Wednesday, February 19, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: Questions & Answers

Questions from KAATSU users around the world from all walks of life and variou ages come in frequently. Below are KAATSU Global's answers and advice to 20 question:

Q1. KAATSU temporarily traps interstitial fluid in the legs and arms. Could this make an already swollen knee or elbow worse?
A1. No, the movement of the limbs during exercise actually makes swelling less.

Q2. What type of fatigue factor (adrenaline release) is associated with KAATSU? Is there a recovery period required?
A2. We know adrenalin, Human Growth Hormone, IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor), and VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) are released during a proper KAATSU session. These are marker hormones and what has been studied. There are likely others. Recovery from KAATSU is quicker than other maximal work for a variety of reasons. For example, intense weight lifting causes microscopic tears to form in the fiber and connective tissue of muscles. With proper rest and nutrients, the muscles slowly rebuild over the following days, but full repair can take a week. With KAATSU, there is not microscopic tears due to lifting weights against gravity.

Q3. Does the law of diminishing returns apply? Will we expect to hit plateaus? Can KAATSU be used twice per day or even more?
A3. KAATSU Cycle can be used twice and even three times per day, especially if you are rehabilitating from injury or surgery. But even if you are training twice per day, KAATSU can be briefly incorporated into each workout if you follow proper KAATSU protocols. We think there are relatively few plateaus.

Q4. Are there studies analyzing the amounts of Growth Hormone or other chemical responses as a result of KAATSU?
A4. Yes, consult the research section on the website here (e.g., Rapid increase in plasma growth hormone after low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion).

Q5. Is there research or documented cases which demonstrate KAATSU effectiveness on rehab, including muscle tears?
A5. Yes, consult the research section on the website here (e.g., (e.g., Three cases of disuse syndrome patients who improved by KAATSU training).

Q6. What are the effects of KAATSU on contusions or bruises?
A6. If you have a large contusion on your body, it is best to do conservative KAATSU Cycle on the other limbs (e.g., if you have a bruise on your left leg, you can do KAATSU on your right leg and both arms).

Q7. What sort of data is available which supports the claims that KAATSU can increase muscle strength?
A7. Yes, consult the research section on the website here (e.g., Muscle fiber cross-sectional area is increased after two weeks of twice daily KAATSU-resistance training).

Q8. Is the cascading release of Growth Hormone enough to strengthen muscle without the tearing down of muscle fibers? How do we know?
A8. Yes, the Growth Hormone cascade is one critical part of strengthening muscle. Tearing down of muscle fibers is not necessary for improved strength. In other words, KAATSU enables you to avoid the microtrauma in muscle fibers and connective tissue, but with the naturally resultant biochemical reactions in the body, the muscle can grow in size and strength.

Q9. Should exercises be alternated to prevent possible plateaus?
A9. It is best to incorporate a wide variety of exercises and movements for the arms, legs and core while doing KAATSU sessions. The exercises are vary during each KAATSU session.

Q10. Does it matter if my leg exercises are more intense than the arm exercises?
A10. Generally, you can get a 'failure' signal on both your arms and legs to an equal degree. Some people (including many males) feel this more intensely in their arms and others (including many females) feel this more intensely in their legs. But this phenomenon may occur because some males push themselves more intensely on their arms and some females push themselves more intensely on their legs.

Q11. My capillary refill time (CRT) is a bit different in the center of my palm compared to the meaty area of my palm when I firmly push down with my thumb.
A11. Standard KAATSU protocol calls for firmly pressing down on the meaty area of your palm and then releasing to see the capillary refill time. This is the best visual evidence of the extent of blood engorgement. After releasing your them, count the seconds before the area is refilled with blood. It is good for the CRT to be fast (under a second), but it should always be faster than 3 seconds (as in a count of "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three). You can also use the Masimo MightySat™ Finger Pulse Oximeter. When you first put on the Masimo MightySat™ Finger Pulse Oximeter on your non-dominant ring finger, check your Perfusion Index. When this Perfusion Index decreases about 25-40%, you have reached your Optimal Pressure.

Q12. What is suggested response when subject complains of discomfort during treatment?
A12. If the discomfort is within the exercising muscle, that is what is supposed to happen. That indicates the muscle is being adequately trained without the need for vigorous weight lifting. But if there is any unusual pain, stop the KAATSU session. For an individual with pain near their injuries or joints, the KAATSU session and movements should either be avoided or adjusted. If only one limb is causing the pain, you can still use KAATSU on the other limbs. It is also very important to focus on KAATSU Cycles as opposed to the KAATSU Training mode.

Q13. Midway through treatment, a patient notified me of drugs in her system (i.e., painkillers for migraines). Could this make her less sensitive to treatment and is it acceptable to proceed?
A13. It is likely OK to proceed. However, if a patient is highly medicated (or inebriated) that you would not normally do regular exercise, then they should avoid doing KAATSU in this state. The same logic holds true for illness. If a patient is so sick or feverish that they would not normally do regular exercise, then they should also avoid doing KAATSU in this state.

Q14. Can the KAATSU leg bands be used on a stationary bike? What, if any, recommended protocols are suggested?
A14. Yes, using with a stationary bicycle (or a rowing machine or treadmill or elliptical machine or step machine) can provide a great aerobic workout. You can incorporate either the KAATSU Cycle mode or the KAATSU Training mode with all of these types of equipment. For example, you can spin for 1 minute (cycling) at a pressure where it is difficult to complete the full 60 seconds, then rest for 30-60 seconds. Then repeat this 3-5 times. If you use the KAATSU Cycle mode, you can spin for 30 seconds (while the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated) and then rest when the bands are deflated. These kinds of high intensity and interval training provide excellent short KAATSU Cycle or KAATSU Training workouts.

Q15. Are there contraindications post surgical? How soon after surgery can you begin?
A15. No, KAATSU Cycles can be safely started 3 days post op. In fact, under medical supervision at Veterans Affairs Hospitals, post-op patients begin KAATSU Cycles the day of surgery.

The only recommended caution is not to put KAATSU Air Bands over a fresh wound and do not do exercises that cause pain in the operated area.

Q16. Could my Optimal SKU Pressure differ from my left arm to my right arm? Some athletes have a dominant arm so that seems reasonable.
A16. In most cases, yes the athlete's Optimal SKU Pressure differs between their left and right arms. For athletes with slight differences in their strength, agility or speed on/toward one side versus their other side, KAATSU can be most effective if you put a slightly higher Base SKU Pressure or Optimal SKU Pressure on the weaker limb. This will help strengthen the weaker limb and make the athlete's body more uniform/equal on both sides.

Q17. Are there listed standard protocols for trying to achieve certain goals?
A17. This is a more complicated question as every athlete or individual is different with different strengths and weaknesses. There are differences even between how KAATSU can be more effectively used during the off-season, pre-season, mid-season and championship season. For example, perhaps the athlete needs to focus more on stamina building in pre-season and more on speed in mid-season and technique in the championship season. These differences may dictate different pressures, durations, movements and interval in the training.

Q18. Can you do the KAATSU Cycle on both of your arms and legs at the same time?
A18. No one should simultaneously do KAATSU Training or KAATSU Cycles on their arms and legs together. Users may think they are being more efficient by doing arms and legs at the same time, but they are actually being much less efficient by doing so. Additionally, doing KAATSU on your arms and legs together introduces the risk of becoming lightheaded and fainting.

Signals from your muscle groups to your brain as a result of KAATSU are much more effective if they are coming from one location. This is why we only do KAATSU on the injured leg instead of doing KAATSU on both legs if one leg is injured.

In the same way, if we have signals simultaneously coming from both arms and both legs, this is a reduction of impactful signals by one-fourth - it is not an increase in signals by four. This testing was performed many years ago at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

Q19. Why should you do KAATSU on your arms first and then work on your legs?
A19. One of the reasons you should do your arms first is because the nerves of your arms and the capillaries in the arms are much closer together compared to the anatomy of your legs. The engorgement of your capillaries in your arms "wakes up" or "warms up" (i.e., stimulates) your nervous system much faster and more effectively than the engorgement of your capillaries in your legs. Therefore, your leg workout will be better after your arms have gone through the KAATSU Cycles.

