Freezing tubs. Tangled ACE bandages. Leaky Baggies filled with slushy ice.
Sure, we all know the recovery period is a huge factor in everything from building muscle to fighting off inflammation, and today’s top sports scientists will lecture you that your post-workout downtime is just as important as the workout itself. But as any athlete—whether he’s a world-class Olympian or just a dude who rolled his ankle jogging—knows, whatever scientists say, the tools we’ve actually used for resting better, healing faster, and coming back stronger are not only old-fashioned, they also totally suck. (Seriously: Who’s ever enjoyed a full-body ice bath?)
Yet while most guys looked at those ACE bandages and saw pain, Anthony Katz, a former high school history teacher and basketball coach, saw dollar signs. In 2012 he founded Hyperice and debuted the first-ever line of high-end ice-compression equipment.
Today you’ll find his sleek, black neoprene wraps—designed to fit specific body parts as snugly as Batman armor—healing limbs across the whole of pro sports. And Katz didn’t stop with compression gear. His company’s latest recovery product, released last spring, is a vibrating foam roller called the Vyper, which is already a fixture in every training room in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. Unlike other rollers, the Vyper vibrates and distracts your pain receptors when you slide your body over it. (That is, it massages out those knots without hurting you.)
We visited Katz (for the record: no relation to the author) at the Hyperice HQ in Irvine, CA, to learn about the company’s unlikely origin and find out why you should never ask LeBron for a selfie. We also got his five main rules for total business dominance. You’re welcome.