Ep 15. Considerations for optimising BFR pressures during aerobic exercise

Hi everyone,

Things have been a little busy lately hence the late podcast.  With my normal S&C work commitments and a few workshops to prepare for I haven't been able to put together my normal schedule of podcasts.  Today's podcast actually appeared on another podcast Snippit Sports Science of which my mate, Jared and I produce.

Speaking about workshops, I will be in Sydney on Saturday October 13th (2 weeks time) to do a new BFR workshop.  Tickets are available through Eventbrite (click on this link to buy your ticket). Alternatively if you know of someone who'd benefit from this workshop I'd appreciate you letting them know and sharing the link.

Today's episode from a practical standpoint helps to understand the optimisation of Blood Flow Restriction pressures when doing aerobic (stationary-based) exercise. I personally have found that dropping my pre-determined BFR pressure by around 20mmHg works best and that if I stayed at this  pressure (I usually do my strength training at) it is just doesn't feel right and is too high. The debate of BFR pressures is an ongoing on and this article helps shed some light as to some great evidence.

Effects of DifferentPercentages of Blood Flow Restriction on Energy Expenditure.

Int J Sports Med.2019 Mar;40(3):186-190. doi: 10.1055/a-0828-8295. Epub 2019 Jan 31.


The study aimed to analyze the effect of differentlevels of bloodflowrestriction(BFR) on energy expenditure(EE) and subjective perceptions of discomfort (SPD) during aerobic exercises.

A sample group of 24 young men was required to walk on a treadmill for 14 min at 40% of their maximum speed, with 4 differentpercentagesof BFR (0, 50, 80 and 100%) applied in the lower limbs (LL) once a week with a 7-day interval between the 4 evaluations. EE data were collected during the exercise periods; SPD data were collected after the exercises.

There was a significant increase in EE at 50, 80 and 100% BFR compared to the condition without BFR, and between 50 and 100% BFR; however, there were no differences between 50 and 80% and 80 and 100% BFR. Discomfort showed a significant increase according to the increase in BFR. During the walking exercises with BFR, the EE strongly increased until 50% of BFR; after this level the additional increases slowed.

It can be concluded that when performing aerobic exercises with BFR, there is no need to use BFR levels above 50% to reach satisfying level of EE with only a moderate level of discomfort to the practitioner.

Snippit Sports Science Podcast is sponsored by EliteForm, which brings together cutting edge Velocity Based Training technologies.  Please visit https://eliteform.comand check out their products, StrengthPlanner and PowerTracker.

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