Q20. Should we workout our small muscles first before our larger muscle groups - or vice versa?
A20. We encourage doing KAATSU on the smallest muscles first and then gradually move to the larger muscles. This is why we do KAATSU first on the arms, and then on the legs.

In the standard arm KAATSU 3-Point Exercises, we start off with the forearms, then go to the biceps, and then the triceps.

In the standard leg KAATSU 3-Point Exercises, we start off with the toes, then go to the calves, and then the hamstrings and quadriceps.

This concept is also true for competitive sports like swimming. If you are doing different strokes but want to focus on backstroke (for example), first do the other strokes and then finish off with your backstroke sets.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Monday, February 17, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: KAATSU And Cancer

Since 2014 when KAATSU Global first started distributing its equipment in the United States, questions arose whether or not KAATSU is safe and effective for patient who had survived bouts of cancer.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the inventor of KAATSU, answers with an emphatic yes. "Of course, every patient should check with their own physician. Fundamentally, if a patient is allowed to do exercise by their physician, then they can safely do the KAATSU Cycle following the standard KAATSU protocols."

The American Cancer Society reports that exercise is important when it comes to cancer: "Exercise may lower cancer risk by helping control weight and strengthen the immune system, and it can boost quality of life during cancer treatment."

A 2016 study from researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute linked exercise with a lower risk of 13 specific types of cancer. The study was published May 16th in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The study found that "leisure-time physical activity was associated with a significantly decreased risk of not only these 3 cancers, but also esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia. In addition, physical activity was strongly associated with a decreased risk of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, as well as cancers of the head and neck, rectum, bladder, and lung (in current and former smokers)."

Walking 20 minutes per mile is considered moderate exercise.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week (or a combination of these). The organization suggests that these recommendations can be reached by walking for 30 minutes 5 days per week during your lunch break.

Dr. Sato lectures frequently about how KAATSU enables moderate exercise to be achieved with less time and lower intensity - an especially important factor for the aging Baby Boomer population. "The onset of cancer is related to the weakening of immunity. Growth hormone, which is secreted in large amounts with KAATSU, has an effect on improving immunity. Unless your own physician recommends no exercise or physical activity, then KAATSU is often done by cancer patients or cancer survivors."

He recalled the experiences of two patients. "When KAATSU was performed by a patient with ovarian cancer metastasized to the lung, the tumor marker - immunosuppressive acidic protein which is a factor that weakens immunity - was significantly reduced.

In addition, Teruo Sugihara, a Japanese professional golfer [shown on left], developed prostate cancer at the age of 60 years, started doing KAATSU, and then continued with his golfing career.

KAATSU can be performed in short durations - up to 20 minutes at a time.

This is true no matter what your age or gender is. You can do KAATSU with no special facilities or equipment; just walking casually with KAATSU leg bands

If patients are particularly weak, de-conditioned, significantly overweight, or unmotivated to do any kind of vigorous exercise including doing KAATSU Walking outside, they can comfortably do the standard KAATSU 3-Point Exercises in the KAATSU Cycle mode in the comfort of their home or office.

Because moderate exercise is beneficial for those who wish to prevent cancer or those who currently have cancer, KAATSU Cycle is an effective, efficient and sustainable form of exercise.

Of course, if moderate exercise causes pain, leads to a rapid heart rate or shortness of breath for the cancer patient, then the intensity, type or duration of exercise should be stopped, changed or modified. But exercise - or KAATSU Cycles - are safe and possible during cancer treatment.

Too much rest - as may be advised by family members - can actually lead to a loss or reduction of body functions, muscle weakness, and reduced range of motion. But, in general, the medical community understand the benefits of being as physically active as possible during cancer and after its remission.

This is especially true if a patient was previously physically active, but it also holds true for those who previously lead sedentary lives and then were diagnosed with a form of cancer. Moderate exercise helps the patient maintain or improve their physical abilities (from walking to lifting objects), maintain or improve their balance and therefore lower the risk of falls and broken bones, reduces or eliminates muscle atrophy, lessens the risk of osteoporosis, improves blood circulation to the lower body and reduces the risk of blood clots (especially with KAATSU Walking using the KAATSU Cycle mode), can lessen bouts of nausea and fatigue.

In other words, moderate exercise and KAATSU can help maintain or improve the quality of life during cancer or after its remission.

KAATSU enables cancer patients to realize the same or more benefits of moderate exercise in less time and lower intensity. The KAATSU Cycle can be performed anywhere anytime by anyone. It can be performed in short durations (i.e., under 20 minutes) regardless of age or gender, with no special facilities or equipment (other than the KAATSU Air Bands).

The KAATSU Cycle can be used in lower SKU pressure levels so as to reduce intensity relative to moderate or vigorous exercise, but the benefits to the musculoskeletal and vascular and endocrinological systems remain. The repeated changes in pressure and its effects on the musculoskeletal and vascular systems is very good for human health and immunity.

Ideal movement in the KAATSU Cycle mode include walking, balancing on one foot, stretching, and KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on the lower body (i.e., Toe Raises, Heel Raises, Leg Extensions, Standing Leg Curls, Quarter Squats) and upper body (i.e., Hand Clenches, Biceps Curls, Triceps Extensions), aqua therapy or aqua walking - all done slowly and deliberately with good KAATSU CRT (Capillary Refill Time). Less optimal KAATSU exercise include lifting weights, running, vigorously spinning or cycling, push-ups, pull-ups or burpees. In other words, intense vigorous exercises with KAATSU are significantly less beneficial and should be avoided.

KAATSU exercise and SKU pressure should be appropriate for the cancer patient based on what is safe for them and what they have previously done in the past. KAATSU movements should be something that is sustainable (i.e., enjoyable to do over the long term). So to ask a patient to start KAATSU Stretching or KAATSU Walking when they have not done either of those exercises in the past is suboptimal. But if they like yoga and walking outdoors, then KAATSU Stretching or KAATSU Walking would be ideal.

That being said, during cancer treatment, the duration and intensity of the exercise and KAATSU will probably be less (time) and lower (intensity) than before. That is, if a KAATSU user were accustomed to using the PRO MEDIUM and HIGH levels on the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit before cancer treatment, then perhaps they can do the same, but use the GROUP MEDIUM and HIGH levels. Or instead of doing an hour class of spin or aerobics, perhaps they only do 20 minutes of KAATSU Walking or 15 minutes of KAATSU body weight movements.

For older patients or those with osteoporosis or peripheral neuropathy, KAATSU balance exercises and KAATSU 3-Point Exercises while sitting and using the KAATSU Cycle mode are ideal.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Specialist Series: Pre- And Post-ACL Surgery Protocols

Before and after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery, KAATSU can be effectively and efficiently used by patients of all ages and abilities.

KAATSU Therapy enables prehab before the ACL surgery and rehab immediately afterwards the ACL surgery in order to help improve blood circulation, prevent blood clots from forming in your legs, and to prevent muscle atrophy.

KAATSU Specialists can use the following protocols to incorporate KAATSU into pre-ACL and post-ACL surgery rehabilitation.

With the approval of your physician and therapist, patients can begin KAATSU as soon as surgery is scheduled and return to KAATSU soon (72 hours) after the ACL surgery is completed if there are no complications. The patient can also do KAATSU Cycles on their other uninjured limbs (i.e., healthy leg and both arms) throughout the prehab and rehabilitation period.

The standard protocol includes the following:

KAATSU Equipment
›› Use either the KAATSU Master 2.0 or the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 (or the KAATSU Wearables or KAATSU AI) together with the KAATSU Air Bands.
›› The KAATSU Air Bands may look like a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff, but they are specifically designed and manufactured to allow arterial flow to continue and only moderate the venous flow.
›› Because KAATSU has systemic effects, it is recommended to do KAATSU both on the arms first and then the legs no matter when the injury or surgery is located.

