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SAGA Blood Flow Resistance Bands Increase Testosterone and Muscle Growth. A Must-Have For Any Athlete.

Increase testosterone in the gym with blood flow resistance bands from SAGA.

On your resistance training journey, it's vital to explore blood flow restriction (BFR) training, a technique gaining traction for its effectiveness in muscle development and strength enhancement. BFR works on a simple principle: partially restricting blood flow to muscles during exercise leads to significant muscle growth and strength, even in low-intensity workouts. This safe and effective method uses specialized bands, or cuffs, to achieve these results. [1]

Understanding BFR's impact is crucial due to its influence on key hormones like testosterone, which are essential for muscle growth, strength, and overall fitness. Dive into the scientific details of BFR in the following sections to optimize your training strategies and achieve your fitness goals more efficiently.

BFR Training Science: Raising Testosterone and Enhancing Muscle Growth

In your quest to understand the impact of BFR in resistance training, it's crucial to examine two pivotal studies that shed light on how this technique influences hormonal levels and performance.

Passive (PR) vs. Active Recovery (AR) in BFR Training

The first study conducted a distinctive analysis comparing PR and AR within low-intensity resistance training. This research aimed to explore the impact of these two different recovery approaches on hormonal responses and athletic performance.

In a randomized clinical trial, 20 male participants were split into two groups, PR and AR, for their resistance training involving BFR. Their routine consisted of six exercises targeting both the upper and lower body, executed at 30% of their one-rep max (1RM), three times weekly for six weeks. Both groups utilized pneumatic cuffs on their arms and thighs, initially set to 60% of their estimated arterial occlusion pressure, with a 10% increment every two weeks. The AR group performed seven repetitions during a 30-second interval between sets, maintaining specific timing for both the lifting and lowering phases, followed by a short rest. On the other hand, the PR group observed complete rest during these intervals. The study gathered data through blood sampling and performance evaluations, which were then analyzed using statistical methods.

Here’s what you need to note:

  • Both AR and PR groups showed significant improvements in C-reactive protein and lactate dehydrogenase levels, Sargent jump, peak and average power, and upper 1RM.

  • The AR group experienced a significant increase in growth hormone levels, with a 423% rise compared to 151% in the PR group. Additionally, there were notable improvements in lower body 1RM and muscle endurance (34% vs. 22% for the upper body and 32% vs. 24% for the lower body in AR vs. PR).

  • Interestingly, there were no significant changes in testosterone and cortisol levels following the interventions.

The study suggests that by choosing active recovery—where you engage in low-intensity activities during rest periods instead of remaining passive—you might optimize the physiological benefits of your workouts, particularly in terms of hormonal response and muscle development. However, the impact on testosterone and cortisol levels appeared negligible in this context. [2]

Effects of BFR Exercise Under Different Pressures

The second study aimed to investigate the changes in key hormones—growth hormone (GH), testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)—under varying cuff pressures during low-intensity resistance exercises. Twenty-five healthy young men were subjected to three distinct exercise protocols in this study:

  • Exercise without blood flow restriction (control group)

  • Resistance training with 40% arterial occlusion pressure (AOP) (low-intensity group)

  • Resistance training with 70% of the AOP (high-intensity group)

This study adopted a single-blind, cross-over design, meaning that the participants were not aware of which exercise protocol they were performing at any given time, while the researchers were aware of these assignments. As a cross-over study, each participant went through all three exercise protocols at different times, allowing for a direct comparison of the effects of each condition on the same individual. The researchers measured blood lactate, GH, testosterone, and IGF-1 levels at four different time points to assess the impact of these protocols.

What you need to take away from this study is:

  • Post-exercise, there was a noticeable increase in GH, IGF-1, and testosterone levels across the board. However, these increases were particularly pronounced in the high group.

  • Most notably, the high group exhibited significantly higher testosterone levels 15 minutes after the exercise compared to the other groups.

  • These findings highlight a clear relationship between the intensity of cuff pressure during BFR training and the secretion of key hormones, especially testosterone.

The study concludes that low-intensity resistance exercise combined with BFR, particularly at higher cuff pressures, effectively boosts the secretion of GH, IGF-1, and testosterone. This suggests that manipulating cuff pressure can be a strategic approach to optimizing hormonal responses during your training sessions. [3]

Balancing Pressure and Recovery in BFR Training: A Comparative Insight

When you compare the findings from both studies, a few key points emerge regarding testosterone levels and the overall hormonal response in BFR training. While the first study showed no significant changes in testosterone levels between passive and active recovery groups, the second study highlighted a significant increase in testosterone post-exercise, especially with higher cuff pressures.

This contrast suggests that while the mode of recovery (active vs. passive) may not drastically alter testosterone levels, the intensity of the BFR (as indicated by cuff pressure) plays a crucial role in hormonal responses, particularly in elevating testosterone levels. Incorporating these insights into your BFR training regimen means you can tailor your workout intensity and recovery methods to potentially optimize hormonal outcomes, including the crucial muscle-building hormone, testosterone.

What do these studies mean for you if you're an athlete? The key takeaway is to be intentional and experimental with your BFR training approach. You should explore active recovery options, incorporating light activities during rest periods, and see how your body responds. It's about finding a balance that enhances your hormonal response and aligns with your fitness objectives. Adjusting cuff pressures is also critical; try different levels to understand their impact on your performance and comfort.

For trainers, these studies emphasize the need for a customized approach to BFR training programs. Each client will react differently to various recovery modes and cuff pressures. It's your task to observe and analyze these responses, adjusting the training regimen to suit individual needs and goals. This adaptive strategy ensures that your clients receive the most benefit from their BFR sessions, improving their chances of achieving desired results while maintaining safety and comfort.

SAGA Blood Flow Resistance Bands

SAGA Blood flow resistance bands offer a new cutting-edge technology that pairs real-time blue tooth pressure cuff monitoring with BFR bands. The SAGA BFR bands pair seamlessly with your smartphone app, allowing users to dial in their exact resistance pressures with the touch of a button. SAGA BFR bands utilize a self-adapting pneumatic pressure system that provides optimal blood vessel restriction to optimize muscle fatigue during workouts. There is no need to continuously unstrap your BFR bands, as the SAGA BFR bands can quickly release pneumatically with the touch of a button.

What makes SAGA unique? The SAGA bands monitor you so you can focus on your workout without any distractions. You can track and monitor your workouts in conjunction with companion apps. If are you looking for a new and unique approach to enhance your workout routine, then SAGA BFR bands are just for you.


Discover the power of expert hormone support with REGENX Health. Set up a consultation today and take the first step towards optimized health and performance.


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