Muscle tissue requires a stress input to adapt. The traditionally accepted standard for exercise prescription to target muscle size and strength is load based, with physiologic guidelines recommending 65% or more of a one-repetition maximum to create adaptation. It is thought that BFR works through similar physiological pathways and creates a “signal” that is similar to high-intensity exercise.
But that is not where the benefits of BFR end. There is growing evidence that BFR stimulates tissue such as tendon, bone, and vasculature to adapt positively. There may also be acute physiological benefits in the ability to target analgesia or pain relief.