Important Points
›› Be well-hydrated before and during KAATSU.
›› Always follow KAATSU protocols (i.e., always have Capillary Refill Time within 3 seconds with no occlusion).
›› You should experience no lightheadedness, or no numbness or whiteness in your limbs. If you do, immediately take off the KAATSU Air Bands. ›› Always do KAATSU Cycles on first on both your arms and then your legs.
›› Proceed with KAATSU 3-point Exercises (first on your arms and then on your legs) and do KAATSU Cycles while doing traditional physical rehabilitation exercises, if allowed by your physical therapist.
›› KAATSU Cycles can be done daily, even 2-3 sessions per day during prehab and rehabilitation or recovery from the ACL surgery.
›› Even if you do not "feel" anything, always begin with the low SKU pressures on the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 (i.e., Group LOW) or KAATSU Master 2.0 (i.e., Level 1). You do not have to feel anything if you can see the tone of your arms or legs becoming pinker or redder. You want the blood to start being engorged in your limbs. You do not have to generate significant amounts of lactate.
›› After doing a few low-pressure KAATSU Cycles, you can begin to increase the SKU pressure on the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 (i.e., from Group LOW to Group MEDIUM and GROUP HIGH) or KAATSU Master 2.0 (i.e., from Level 1 to Level 2, 3, 4 and 5).
›› Never experience pain in the joint, tendon, bone or injured areas while doing KAATSU Cycles. If so, remove or reposition the KAATSU Air Bands.
›› Always use the correct form in any movements.
›› Rest between sets and between exercises should be less than 30 seconds.
›› Always breathe normally throughout the KAATSU Cycle.
›› You can do KAATSU Cycle daily, but limit your KAATSU sessions to 15 minutes on your arms and 20 minutes on your legs during each session.
›› The KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 30 seconds of pressure on + 5 seconds of pressure off) will help prepare (“warm-up”) your muscles, veins and capillaries before you do anything more strenuous in your physical therapy session.
›› In order to avoid atrophy especially in your legs, you can regularly do the KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on your legs (see below). Nothing has to be performed quickly; slow and steady in the KAATSU Cycle mode is more effective.

KAATSU Cycle Movements
›› With the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 or KAATSU Master 2.0, select an appropriate SKU pressure level and do 3 sets each of the following depending on how the you feel and your range of mobility:

* Toe Curls or Toe Raises
* Heel Raises or Ankle Rotations
* Repeated Sitting Quadricep Contractions (i.e., tighten and relax, tighten and relax)
* Stretching (as you can)
* Stationary Spinning (as you can)
* Standing and Walking (as you can)

›› You can do the same KAATSU 3-Point Exercises on your healthy leg and the following KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for your arms, performed slowly while contracting your muscles:

* Hand Clenches
* Biceps Curls
* Triceps Extensions
* Stretching

›› As you become more mobile, simple walking (especially in the sand at the beach or on a soft yoga mat) with the KAATSU Air Bands on is beneficial. You can even do this at your home or office as you walk back and forth in your room as you get stronger. If you regularly do these exercises, you should not see any muscle atrophy.

›› Your skin should turn pink or reddish as your limb should experience an engorgement of pool in the limbs.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or therapist.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, February 15, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: Who, What, Where, When, Why of KAATSU

Who Uses KAATSU?
KAATSU has been used to date by individuals from all walks of life. The oldest KAATSU user in Japan was 104 years; the oldest KAATSU user in America is currently 89-year-old Kornelia Sprigg from Washington D.C. although there have been two men in their early 90's who previously used KAATSU.

KAATSU users have ranged from Peter Lansbury, PhD (Brigham Women’s & Children Hospital) and Dr. Gary Strangman, PhD (Neural Systems Group and NASA) of the Harvard Medical School and cardiologists Noriaki Naganuma, MD and Toshihiro Morita, MD at the University of Tokyo Hospital to medical professionals at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo in Brazil, China's Jilin University and Beijing University, Osaka University in Japan, and the University of Missouri and the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Florida.

KAATSU users include many professional golfers and dozens of professional sports teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS as well as many Olympians and Olympic medalists in wrestling, ski jumping, swimming, water polo, volleyball, rugby, track and field, marathon running, marathon swimming, and boxing. Users in the United States include athletic departments at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels including the Air Force Academy, West Point, MIT and University of California San Diego. High school students and teams from football to swimming and water polo use KAATSU for athletic performance improvement, rehabilitation and recovery.

KAATSU users are numerous throughout the U.S. military in the Army, Navy and Air Force, especially among special operators (i.e., Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Green Berets, and Air Force Special Operators).

But the largest demographic of KAATSU users, by far, are aging Baby Boomers. Women over the age of 50 are the largest single demographic of KAATSU users both in Japan and the United States.

What is KAATSU?
KAATSU is often mislabeled and inaccurately defined as BFR Or Blood Flow Restriction training. It was more properly described as Blood Flow Modification because the arterial flow (from the torso to the limbs) is not occluded and the venous flow (back from the limbs to the torso) is only slightly modified.

KAATSU is a safe form of venous modification that is induced by the tightening of elastic pneumatic bands around either the upper arms or upper legs for brief and repeated periods of time.

The inflation and deflation of the bands are controlled by either consumer-oriented handheld devices (e.g., KAATSU Cycle 2.0 or KAATSU Wearables or KAATSU AI) or larger clinical-use devices (e.g., KAATSU Master 2.0). The inflation and deflation sequence is based on protocols and algorithms developed by KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato and tested among thousands of cardiac rehabilitation patients at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

Where Can KAATSU Be Used?
KAATSU can be performed or applied anywhere including at hospitals or physical therapy clinics, at home or school, in work cubicles and offices, while traveling in hotels or on airplanes, and in pools or the ocean.

KAATSU Air Bands are made from neoprene and are used by swimmers, water polo players, surfers, kayakers, SUP paddlers, rowers, and people doing aquarobics and aqua therapy.

When Can KAATSU Be Performed?
KAATSU can be done anytime from the time you wake up until shortly before going to bed.

KAATSU can be done while:

* doing physical therapy * standing still or running
* sitting while typing emails or watching TV
* rowing or throwing
* hitting balls (golf or baseball)
* kicking (balls or during kickboxing)
* walking (the dog) or hiking
* while exercising or doing physical therapy
* cooking or cleaning
* packing or folding clothes
* recovering from a vigorous workout or jet lag
* before, between and after athletic performances or vigorous/lengthy training sessions including weight training workouts

5-20 minutes a session is sufficient to gain benefits and see results. KAATSU can be (and should be) done daily - even 2-3 times per day if time permits. This is especially useful when KAATSU is used for rehabilitation and as an augmentation to traditional physical therapy.

The vast array of KAATSU protocols are used for:

1. athletic performance (e.g., improved speed, strength, stamina, range of motion, agility, technique)
2. rehabilitation of injured muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons
3. recovery from surgeries, jet lag, insomnia, vigorous and sustained physical activities, and athletic performances
4. wellness maintenance or improvement especially for deconditioned, bedridden or obese individuals, people leading primarily sedentary lifestyles, wounded warriors, paraplegics and quadriplegics
5. pain management and reduction, including lower back and joint discomfort

The inflated bands lead to a temporary and repeated engorgement of blood in either the arms or legs. This engorgement is a natural catalyst for myriad safe and healthful biochemical reactions in both your vascular system and brain.

In particular, NO (nitric oxide), IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), endothelial cells (VEGF or vascular endothelial growth factor), HGH (human growth hormone), testosterone, adrenaline, plasmalogens and ceramides are produced as a result of the different KAATSU protocols.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, February 13, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: Cellular Mechanisms Behind Vascular Aging

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., A.O. [shown above] is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sinclair is best known for his work on understanding why we age and how to slow its effects, as he discusses above.

Many of the concepts and findings about key cellular mechanisms behind vascular aging and its effects on muscle health that Dr. Sinclair and his fellow researchers at the Harvard Medical School have identified are the same effects and findings that Dr. Yoshiaki Sato and his colleagues at the University of Tokyo Hospital discovered as a result of Dr. Sato's decades of research on KAATSU.

