Blood Flow Restriction Training

  Blood Flow Restriction Training and Other Unique Athletic Training Methods

Those who are into athletic training near me tend to focus on lifting weights, doing cardio, or some combination of both. This makes sense because these methods are simple and usually don't require a huge investment in equipment. However, the standard methods aren't useful for everyone. Some people are too frail to lift a meaningful amount of weight the regular way, and need to use a different method in order to get stronger. Others want to gain hypertrophy as well as, or even instead of, raw strength. For them, there are alternative types of athletic training near me.


One such alternative is blood flow restriction training, which is sometimes referred to as occlusion training. With this method, a tourniquet is applied above the body part that is going to be worked. It is tightened enough to block the return blood flow from the veins, but allow blood to flow into the limb through its arteries.


When blood flow is controlled in this way, the metabolites from exercising cannot leave the body part that is being worked. This fools the body into "thinking" that a heavy weight is being lifted. It then builds muscle as if to compensate for the weight that seems to be there. Notably, a person can't actually lift heavy weights under these circumstances, but will have no problem with light ones. This makes it good for those who aren't yet capable of lifting traditional bodybuilding weights.


Another effect of occlusion training is hypertrophy. Due to the increased buildup of lactate in the affected part, the pituitary gland and other glands secrete more growth hormone as well as hormones directly related to muscle growth. This promotes the gain of muscle size, as well as strength and endurance. It can also be expected that blood flow restriction training will result in a larger temporary gain in muscle size due to an above-average blood having accumulated in the parts that were just worked. The latter effect will be of note to those who perform in bodybuilding shows, which typically measure muscle size as part of their scoring systems.


One form of occlusion training is often used for rehabilitation rather than general strength training. This form, KAATSU, was developed in Japan by a man who first realized the principles of controlling blood flow while sitting on his feet during a long ceremony. The posture blocked the blood flow in his calves, which was painful, but which he also realized could be healing if done according to a proper method. He then spent several years perfecting such a method. When he was able to speed the healing of an injury from an expected six months to just six weeks, he went public.


KAATSU is now a patented rehabilitation method complete with special bands that are used to control blood flow. The bands and controlling mechanisms have had rounds of upgrades through the years, so they provide better results. One controller machine has also been miniaturized, so it can be used in more places than before.


Unlike many exercise protocols and methods, KAATSU has been the subject of university study. The University of Tokyo's hospital named it a collaborative project at its 22nd Century Medical and Research Center, and it has been studied as part of other collaborative efforts, as well. The results have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals. Its developer, Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, has also started a research foundation to learn even more and further perfect this rehabilitation and training method.

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