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):
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.
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