Monday, August 31, 2015

Reconditioning from Quadriceps Atrophy with KAATSU

Many athletes significantly atrophy due to injuries sustained in practice and gains. In order to quickly and effectively recondition with KAATSU from atrophy of the quadriceps, KAATSU recommendations are as follows using either the KAATSU Master or KAATSU Nano together with the KAATSU Air Bands (both arm and leg bands):

Preparation
*Be well-hydrated before starting KAATSU
*Always follow KAATSU protocols (i.e., always have good capillary refill within 2 – 3 seconds, no occlusion, no numbness)
*Always start with the KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds pressure on + 5 seconds pressure off)

Key Points
*KAATSU can be done daily, even twice per day during rehabilitation or recovery from injuries
*Use a high Base SKU and the highest Optimal SKU that is safe and falls within the standard KAATSU guidelines
*Always begin with at least 2-3 KAATSU Cycles on arms and legs
*Do not release the air in the KAATSU Air Bands throughout the entire reconditioning workout (unless, of course, you feel numbness or become lightheaded)
*Never have pain in the joint, tendon or bone while doing KAATSU
*Always sue the correct form in any movements
*The rest between sets and between exercises should be no more than 20 seconds maximum

Protocols
STEP 1: Start with the KAATSU Cycle on the arms at an average Base SKU and average Optimal SKU (e.g., if your Optimal SKU is 250 SKU, start with an SKU of 220-230). Do 1 – 2 more KAATSU Cycles on the arms as a warm-up.

STEP 2: Set the appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU on the arms and do either the KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms* or a specific upper body workout with the KAATSU Arm Bands on. If the KAATSU 3-point Exercises are done, do 3 sets each of (1) hand clenches (optionally with hand grips), (2) bicep curls (optionally with light resistance), and (3) triceps extensions (optimally with light resistance) until muscular failure.

STEP 3: Remove KAATSU Arm Bands and place KAATSU Leg Bands on to begin the KAATSU Cycle on the legs.

STEP 4: Do one normal KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds pressure on + 5 seconds pressure off).

STEP 5: Do 3 – 5 modified KAATSU Cycles of 60 seconds pressure on + 20 seconds pressure off at the highest Base SKU and Optimal SKU as possible.

STEP 6: Do the KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs or 3 sets of (a) heel raises, (b) standing hamstring curls, and (c) non-lock partial extension squats (both one-leg and two-leg if possible), and walking or other recommended movements as recommended by the physical therapist.

Reminders
*If you can do over 40 repetitions before reaching failure, then the Base SKU and Optimal SKU are too low. Increase the Base SKU or Optimal SKU so ideally the number of repetitions on the first set is 30 repetitions before failure.
*Always breathe throughout the KAATSU exercises and remain well-hydrated.
*Always go to muscle failure on each set. On the last set of each exercise, muscular failure should come quickly.
*A disturbance of homeostasis will occur and muscular discomfort will be significant, partly due to lactate build-up.
*KAATSU Aqua Bands can be used in a therapy pool or swimming pool to augment the recovery if aqua-therapy is also incorporated in the athlete’s rehabilitation program.
*Because KAATSU has systemic effects, it is recommended to also do KAATSU on the arms in addition to the legs.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Doing KAATSU With Multiple Sclerosis



Occasionally, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) ask if they can do KAATSU.

The answer is YES. With individuals with multiple sclerosis, the KAATSU Specialist ask the individuals to do what they can with KAATSU. Individuals with multiple sclerosis fatigue early, but are otherwise normal. KAATSU Global fundamentally recommends the following:

* exercises that are safe to do (e.g., no falling off spinning bikes)
* get muscle mass distal to (below) the KAATSU Air Bands contracting rhythmically
* exercise the affected muscle mass to the extent the individuals can, regardless if it is distal to the KAATSU Air Bands
* exercises can include push-ups, leg squats, hip raises (on back), holding a weight ball and moving side to side, walking, or any kind of resistance training
* individuals should always be well-hydrated and never feel numbness in the limbs or lightheadedness
* individuals should always have a rosy/pink KAATSU color in their limbs due to the blood engorgement

Below is a standard regimen for individuals with multiple sclerosis developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in Japan after thousands of sessions:

Regimen:
Includes KAATSU Cycle (on either arms and/or legs) + KAATSU 3-point exercises (on either arms and/or legs) or KAATSU Performance Training (on either arms and/or legs)

Frequency:
2-3 times per week minimum, but sometimes more frequent if desired/possible

KAATSU Cycle Regimen (Standard):
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Do 1-2 sets of the standard KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 8 cycle of 20 seconds on + 5 seconds off)
Step 3: Proceed to either Advanced KAATSU Cycle** or KAATSU 3-point Exercises on arms

KAATSU Cycle Regimen (Advanced)**:
Option 1
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Purposefully increase SKU to a higher pressure level than Optimal (e.g., 260 SKU)
Step 3: Do 1-2 sets of the Advanced KAATSU Cycle at this higher level as possible (i.e., 8 cycle of 20 seconds on + 5 seconds off)

Option 2
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Purposefully increase SKU to a higher pressure level than Optimal (e.g., 260 SKU)
Step 3: Do 1-2 sets of the Advanced KAATSU Cycle for longer at this higher level as possible (i.e., 8 cycle of 40 seconds on + 10 seconds off)

Option 3
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Purposefully increase SKU to a higher pressure level than Optimal (e.g., 260 SKU)
Step 3: Do 1-2 sets of the Advanced KAATSU Cycle for longer at this higher level as possible (i.e., 8 cycle of 60 seconds on + 20 seconds off)

** As the user becomes stronger and more accustomed to KAATSU, their ability to handle higher pressures for longer periods becomes readily apparent, but the user and the KAATSU Specialist should always start off conservatively. The body will acclimate well, but at the beginning, the user and KAATSU Specialist should always error on the side of lower pressures.

KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for Arms:
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: 3 sets of the hand grips (note: the number of repetitions should decrease with each subsequent set)
Step 3: 3 sets of bicep curls
Step 4: 3 sets of tricep extensions
Step 5: Proceed to KAATSU 3-point Exercise on legs

KAATSU 3-Point Exercises for Legs:
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: 3 sets of the toe curls (note: the number of repetitions should decrease with each subsequent set)
Step 3: 3 sets of heel raises
Step 4: 3 sets of either squats (quarter or full) or leg curls

KAATSU Performance Training for either Arms or Legs:
Step 1: Find the user's Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Do the preferred activity of the patient (e.g., walking, resistance training, stretching, mobility exercises, rehabilitation)

Note: The number of repetitions should decrease with each subsequent set. Alternatively, if the user is walking on a treadmill, the total time should be limited to 20 minutes. If the user is using his upper body, the total number should be limited to 15 minutes. Users can elect to do both arms and legs during the same session if they wish.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU 3-point Exercises For Legs

KAATSU 3-point Exercises are a fundamental part of the standard KAATSU protocol for both the arms and legs.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, who invented KAATSU in 1966, first established the KAATSU 3-point Exercises in the 1970s. These simple exercises have been performed safely and effectively among millions of individual KAATSU sessions among people of all ages and abilities with myriad physical conditions or ailments.

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can either be used to help determine the optimal SKU pressure or as a form of basic exercise for both the arms and legs. After the Base SKU (manually applied pressure) is established, then the KAATSU 3-point Exercises is a means to determine if the Optimal SKU (inflated pressure of the pneumatic bands) is appropriate (read a more detailed explanation here).

Alternatively, especially for Baby Boomers and adults who are being reconditioned back to a state of wellness through a simple exercise program, the KAATSU 3-point Exercises can consist of their entire KAATSU training program. When the KAATSU 3-point Exercises are performed, the exercises can be performed either on a KAATSU Master or a KAATSU Nano or a KAATSU Cycle unit. The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can be performed while the user is either tethered (connected) or untethered (disconnected) to the units.

KAATSU Leg 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted on left]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs are either defined as Standard or Advanced.

The Standard KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs involves toe curls, toe raises, and heel raises. These are all performed while the user is seated comfortably with good posture on a chair. In general, these are preferred for older or less fit individuals or those just starting an exercise program or KAATSU.

The Advanced KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs are alternatively used by more fit or active individuals or for those individuals with more experience in KAATSU. These 3 basic exercises includes heel raises, leg curls and squats. The heel raises can be done while sitting or standing. The leg curls can be performed while standing and holding onto a chair or balancing against a wall. The squats (or "chair touches") can be performed while bending the knees to touch a chair and then popping back up.

Ideally, the squats are "non-lock" (partial extension) so that the muscles are constantly engaged and there is no rest while the knees are "locked" straight (in a full extension). This will build up fatigue and lactic acid more quickly.

Each set of exercises should be done 3-4 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure (or fatigues).

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

KAATSU Arm 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted here]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions. Each set of exercises is done 3 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure*.

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

* Technical failure is defined when the individual starts to do improper technique (movement) due to an increasing sense of fatigue. At this point, the set is stopped.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU 3-point Exercises For Arms

KAATSU 3-point Exercises are a fundamental part of the standard KAATSU protocol for both the arms and legs.

Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the inventor of KAATSU in 1966, first established the KAATSU 3-point Exercises in the 1970s. These simple exercises have been performed safely and effectively among millions of individual KAATSU sessions among people of all ages and abilities with myriad physical conditions or ailments.

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises can either be used to help determine the optimal SKU pressure or as a form of basic exercise for both the arms and legs.

When the KAATSU 3-point Exercises are performed, they can be performed either on a KAATSU Master or a KAATSU Nano or a KAATSU Cycle unit. The 3-point Exercises can be performed while the user is either tethered (connected) or untethered (disconnected) to the units.

KAATSU Arm 3-point Exercises [illustrations on left]

The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions. Each set of exercises should be done 3-4 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure* (or fatigues).

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

KAATSU Leg 3-point Exercises [illustrations posted here]

The standard KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs involves toe curls, toe raises, and heel raises. Alternatively, for more fit or active individuals, the 3 advanced exercises includes heel raises, leg curls and squats.

Each set of exercises should be done 3-4 times each with a maximum of 20 seconds rest between each set. Ideally, the number of repetitions for each exercise decreases before the user reaches muscular or technical failure (or fatigues).

That is, an ideal set would be 25-30 repetitions on set #1, 10-15 repetitions on set #2, and 5-10 repetitions on set #3. Even if only 1-2 repetitions are completed on the last set, this failure signal sent to the central nervous system is one of the goals of KAATSU.