The 71-year-old Dr. Sato [shown on left] has used KAATSU daily for over 50 years. He practices what he preaches.

Anyone who meets Dr. Sato, the person who has done more cumulative KAATSU than anyone in human history, can see the long-term physiological effects of KAATSU - and many of the concepts that Dr. Sinclair is researching in the field of longevity.

"While Dr. Sinclair clearly illustrates the cellular mechanisms behind vascular aging in the video above, Dr. Sato's obvious healthful vascularity (he is often at 100 SpO2 with a low blood pressure, a great pulse and a constantly low respiratory rate (8-10 breaths per minute) and muscularity is entirely due to a lifetime of KAATSU," says Steven Munatones.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Specialist Series: Arms Or Legs First?

While doing KAATSU for your upper body and core and lower body is important, many users prefer to use KAATSU Air Bands only on their arms or only on their legs.

"In general, we find that many men - not all, but enough - like to do KAATSU only on their arms and completely skip doing KAATSU on their legs," says KAATSU Master Specialist Steven Munatones.

"Conversely, we find that many women - not all, but enough - like to do KAATSU only on their legs and don't do KAATSU on their arms. Since the benefits of KAATSU are systemic, there are still well-defined physiological benefits of doing KAATSU only on your arms or legs, but there are also clear advantages to doing KAATSU that focus on your arms, core and legs.

But we often receive questions if it is important to do KAATSU in a specific sequence. The standard KAATSU protocols, long ago tested, researched and proven by KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato and at the University of Tokyo Hospital, is to first do KAATSU on your arms, and then your legs

The reasons for this specific order (i.e., first arms and then legs) are as follows:

1. Like any form of exercise, it is very important and most beneficial to warm-up and gradually get the body physiologically ready for effective exercise or rehabilitation.

This is best done first with the arms because the number and cumulative length of the veins and capillaries is less in the arms compared to the legs. We want to prepare - or warm-up - the arms first.

2. The KAATSU Cycle 2.0 and KAATSU Master 2.0 were designed to enable users to warm-up gradually. In the KAATSU Cycle 2.0, users can start off with the GROUP LOW level, and then subsequently progress to the GROUP MEDIUM, GROUP HIGH, PRO LOW, PRO MEDIUM and PRO HIGH levels. Later, they can then customize their KAATSU Training mode up to 400 SKU. In the KAATSU Master 2.0, users can start off with Level 1, and then subsequently progress to Levels 2, 3, 4, and 5. Later, they can then customize their KAATSU Cycle or KAATSU Training mode up to 500 SKU.

3. Some people, if they first start with their legs and put their bands on too tightly and use them for too long (i.e., not abiding by standard KAATSU protocol), may get lightheaded because there is so much blood engorged in their legs and less blood in their head. But if they start off the KAATSU Cycle mode gently and gradually on their arms, and then do the KAATSU Cycle mode on their legs, then they give their bodies time to adjust and this potential issue is eliminated.

Of course, there are cases where either users may not be able (due to a disability or arm cast) to first do KAATSU on their arms - or there are cases where users only do KAATSU on their legs (for personal reasons). But if they start the KAATSU Cycle gradually on their legs (i.e., starting at low levels of pressure), then their bodies naturally acclimate to the pressure and their own preferred KAATSU regimen.

"Dr. Sato always works on his core after he does his legs," explained Steven Munatones. "This can be easily done if you do balance exercises as your core work. Your KAATSU Air Bands are already on your legs and you can transition easily from lower body work to core work by balancing on one leg until you lose your balance or too much fatigue sets in. Or you can do traditional core exercises like planks or sit-ups or something easier like walking slowly and with good posture and a book on your head."

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Specialist Series: The Three P's of KAATSU

Former NCAA athlete and KAATSU Specialist Chris Dahowski understands the three specific areas of advantages and benefits of KAATSU for competitive athletes. He calls this concept, the Three P's of KAATSU:

* Physical
* Physiological
* Psychological

This is defined when the athletes are wearing their KAATSU Air Bands - either on their arms or legs - and are in either the KAATSU Training or KAATSU Cycle mode.

The lactate build-up that inevitably comes with movement while the KAATSU Air Bands are on literally kickstarts the natural biochemical process in the body. When this movement becomes technically flawless with the KAATSU Air Bands on, this is the optimal way to start preparing the athlete for performance gains.

"After the athlete trains with technically flawless technique and builds that perfect movement into their muscle memory, even if they are not going all-out or at highly intense levels, this is the first part of our KAATSU protocol," explains Olympic coach Chris Morgan. "Then, we ask the athletes to take off their KAATSU Air Bands and then replicate their technically flawless technique while working intensely and going all-out.

This can be done while improving free throws with a basketball player, swinging a golf club or baseball bat, or trying to improve times for an Olympic runner, swimmer or rower

The raw use of the KAATSU Air Bands during technically flawless athletic movements, even without intensity of all-out exercise is the catalyst for improvement in speed, stamina, or strength. KAATSU introduces physiological changes in the body, a natural adaptation, while the mind-body connection is being refined.

This is defined when the athletes are wearing their KAATSU Air Bands - either on their arms or legs - and are in either the KAATSU Training mode and going close to or at race pain or at their highest level of intensity and focus.

When the athletes start to feel the discomfort of their lactate levels increasing as they start to train faster and more intensely, profound changes in their neuromuscular system, vascular system and endocrinology system have already begun. Increases in endothelial cells and IGF-1, and significant release of nitric oxide and human growth hormone, occur naturally and enable the athlete to improve physiologically.

This is especially true if the athlete does KAATSU Cycles before and after each workout, and KAATSU Training within each workout.

Coaches understand that their athletes' mindset is absolutely critical for self-confidence and positivity. If the athlete's mind is in the right place, then all their training and preparation will lead to improvement and achievement of their goals.

Morgan explains, "Instead of "race pace", I like to tell the athletes that they must become comfortable with "race pain". At every aerobically-based competition - whether it is swimming, running, rowing, or cycling - there comes a point where fatigue and discomfort come into play. The athletes feel that discomfort - or as they describe it as pain - and start to slow down and adjust their pace...downwards.

But with daily use of KAATSU Air Bands, they can become much more familiar with that race pain. With familiarity comes acclimatization and they learn how to deal with it psychologically

Dahowski, who coaches dozens of teenage athletes and prepares them for NCAA Division 1 competition, has a unique view of how to optimally use KAATSU Air Bands during coaching of his high school athletes.

We push our swimmers in fast-swimming sets for 12-18 minutes. Then we will build a social kick where the kids can grab their kick boards and talk as much as they want during specific times during a workout,” Dahowski explains. “But if they do not give it their all or slack off, then we subtract a minute from the social kick. So if we have a built-in 5 minutes of social kicking within a workout and they slack off, then we knock off a minute of their social kick time.

Believe me, when their social kicking time is reduced, the kids have a great way to focus

The social kick serves another purpose. It is a great way for Dahowski to gauge whether or not his athletes are reaching their potential.

After a really hard set, they start their social kicking. But on the first 50, the kids are totally quiet, just kicking slowly with their kick boards. When they have really pushed themselves, they need time for their body – and minds – to recover. But by the 75, I start to hear murmurings and then by the 100, they are chattering like normal. This is a great indicator whether or not the intensity was there.

When I start to hear giggling, I know they are ready to go for the next (hard) time

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: Much More Than Muscles

A quick Google search of KAATSU will result in plenty of young men and bodybuilders focusing a muscle building.

This result - however desirable by those who want big biceps - is like purchasing a car for its radio. The car offers so many more benefits than simply listening to music. Similarly, KAATSU offers so many more benefits than building biceps.

