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Article: Matt Bushman - Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Bushman - Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Bushman - Kansas City Chiefs

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Matt Bushman, the talented tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, to discuss his personal experiences with recovery and training. Matt, a standout player since his college days at BYU, has faced his fair share of challenges, including a recent clavicle injury that could have sidelined his career. Instead, he turned to Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training and Suji, to not only recover but also to enhance his athletic performance. In an open and detailed testimonial, Matt shares his journey of overcoming injury, the crucial role that BFR and Suji played in his rehabilitation, and why he believes these techniques are essential for athletes in all stages of their careers.

"My name is Matt Bushman and I’m a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. I played college ball at BYU. I was lucky enough to play early on in my career and led the team in receptions my freshman through junior year. A week before the first game of my senior season in 2020, I ruptured my Achilles in practice. I got surgery and decided to bet on myself. I chose not to come back and play another college season. I went undrafted and signed to the Las Vegas Raiders. I was released by the Raiders during week 15 and signed with the Chiefs a week later. I have been on the Chiefs since then.


After tearing my Achilles, I went through the standard protocol and was cleared 6 months later. This recovery requires a lot of patience. You have to teach your lower leg muscles how to walk, run, and jump all over again. You do a lot of calf raises. I would use BFR to increase the workload without risking re-injury by adding more weight. It was very beneficial. I would also train my healthy leg with BFR because my trainer told me that the injured leg can still see benefits from training the other leg. I would use BFR during my upper body workouts as well. This increased my upper body strength a ton.


In 2022, I broke my clavicle while playing for the Chiefs. I got surgery and was sidelined for 3 months. You can’t run for the first month or so while the bone heals or put a bar on your back. This was no problem because I was able to use BFR while doing cardio on the stationary bike and during modified lower body workouts. This is where I first learned about Suji. The athletic trainers had me use Suji and I loved the cuffs along with the inclusion of technology. It was super easy to calibrate to my body and the air pressure did not run out as the workout went on. I highly recommend the Suji brand. Once I was allowed to have a bar on my back, I would do standard lifts with the cuffs on. I would do explosive movements also; jumps, cuts, etc. I would do a normal workout, but the cuffs would make it more difficult and the strain on my body was beneficial without always loading up the weight and causing pain to my muscles and joints.

For both my Achilles and clavicle recovery, I believe that BFR training sped up the recovery process. Atrophy is a big issue after surgery. I believe that doing BFR minimizes atrophy because the body believes we are straining and working it harder that it really is. Don’t get me wrong, the workouts are brutal with the cuffs on. However, not having to load up the weight to feel the strain is amazing.


I have continued to use Suji after recovering from these injuries. I continue to use the cuffs for my calves. I don’t want a second injury after the Achilles rupture, so I work hard to strengthen my calf muscles. Suji is helpful because I can get a great body weight or light weight workout in 20 minutes or less. I also use them during the off-season. There are days where I use them as an added bonus on squat days. I also use them on lighter days where I load less weight on my back, but still want to get a tough workout in. Strength training with or without heavy weight, injury prevention, speeding up injury rehab, and the passive recovery are all important and beneficial points.

 

My ambitions for the rest of the season and beyond would be to be the best version of myself. That has to do with being the best athlete that I can be. I have to be healthy in order to play. I love that Suji has a great product that can help me get stronger without the feeling of overdoing it in the weight room with heavy lifting. It gives me confidence that my body is strong while not questioning if I overworked my muscles the day before in the weight room. I hope to continue to be a strong dad who can be active with my daughters. BFR training will be beneficial for years to come."

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