* Technical failure is defined when the individual starts to do improper technique (movement) due to an increasing sense of fatigue. At this point, the set is stopped.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Saturday, August 22, 2015

How Do You Find The Optimal KAATSU Pressure?








































Identifying the appropriate KAATSU pressure (measured in SKU or Standard KAATSU Units) is a combination of the following:

*Level 1: Selecting the appropriate KAATSU Air Band size: small, medium or large
*Level 2: Selecting the appropriate Base SKU or manually tightening of the KAATSU Air Bands
*Level 3: Identifying the appropriate Optimal SKU or inflating the KAATSU Air Bands

LEVEL ONE:
The KAATSU Air Bands are available in 3 sizes: Small, Medium and Large.

The KAATSU Specialist should measure the circumference of the top of the arm (right under your armpit) and the circumference of the top of the leg (right alongside the groin). Those circumferences will determine the appropriate size for the KAATSU Air Bands.

ARMS
Small: 18 〜 28 cm (7.06 〜 11.02 inches)
Medium: 28 〜 38 cm (11.02 〜 14.96 inches)
Large: 38 〜 48 cm (14.96 〜 18.89 inches)
LEGS
Small: 40 〜 50 cm (15.74 〜 19.68 inches)
Medium: 50 〜 60 cm (19.68 〜 23.62 inches)
Large: 60 〜 70 cm (23.62 〜 27.55 inches)

If the KAATSU user exceeds 48 cm in circumference on their upper arms or 70 cm in circumference on their upper legs, then special order ("sumo size") KAATSU Air Bands are recommended.

LEVEL TWO:
After millions of KAATSU sessions in Japan, these are the basic guidelines for the Base SKU primarily based on age and general physical fitness. Of course, there are always individual exceptions, but these guidelines have proven safe and effective over the decades and among hundreds of thousands of users of all ages, abilities and physical abilities:

The Base SKU is the pressure after manually tightening the KAATSU Air Bands on the upper arms or upper legs. The pressure in SKU can be manually adjusted by either tightening or loosening the bands as appropriate.

There should be no numbness or whiteness in the limbs at all. Numbness may result in an inappropriate placing of the Air Bands where the bands may be pressuring against a nerve. Whiteness or an unnatural paleness in the limbs is due to occluding or cutting off the arterial flow - and this should be avoided at all times.

Recommended Base SKU for Arms on the KAATSU Master:
*10-20 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*20-30 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*30-40 SKU for young and middle age adults with a good level of fitness
*40-50 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*50+ SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Recommended Base SKU for Legs on the KAATSU Master:
*20-30 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*30-40 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*40-50 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*50-60 SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Recommended Base SKU for Arms on the KAATSU Nano:
*Less than 10 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*10-15 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*15-20 SKU for young and middle age adults with a good level of fitness
*20-25 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*25+ SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Recommended Base SKU for Legs on the KAATSU Nano:
*10-15 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*15-20 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*20-25 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*25-30 SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

The recommended Base SKUs on the KAATSU Master and KAATSU Nano are different because the size of the compressors in each of these units.

A "KAATSU Color" should result when the appropriate Base SKU is applied. That is, a pinkness or rosiness in most individuals or a beefy redness for active adults or athletes will result in the palms of the hands or quadriceps on the legs.

LEVEL THREE:
After the Base SKU is applied by manually tightening the KAATSU Air Bands, the bands are gradually inflated to the Optimal SKU.

This process will take 5-10 minutes to do properly and may take 2-3 sessions to get precisely right.

On the arms, start inflating the bands to a level of 100 SKU. On the legs, start inflating the bands to a level of 150 SKU. Ask the user if (1) they are comfortable, (2) they feel any numbness, and (3) they can feel their pulsation under the bands while the KAATSU Specialist checks their Capillary Refill Time.

If the user is comfortable and without numbness, check their Capillary Refill by firmly pressing your thumb into the palm of their hands or their quadriceps muscle above their knee. Release and see how quickly the blanched (white) area returns to normal color. If this Capillary Refill Time is less than 3 seconds, this is safe. If this Capillary Refill Time is more than 3 seconds, then the Air Bands are inflated too tightly and should be immediately released.

The KAATSU Specialist asks the user if they can feel any pulsation under the bands. If the user cannot feel any pulsation, release the pressure and increase the SKU by 10 SKU for the arms and by 20 SKU for the legs.

At the increased SKU pressure (e.g., 110 SKU on the arms or 120 SKU on the legs), the KAATSU Specialist repeats this process and questioning: (1) Are you comfortable? (2) Do you feel any numbness? (3) Do you feel a pulsation under the bands?

The user may or may not feel any pulsation under the bands at low pressures. In that case, the KAATSU Specialist continues to increase the SKU pressure by increments of 10 SKU in the arms and 20 SKU in the legs.

This process continues until the user feels a strong pulsation under the bands. At the point where the pulsation begins to feel weaker, then the bands have been inflated too much. That is, if there is a strong sense of pulsation at 200 SKU, but there is a less strong sense of pulsation at 210 SKU, then the appropriate SKU pressure is 200 SKU.

To confirm that this initial Optimal SKU pressure is appropriate, do a series of KAATSU 3-point Exercises for both the arms and legs. The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the arms involves 3 sets of hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions. The KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the legs involves toe curls, toe raises, and heel raises (or for more fit individuals, heel raises, leg curls and squats).

