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Stronger muscles faster with Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

Strong muscles enable athletes to push beyond that personal best to beat their competitors. Strength Blood Flow Restriction supports athletes to build muscular strength, safely and effectively.

Man wearing Hytro BFR Recovery Shorts

Athletes need strong muscles to perform better and win more often.  Maintaining and increasing strength, be it muscular power or endurance, provides the edge over the competition you need to win. Whether you want to throw further, lift heavier, move faster or run, row or cycle longer, your training is in some significant part focused on maintaining and building strength.  Strength BFR is easy to do, safe and effective.


Scientific research convincingly demonstrates that Strength Blood Flow Restriction can increase muscle strength by up to 31% and peak power output by up to 28%. Of course, much of the research involves untrained or less-trained individuals, rather than well-trained professional athletes.  It follows that the percentage gains in strength and power that elite athletes will experience from BFR Training is almost certainly smaller than for the general public.  Athletes live much closer to the boundaries of human potential than the general public.  But the science does prove that athletes achieve greater strength and power gains through BFR Training than with conventional training alone.  Even if those gains are just a few percentage points, it’s enough to deliver a much-needed edge over the competition.


Your strength-based training is naturally impaired by factors you don’t always control.  You need time to recover from competition and training before you can effectively train again.  Injuries, be they major or minor, prevent you from optimising workouts and training sessions.  BFR lets you train effectively while recovering, building strength when others cannot.  And even when you’re rested and injury-free, BFR delivers match-winning incremental strength gains, enabling you to bust through training plateaus.


Rosie Galligan training wearing Hytro BFR wearables


BFR builds stronger muscles in several ways

By strapping in with BFR,  a series of physiological responses are triggered in your body that work together to increase muscular power and endurance resulting from oxygen depletion in the muscles.


The low oxygen environment (or hypoxic environment) stresses the muscles resulting in the production of lactic acid and other metabolites. This triggers an upregulation in muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in the working muscles, and growth hormone secretions from the brain.  MPS is the process through which muscle is repaired and built, resulting in stronger, more powerful muscles.


Oxygen depletion in the muscle causes the slow twitch fibres in the muscle to tire more quickly than normal. This in turn forces the muscle to recruit fast twitch fibres to help the muscles contract. This means a greater number and cross-section of muscle fibres are engaged using lighter weighted loads. The muscle works harder, and the body responds by increasing MPS and, therefore, muscle growth.


The low oxygen environment in the muscle also temporarily reduces the amount of oxygen available to the muscle for energy production. The body has two principal adaptive responses. First, a process called angiogenesis, involves the formation of new blood vessels (capillaries) in the muscles.  Capillaries are the vessels through which oxygen and glucose are delivered to the muscle for energy production. So, the muscle develops a larger surface area through which to receive the ingredients for energy production. Second, it increases the number of mitochondria in the muscle in a process called mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of muscle cells.  They are where oxygen and glucose combine to create energy. So, Strength BFR increases both the size of the capillary network in the muscle and the number of mitochondria in the muscle cells, together making the muscle more efficient at creating and using energy, while the outcome is a stronger muscle with greater endurance.


The whole body benefits too, not just the occluded muscles The upregulated hormones that were locked in the occluded muscle are flushed freely throughout the body once the BFR straps are released, delivering the benefits of BFR to every structure in the body that has a blood supply.


Gustav Vaz Tostes wearing Hytro BFR wearables whilst working out


How, when, where, why

Building stronger, bigger muscles is easy with Strength BFR.  Simply add a 10-minute protocol to the end of your normal workout, or performing the protocol by itself on a rest day or whenever you’re short on time.


First, pull the strap as tight as you can, and then release it slowly until it feels like 70% of the maximum. Fasten the strap there.

Pick your exercise and a use weight (30% or less of your 1 rep max). We recommend using BFR like you would a ‘finisher’ in the gym, mirroring or complementing the session you performed. For example, if you performed a lower body strength day, you could finish with some BFR leg extensions followed by BFR hamstring curls.   Once you have selected your exercise, you will perform 4 sets of exercise split into 30:15:15:15 reps. The first set of 30 reps primes the muscles, filling them with deoxygenated blood and creating the desired stressful environment for BFR to work The following  3 sets of 15 reps are working sets that maximally work the muscles. Rest 30 seconds between sets, staying strapped in throughout your rest period. Work slowly to maximise time under tension. When you have finished all four sets, release the BFR straps, wait 2 minutes to allow the body to recover and re-establish blood flow in the muscles, and then move on to the next exercise.


As a finisher at the end of a normal training session, perform 2-3 exercises.  As a stand-alone training protocol, ~4 exercises can deliver as much muscle stimulation as a long conventional training session. Because muscle fibres are maximally stimulated with relatively light weights, muscle tears are minimal, and recovery is fast, meaning you can train daily if you wish, even on rest days.


Man wearing Hytro BFR Tee


You can perform Strength BFR anywhere you have access to light dumbbells, kettlebells or even just your bodyweight. This can be performed at the gym, at the sports club,  at home or while travelling. There are literally no limitations to training with Strength BFR, so long as you have your BFR Shorts or T-shirt and your body weight.


The science is compelling, and the benefits are considerable. Strength BFR is safe, effective, and easy to do. Everyone who trains or competes seriously cannot ignore the importance of stronger, more powerful muscles.  BFR is a tool that delivers what you seek.

Whether you are looking to build upper or lower body strength, shop your Hytro BFR needs here:

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