Blood Flow Restriction Arm Workouts

The first time I remember seeing anyone use “Blood Flow Restriction” to pump up their arms was when I was a kid watching wrestling and the Ultimate Warrior had straps around the top of his huge biceps. This caused his arms to get such a pump that they looked like they were about to burst.

Former WWE Wrestler “Ultimate Warrior” was a well known example of someone who used
Blood Flow Restriction to increase muscle pumps!

What Is Blood Flow Restriction Training?

Blood Flow Restriction (also known as occlusion) involves wrapping a strap, band, or wrap around the top portion of a limb (i.e. your arms or legs) to restrict blood flow from leaving the working muscles.

The idea is that blood will get pumped into the muscles via arterial flow. However, the veins are restricted so that the blood cannot leave the working muscles at the normal rate. The result is that you’ll get a “super pump” by forcing more blood volume into the muscle cells. This can help increase growth through the fascial stretching that occurs when the muscles get pumped beyond their normal size.

In addition to the pump, blood flow restriction also causes a buildup of lactic acid in the muscles and this can help stimulate hypertrophy. Over time BFR training can help create a greater number of capillaries which will provide the muscles with more nutrients and oxygen and allow for even better pumps and more muscle growth in the future.

Is Blood Flow Restriction Training Safe?

First off B.F.R. is an advanced training technique. For people who are new to weight training there is no need to use this style of training. Simply doing regular weight training workouts on a consistent basis will be enough to stimulate muscle growth for a novice lifter.

But for advanced lifters who have been working out regularly for several years and are looking to help spur on new muscle growth, then B.F.R. maybe worth looking into.

As for the safety issues, you need to realize that there is always a potential risk of injury with any form of strength training exercise, and blood flow restriction training is no different. But when done properly the risks of this style of training are no greater than with “normal” weight training workouts.

With Blood Flow Restriction Training the weights lifted are generally light and the time that blood flow is restricted is relatively short (usually only 10 minutes) so the risk of serious injury or muscle damage is very low.

Like any form of exercise, it’s always best to check with your doctor first if you have any doubts. Especially for people with pre-existing health issues such as blood pressure problems, heart problems, those who are at risk for blood clots, etc.

My Results Using Blood Flow Restriction Training…

I’m going to experiment with BFR occlusion training in my arm workouts and post my results on the Total Fitness Bodybuilding YouTube Channel. So keep an eye out for future videos with my personal results using Blood Flow Restriction workouts.

As of this writing I’ve completed 3 Blood Flow Restriction Arm Workouts and have to say that it has given me the most intense muscle pump that I’ve ever experienced in my arms. Even when lifting light weights, my arms get pumped up like crazy!

Now how well that carries over into actual “muscle growth” we’ll wait and see. But for now it looks promising…

Update: 4th workout using BFR Training

Resources With More Info About Blood Flow Restriction Training:

Don’t go with the flow: Blood flow restriction training is a game changer.

Human Muscle Gene Expression Following Resistance Exercise and Blood Flow Restriction

Strength Training with Blood Flow Restriction Diminishes Myostatin Gene Expression

The anabolic benefits of venous blood flow restriction training may be induced by muscle cell swelling

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...

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