During the 3 sets of these exercises, the KAATSU Specialist asks the user to do a set of 25-30 repetitions of each exercise (hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions or heel raises, leg curls and squats).

If the user can do 3 sets of 25-30 repetitions of each exercise without going to failure, then the Optimal SKU pressure is too low. However, if the user can only do a decreasing amount of repetitions of each exercise before going to failure, then the Optimal SKU pressure is appropriate.

For example, if the user can only do 30 bicep curls on the first set, 22 repetitions on the second set, and only 15 repetitions on the third set before becoming fatigued, then the Base SKU and Optimal SKU pressures are appropriate.

Individuals of all ages and abilities will find that they will be able to accommodate, acclimate and adapt to increasing Optimal SKU pressures rather quickly between their first KAATSU and subsequent KAATSU sessions.

In summary, there are some important points to remember:

* The higher the Base SKU, the lower the Optimal SKU will be. It is the combination of the Base SKU and the Optimal SKU that is the critical pressure.
* There can and will be daily variations of up to +/- 20-30 SKU in the same individual.
* The anticipated Optimal Pressure is primarily a function of age, fitness and limb circumference.

Regarding age, the highest pressures generally occur between ages 20-30 and decrease for younger and older individuals. Dr Jim Stray-Gundersen, the Chief Medical Officer of KAATSU Global, explains, "There is an overlay of 'physiologic' age that modifies the chronological age. That is, with the elderly who may have stiff, damaged arteries, use relatively low pressures."

Regarding relative fitness, the fitter the subject is, the higher the optimal pressure from the same base pressure will be.

Regarding limb circumference/cross sectional area, the bigger the extremity is, the higher the pressure will be. So arm pressures are typically 50-100 SKUs lower than leg pressures. Also, if an individual has the more muscle versus fat in the extremity, they will generally be able to handle higher pressures.

As Dr Stray-Gundersen recommends, "Keep in mind what one is trying to do with KAATSU is find the optimal amount of venous outflow impediment so that otherwise easy exercises become unsustainable."

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

3 Levels Of KAATSU

























































There are 3 basic levels of KAATSU:

*Level 1: KAATSU Cycle
*Level 2: KAATSU 3-point Exercises
*Level 3: KAATSU Performance

LEVEL ONE:
The KAATSU Cycle is a convenient form of blood flow moderation activity that requires no physical movement. It can be done anywhere (e.g., office cubicles, airplane seats, sofas at home, desks at school) anytime (e.g., before or after workouts), on the arms and separately on the legs. Of course, physical movement during KAATSU Cycle can be done if desired.

During KAATSU Cycle, the KAATSU Air Bands remain connected to the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Cycle units.

The full KAATSU Cycle on the KAATSU Master and KAATSU Nano is a 3 minute 20 second session and can be repeated as desired with an SKU pressure as appropriate for each individual. During the KAATSU Cycle the pressures in the arm and leg bands increases incrementally on each of the 8 cycles. So if the SKU pressure is inputted as 200 SKU on the arms, the 8 cycles are 130-140-150-160-170-180-190-200 in SKU pressure.

In contrast in the specialized KAATSU Cycle unit, there are 3 different levels of cycling at specific SKU pressures:

*CYCLE 20 is 20 seconds of 100 SKU in pressure followed by 5 seconds without pressure. The entire CYCLE 20 session is 3 minutes 20 seconds in duration and can be repeated as desired.

*CYCLE 40 is 40 seconds of 150 SKU in pressure followed by 10 seconds without pressure. The entire CYCLE 40 session is 6 minutes 40 seconds in duration and can be repeated as desired.

*CYCLE 60 is 60 seconds of 200 SKU in pressure followed by 20 seconds without pressure. It is 10 minutes 40 seconds in duration and can be repeated as desired.

KAATSU Cycle helps relieve stress and results in an elevated energy levels. It can be done in confirmed spaces (office cubicles or on a train) and done with or without movement.

LEVEL TWO:
The KAATSU 3-point Exercises are a highly-efficient form of blood flow moderation exercise for both the arms and legs. It can be done anywhere anytime and involves 3 sets of hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions on the arms, and toe curls, toe raises, and heel raises on the legs.

Individuals of all ages and abilities can go to muscle exhaustion within minutes without use of weights.

The SKU pressures used during the KAATSU 3-point Exercises are dependent upon the appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU pressures.

After millions of KAATSU sessions in Japan, these are the basic guidelines for the Base SKU primarily based on age and general physical fitness. Of course, there are always individual exceptions, but these guidelines have proven safe and effective over the decades and among hundreds of thousands of users of all ages, abilities and physical abilities:

Base SKU for Arms on the KAATSU Master:
*10-20 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*20-30 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*30-40 SKU for young and middle age adults with a good level of fitness
*40-50 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*50+ SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Base SKU for Legs on the KAATSU Master:
*20-30 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*30-40 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*40-50 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*50-60 SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Base SKU for Arms on the KAATSU Nano:
*Less than 10 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*10-15 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*15-20 SKU for young and middle age adults with a good level of fitness
*20-25 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*25+ SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

Base SKU for Legs on the KAATSU Nano:
*10-15 SKU for older and middle age adults with less-than-average level of fitness
*15-20 SKU for older and middle age adults with an average level of fitness
*20-25 SKU for teenagers, young adults and adults with a high level of fitness
*25-30 SKU for elite athletes or those with extraordinarily high levels of fitness

LEVEL THREE:
KAATSU Performance is the most intense form of full body blood flow moderation exercise. It can be done anywhere anytime and involves a full range of movements used in physical therapy, resistance training, or sports specific activities including throwing, agility drills or running.

Individuals of all ages and abilities, from beginners to professionals, can go to muscle exhaustion within minutes without use of weights or any resistance other than body weight.

In KAATSU Performance, individuals can do the movements of their choice as they overlay their exercise with KAATSU arm or leg bands on. Done properly, KAATSU Performance results in no soreness, immediate recovery, and elevated energy levels.

In summary, there are some important points to remember:

* The higher the Base SKU, the lower the Optimal SKU will be. It is the combination of the Base SKU and the Optimal SKU that is the critical pressure.
* There can and will be daily variations of up to +/- 20-30 SKU in the same individual.
* The anticipated Optimal Pressure is primarily a function of age, fitness and limb circumference.

Regarding age, the highest pressures generally occur between ages 20-30 and decrease for younger and older individuals. Dr Jim Stray-Gundersen, the Chief Medical Officer of KAATSU Global, explains, "There is an overlay of 'physiologic' age that modifies the chronological age. That is, with the elderly who may have stiff, damaged arteries, use relatively low pressures."

Regarding relative fitness, the fitter the subject is, the higher the optimal pressure from the same base pressure will be.

Regarding limb circumference/cross sectional area, the bigger the extremity is, the higher the pressure will be. So arm pressures are typically 50-100 SKUs lower than leg pressures. Also, if an individual has the more muscle versus fat in the extremity, they will generally be able to handle higher pressures.

As Dr Stray-Gundersen recommends, "Keep in mind what one is trying to do with KAATSU is find the optimal amount of venous outflow impediment so that otherwise easy exercises become unsustainable."

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Monday, August 17, 2015

What Are The Differences Between KAATSU And BFR?































Many people ask about the differences between KAATSU and occlusion (tourniquet) training or BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) training.

Robert Heiduk, a sports scientist at the University of Bonn, Germany summarized differences between KAATSU and BFR in the chart above.

The first certified KAATSU Specialist in Germany, Heiduk will present his findings and recommendations of KAATSU training and about KAATSU equipment (including the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano, KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Air Bands) at the strength and conditioning conference, Athletik-Konferenz on September 5th-6th 2015.

Heiduk's presentation will serve as the official KAATSU premiere in Germany.

He will also host a 90-minute pre-conference KAATSU introduction workshop on Friday, September 4th at the University in Bonn. Strength and Conditioning specialists, physios and speakers will also participate.

For more information, contact robert@eisenklinik.de and visit www.athletikkonferenz.de/.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

What Differs Between KAATSU And Traditional Strength Training?































Many people ask about the differences between KAATSU and traditional strength training.

Robert Heiduk, a sports scientist at the University of Bonn, Germany summarized the main physiological differences in the chart above.

The first certified KAATSU Specialist in Germany, Heiduk will present his findings and recommendations of KAATSU training and about KAATSU equipment (including the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano, KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Air Bands) at the strength and conditioning conference, Athletik-Konferenz on September 5th-6th 2015.

Heiduk's presentation will serve as the official KAATSU premiere in Germany.

He will also host a 90-minute pre-conference KAATSU introduction workshop on Friday, September 4th at the University in Bonn. Strength and Conditioning specialists, physios and speakers will also participate.

For more information, contact robert@eisenklinik.de and visit www.athletikkonferenz.de/.


Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Friday, August 14, 2015

KAATSU'ing Collegiate Soccer Players

Sten Stray-Gundersen, a collegiate defender, is stronger and fitter than ever before in his soccer career. He shared his various KAATSU training protocols this summer.

All exercises are performed after a proper KAATSU Cycle warm-up wit the maximum Optimal pressure of 400 SKU on his KAATSU Nano.

Post-lift KAATSU Session (adjunct to team weight training 2-3 times per week):

ARMS: 3 sets of each exercise
1) Biceps curls to failure--usually with 5 lb dumbbells (important to get to absolute failure on these to maximize the failure signal response early)
2) Tricep extensions/dips--on pull machine or bench (exaggerate running form on the pull machine)
3) Pull-ups/chin-ups--slow on the way down, fast on the way up (5-10 per set is good)
4) Push-ups--go for highest number of repetitions on the first set in order to cause a huge failure signal (important to maintain proper form and not let core drop when reaching fatigue). Once proper form is lost, the set is over. Also important--the push-ups are the final exercise so really have to push.

LEGS: 3 sets of each exercise
1) Squats--use barbell with maximum 50 additional lbs (like bicep curls, it is important to go to complete fatigue to get early failure signal). On the last set, I do single-leg squats when my legs are already tired so I can focus on my form and specific areas I want to improve.

2) Single leg RDLs/hamstring curls--focus on form, use maximum of 50 lbs (important: do not go to complete failure as this is very hard to do with RDLs, instead go for 10-15 repetitions per leg per set)

3) Band walks--side, forward, and back (use elastic resistance band at ankles and get in squatting position--the lower you go, the harder it is--do 15 each way before my legs feels very, very pumped

4) Lunge-to-step-up--with or without weight (use bench and do one reverse lunge into a step-up) important to be explosive on the way up, stable and slow on the way down

5) Split-jumps/sideways-bounding/box jumps/ladder work--these are different options for the last leg exercise (utilizes cardio as well as muscular endurance) important to go to complete failure on these--similar to push-ups for arm training

6) Abdominal routine--do the ab roller forward-side-side, but there are many options (number of repetitions are between 10-20 per set depending on the exercise)

Post-running routine (adjunct to running workout):

ARMS:
Do not do arms on this day to avoid muscle hypertrophy in upper body, but can do variations of the above if necessary.

