Naples Premier PT


When you look in the mirror are you looking at the best version of yourself? An Ideal fitness goal for most people is to get active, stay fit and love how you look and feel. This mantra has been expressed for years from health care professionals that truly practice what they preach, and you may feel at times you’re ready to commit to changing your life around and getting into better shape and getting your body stronger to prevent old injury pains from nagging your everyday life. The main problem is that the action required to get to those end goal destination become more and more difficult to achieve and excuses creep into our lives which stop us from getting to our end goals. Some people can stay on a workout routine for a long duration, but feel that the gains in strength are not improving. This plateau affect is a normal occurence for my older patients thinking the days of getting stronger and feeling good are way behind them. I am here to tell you that that is not true, and with the proper building blocks for strength and proper starting workout steps you can achieve your end goals for strength, fitness, and overall maintain a great feeling about yourself and how you look. 

The Process of strengthening the body can also be referred to as muscle hypertrophy. This process increases the diameter of each muscle fiber as well as increases protein content within the muscle fibers. Increases in cross-sectional area of the muscle directly correlates with an increase in strength. The two needed factors for muscle hypertrophy are muscle tension and metabolic stress. When a muscle is placed under mechanical stress the concentration of anabolic hormone levels increases. With anabolic hormone increases as well as an activation of myogenic stem cells results in protein metabolism and muscle hypertrophy. Without proper hormone levels and load to the muscle system hypertrophy cannot occur correctly. Myogenic stem cells are also known as satellite cells and are found throughout muscle tissue normally inactive but are turned on by injury to the muscle tissue, or an increase in muscle tension I.E. Mechanical Load. These amazing Satellite cells not only repair damaged muscle tissue, but also grow new muscle fibers for hypertrophy. I see this lack of strength gain with exercise due to issues with people that have lower than optimal hormone levels. Trying to resistance strength train with no real improvement in strength or muscle mass can be extremely disheartening. This outcome over time can diminish your desire to continue to strength train, and accept that you cannot get strong anymore. That is why hormones need to be at optimum ranges for proper strength gains to occur. As we age over the age of 30 we lose 1-2% of our Testosterone levels annually. This regression over time can negatively impact our ability to add strength and muscle mass on our bodies. The process of resistance training using Limb Occlusion can be a fantastic way to naturally boost your hormone levels to allow for better muscle hypertrophy even in later stages of life.   

The Term BFR means Blood Flow Restriction. This is a technique that combines low intensity exercise with blood flow occlusion that produces similar metabolic results to high intensity training without the intensity to the body. BFR was initially developed in the 1960’s in Japan, and was known as KAATSU. The concept behind this form of exercise training is intended to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy with low force load and high metabolic stress load during exercise. BFR exercises are intended to be performed with a resistance level at 20-30% of your one rep max weight with a high repetition total such as 20-30 repetitions. Increasing repetition total helps increased the amount of metabolic stress put on the muscle tissue while lifting. 

When we exercise in both resistance training and aerobic exercises such as lifting weights or running both bring up levels of human growth hormone (HGH). This Hormone is responsible for increasing collagen synthesis after exercise, and aid in muscle recovery. HGH does not directly cause muscle hypertrophy, but aids in muscle recovery and potentially the muscle strengthening process. Lactate accumulation and Hydrogen Ions (H+) are released as a byproduct from exercise and further increase the release of HGH. 

When we look into High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), we see a downregulation or inhibition of an important protein that inhibits cell muscle growth called Myostatin. For proper muscle hypertrophy to occur we need this protein to shut down. That is why HIIT usually results in good muscle growth over time, however this form of exercise may be too intense for you to do at your current fitness level. When we look at traditional strength training options such as HIIT, we see with full force muscle contraction a compression of blood vessels occurring within the contracted muscle tissue. This restriction in blood flow, and oxygen causes a hypoxic state in the muscle tissue to form. This hypoxic state also results in the overaccumulation of muscle byproducts producing more lactate, and H+ stimulating more production of Human Growth Hormone. When muscle tissue continues progressing in a more hypoxic state and metabolic byproducts accumulate in the muscle tissue cell swelling occurs. This cell swelling process stimulates cell anabolic (growing) reactions which gives you muscle growth. The muscle swelling process may activate myogenic stem cells to further the muscle hypertrophy process. 

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training’s main goal is to mimic the HIIT exercise by creating the same hypoxic environment and thus all the muscle growth stimulating effects described above without the intense resistance load needed. Instead a pressure-controlled cuff is used on the limbs being exercised. The BFR cuff is placed on your limb you are exercising close to the trunk. Both Arteries and Veins are occluded allowing for safe controlled buildup of muscle metabolites as well as limited inflow of oxygen creating a hypoxic environment with low intensity exercising to create optimal muscle growth and strength. 

The Current research being done in the field of strength and conditioning are showing that BFR training performed at a low intensity for 4-6 weeks has been shown to cause a 10-20% increase in muscle strength. One of the best aspects about this research is that you can exercise under low load and still have a tremendous improvement in strength. This will allow for those with joint breakdown limiting exercise having another option to gain strength without irritating joint pain. For the injured population this gives you another option for strengthening with minimal load on the body and metabolically optimize the bodies natural healing process with Satellite cell activation. 

If injury has plagued your return to exercise or you are just stuck in your current strength training journey you need to incorporate BFR training to your exercise routines to get to the next level of strength and performance. If you have had recent surgery or injury and feel that you need something to push your healing into overdrive BFR may be a great option to do just that. At Naples Premier Physical Therapy, we utilize the most up to date technology with the Smartcuff 4.0. These state-of-the-art cuffs have Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered processors that calculate in real time the correct Limb Occlusion Pressure (LOP) while you are using them. This makes them the most intelligent and safe BFR cuff on the market. Act today and reach out to us if you want to take your training or recovery to the next level.

Phone: (239)919-3510

Scroll to Top