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How to Boost Growth Hormone, Strength Levels and Muscle Size Without Heavy Weights

We have all heard of the benefits of training with heavy workloads. Weight training has the power to transform the body by inducing hypertrophy, stimulating the production of anabolic hormones, and improving strength levels.

But what if there were a way to receive all the benefits of heavy weight training using your own bodyweight and a few tools?

Enter occlusion training. Occlusion is more commonly known as Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training. Restricting blood flow during exercise may seem counterintuitive to most trainees. In fact, many athletes take pre-workout supplements intended to increase blood flow to the muscles by creating a state of vasodilation. However, Blood Flow Restriction works better than any supplement designed for this purpose…

And I am going to show you why it works and how to do it.

When blood flow is restricted through the veins of a muscle that is being exercised, the blood collects or "pools" in the muscle. The key to this process is that the veins are restricted, but the arteries are not. During the movement the arteries continue to transport blood to the muscle, while the veins are trying to pump blood back to the heart through the blockage. So, blood is coming in, but it is restricted on the way out.

This creates a massive pumped up feeling in the muscle. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is the pump." But the pump from blood pooling is, as the classic Boston song says, "More Than a Feeling." The pooling has a host of benefits.

One of the main benefits of this pump is increased Growth Hormone levels. This is a result of the extreme accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle. Boosting Growth Hormone levels through Blood Flow Restriction Training can increase lean muscle mass, promote anti-aging, help to maintain bone density, improve energy levels, and escalate physical performance.

Other benefits of the pump from Blood Flow Restriction Training include an elevation of strength levels, the ability to recruit type 2 fast twitch muscle fibers and increased muscle size. It is easy to see why this type of exercise should be in everyone’s training arsenal.

To begin you will need to have some sort of band to restrict the blood flow. There are special occlusion bands for purchase, but powerlifting wrist or knee wraps work just as well. Another good option is an elastic medical tourniquet.

Begin by wrapping the band around the top of your arms. It is helpful to have a training partner apply the band. The recommended tightness from most experts is a six or seven on a scale of ten. Remember we do not want to cut off the arteries!

To get the benefits of Blood Flow Restriction Training, you need to choose the right exercises. The drills should use bodyweight or be done with very light weights. A perfect exercise for this type of training is the Neuro-Grip push-up! The Neuro-Grip push-up will not only affect your arms, but also your shoulders and chest. I have seen individuals get outstanding results with Occlusion Neuro-Grip push-ups.

Check out this photo of Robert Miller—Rob looks like a Mutant after his training with the Neuro-Grips!

Neuro-Grip push-ups and Occulsion Training

It is good to superset the push-ups with either the Bicep Builder exercises in the book The Neuro-Grip Challenge or very light kettlebell crush curls. Simply crush the sides of a kettlebell with both hands and curl it upward.

Occlusion is a high-repetition training style. So, you should be performing multiple supersets of push-ups and presses for 20-30 repetitions with very short rest periods. This training session should be very short.

Occlusion training is uncomfortable, but shouldn’t be painful. If you notice any numbness in your hands, take off the bands immediately, as they are too tight and causing damage. Also, do not leave the occlusion wrapping on for too long. Again, the workout should only take around ten minutes.

If you want to focus on your forearms wrap the band just below the elbow. Neuro-Grip push-ups with forearm occlusion will have you looking like Popeye in no time! There are also a whole series of wrist and forearm drills included in The Neuro-Grip Challenge.

Other ways to include occlusion training are with the legs. Take the band and secure it tightly around your upper leg. Now perform supersets of Goblet Squats and Romanian Deadlifts with a light kettlebell. All the same rep schemes and safety issues apply to the legs—multiple supersets for 20-30 repetitions with very short rest periods for no longer than 10 minutes.

If you want some bonus work for the calves, wrap just below the knee and superset Calf Raises with the Double Kettlebell Toe Curls from the book Neuro-Mass.

Because of the short time frame of the workout, it makes a great finisher for your regular training. If using occlusion as stand-alone program, perform workouts two to three times a week for no more than six weeks at a time. Get occluding and get results!