Day 20 – TUT and BFR
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is, well, intense. Ben came into my office overwhelmed with curiosity. “What’s on the agenda for today?” I had toyed with the idea of adding BFR to our GPP day, but I was crazy sore. “Well Ben, I had thought about BFR today, but I could really use some corrective work.” He started hoping in place and replied “I’m not sore at all!” “Well, there you have it.” I said while stretching in my chair. “We are doing BFR.”
Lately I have been reading about the cellular response to muscle damage and how your body repairs itself. It is noteworthy that there are some similarities to the way you heal from a burn. The biggest difference is the burn starts to heal at the ectodermal level and muscle repair from the meso. Meaning: muscle repair takes longer than the burn. Which is crazy to think about! I believe that this may be where the theory of super-physiological doses of glutamine comes from. Glutamine is miraculous when it comes to burns, people with sepsis, etc. However, the same thing cannot be said for muscle growth. To me it seems like people used the transitive property for mechanism of action. Sorry people, body doesn’t work that way. It’s like the supplement companies just want your money and don’t care about strong support from academic literature. But that can’t be true ;)
I am still fascinated by time under tension. So the meathead in me wants to combine TUT with BFR. Why not? My thought process behind what I will call “pump work” is to get increased blood flow to the previously tax muscle. Ben and I had a maximum effort upper day yesterday, therefore, gun show today.
We landed on using a 5-0-5 cadence for 7 reps for 2 exercises. Super setting hammer curls with triceps pushdowns would give us 2min and 20s of work while under BFR. This keeps us in the optimal range for structural hypertrophy as well as the recommended time to keep a muscle group occluded.
Ben’s arms turned purple. All I could think off was the scene in Willy Wonka when they shout “You’re turning violet, Violet!” I counted the time and Ben did a great job of maintaining cadence. After he took of the occlusion wraps he laughed and said “You may turn green, but I can turn purple.”
My turn. I wrapped my arms, grabbed my weight, and let it rip. Thank god Ben counted out loud. I am certain that I would have started to increase my cadence had he not. After finishing the set, the pump was insane. It is everything Arnold incoherently rambled on about in Pumping Iron. AWESOME SAUCE!
Wrapped up the rest of the day with some much needed external rotator work and a feast of a lunch.
Thought of the Day:
Why do all of the paintings of Adam and Eve portray them with bellybuttons?