Beast Fitness Arm Specific Blood Flow Restriction Protocol

Introduction Utilizing all the research at our disposal, we can see the numerous benefits of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training for anytime looking to increase muscular size. We see the goals of the original protocol being to restrict venous blood flow return from the muscle, causing the blood to collect into the targeted muscle. To accomplish this, wrapping or "occluding" the targeted limb approximately to 70% of maximum tightness of the cuffs or wraps you are using will do. Mechanisms BFR induces dramatic anabolic responses by a variety of mechanisms via hypertrophy, hyperplasia, increased satellite cell activation, increased MPS mediated by IGF-1 through translation initiation, a lessened elevation of markers of damage (myoglobin, CPK, and lipid peroxide), increasing growth hormone concentrations, and could cause shifts from slow twitch muscle fibers to fast twitch muscle fibers and a reduction in myostatin.

Traditional BFR Protocol *3-5 sets to muscular failure *weight used is 20-50% of your 1RM (generally kept with the 8-20 rep range) *rest between 30-60 seconds between sets keeping the muscle occluded throughout the duration of the movement The above method is utilized by wrapping your upper arm or upper thighs depending upon your target muscle group BeastFitness Arm Specific BFR Protocol *3-5 sets to muscular failure *weight used is 20-50% of your 1RM (generally kept with the 8-20 rep range) *upon completion of first set, bend at the hips allowing arms to stay in a "dead hanging" position for 15-30 seconds before standing upright for an additional 30 seconds keeping the muscle occluded throughout the duration of the movement.

The above method is utilized by wrapping your upper arms to target either the biceps or triceps muscle group. The difference, as you can see from above, is extremely slight, yet I have seen it produce a 30-50% increase in venous blood flow simply by allowing the set to somewhat extend and pool more blood into your arms while still under occlusion. This is purely anecdotal evidence as I have no means to actually measure this, but by simply manipulating how the rest period is done, I've seen a much greater increase in the overall "pump" effect of the muscle.

If done correctly, the pain and increase in vascularity will greatly exceed that of a traditional arm BFR set.

Anecdotal Results

*increased hypertrophy (within 3-4 weeks)

*increased vascularity (within 2 weeks)

*increased nutrient delivery

*increased insulin sensitivity

This is not a ground breaking way to increase muscular hypertrophy. It is simply a small manipulation I have used with myself and clients who struggle to increase their arm size. By implementing this with a program emphasizing progressive overload along with a caloric surplus, your muscles will grow.

References Abe T, Kearns CF, Sato Y. Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, kaatsu-walk training. J Appl Physiol. 2006 May;100(5):1460-6. Anderson J. A role for nitric oxide in muscle repair: nitric oxide-mediated activation of muscle satellite cells. Mol Biol Cell 11: 1859–1874, 2000. Fujita S, Abe T, Drummond M, Cadenas J, Dreyer H, Sato Y, Volpi E, and Rasmussen B. Blood flow restriction during low-intensity resistance exercise increases S6K1 phosphorylation and muscle protein synthesis. J Appl Physiol 103: 903–910, 2007. Kacin A, Strazar K. Frequent low-load ischemic resistance exercise to failure enhances muscle oxygen delivery and endurance capacity. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011 Dec;21(6):e231-41. Kawada S and Ishii N. Changes in skeletal muscle size, fiber-type composition and capillary supply after chronic venous occlusion in rats. Acta Physiol 192: 541–549, 2008. Kraemer W, Marchitelli L, Gordon S, Harman E, Dziados J, Mello R, Frykman P, McCurry D, and Fleck S. Hormonal and growth factor responses to heavy resistance exercise protocols. J Appl Physiol 69: 1442–1450, 1990. Kubota A, Sakuraba K, Sawaki K, Sumide T, Tamura Y. Prevention of disuse muscular weakness by restriction of blood flow. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008 Mar;40(3):529-34. Loenneke JP and Pujol TJ. The Use of Occlusion Training to Produce Muscle Hypertrophy. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 31(3): 77-84, June 2009. Schoenfeld BJ. Potential mechanisms for a role of metabolic stress in hypertrophic adaptations to resistance training. Sports Med. 2013 Mar;43(3):179-94. Suga T, Okita K, Takada S, Omokawa M, Kadoguchi T, Yokota T, et al. Effect of multiple set on intramuscular metabolic stress during low-intensity resistance exercise with blood flow restriction. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Nov;112(11):3915-20.

Takano H, Morita T, Iida H, Asada K, Kato M, Uno K, Hirose K, Matsumoto A, Takenaka K, Hirata Y, Eto F, Nagai R, Sato Y, and Nakaajima T. Hemodynamic and hormonal responses to a short-term low-intensity resistance exercise with the reduction of muscle blood flow. Eur J Appl Physiol 95: 65–73, 2005. Takarada Y, Takazawa H, Sato Y, Takebayashi S, Tanaka Y, and Ishii N. Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscle function in humans. J Appl Physiol 88: 2097–2106, 2000. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Loenneke JP, Naimo MA. Practical blood flow restriction training increases acute determinants of hypertrophy without increasing indices of muscle damage. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Feb 26.

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