for arms, and knee wraps work well for the legs. If you are going to use duct tape at least use the pink leopard print, or camouflage printed ones to look stylin'!
                "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." -William G. McAdoo

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MaxNat View Post
                  I have used occlusion training for arms, and the pump is intense and painful. I believe Scott has published something with regards to this working well for the elderly (like myself) who can use less weight and still cause metabolic damage and growth. I can say that even with relatively lighter weights and super high reps, I still had DOMS days later doing this.


                  Yeah. I know Mike has used it during his rehab period before moving back up to heavier weights.
                  #docswholift
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                  • #10
                    I've tried it and with clients. Honestly the results were lack luster from my experience. Soreness and a pump ( the immediate) is overrated especially if the long term (growth/strength) results are lacking. I see it working potentially for injury rehab like super slow training. Just my experience.
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                    • #11
                      I don't see any benefit from restricting blood flow. None. If you wann espouse volume training, with light weights and lots of blood flow, fine, I get that. Restricting blood flow? Another gimmick to get money out of poor bastards with piss poor genetics and no gear.

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                      • #12
                        Interesting opinions here. I agree it's almost definitely a gimmick, though I'm still enjoying using it regardless, but I'm not sure how it is being used to con money out of people? Unless they cut a deal with the squat wraps (or in my case the duct tape!) manufacturers? I'll just reiterate that to my knowledge, blood flow restriction training doesn't replace heavy progressive overload training, it is just extra fluff that you add on at the end of your workout.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Skinnyrunt View Post
                          Interesting opinions here. I agree it's almost definitely a gimmick, though I'm still enjoying using it regardless, but I'm not sure how it is being used to con money out of people? Unless they cut a deal with the squat wraps (or in my case the duct tape!) manufacturers? I'll just reiterate that to my knowledge, blood flow restriction training doesn't replace heavy progressive overload training, it is just extra fluff that you add on at the end of your workout.
                          Yeah, who knows the backroom, closed door deals going on. I've tried so many different training protocols over the years. Conclusion of the matter, genetics and some degree of gear use.

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                          • #14
                            My stats - here we go, just for kicks

                            OK, let's give this a shot. We've talked about this, and yes it is very likely that it is just mumbo jumbo, but I've got nothing to lose anyway, so I've taken some measurements to compare to later. Don't laugh. I'm natty, 28 years old, 5'7.5 tall on a good day, and weigh 172lbs. Relatively lean (see photo - I don't take selfies often so it's not the best, but it'll do for reference).

                            Calve 40 centimetres
                            Thigh 60 centimetres
                            Arm 41 centimetres
                            (all measurements whilst pumped up and flexing. I used cm for better accuracy)

                            I do not intend to keep a log as I can't promise I'll keep updating it, plus the log will be pretty repetitive and boring, so instead how about I check in after a few months and we'll see if there's any change. You're all going to be so jealous when my arms are double the size, I've added a foot of height, and my dick has grown 9 inches bigger!

                            I'm not expecting any miracles / anything at all, so this is just for laughs really.

                            Today's date is 23rd October 2015, so how about if I check in close to Christmas time or maybe early on in Jan 2016. If I forget, then someone please do me a favour and bump this thread or PM or something.

                            Just to repeat again, I will be continuing to train heavy with progressive resistance - the occlusion sets are basic "fluff" that I will still go hard on, but will be added on the end of my workouts.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              It's not meant to be in lieu of heavy training if you are able to train heavy, it's used for extra work without having to go heavy and add volume as well as I've read(bad on citing) supposedly good for recovery as well.

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