LEGS: 3 sets of each exercise
1) Squats--see above (do second and third set single leg to isolate muscle worked during running) also use less weight on this day
2) Ladders--perform 10 different ladder exercises within a 30-second period with 20 seconds rest (do 3x30 seconds at very high tempo)
3) Band walks--see above
4) Walking lunges with weight (30 lbs maximum)--do 10-15 repetitions per leg or until failure
5) Abdominal routine--see above

Pre-/during-/post-soccer training routine: ALL LEGS

Pre-Training: KAATSU Cycle: juggling/passing/dribbling at high pressure (usually 5-10 minutes only)

During Training: inflate at sub-optimal pressure (usually 30-50 SKUs below optimal)--perform different drills incorporating 1) fast feet movement with/without the ball 2) passing accuracy 3) shooting--Be creative.
All should be done within a 20-minute window, with rest in between each set, but not your typical "exercise-rest" KAATSU protocol. Important to really focus on form and perform things fast, but under control.

Post-Training: After a hard session and for recovery: KAATSU Cycle at high pressure--heel-toe exercises on first two cycles, one set of squats on the third cycle, and then actively stretching areas of discomfort during cycles.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Monday, August 10, 2015

Firming Up Legs With KAATSU























































































Whether KAATSU female users are 26 or 66*, many of them ask how best to tone their legs and hips with KAATSU.

In contrast to the more intense KAATSU workouts that focus on muscle hypertrophy or improvement of specific sports movements, KAATSU Walking with a lower pressure in the KAATSU Air Bands is highly recommended.

Preparation
*Be well-hydrated.
*Understand the standard KAATSU protocols (i.e., always have good capillary refill within 2-3 seconds, no occlusion, no numbness).
*Always warm-up with the KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds pressure on + 5 seconds pressure off).

Key Points
*Can do KAATSU Walking daily, but it is recommended to do at least 2-3 times per week.
*Use a lower-than-normal Base SKU and a lower-than-normal Optimal SKU.
*The entire leg-focused workout can be 15 minutes in total.

*Do not release the air in the KAATSU Air Bands throughout the entire workout (unless, of course, you feel numbness or become lightheaded).

Protocols
*STEP 1: Start with the KAATSU Cycle at a lower-than-normal Base SKU and a lower-than-normal Optimal SKU to warm-up (e.g., if your Optimal SKU is normally 200 SKU, then use an Optimal SKU of 160).
*STEP 2: After the KAATSU Cycle is complete (you can do this once or twice), inflate the KAATSU Air Bands to a lower-than-normal Optimal SKU (e.g., if your Optimal SKU is normally 200 SKU, then use an Optimal SKU of 160).
*STEP 3: Walk for 15-20 minutes. Simply walk around your neighborhood, your fitness gym or wherever you are doing KAATSU. Alternatively, you can walk on a treadmill or use a StairMaster or other such indoor equipment.
*STEP 4: Top off your KAATSU session with some light stretching and do a KAATSU Cycle as a warm-down if you wish.

Post-Workout Results
*You will feel very toned and refreshed.
*Your legs will become slimmed and toned without muscle hypertrophy.

* Photos show 66-year-old Diana Nyad doing some more intense and complicated KAATSU leg strengthening exercises with KAATSU Specialist Hollie Stray-Gundersen.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Building Biceps With KAATSU





























Some KAATSU male users want to know the best way to quickly increase their bicep size with KAATSU Air Bands and their KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Master units. Dr. Yoshiaki Sato, the 67-year-old inventor shown above, recommends the following:

Preparation
*Be well-hydrated.
*Understand the standard KAATSU protocols (i.e., always have good capillary refill within 2-3 seconds, no occlusion, no numbness).
*Always start with the KAATSU Cycle (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds pressure on + 5 seconds pressure off).

Key Points
*Do KAATSU 2-3 times per week.
*Use a high Base SKU and the highest Optimal SKU that is safe and falls within the KAATSU guidelines (i.e., good capillary refill, no occlusion, no numbness).
*The entire bicep-focused workout is approximately 10 minutes.
*Do not release the air in the KAATSU Air Bands throughout the entire workout (unless, of course, you feel numbness or become lightheaded).


Protocols
*STEP 1: Start with the KAATSU Cycle at an average Base SKU and average Optimal SKU (e.g., if your Optimal SKU is 250 SKU, start with an SKU of 220-230).
*STEP 2: Use Hand Grips to do one set of hand clenches until muscular failure, enabling the lactic acid to being accumulating.
*STEP 3: Use light weights (e.g., 5 lbs./2.5 kg dumbbell) to do bicep curls slowly and deliberately until muscular failure to reached.
*If you can do over 60 repetitions before reaching failure, then the KAATSU Base SKU and Optimal SKU are too low. Increase the Base SKU or Optimal SKU so ideally the number of repetitions on the first set is 30-40 repetitions before failure.