Depending on the protocols and pressures used, KAATSU is useful for:

1. Improving stamina
2. Improving speed
3. Increasing strength
4. Increasing size
5. Improving sleep
6. Improving recovery
7. Improving metabolism

Key Points

Improving Stamina:
* In order to improve stamina, do KAATSU during aerobic exercise (e.g., running, jogging, walking, swimming, rowing, high intensity training, cycling, boxing) after an initial warm-up with KAATSU Cycles.
* Be very well hydrated before and while wearing KAATSU Air Bands.
* Select a specific distance/duration (e.g., 100 meters in a pool or 1 km on land or a 3-minute round), a relatively low SKU pressure for you (e.g., 150 SKU), and a pace/interval time (e.g., 5 sets of 100m swim every 2 minutes or 3 repeats of 1 km jogging every 4 minutes).
* Do this set within your normal workout routine.
* At the beginning, it is best to be very conservative and select parameters that you can achieve without maximum effort.
* Repeat this set at least 3 times per week until the pace/intensity becomes relatively easy with your given distance, pace/interval, and pressure.
* When the set can be performed moderately well, then slightly increase your SKU pressure and repeat the set at least 3 times per week (over the course of weeks) until the increased pace/intensity also becomes relatively easy.
* Continue increasing your pace/intensity and SKU pressure over a series of weeks or months.
* Always recover by doing KAATSU Cycles after your workout.
Note 1: you can think of this as high-altitude training. Every time that you increase the SKU pressure, it is similar to training at the same pace/interval over the same distance/duration at higher and higher altitudes.
Note 2: you can use this basic concept whether you are an Olympic runner or an older person simply trying to improve your stamina to climb a mountain or complete a local race.

Improving Speed:
* In order to improve speed, do KAATSU Training during sprint sets after an initial warm-up with KAATSU Cycles.
* Be very well hydrated before and while wearing KAATSU Air Bands.
* Select a specific distance (e.g., 20 - 200 meters), a relatively high SKU pressure for you (e.g., 250 SKU), and an intensity level.
* Do this KAATSU Training set within your normal workout routine.
* At the beginning, it is best to be conservative and select parameters that you can achieve with moderate effort.
* Repeat this set at least 3 times per week until your desired speed becomes achievable given your distance, pressure, and intensity.
* When you are satisfied with your speed levels, then slightly increase your SKU pressure and repeat the set at least 3 times per week (over the course of weeks or months) until your speed has reached the next plateau.
* Continue increasing your intensity and SKU pressure over a series of months.
* Always recover by doing KAATSU Cycles after your KAATSU Training workout.
Note 1: you can think of this as a means of maintaining your speed in a race. Every time that you increase the SKU pressure, it is similar to moving at the same speed later and later in the race.
Note 2: you can use this concept whether you are an Olympic runner or an older person trying to improve your speed in the game of tennis or basketball or swimming.

Increasing Strength:
* In order to increase strength, select a specific move or weight and a relatively high SKU pressure for you (e.g., 250 SKU) after doing an initial warm-up with 3-4 KAATSU Cycles.
* Be very well hydrated before and while wearing KAATSU Air Bands.
* Do 3-4 sets of the specific movement that you wish to improve upon - or do 3-4 sets with a very light weight (1-10 kg) that you wish to improve upon - with KAATSU Air Bands on.
* Do many repetitions on the first set (e.g., 30-80). This first set is called Priming The Pump.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only). Note that your muscles will be fatigued and you will not be fully recovered.
* Do as many repetitions as you can on the second set (e.g., 15-30). This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the first set.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only). Note that your muscles will be fatigued and you will not be fully recovered.
* Do as many repetitions as you can on the third set (e.g., 5-15). This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the second set.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only). Note that your muscles will be fatigued and you will not be fully recovered.
* Do as many repetitions as you can on the fourth set (e.g., 1-5). This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the third set.
* The second, third and fourth sets will be difficult and your muscles will be fatigued.
* But these sets are critical for building strength.
* Do this set within your normal workout routine.
* Repeat this set at least 3-4 times per week.
* When you are satisfied with your strength levels, then slightly increase your SKU pressure and repeat the same protocols at least 3 times per week (over the course of months) until your strength has reached the next plateau.
* Always recover by doing KAATSU Cycles after your workout.
Note: move relatively quickly while doing KAATSU.

Increasing Size:
* In order to increase size, select a series of specific exercises centered around that body part (e.g., biceps or glutes) after doing an initial warm-up with 3-4 KAATSU Cycles.
* Be very well hydrated before and while wearing KAATSU Air Bands.
* Do 3-4 sets of each specific exercise for that body part.
* Slowly do many repetitions on the first set (e.g., 30-80). Contract your muscles in both the positive and negative directions. This first set is called Priming The Pump.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only). Note that your muscles will be fatigued and you will not be fully recovered.
* Slowly do as many repetitions as you can on the second set (e.g., 15-30). Contract your muscles in both the positive and negative directions. This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the first set.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only).
* Slowly do as many repetitions as you can on the third set (e.g., 5-15). Contract your muscles in both the positive and negative directions. This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the second set.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only).
* Slowly do as many repetitions as you can on the fourth set (e.g., 1-5). Contract your muscles in both the positive and negative directions. This total number of repetitions should be fewer than the third set.
* Rest 20-30 seconds (only) and move onto your next exercise.
* The second, third and fourth sets will be difficult and your muscles will be fatigued and may start to quiver.
* Do this set within your normal workout routine.
* Repeat this set at least 3-4 times per week.
* When you are satisfied with your increased size, then slightly increase your SKU pressure and repeat the same protocols at least 3 times per week (over the course of months) until your size has reached the next plateau.
* Always recover by doing KAATSU Cycles after your workout.

Improving Sleep:
* In order to improve sleep, select a relatively mild SKU pressure for you while doing 3-4 KAATSU Cycles.
* You can keep the same pressure on 3-5 KAATSU Cycles, or you can slightly increase the SKU pressure on each subsequent KAATSU Cycle.
* As you are doing the KAATSU Cycles, you can do shoulder rolls (forwards and backwards), head rotations, or simply stretching - nothing vigorous with KAATSU Air Bands on.
* Do this protocol ideally within 1 hour of your planned bedtime.
Note: this is especially helpful when you cross time zones or must get up very early.

Improving Recovery:
* In order to improve recovery, do a series of 3-6 KAATSU Cycles at a comfortable SKU levels.
* Be very well hydrated before and while wearing KAATSU Air Bands.
* Stretch and walk slowly (even with the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms) or simply sit comfortably while doing these series of KAATSU Cycles.
* Repeat this recovery set after each vigorous training session or athletic performance.

Improving Metabolism:
* While doing KAATSU Cycle or KAATSU Training while standing or sitting upright, your blood is shifted to the lower part of your body by gravity while the blood flow is naturally increased.
* Increased blood flow improves blood circulation and the volume of oxygen that is carried to the cells is increased to improve the metabolism.
* Diabetes is a disease in which insulin is not produced sufficiently; subsequently, levels of glucose in the blood are above normal.
* While doing KAATSU Cycle, insulin-like growth factor I - which lowers blood glucose levels, is secreted.
* KAATSU serves as the catalyst to secrete IGF-I and immediately lowers blood glucose level; the effect remains until the next day.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Monday, February 3, 2020

KAATSU Specialist Series: Introduction To The KAATSU Cycle

When many people first hear about and become interested in KAATSU, they Google "KAATSU". The resultant Google search often lists many BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) products.

It is reasonable for most of these individuals to equate KAATSU with BFR and vice versa - which is what the savvy online marketers of BFR want.

"One way to get around this confusion is to input the Japanese symbols for KAATSU which is 加圧 - or for KAATSU Training which is 加圧トレーニング," advises Steven Munatones. "But inputting Japanese kanji characters on an English keyboard or on their smartphone is difficult or impossible for most people. So the best way to find out correct and non-misleading information about KAATSU is to go directly to the KAATSU website ( or blog ( or any of its social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

While the information is entirely in Japanese, others can review the original KAATSU website: Interested consumers can also copy-and-paste 加圧 - or 加圧トレーニング (Japanese for KAATSU Training) into YouTube and there will be plenty of videos and explanations about KAATSU

Some of the questions that BFR users send into the KAATSU website include the following:

Q1. Owens Recovery Science sells PTS Personalized Tourniquet System for Blood Flow Restriction and talks about limb occlusion pressure. Why doesn't KAATSU go to full occlusion or restrict blood flow to the degree recommended by BFR advocates?

