T Nation

Blood Flow Restriction Training


Hi all,

Have been posting a bit in the powerlifting category of this forum but being a bodybuilder at heart I thought it time to show bodybuilding some love.

Won’t double over the writing Schoenfeld has done so have a read of the basics here:

Now that that we are oriented I’ll be discussing my own use/experiences/learnings with Blood Flow Restriction Training. Also I’ll be chucking in a bit of the more recent research since Schoenfeld’s article in 2013 and musing on their implications to training.

A few months ago, due work/life/study circumstances I could only head to the gym twice a week. So I had two intense long workouts trying to squeeze everything in and the last thing on my mind and last thing in my notebook was bicep curls/hammers.

However deep down inside me lies the heart of a true bodybuilder i.e. a terribly unhealthy cardiovascular system but I digress, so I looked for a way to get that pump going with dem curls for the girls

Problem was all I had at home was plate loaded dumbbells to 20kg. So asked around and the suggestion of BFR training came up. Tbh sounded like bro science bullshit the first time you here it but I had a browse of the evidence and a read of Schoenfeld’s T Nation article and decided to give it a go.

Armed with my trusty 24" wrist wraps and a light pair of DBs. 25/25/25 reps with 10 seconds rest. I once wondered what the tren bicep vein would look like on me. I wonder no more. The pump is enhanced, the veins are popping and the strangest (in a bad way) burning sensation is going on as I stare at my biceps willing them to grow. For a second I was worried I had strained my bicep but as the wraps came off the feeling faded. Day after biceps were truly sore not just a little tight or tender from some super hardcore intense arm day brah.

So far so good for BFR. Saves me the time and energy spent curling in the gym when I’m meant to be focused on squats. Will probably update at the end of my accumulation phase.

So what do you think? Could BFR be helpful to you in a similar manner to me or maybe your biceps haven’t grown in months?

Done it? How’d you find it?
Haven’t tried. You should.

EDIT: Forgot about research evidence lel. Will post as I find.


I’m sorry, all I got out of that was a fit lil Asian sweety being felt up by her hot friends… I’m assuming that’s what you wrote about…


Tried it. Not a fan. I don’t chase the pump. I train to maximally activate and stimulate the muscles within a moderate rep range. The degree of the pump achieved is a result of how well I do this. Dropsets and stuff are used on occassion to fully fatigue the muscle. The pump is incidental.


Will link to full video on pornhub


How long did you try it for?


I tried it for an extended period of time. Good pump, but I can’t say I got any gainz out of it.

Worth noting that any form of constant-tension lifting is de facto occlusion training.


How did you apply it to your training?


Arm-work only. Five or so sets of high-rep, minimal-rest occluded cable curls supersetted with pushdowns, followed by 5 sets of hammer curls.


Was this at the end of a back or arm workout or something so like using BFR as a finishing technique? Were you still progressing on the conventional resistance training movements preceding the BFR?


While that is how it’s usually performed, I actually did it first, so as to provide a thorough warm-up. I would do some more conventional arm work afterwards.

I wasn’t tracking strength closely, so can’t say with certainty whether I was progressing on the conventional work.


I’ve heard it was really good for truces work for those with tremendous elbow tendinitis. Same with legs and knee issues and such. But like @EyeDentist said, it usually disapates after and all you get is a good pump. No real sustainable gain.


Yes. The chief advantage as I see it is that it allows one to get good work in while using minimal heavy weights. For those of us with dicey elbow tendons, that’s a definite plus.


A little more than a month. I was on 1g of test.


I’ve done it and I like it. I like to think I saw a little growth out of it too.


I am over 50 and have arthritis and tendinitis.
I just got a set of bands with a scale on them so you can keep track of the amount of pressure you wrap.
I’m looking forward to it.


WHATTTTT?!? But how do expect to get those GAINZ!? :wink: