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Blood Flow Restriction Training for Muscle Mass Maintenance

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Blood flow restriction (BFR) training was developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in Japan in the mid-‘60s, where it’s known as KAATSU training. BFR involves partially restricting arterial inflow and fully restricting venous outflow while working the muscle
  • BFR allows you to significantly enhance strength and muscle mass using as little as 20% to 30% of your single-rep max weight
  • BFR training may be an ideal muscle-strengthening strategy for most people, but especially for the elderly and the untrained, as it requires just a fraction of the weight you’d typically use in conventional resistance training
  • BFR has the ability to prevent and treat sarcopenia like no other type of training
  • During BFR training, the slow twitch Type I muscle fibers become highly fatigued, necessitating the recruitment of fast twitch Type II muscle fibers as the exercise progresses. This explains how BFR training can deliver results similar to or better than conventional weight training, despite the use of light weights

Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts

This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.

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