General BFR Protocol

The application of BFR should be limited to less than 20 minutes for lower limb, and 15 minutes for upper limb, before allowing adequate time for reperfusion of tissues (3 minutes).

Based on current evidence*, the following parameters are effective ranges of BFR prescription that may be prescribed during common modes of BFR training:

BFR with resistance training
  • 40-80% limb occlusion pressure and 20-40% 1RM
  • Exhale during exertion
BFR with aerobic training
  • 40-80% limb occlusion pressure
  • Exercise at <50% V02max or 50% HRR (heart rate reserve)
BFR during bed rest for prevention of muscle atrophy
  • Limit BFR to 5 minute intervals with 3-5 minutes between sets
  • Research on this type of training is still developing, and it is recommended that practitioners use a conservative approach and avoid full arterial occlusion

*As the body of BFR evidence continues to grow, the AIS has produced the following Blood flow restriction training guidelines.