University of Tennessee Blood Flow Restriction Training Certificate


The University of Tennessee Blood Flow Restriction Training Certificate program (BFRT) is the first University based certificate program that offers an evidence-based, equipment agnostic look at the application of blood flow restriction for use in therapy, training, and strength and conditioning.

The proper application of BFRT requires a basic knowledge of anatomy, the cardio-pulmonary system, endocrinology, and skeletal-muscular structure. It also required advanced training in the proper application of BFRT based on predetermined outcomes.

The APTA defines Blood Flow Restriction Therapy as follows:

BFRT is achieved through the application of external pressure over the extremities. The applied pressure is sufficient to maintain arterial inflow while occluding venous outflow distal to the occlusion site. The goal is to enable patients to make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads, thereby reducing the overall stress placed on the limb.


Who should register for this class?

Physical Therapists, PTAs, Surgeons, MD’s, Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists, Athletic Trainers, Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Continuing Education Credits

17 hours ProCert, NSCA, NATA, TCPT


Our faculty consists of leading experts in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, including the use of BFR.

These experts include:

  • Lonnie Paulos, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Trent Nessler, PT, MPT, DPT
  • Kevin Wilk, PT, DPT, FAPTA, Past President-Sports Section of the APTA
  • David Levine, PT, PhD, DPT, Certified D.N.

BFRT I: Online Didactic - 8.0 hours

Taught by recognized experts that include an orthopedic surgeon, DPT’s and Athletic Trainers.  The online portion of the course familiarizes the participant with the science behind BFRT. The agenda includes anatomy of the cardiopulmonary system, endocrine system, and musculoskeletal system. Participants will achieve a basic, working knowledge of the various factors that contribute to the successful application of BFRT. They will be able to explain these factors to others including professionals, patients, and clients.

You will understand contraindications and side effects of BFRT not only post-surgery, but also in non-surgical application, strength and conditioning, and fitness.You

Online Topics Include

  • An Introduction to BFRT
  • Discussion of Regulatory Issues
  • The Cardiopulmonary system
  • Endocrinology
  • The Musculoskeletal system
  • Types of BFRT Equipment
  • Safety, Contraindications, Effects
  • The Business of BFRT
  • A Review of Research
  • BFRT in Rehabilitation
  • BFRT in Strength and Fitness
  • An Introduction to Protocols
  • BFRT and Related Modalities

BFRT II: Lab - 5.5 hours

Hands-on lab via interactive video - 30 participants max per group

The lab allows participants to use BFRT under guided instruction. Protocols based on years of BFRT application are shown. The instructor will guide you through the actual use of BFRT (using the provided cuffs) and you will experience for yourself its effect and better understand the role of the clinician and participant in optimizing proper treatment.

With our live “Max Interactive” format, you can see the instructor and they can see you.  Ask questions, show applications, make comments and guide other participants.

Instructions include the use of body weight, manual manipulation, CLX TheraBand’s, and equipment normally found in clinics and gyms.


  • Introduction and Review of BFRT I: Online Coursework
  • Regulations, Professional Requirements
  • Review and Discussion of Contraindications and Side Effects
  • Demonstration of Proper Placement of BFRT, Observation, Interrogation, Pulse, Capillary Refill
  • Demonstration of BFRT Fatigue State, Participants apply to each other in Contralateral to Experience Effect
  • Demonstration and Application of BFR for Rehab Upper and Lower Extremities
  • Demonstration and Application of BFR in Strength and Conditioning – Return to Play
  • Demonstration and Application of BFR in Athletic Performance
  • Demonstration and Application of BFR for “At-Risk” and Osteoarthritis Patients
  • Interactive Q&A

BFRT III: Case Study and Online Exam

Participants are required to submit one case study on a subject of their choosing and subject to approval by the course instructor. The case study should span at least 3-4 weeks with 3 applications per week minimum.

Participants must take an online test and pass with at least 70% correct answers. Participants may retake the test until they achieve a passing score.

The App

The program includes a proprietary app that is available in-the-cloud, in iTunes, and from The Play Store.

The app includes class materials, instructional videos, forms, live video streaming, interactive subject forum, and supplemental materials and topics.

It also includes the only indexed, searchable database of BFR Case studies and articles drawing from more than 1,400 references.


The indexed online research database of more than 1,400 Case Studies and Articles serves as the basis of the course. Care is taken to identify studies that have higher scores on the Sacketts Scale.

The course draws heavily on Case Studies with more than 2 hours devoted to covering a wide variety of topics