Dr. Peter Attia: The Science of Blood Flow Restriction

Dr. Peter Attia: The Science of Blood Flow Restriction

On the podcast “The Drive” Dr. Peter Attia (Stanford/Hopkins/NIH-trained MD) talks with leaders in their fields on health, performance, longevity, critical thinking, and pursuing excellence.

Dr. Attia talks with Jeremy Loenneke who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, a Master’s in nutrition and exercise, and is currently the director of the Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory at the University of Mississippi, where he focuses his research on skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise in combination with blood flow restriction (BFR).

In this episode, Jeremy Loenneke, Ph.D.: The science of blood flow restriction—benefits, uses, and what it teaches us about the relationship between muscle size and strength, Jeremy explains the science of BFR and the mechanisms by which BFR training can produce hypertrophy using low loads. Here, he reviews anatomy and terminology of muscle structure and discusses the evidence that increasing muscular strength may not be dependent on increasing muscle size.

Additionally, Jeremy goes into depth on how one might take advantage of BFR training, including practical applications for athletes and average people, as well as the situations for which BFR training would be most advantageous.

Attia begins the interview talking about his first experience with Kaatsu.

So I’ll start with the story. I used to swim a lot and this might be circa 2010. I have a friend Steve Munatones who’s himself a remarkable swimmer. Like truly a world class marathon swimmer.

He was visiting San Diego from where he lived in LA and he came to join me for a workout at the masters club I swam at. After the workout he brought out these bands. They were called Kaatsu bands which we’re going to talk about. And he said okay Peter, I’m going to put these bands on your thighs – upper thighs and I’m going to put them on your arms -the upper arm – and I’m going to compress to a certain level. He had what looked like a blood pressure cuff there and he could calibrate the occlusive pressure.

He said, I want you to swim a 50 yard butterfly all out. Now, keep in mind swimming a 50 yard butterfly all our any any circumstances is quite challenging – but totally doable. I mean you would do a set of 10 50s of butterfly at 45 seconds in between and be totally fine. And I remember pushing off the wall and before I got to the other wall which is 25 yards away to begin turning around to come back, I was thinking this is the hardest thing in the world…and here I was at 25 yards thinking I’m going to die. By the end of that 50 my body felt like it would at the end of a 200 yard individual medley or a 200 breaststroke which would be kind of the two most miserable things you could do to yourself. That began my kind of curiosity with this technique.”


KAATSU Air Bands are used for Blood Flow Moderation (BFM). KAATSU is supported by decades of extensive research at top academic institutions, specific protocols proven over millions of users in 49 countries, and patented procedures in sports, exercise, rehabilitation and wellness activities both in the water and on land.

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The Peter Attia Drive Podcast

Peter Attia, MD

The Peter Attia Drive is a deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing longevity, and all that goes into that from physical to cognitive to emotional health. With over 30 million episodes downloaded, it features topics including fasting, ketosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, mental health, and much more.

The Drive is hosted by Dr. Peter Attia, a Stanford/Johns Hopkins/NIH-trained physician focusing on the applied science of longevity, the extension of human life and well-being

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