Bodybuilders are always looking for weight to increase muscle size (you could argue that is the whole point of bodybuilding!). Through time there have been many different opinions and methods of how someone should train to gain muscle mass.
From the days of Arnold to the current competitors of today, the interest to get bigger has grown exponentially. So that means any edge that presents itself in the sport, will most likely utilized.
Now we are not talking about performance enhancing drugs, but there is a method of mass building that is up and coming and is completely natural. That is…
It is in fact any bodybuilders dream to see the results of their weight training efforts by using lighter weights and less intensity, and this is what makes Occlusion training so attractive to many people.
Let’s go a little deeper…
How Would A Bodybuilder Benefit From Occlusion Training?
That’s a great question!
When we think of bodybuilders and what they have to do to get as large as they are, we think of extremely heavy weights and vomit-inducing intensity. Now even though that is not always the case, Occlusion training can provide muscle gains with lighter weight and much lower intensity than the way that they would traditionally train for muscle growth.
Often during intense heavy lifting sessions, a bodybuilder will need to take supplements and ease up on the extreme loads in order to recover their muscle, joints and tendons adequately.
Well, Occlusion training is the perfect solution because bodybuilders can use 20-50% of their 1-rep max and still expect to see some pretty serious gains.
Can Occlusion Training Be Just As Effective For A Bodybuilder As Traditional (High-load/high-intensity) Training?
Well that depends on what “effective” is referring too. Occlusion training can be effective for its intended purpose (to create a new stimulus in the body) but if we are talking overall muscle strength and mass gains, then it is not as effective as heavy weight and high-intensity training routines by itself.
However, the research has shown that when combined with traditional training, the results are superior to traditional training by itself. That means that using BFR at the end of your normal workout routine, or on alternate days from your heavy lifting, can yield much better results than a periodized program that solely consists of heavy lifting.
How Long Should A Bodybuilder Use Occlusion Training For?
A bodybuilder should periodize Occlusion training like they do with any other modality.
One way occlusion training could be periodized is with an undulating model, where the occlusion workouts are performed during an active recovery week every 3-4 weeks.
Final Thoughts On Occlusion Training For Bodybuilders
Overall, Occlusion training can really be a benefit to the goals of a bodybuilder. It’s great for recovery stages and even times when a bodybuilder is looking for muscle growth without the grueling sessions they are so used to.
Since Occlusion training is much different than the way a bodybuilder would usually train, it provides not only a physiological but also neurological novelty, which may be exactly what you need to break through to the next level of results.