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How Occlusion Training Works – Unveiling the Systemic Effects




Occlusion training, while shrouded in scientific debate about how it works, consistently delivers remarkable recovery and performance benefits.


After reviewing the results of hundreds of studies and talking with a wide variety of experts in related areas of expertise, I’d like to propose the following.


Simple Explanation:

Occlusion training activates the release of key, essential hormones that repair cells, create new cells, and result in strength, muscle size and aerobic gains (as well as other benefits).


More Detailed Explanation:

Occlusion training involves applying cuffs and tightening them until full venous occlusion is achieved. This accelerates the engagement and fatigue of Fast Twitch Type 2a and 2x fibers, like high-intensity training and heavy lifting but in less time, with less effort, less strain, and with no damage to joints or muscle fibers.


During specific sets of repetition and rest, fast twitch fibers fatigue raising the levels of  lactate and nitric oxide levels in circulation above the normal threshold. These levels trigger the release of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) which in turn activates the release of essential hormones (GH, IGF1) responsible for cellular repair and new cell creation into general circulation.


The mechanical stress of exercise, therapy, or injury increases the permeability of the cell structure in targeted cells and amplifies the creation of essential amino acids. With proper hydration, this assists in transferring the hormones into the target cell (mTORC1).


Once inside the cell, protein synthesis occurs, producing ATP, H+ ions, and more.


The net? Cellular repair, new cell creation, hypertrophy, strength, aerobic capacity, and more.


To better understand occlusion training, investigate studies not involving occlusion training.


Explore elite athletic performance factors, the endocrine system, metabolism, and the mechanisms of high-intensity training and heavy lifting.


These topics provide a great foundation and insights into the similarities and potential triggers offered by Occlusion Training.


In the future, I will add simple explanations of fast twitch fibers, lactate, nitric oxide, growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH), growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), mTORC1, essential amino acids, ATP, H+, and protein synthesis.

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