A1. The reason why KAATSU does not use full occlusion as a standard to perform BFR is because we do not believe it is necessary or optimally effective for most individuals. KAATSU equipment was designed based on 10 years of working with hundreds of cardiac rehabilitation patients per year (i.e., those who dealt with strokes, heart attacks, heart bypass surgery) at the University of Tokyo Hospital under the guidance of experienced cardiologists. This is where the KAATSU equipment design and protocols were tested and researched - under the guidance of cardiologists and Dr. Yoshiaki Sato using MRI, ultrasound, and blood analyses with mass spectrometers. After a decade of testing and research comparing everything from partial to full occlusion and various degrees of modifying venous flow, we believe KAATSU equipment and protocols are optimally designed; we based this on thousands of sessions with thousands of subjects (patients) in controlled setting where many parameters were accurately measured, compared and tested. The modification of venous flow does not needs to be extreme [see image above] in order to serve as the catalyst for significant hormonal secretion and metabolite production that is optimal for recovery, rehabilitation and athletic performance.

Q2. Other BFR products are FDA approved. Is KAATSU FDA approved?

A2. While some companies make claims or infers its own products are FDA approved, this is not true. KAATSU equipment has also not submitted documentation for FDA clearance, but neither have other BFR companies as of 2019. FDA registration of equipment is not the equivalent of FDA approval. FDA registration is a relatively easy process that does have the same medical, scientific or legal meaning as FDA clearance (or FDA approval in common vernacular).

Q3. Other BFR products have Doppler devices. Why doesn't KAATSU have a Doppler device?

A3. The Doppler devices that KAATSU used were used during its research phase, but since arterial flow is not occluded and venous flow is only slightly modified, there is absolutely no need for use of a Doppler device with KAATSU equipment. The only time that the Doppler was used was with KAATSU was during the research and testing phase of KAATSU where experienced technicians and cardiologists were studying the effects of KAATSU. In contrast, it is logical that a Doppler device is necessary when there is full occlusion or anything near this degree of pressure with BFR devices. The use of Doppler is necessary in these cases with BFR - when the user is doing easy stretching or vigorous aerobic movements, is an active teenager or a sedentary Baby Boomer, or takes myriad medications.

Q4. What is the difference between arterial flow and venous flow?

A4. Arterial flow is the blood flow from the torso into the limbs (arm and legs) via arteries. Venous flow is the blood flow back to the torso from the limbs (arm and legs) via veins.

The heart is the driver of the circulatory system, pumping blood through rhythmic contraction and relaxation. The rate of blood flow out of the heart (often expressed in L/min) is known as the cardiac output.

Blood being pumped out of the heart first enters the aorta, the largest artery of the body.

It then proceeds to divide into smaller and smaller arteries, then into arterioles, and eventually capillaries, where oxygen transfer occurs. The capillaries connect to venules, and the blood then travels back through the network of veins to the right heart. The microcirculation (via the arterioles, capillaries, and venules) constitutes most of the area of the vascular system and is the site of the transfer of O2, glucose, and enzyme substrates into the cells. The venous system returns the de-oxygenated blood to the right heart where it is pumped into the lungs to become oxygenated and CO2 and other gaseous wastes exchanged and expelled during breathing. Blood then returns to the left side of the heart where it begins the process again.

Q5. Wider cuffs are always used with BFR products, but KAATSU uses flexible, elastic, pneumatic thin air bladders that is said to cause nerve damage. Is that true?

A5. That is an absolutely false claim. If the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs, many universities and hospitals, and professional and Olympic athletes regularly use KAATSU, there is no possibility of approving KAATSU equipment or using KAATSU protocols if there were any risk of nerve damage - or other misleading claims made by BFR advocates. KAATSU equipment is being used many people over the age of 50 - up to 104 years old. The KAATSU equipment's primary feature is the Cycle mode which automatically shuts off after 4 minutes and allows for deflation every 30 seconds. These protocols are based on the decades of research and testing under the supervision of physicians of various disciplines and researchers with PhD who are under the obligation to report any untoward issue during their KAATSU research.

It should be noted that wide tourniquets and wide blood pressure cuffs are not properly used with the KAATSU equipment. KAATSU equipment is strictly limited to use with the patented, proprietary elastic, flexible pneumatic air bands. Using wide tourniquets with KAATSU equipment would be an intentional misuse of the KAATSU equipment. The pneumatic KAATSU bands serve to stimulate the optimal hormonal and metabolite response in the human body.

Q6. When should the KAATSU Cycle be used? When should the KAATSU Training mode be used?

A6. As with tactical athletes (i.e., special operators in the US military), collegiate athletes and professional athletes, we recommend that KAATSU Cycles are repeatedly used both before and after every workout and competition as well as during every workout (as possible). If there is a problem with insomnia or travel that requires crossing time zones, then the KAATSU Cycle is also best used within an hour of bedtime.

The KAATSU Cycle can be used every day whether you are at your home, traveling on business, or heading to a competition. Athletes, corporate executives, special operators in the military, and aging Baby Boomers can use KAATSU effectively no matter where they are: in the office, at home or during travel.

Q7. Does KAATSU equipment change pressure with increased hypertrophy?

A7. KAATSU equipment changes pressure upon movement by the limb in real time, it changes with hypertrophy, and it changes slightly and gradually every 30 seconds depending on what parameter you set.

Q8. As KAATSU increases the elasticity of the vascular system, muscle tissue tends to build more easily and rapidly regardless of the individual. So how do you perform KAATSU without building excess muscle mass?

A8. Because KAATSU inventor Dr. Sato was a bodybuilder in his youth, building muscle was important to him. Many (or most?) current online references to KAATSU and BFR refer to muscle building, but this one outcome is just one of myriad possible outcomes. Because many young(er) men post information about BFR with the goal of building the muscles of their upper body (note: it is only occasionally about building lower body strength or girth), the Internet is overflowing with BFR experts talking about muscle building with BFR.

But muscle building is only one of the many goals of KAATSU. What can be seen online vis-a-vis KAATSU is very incomplete and only tells a small sliver of KAATSU outcomes. In 1973, Dr. Sato got injured and broke his ankle and he realized the additional - and in many ways - the most important aspects of KAATSU: rehabilitation and recovery.

Rapid rehabilitation from injuries to bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons, and recovery from surgeries and accidents are critical outcomes for many. The use of the KAATSU Cycle is essential to achieving these outcomes.

Also, KAATSU is ultimately more beneficial because one of its primary benefits is increasing vascular elasticity. For any aerobic athlete (e.g., skiers, runners, swimmers, rowers, triathletes), or weight-based athletes (e.g., wrestlers, boxers, MMA fighters, powerlifters, martial artists), this increased vascular elasticity helps in 3 primary ways:

1. Improvement in stamina because the delivery of arterial blood to the working muscles is improved and made more effective) and the return of venous flow from the working muscles enables a faster dissolution of lactic acid.
2. Improvement in power output (however that is measured in a variety of sports) because the working muscles are more efficient with increased vascular elasticity, especially at the capillary level.
3. Recovery from vigorous workouts enable increased performance in training over the long run.

For injured individuals, the hormonal and metabolite production and improved vascular elasticity are the goals of KAATSU - not muscle-building.

But even with a healthy, young athlete or an older woman recovering from surgery, there is no need for them to build muscle mass with KAATSU if they do not want. KAATSU users can stretch and do specific athletic or therapeutic movements with KAATSU in order to get better - without increasing mass.

They do not need to lift weights or do strength-building exercises with KAATSU - this WILL increase their muscle mass and tone. The KAATSU Cycle enables athletes or those recovering to become more powerful in their movements without the addition of adding muscle mass.

Q9. How do you properly size the KAATSU Air Bands?