*After the first set of 30-40 repetitions, set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
*Start the second set of bicep curls. It is ideal if muscular failure comes before 20 repetitions.
*Set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
*Start the third set of bicep curls. It is ideal if muscular failure comes before 10 repetitions.
*Set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
*Start the fourth and last set of bicep curls. Muscular failure should come quickly after only a few repetitions. The discomfort should be quite significant.
*STEP 4: Return to the hand grips and do one set of hand clenches until muscular failure. The discomfort should be extreme.

Post-Workout Sensations
*You will feel very pumped up after each KAATSU session.
*You may feel post-workout fatigue if the sessions are extraordinarily intense.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Barry Heyden, Intensely KAATSU'ing

A visit with trainer Barry Heyden is an outstanding trainer who has worked with many elite, Olympic and professional athletes. His training studios has all kinds of equipment from AlterG equipment to KAATSU Nanos and KAATSU Air Bands.

Heyden and his athletes in New York City showcased myriad different possible uses for KAATSU equipment at a recent workout session with a baseball player and a basketball player.

Heyden uses his KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Air Bands in the following manner:

Warm-up: He goes through 1-3 KAATSU Cycles where he warms up for an intense workout. His KAATSU Cycles usually increase in SKU from Set #1 to Set #3 (e.g., 150 SKU to 200 SKU to 250 SKU)

3-point Exercises: After he sets his Base SKU to a very high level of 50-55 SKU, he checks his capillary refill and does the 3-point exercises (i.e., hand clenches, bicep curls and tricep extensions) in slow, deliberate, non-lock (partial extension) movements at an Optimal SKU level of 200 SKU. He never rests more than 20 seconds between each set and each exercise, strictly adhering to standard KAATSU protocols.

Basic Exercises: After reaching failure on each of his 3-point exercises, he moves to basic exercises on his push-up bars. His compression levels (55 SKU for Base + 200 SKU for Optimal) are ideal for him as his repetition failures are ideal (e.g., 21-25 reps to failure on first set, 12-16 reps to failure on second set, and 7-10 reps to failure on third set).

Performance Training: Nearly the end of his KAATSU workout, Heyden focuses on specific performance training (e.g., baseball bat swings) where the intensity of his focus is evident. He ends each set when he reaches either technical failure (where proper technique is no longer possible) or muscular failure (where he becomes incapable of moving his muscles). In all of his sets and in most KAATSU Performance Training, technical failure was reached much sooner than muscular failure.

AlterG: Combining his leg KAATSU Air Bands on while doing all kinds of sets on the AlterG running machine is also a great way to top off his KAATSU session.

Alternatively or additionally, he can do a variety of leg exercises with his leg KAATSU Air Bands on from squats to leg extensions.

Warm-down/Recovery: He does 1-2 KAATSU Cycles with lower pressure to help with his recovery for the next workout.

For more information on Heyden who has worked with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, and the New York Mets., visit here.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Doing KAATSU In An Airplane At 30,000 Feet






























We regularly do KAATSU on every airplane that we board, whether it is a short flight between Los Angeles to San Francisco or a long intercontinental flight to Europe or Asia.

Doing the KAATSU Cycle is ideal in any seat whether in economy class or business class, aisle seat or middle seat.

Typically, we pull out our KAATSU Master or KAATSU Nano unit and attach our KAATSU Air Bands at our typical Base SKU (between 40-50 SKU on the KAATSU Master and 25-30 on the KAATSU Nano) as soon as the pilot has leveled off the airplane. Occasionally, there is a stare or question from the person sitting next to us, but most people are busy sleeping, reading or watching movies and we are left to do KAATSU without interruption.

As soon as we check the Base SKU on both KAATSU Air Bands, we begin with our first KAATSU Cycle at a relatively low setting (e.g., 200 SKU). We do this whether or not it is an early morning or a red-eye flight. But we always make sure to hydrate well, at least one water bottle or juice within 30 minutes of doing the KAATSU Cycle.

After the first KAATSU Cycle is completed within 3 minutes 20 seconds, we start our second KAATSU Cycle at a higher pressure (e.g., 250 SKU). We are usually typing away on our laptop or slowly opening and closing our hands (i.e., hand clenches). By the middle of the second KAATSU Cycle, we are starting to feel some significant exertion in our forearms.

We continue with a third KAATSU Cycle at a higher pressure (e.g., 300 SKU) while doing isometric exercises like firmly pressing the palms of our hands together or pressing our hands downwards against our thighs.

We usually finish off with fourth or fifth set at the highest pressure that we can withstand (e.g., 350-450 SKU) as we continue to do hand clenches or various isometric exercises. By the third, fourth or fifth KAATSU Cycle, we are starting to feel an increased body temperature, but there is usually no increase in our heart rate (checked by our iPhone). Our muscles have definitely gone into fatigue just like we feel in a resistance workout.

As soon as we take off the KAATSU Air Bands, we feel relief and that good feeling like we just worked out. During early morning flights, it is a great way to wake up. During red-eye or intercontinental flights, it is a good way to prepare for a meal or take a nap.

It is much more difficult in an economy class seat to put on the KAATSU Air Bands on our legs, but it can be done with a little bit of effort. With the leg bands on, we flex our feet, press our legs upwards against the seat in front of us, or do a variety of isometric exercises (e.g., pressing our legs against our hands or downwards against the seat or simply flexing and relaxing our glutes).

