Why Olympians Use Blood Flow Resistance Training


It would be wise to take Mark Wahlberg’s health and fitness whims with a huge amount of salt. The man endorses many products on social media, owns a chain of gyms, and once adhered to the craziest daily routine of all time.

There’s one habit on her part, though, which we touched on earlier this year, that’s a legitimate trick for more effective weight training: blood flow resistance training. He recently found popularity among a pair of Olympians (Galen Rupp, one of America’s all-time greatest cross-country runners, and three-time alpine ski world champion Mikaela Shiffrin), both of whom use the method. in complementary and recovery training.

How it works? It is essentially a performance tourniquet. You inflate a band to a certain pressure then place it in a strategic place of your limbs. For the upper body, it’s between the biceps and deltoids. The idea is to partially restrict blood flow (venous flow is blocked, arterial flow can pass) so that blood cells have no choice but to build up around the muscles you are trying to target. This puts the whole area under significant stress, which leads to an increase in the concentration of lactate in the blood, which leads to swelling.

It hurts a lot – the muscles are in desperate need of oxygen and none are on the way – but that’s why it works so well. When Rupp, Shiffrin, or Wahlberg put on a pair of BFR bracelets, they’re not trying to have their hardest workout of the week; they actually take it relatively easily, with a light weight on the dumbbells and slight resistance on the stationary bike. They will not work for more than 20 minutes. The point is to let the groups do the work. It is possible, in this state, to get a fantastic push-up simply by lifting dumbbells as light as 20-30% of your ‘max rep’ weight. “

The first time Shiffrin tried BFR tapes, according to at Out, she finished the workout thinking, “Oh my God, my arms hurt, like I just did 200 push-ups or something.” She had only worked 15 minutes. They are just as effective for its lower half, able to simulate the vice of a day spent on difficult tracks. without she actually needs to put on skis, which is especially helpful if she’s looking to stay healthy or low impact before an upcoming event. Like, say, Beijing 2022.

It might sound strange: why are we, let alone Olympians, getting to grips with performance technology that saves time and preserves the body? Well, the method was invented in Japan in 1966, by Dr Yoshiaki Sato, and only arrived in the United States in the early 2000s, when it was still a priority for injury rehabilitation, in especially for athletes coming out of surgery. who needed to slowly and safely build an arm or a leg.

BFR finally made the leap into performance research over the decade thanks to the efforts of Dr. Jim Stray-Gundersen. (It’s a typical origin story: he heard about the technique on a business trip to Tokyo, then went home and told anyone who wanted to listen to it.) Dr Stray-Gundersen, B Strong, is now the easiest way for those of us who don’t train in Colorado to reap the rewards of WCR.

One thing to keep in mind before tightening the bands around your muscles: resist the urge to overdo it. If you keep lifting or reaching the 25 pounds, you will defeat the goal of the workout and eventually cause a blood clot. Keep the pressure within the recommended limit and the workout light and fast. Tours are your best friend here. We’ve been fed a lot of celebrity fitness misconceptions this year; it’s nice to know that Marky Mark had our best interests at heart – at least this time around.


Evelyn C. Tobin