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SRT - Sports Rehab Tourniquet

How does BFR work and what is it all about?

Selecting your cuff

Measure your limb circumference according to which body part you want to train.

Where to measure for your cuff sizing:

1. Upper body = mid bicep

2. Lower body = top third of quadricep

Cuff Sizing

Small (red trim) = 43cm or less

Medium (white trim) = 74cm

Long (blue trim) = 84cm

Extra Long (green trim) = 104cm

Setting your pressure

Training at the correct pressure will ensure that you maximise your training results and it also ensures that you are training safely. Training at a range between 50-80% of limb occlusion pressure (LOP) is most effective. Limb circumference and blood pressure are two important factors to calculate LOP and therefore BFR training pressure.  I have included a easy and effective method to do this.

Follow these instructions:

Individualised pressure calculation:

1. Go to my resources page and download the easy to use spreadsheet pressure calculator.

2. Measure limb circumference and blood pressure as outlined in the instructions. Use this to put into the formula to calculate your individualised BFR training pressure.

3. Remember that these pressures are a guide and a systematic gradual increase to this pressure may be required if the pressure is deemed too high initially.

As a guide and cross-reference, these are approximate pressures that you may expect to find relevant to lower body limb circumference:

45-50cm = 100mmHg

51-55cm = 130mmHg

56-59cm  = 150 - 160mmHg

60cm = 160-170mmHg

Putting on your cuffs

Using your cuffs - the first few weeks

Please remember that the calculated BFR pressure should be viewed as a maximum (upper) pressure guide.

For first time users I typically this pressure by 20mmHg for the first few weeks. If feeling uncomfortable during use, decrease the pressure by another 10-20mmHg. My experience is that you will get used to the pressure over time.

Continuous vs intermittent pressure depends on the level of user and what it is being used for.  Generally speaking for rehab-based training I will build towards a continuous pressure method whereas for performance lifting I suggest using an intermittent pressure method.

This is my suggestion: 

Weeks 1-2: Intermittent pressure – release the pressure after each major set (or in rest periods).  If they are very comfortable with it, instead of releasing after each set, just release pressure after each exercise grouping. (i.e. after 5-10min).

Weeks 3-4: Increase the amount of time that continuous pressure is kept. Typically this is reflected by releasing after each exercise grouping (e.g. do your 3-4 sets of single leg squats, release pressure then reinflate for your next exercise).

Weeks 5+: decision on pressures comes down to the comfort of the user.  They can keep inflated for longer periods of time (20min) with a continuous methodology.

Exercising with your cuffs

Warm-up

Bike, cross-trainer and walking are good options. Use slightly lower than 50% AO pressures here.

Rehab and activation

Use during rehab-based and activation exercises such as gluteal (mini-band routines) and VMO (straight leg raises) exercises.

Strength development

Lower body: includes most exercises that is quad dominant. For example: leg press (single and double leg), single leg squat, squat, step-ups, bulgarian squat, lunge.

Upper body: most pushing exercises and pulling exercises are suitable. However a slightly restricted range may occur due to the cuffs.