A9. Below shows proper sizing of the KAATSU Air Bands for the arms and legs:

Small: circumference of upper arm is less than 11.5 inches (29 cm)
Medium: circumference of upper arm is between 11.5 -14 inches (29-35 cm)
Large: circumference of upper arm is between 14 - 16.5 inches (35-42 cm)
Extra Large: circumference of upper arm is between 16.5 - 21 inches (42-54 cm)

Small: circumference of upper leg less than 16 inches (40 cm)
Medium: circumference of upper leg is between 16 - 21 inches (40-53 cm)
Large: circumference of upper leg is between 21-26 inches (53-66 cm)
Extra Large: circumference of upper leg is between 26-32 inches (66-81 cm)

To measure your arms, measure the girth above your biceps just below the deltoids. To measure your legs, sit on the edge of a chair and measure the girth as high in the groin as possible.

Q10. What is the best way to use the KAATSU Cycle 2.0?

A10. You can use the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit for both the KAATSU Cycle mode and the KAATSU Training mode. The KAATSU Cycle mode is an 8-stage series of 30 seconds of inflation of the KAATSU Air Bands followed by 5 seconds of deflation of the KAATSU Air Bands. At each stage, the inflated pressure is slightly higher (by 10 SKU). The duration of this 8-stage series of pressure-on and pressure-off is 4 minutes of total pressure.

The physiologic mechanism of the pressure-on and pressure-off is essential to KAATSU.

You can repeat the KAATSU Cycle of 8 stages as you wish up to 6 times.

There are 6 pre-set pressure levels on the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 [shown below]. The lowest pressures are selected by pressing the G (GROUP) button on the front face of the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit. The highest pressures are selected by pressing the P (PRO) button on the top side of the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit.

Within the G and P levels, there are also L (LOW), M (MEDIUM) and H (HIGH) pressure settings.

So the lowest possible pressure is GROUP LOW (represented by GL). It is followed by GROUP MEDIUM (represented by GM), GROUP HIGH (represented by GH), PRO LOW (represented by PL), PRO MEDIUM (represented by PM), and PRO HIGH (represented by PH).

As the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 unit is working, there are a series of letters and numbers shown on the LED display screen:
* GL1 means GROUP LOW setting on the 1st stage
* GM2 means GROUP MEDIUM setting on the 2nd stage
* GH3 means GROUP HIGH setting on the 3rd stage
* PL4 means PRO LOW setting on the 4th stage
* PM5 means PRO MEDIUM setting on the 5th stage
* PH6 means PRO HIGH setting on the 6th stage
* after the 8th stage has been completed, the unit automatically shuts off

You can repeat the same setting - or increase or decrease the pressure settings as you see fit.

The most highly recommended protocol is to start on GROUP LOW and then proceed gradually upwards on the pressure setting levels. Some users go all the way up to PRO HIGH level, but this level is not for everyone.

Any workout or movements (outside a pool) can be done in the KAATSU Cycle mode.

Q11. What if I would like to do the KAATSU Training mode?

A11. If you would like to do the KAATSU Training mode, then untether (i.e., disconnect) the translucent connector tubes after you have inflated the KAATSU Air Bands. You should limit your use of the KAATSU Training mode to no more than 10 minutes.

Q12. How do I switch from the KAATSU Cycle mode to the KAATSU Training mode - and vice versa?

A12. Put the unit in the neutral position (where neither the GROUP or PRO buttons are lit). Only the center button (ON/OFF button) should be lit. From this neutral position, press the LOW button on the top side of the unit for 3 seconds. The LED display should automatically change from CYCLE to TRAINING.

The TRAINING mode is pre-set to 200 SKU. You can change this pre-setting upwards or downwards as you see fit. If you press the GROUP button once, you will decrease the pre-set of 200 SKU by 10 SKU (to 190). If you press the GROUP button two times, you will decrease the pre-set of 200 SKU by 20 SKU (to 180). Each press decreases the SKU by 10.

Conversely, if you press the PRO button once, you will increase the pre-set of 200 SKU by 10 SKU (to 200). If you press the PRO button two times, you will increase the pre-set of 200 SKU by 20 SKU (to 220). Each press increases the SKU by 10.

The maximum SKU level is 400 SKU.

When you would like to switch back from the KAATSU Training mode to the KAATSU Cycle mode, press the LOW button again when the front face buttons are in the neutral position.

Q13. Can I do KAATSU more than twice per week?

A13. Yes, you can do the KAATSU Cycle mode up to twice daily. The more KAATSU Cycles you do, generally the faster you will rehabilitate and the greater your vascular elasticity will become.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Using Masimo MightySat™ Finger Pulse Oximeter With The KAATSU Cycle 2.0

The Masimo MightySat™ Fingertip Pulse Oximeter can be used with the KAATSU Master 2.0 and KAATSU Cycle 2.0 for a wide variety of purposes.

"One of the best physiological monitoring devices that I have ever used is the Bluetooth-enabled Masimo MightySat™ Fingertip Pulse Oximeter," said Steven Munatones.

"I can simultaneously track and archive the oxygen level in my blood, my pulse, the number of breaths per minute, a measure to understand how well hydrated that I am, and other data points that indicate changes in blood circulation and heart rate recovery.

The Masimo is used with athletes of all abilities to help them understand their bodies better and help them improve and with individuals of all ages who may be recovering from injuries or simply want to improve their level of wellness

So how can you combine the use of the Masimo MightySat™ Fingertip Pulse Oximeter with the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 and other KAATSU equipment including the KAATSU Master 2.0?

Six specific parameters that can be tracked noninvasively while simultaneously using either the KAATSU Master 2.0 and KAATSU Cycle 2.0 to obtain a wide variety of physiological real-time data:

"It is best to put the Masimo MightySat™ on your non-dominant ring finger," explains Munatones. "So if you are right-handed, put the MightySat™ on your ring finger (i.e., the fourth finger of your hand, located between your little finger and your middle finger).

1. SpO2 or Oxygen Saturation is the oxygen level in your blood that indicates changes due to your heart or lung function, oxygen use by your body, or altitude. It is a percentage of hemoglobin in the blood that is saturated with oxygen. The unit of measure is percentage (%).

"In layman's terms, you want to see this SpO2 percentage increase over time," explains Munatones. "The higher the percentage of Oxygen Saturation, the better. That is, ideally you want 100% SpO2, but the important goal is to see increases in your percentage, both over time and before and after using KAATSU. So, for example, if your SpO2 is at 96% or 97% before you start KAATSU, it is ideal to see your SpO2 to slightly increase to 97% or 98% after a KAATSU session. This indicates a healthful improvement."

2. PR or Pulse Rate is the number of your heart pulses per minute that indicates your overall fitness or exertion levels at any time. The unit of measure is beats per minute (bpm).

"In layman's terms, you want to see this pulse rate - or the number of heart pulses per minute decrease over time, during any specific exercise or while you are simply sitting at rest," explains Munatones. "In general, the lower your pulse during exercise or rest, the better. So, for example, if your heart rate is 85 as you are doing a set of squats, it would be great to see this pulse rate fall to 75-80 beats per minute over time, an indication that your heart and cardiovascular fitness level are improving."

3. RRp™ or Respiration Rate is the number of breaths per minute that indicates how well your heart and lungs function or how quickly you recover from exercise. It is a measurement of respiration rate based on changes in the plethysmographic waveform. The unit of measure is respirations per minute (RPM).

"In layman's terms, you want to see your Respiration Rate to decrease over time, during any specific exercise or while you are simply sitting at rest," explains Munatones. "In general, the lower your Respiration Rate during exercise or rest, the better. So, for example, if your Respiration Rate is 18 as just sit at rest, it would be great to see this rate fall to 12-15 breaths per minute over time, an indication that your breathing efficiency is improving."

4. PVi® or Plethysmograph Variability Index is the variation in perfusion index over your breathing cycle, which may indicate changes in hydration, breathing effort, perfusion, or other factors. The Plethsymographic Waveform displays your real-time pulse pressure waveform.

