With the last few posts focusing on the positive effects of Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training I thought I would show you all how I use it during my own training sessions. This session in particular is how I incorporate BFR into an all-body sled strength session. I use sled sessions in a variety of ways and find it useful when used during:
- injury rehab sessions,
- easy training weeks and
- for a low-load training stimulus within a training week (that typically involves high-load strength sessions).
Whilst working at Bath Rugby I took saliva samples looking at the response of testosterone and cortisol concentrations to training and competition. I found that a typical response to sled strength sessions would demonstrate a rise in testosterone with no increase in cortisol concentrations (data not published). This hormonal response is most desirable and consequently has acute and longitudinal performance benefits. The advantages of performing sled strength session during in-season competition play was that as an S&C coach I could elicit a strength session early in the week that:
- the players enjoyed,
- they could perform well after a game 48 hours later (when typically sore),
- was time-efficient (approx. 30min) and
- elicited a positive hormonal response.
I still use these sessions today with the added benefit of BFR. The addition of BFR I feel enables me to ensure I maximise the hormonal response and to decrease the loadings slightly. I feel that the athletes that I train recover well with the addition of BFR despite being quite tough at the time. (I encourage using intermittent pressure during rest periods).
Session content can be modified according to the needs of the athlete. With respect to the session (video), I focused on major movements encompassing upper and lower body as well as core. I used TRX handles on a prowler however you could use any handle system and a sled set-up will also work well.
The session was done on a 20 metre piece of artificial turf and so when doing the upper body work we typically got 8-10reps and on the lower body (& core) we pushed it back to the start which equated to about 15 metres.
The session overview:
- Warm-up: 10minutes of general movement
- UB Row superset with LB Bent-over forward push: 3sets
- UB Push superset with LB Reverse Drag: 3sets
- UB Reverse Fly superset Core rotation: 2sets
- UB Chest Fly superset with Core rotation: 2sets
Total session time = 25min.
We found the session difficult on each set but could recover well for the next.
Do you utilise sled strength sessions within your own coaching and training practices? If so please comment and let us know your sled session combinations.
Have a great day.