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Blood Flow Restriction and Muscles Hypertrophy


If you are into MMA, you‘be probably heard about @thenotoriousmma (Connor McGregor) recent injury during his last fight with @dustinpoirier. Connor underwent surgery to repair his broken tibia and Fibula, and now that he is no longer in a cast, he has started a pretty intense rehabilitation program.

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One of the secret weapons of Connor recovery program is called BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) also known as occlusion training. Personally, it is my favorite method of training and It has been used in clinical setup for decades and it consists of applying tourniquet like device (cuff) proximal to the torso ( as close as possible to the heart) (RUCKLEY, n.d) which limit arterial inflow and fully restrict venous outflow of the muscles involved in the exercise (Stephen D. Patterson, 2019). This exercise/rehabilitation method originated from a training method called Kaatsu. It was created by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato back in 1966 (Jacobs, n.d).

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The goal of this type of therapy is to increase muscle strength and mass with minimal load. A regular hypertrophy program requires the participant to perform at 75% - 85% of one repetition maximum (RM) (SMITH, 2021). After an injury/surgery, it is common to notice some muscles hypotrophy and restricted weight bearing on the affected side. By using BFR, we can get a patient to start exercising at a much lower weight (~30% RM) and get the same result as a regular hypertrophy program (Abbasi, 2021).

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Work Cited:

📚 Abbasi, D. D. (2021, August 23). A Surgeon Explained the Upside of Conor McGregor's Blood Flow Restriction Training. Retrieved from Mens health: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a37373217/conor-mcgregor-blood-flow-restriction-training-doctor-explains-david-abbasi/

📚 Jacobs, J. (n.d). New Treatment Trend: Blood Flow Restriction Therapy. Retrieved from BTE: https://www.btetechnologies.com/therapyspark/blood-flow-restriction-therapy/

📚 RUCKLEY, J. (n.d). WHAT HAPPENS PHYSIOLOGICALLY WHEN YOU DO BFR TRAINING? Retrieved from BFRPRO: https://bfrpro.com/blogs/news/blood-flow-restriction-bfr-training-what-is-it-where-did-it-come-from-and-how-can-i-utilize-it-in-my-training

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