Of course, you can always put the leg bands on and then walk over to the galley in an intercontinental flight and do a series of squats or leg stretches if you are really serious. Doing KAATSU in the galley usually leads to interesting conversations with the flight attendants.

In summary, KAATSU Cycle is a great way to get in a short and effective workout while at 30,000 feet in the air.

KAATSU Cycle In An Airplane Key Points:
1. Hydrate well before starting.
2. Apply KAATSU Air Bands on arms first.
3. Manually apply the usual Base SKU (pressure).
4. Start off conservatively with a low Optimal SKU (pressure) in the KAATSU Cycle. ALWAYS do KAATSU Cycle first as a warm-up.
5. Repeat the KAATSU Cycle 2-4 times.
6. Do simple exercises like hand clenches or isometric movements as desired for a 10-15 minute upper body workout.
7. Switch to leg bands if desired.
8. Start off conservatively with a low Optimal SKU (pressure) in the KAATSU Cycle. ALWAYS do KAATSU Cycle first as a warm-up.
9. Do simple exercises like flexing your feet or isometric movements within your chair. Repeat 2-4 times as desired for a great lower body workout.
10. All the standard KAATSU protocols apply: maintain good capillary refill time (within 2-3 seconds) and always feel a sense of pulsation under KAATSU Air Bands.
11. NEVER fall asleep with the KAATSU Air Bands on.
12. NEVER apply the KAATSU Air Bands so tightly that your hands or feet go/feel numb or your skin becomes white, gray or blue. In these cases, release the KAATSU Air Bands immediately.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, August 2, 2015

BFR vs. Blood Flow Moderation In Space And On Earth
























Kyle J Hackney, Meghan Everett, Jessica M Scott and Lori Ploutz-Snyder wrote a paper on Blood Flow-restricted Exercise In Space that was published in the Journal of Extreme Physiology & Medicine in 2012.

The electronic version of this article is online here.

It is known that prolonged exposure to microgravity in space results in chronic physiological adaptations including skeletal muscle atrophy, cardiovascular deconditioning, and bone demineralization. To attenuate the negative consequences of weightlessness during spaceflight missions, crew members perform moderate- to high-load resistance exercise in conjunction with aerobic (cycle and treadmill) exercise.

Recent evidence from ground-based studies suggests that low-load blood flow-restricted (BFR) resistance exercise training can increase skeletal muscle size, strength, and endurance when performed in a variety of ambulatory populations. This training methodology couples a remarkably low exercise training load (approximately 20%–50% one repetition maximum (1RM)) with an inflated external cuff (width, ranging between approximately 30–90 mm; pressure, ranging between approximately 100–250 mmHg) that is placed around the exercising limb. BFR aerobic (walking and cycling) exercise training methods have also recently emerged in an attempt to enhance cardiovascular endurance and functional task performance while incorporating minimal exercise intensity. Although both forms of BFR exercise training have direct implications for individuals with sarcopenia and dynapenia, the application of BFR exercise training during exposure to microgravity to prevent deconditioning remains controversial.

The aim of this review by Hackney et al. is to present an overview of BFR exercise training and discuss the potential usefulness of this method as an adjunct exercise countermeasure during prolonged spaceflight.


We believe this paper presents a comprehensive review of published articles on BFR and includes excellent tables that compare various references. However, certified KAATSU Specialists understand there are some very important things to keep in mind when reading this article:

* The authors have never seen or done KAATSU.
* Achieving muscular failure or technical failure is essential to following KAATSU protocols and is not noted.
* The combination of base pressure and optimal pressure is also a critical element of KAATSU protocols. In the article, only one form of pressure is reported. KAATSU Specialists know that both pressures (i.e., Base SKU and Optimal SKU) of their clients and patients is important to identify and utilize.
* KAATSU Air Band width and placement are very important. KAATSU arm bands are 30-33mm and KAATSU leg bands are 50-53mm. The authors only describe one width and some of the widths are not standard KAATSU widths.
* KAATSU Specialists understand the net result of the systemic effect due to KAATSU. The authors do not mention that other muscles proximal to the bands (e.g. core or contra-lateral muscle) also benefits from KAATSU.
* There is no description of the mechanism of how KAATSU modifies blood flow or about obstruction of venous outflow which leads to backing up and congesting the distal extremity.
* There is no description about how muscle contraction itself restores circulation by squeezing venous blood past the KAATSU Air Band.
Dr Sato and certified KAATSU Specialists generically define KAATSU as "blood flow moderation training", not BFR (blood flow restriction).

The nuance of defining KAATSU as Blood Flow Moderation Training versus Blood Flow Restriction Training (or the commonly used terms such as Occlusion Training or Tourniquet Training) is important.

KAATSU is a means to moderate blood flow both in and out of the limbs. This is why the KAATSU Cycle is so important. This is also why the Base SKU (i.e., manual tightening of the KAATSU Air Bands) in combination with Optimal SKU (i.e., inflation of the KAATSU Air Bands) is so important in setting the pressures to achieve maximum benefits from KAATSU. The term "restriction" only implies that blood is reduced or restricted going OUT of the limb. The term "occlusion" implies that the blood flow is reduced and restricted going IN the limb.

However, the interaction of the blood flow both in and out of the limb during the KAATSU Cycle and KAATSU Training is vitally important to realize the full benefits of KAATSU.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global