"In layman's terms, your PVi® is a bit more difficult to track and understand its actual implications of health, but it is one indication of the level of hydration in your thoracic cavity (or chest cavity). To properly measure your PVi®, you should lay down relaxed in a horizontal position and take it at the same time of the day in the same position," explains Munatones.

5. PI or Perfusion Index is the strength of your blood flow to your finger that indicates changes in blood circulation. It is the ratio of the pulsatile blood flow to the non-pulsatile blood in peripheral tissue used to measure peripheral perfusion. The Perfusion Index values ranges from 0.02% for a very weak pulse to 20% for an extremely strong pulse.

"In layman's terms, you want to see your Perfusion Index decrease as you do KAATSU, doing any type of exercise or while you are simply sitting at rest," explains Munatones. "In general, a decrease up to 50% of your first reading is an excellent indication that you are reaching your Optimal SKU (Standard KAATSU Unit). As the Perfusion Index falls from, let's say 5% to 2%, this means you are nearing the peak tightening pressure of your KAATSU Air Bands. So, for example, as you increase the pressure from Group Low to Group Medium to Group High and Pro Low levels, the Perfusion Index should gradually fall. There will always be a lot of fluctuation in this Index, but the most important data to understand is its downward trend to up to 50% of the level in which you started."

6. The Heart Rate Recovery Calculator can track the heart’s ability to return to normal levels after vigorous physical activity. Fitness level and proper heart function are measured by the recovery phase. A heart that is fit will recover at a quicker rate than a heart that is not accustomed to regular exercise. The first minute of recovery is the most crucial. After exercise, your heart rate experiences an abrupt drop during the first minute. This recovery period can indicate cardiovascular fitness level.

"In layman's terms, a lower recovery heart rate should follow vigorous exercise, doing any type of exercise, either comfortable exercise or vigorous exercise ," explains Munatones. "The Masimo's Heart Rate Recovery Calculator is used by putting on the MightySat™ on one of your fingers right after a bout of exercise and then using your Masimo mobile app on your smartphone. After 60 seconds, you will receive your percentage score.

In general, a higher percentage score is better, meaning that your heart is able to recover better, faster after a bout of exercise or KAATSU. So, for example, as you finish your exercise and you receive a higher percentage 60 seconds later, this means your heart is getting stronger and is able to recover faster. This is an excellent indication of improved health

For more information about the Masimo MightySat™ Fingertip Pulse Oximeter, visit here or listen to world champion Michael Andrew above.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Robert Griswold, Jamal Hill Head Into The Olympic Year

53 athletes were named to the 2020 U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team, as announced today by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The team features 33 women and 20 men, including 19 Paralympians and 9 reigning world champions.

With this being a Paralympic Games year, this is an incredibly important time for our team,” said Queenie Nichols, director of U.S. Paralympics Swimming. “The team just concluded a national team camp which only heightened their excitement for Tokyo 2020. This will be an exciting year, and we can’t wait to get the season started.”

The national team includes two KAATSU users, Robert Griswold (S8/SB7/SM8) from Freehold, New Jersey and Jamal Hill (S9/SB8/SM9) of Inglewood, California.

Griswold performed very well at the 2019 world championships, helping the American team that heads to Melbourne, Australia in February for the World Para Swimming World Series. Indianapolis - relatively close to Griswold's training base at Indiana State University - will be a stop on the World Para Swimming World Series on April 16th-18th.

The U.S. Paralympic Team Trials will be held June 25th-28th in Minneapolis, where the athletes who will represent Team USA in Tokyo will be selected. The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be held August 25th - September 6th.

Every morning before his first workout of the day, Griswold understands the value of doing repeated KAATSU Cycles to warm-up his limbs - and repeating the KAATSU Cycles after the workouts as a recovery modality. Hill similarly frequently uses his KAATSU Cycle 2.0 to help him with warm-ups and recovery.

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

John Doolittle Talks About Human Potential

John Doolittle was a competitive swimmer at the Air Force Academy and later crossed the English Channel in a memorial swim for one of his fellow fallen Navy SEALs.

"John profoundly understands the concepts of honor and sacrifice and reaching one's true potential," said Steven Munatones about the retired Navy SEAL captain with 25 years of military service. "He not only crossed the English Channel, but he had to face the hardships of the famous BUD/s training of the Navy SEALs in the Class of 213. He gives great motivational talks to kids and people of all ages and from all walks of life."

He recently gave a brief talk to young aquatic athletes at Los Alamitos High School [see above] about reaching their potential.

Some background about the Navy SEALs:

Copyright © 2014 - 2020 by KAATSU Global

Friday, January 24, 2020

KAATSU Soccer Applications

"My knee popped," recalled Josh Saunders, then a goalkeeper with the U.S. Major League Soccer team Real Salt Lake.

"When I came down, I knew the injury was bad, but I had no idea what was to come."

Saunders' fears were confirmed - a torn left ACL, a bad common soccer injury. However, Saunders' injury became more than the typical case - it became life-threatening.

Two weeks after his surgery, Saunders not only contracted a serious bone infection caused by the bacterium streptococcus, but also a candida fungus. "It was no longer about my return to football," Saunders said. "It was about surviving."

Now the New York City Football Club goalkeeper says he is lucky to be alive and to still have his leg. Saunders credits his complete victory to U.S. Olympic ski team doctor and sport scientist Dr. James Stray-Gundersen and his cutting-edge recovery, fitness, and strength protocols - the AlterG treadmill and the KAATSU.

Saunders was looking for anything to get him back in the goal. He had lost significant weight, and more importantly, muscle mass. Saunders met Dr. Stray-Gundersen who elevated his fitness and built his strength with KAATSU protocols, very quickly.

"I had never heard of KAATSU or Blood Flow Moderation Training before.

But Dr. Stray-Gundersen showed me results from his top skier, and I was all for it. He applied 30 minute KAATSU sessions, 5 days per week and in a matter of a few sessions, I had significant increases in strength, and my quad size increased
," said Saunders. "I got that same fatigue feeling in my muscles, with no heavy weights. It was amazing."

"I heard about KAATSU from Harvard researchers who had visited Japan," recalls Dr. Stray-Gundersen. "But we never looked into KAATSU until one of our medalists went down with a severe injury a month before the 2014 Winter Olympics. We rehabilitated [Todd Lodwick] him using KAATSU exclusively, and he raced in 28 days, and we became believers."

Major League Soccer defender Kuami Watson-Siriboe, another ACL tear victim, started the same KAATSU program. The effects were shockingly immediate. "I quickly recovered doing KAATSU 3-Point Exercises and the KAATSU Cycle," says Watson-Sirboe.

"In all applications, we always assess capillary refill and responses throughout recovery - same as Dr. Sato has done since the 1970's," said Dr. Stray-Gundersen. "The KAATSU equipment allows me to identify the optimal pressure each time which is critical for safety and effectiveness as we will fill normally unused capillaries and engage more muscle fibers - we want to achieve the 'fatigue' in the muscle so that the physiologic cascade to produce Growth Hormone, occur.

Simply put, you cannot get beneficial results, if you do not use proper protocols, equipment, and safety checks required with blood flow moderation training used with KAATSU. As always, the athlete safety and recovery is our first concern and KAATSU researched system sets the standard

Saunders concluded after winning the NYFC Player of the Month in May 2015, "I couldn't believe the results at first, but I had faith in Dr. Stray-Gundersen and KAATSU, and I just wanted to get back on track as fast as the skier did. I am now stronger, faster and quicker than I was before my injury."

January 6th 2014: Left ACL reconstruction with Right hamstring graft
January 14th 2014: Alter-G and KAATSU protocols re-started within first post-op week [above photo shows left 8 weeks post op
April 2014: 12 weeks post-op: gait, girth and strength of quadriceps normal and symmetric to contra-lateral side. Instituted drills on the pitch
May-June 2014: Return to normal training/practice.
July 2014: First game, 23 weeks post op
March 2015: MLS Player of the Month

Copyright © 2014= - 2020 by KAATSU Global