Monday, September 28, 2015

KAATSU Premieres In Germany

On September 4th at the University in Bonn, KAATSU Specialist Robert Heiduk presented KAATSU training and equipment (KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Air Bands) at the strength and conditioning Athletik-Konferenz 2015.

Heiduk's presentation was the official KAATSU premiere in Germany. The premiere was met with great interest among the participants representing various sports.

40 Strength and Conditioning specialists and physios attended on the pre-conference KAATSU introduction workshop and learned about the KAATSU Cycle, how to safely and effectively go to failure without heavy weights, and why sending failure signals up to the CNS is important.

They were convinced KAATSU presents a new and important paradigm in helping athletes achieve their full potential and helping others from all walks of life rehabilitate and improve their state of wellness.

Das war KAATSU auf der Athletik-Konferenz 2015 (in German)

Die offizielle KAATSU Deutschland Premiere auf der Athletik-Konferenz in Bonn stieß auf großes Interesse. Im Auditorium des KAATSU Workshops waren Teilnehmer der unterschiedlichsten Sportarten vertreten.

So bot der KAATSU Workshop eine gelungene Mischung aus wissenschaftlichen Hintergründen, Fallbeispielen und praktischer Demonstration. Insbesondere die sportartspezifischen Einsatzmöglichkeiten konnten in der Praxis anschaulich dargestellt werden, denn neben der Rehabilitation, bietet das über Jahrzehnte in Japan gewachsene KAATSU-Konzept zahlreiche Möglichkeiten für die nahtlose sportgerechte Integration.

Zu guter letzt wurden auch die aktuellen Missverständnisse und inflationären Terminologien bezüglich KAATSU und diversen BFR bzw. Okklusionsmethoden behandelt.

Das anspruchsvolle KAATSU Konzept konnte die Teilnehmer überzeugen und wir freuen uns beim Einzug von KAATSU in den deutschsprachigen Raum dabei zu sein.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Sunday, September 27, 2015

KAATSU Terminology



























Air Bladder: the pneumatic bladder inside the KAATSU Air Bands and KAATSU Aqua Bands that inflate and deflate in specific amounts (Standard KAATSU Units) controlled by the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Cycle equipment.

All-out: to exercise or do KAATSU Training with maximum effort.

Base Pressure: the compression of the noninflated KAATSU Air Bands and KAATSU Aqua Bands when the Air Bands are first manually affixed to the limbs. Also known as Base SKU and measured in SKU (Standard KAATSU Units).

Base SKU: the compression of the noninflated KAATSU Air Bands and KAATSU Aqua Bands when the Air Bands are first manually affixed to the limbs. Also known as Base Pressure and measured in SKU (Standard KAATSU Units).

BFR: an acronym for Blood Flow Restriction training, also known as occlusion training or tourniquet training. The blood flow restriction in the limbs is caused by the tightening of knee wraps, ropes, tubing, or blood pressure cuffs around the limbs. BFR is not KAATSU Training.

Bicep Curl: any type of weight training or resistance exercises or KAATSU Training that target the biceps branchii muscle where the hands are raised towards the shoulders until the forearms are vertical with the elbows and upper arm remaining close to the body.

Capillary Refill Time (or CRT): the time in seconds taken for color to return to an external capillary bed (e.g., in the palm of the hands or above the knee on the quadriceps) after pressure is applied by a thumb to cause blanching. Also referred to as CRT in the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Cycle equipment.

Central Nervous System: the complex of nerve tissues in the brain and spinal cord that controls the activities of the body.

CNS: an acronym for Central Nervous System.

CRT: an acronym for Capillary Refill Time or the time in seconds taken for color to return to an external capillary bed (e.g., in the palm of the hands or above the knee on the quadriceps) after pressure is applied by a thumb to cause blanching.

CYCLE 20: an 8-step process of releasing and applying pressure on either the upper arms or upper legs. One cycle includes the application of pressure for 20 seconds and the subsequent release of pressure for 5 seconds. There are 8 cycles in the CYCLE 20 process that takes 3 minutes 20 seconds in duration with a Base SKU of 15 and an Optimal SKU of 100. This function is in the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Cycle equipment.

CYCLE 40: an 8-step process of releasing and applying pressure on either the upper arms or upper legs. One cycle includes the application of pressure for 40 seconds and the subsequent release of pressure for 10 seconds. There are 8 cycles in the CYCLE 40 process that takes 6 minutes 40 seconds in duration with a Base SKU of 20 and an Optimal SKU of 150. This function is in the KAATSU Cycle equipment.

CYCLE 60: an 8-step process of releasing and applying pressure on either the upper arms or upper legs. One cycle includes the application of pressure for 60 seconds and the subsequent release of pressure for 20 seconds. There are 8 cycles in the CYCLE 60 process that takes 10 minutes 40 seconds in duration with a Base SKU of 25 and an Optimal SKU of 200. This function is in the KAATSU Cycle equipment.

Disturbance of homeostasis: the state when the body’s natural internal environmental variables become disturbed and feedback is initiated to the central nervous system due to the engorgement of blood caused by KAATSU Training.

Go to failure: to continue exercising or moving until maximum effort has been reached and no more movement can be done or repetitions can be repeated.

Hand Clenches: an exercise where the hand is opened and closed to work the muscles of the hands and forearms. It is part of the 3-point Exercises for the Arms.

Heel Raises: an exercise where the heels are raised from the floor while either sitting down or standing up. It is part of the 3-point Exercises for the Legs.

KAATSU: a Japanese trademark meaning “additional pressure”, the original form of blood flow moderation training, rehabilitation and recovery invented and developed by Professor Sir Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D., FNAI.

KAATSU Air Bands: specialized pneumatic bands that are affixed to the arms or legs with Velcro. The air bladder inside the Air Bands are inflated and deflated by the firmware of the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano and KAATSU Cycle equipment.

KAATSU Arm Bands: specialized pneumatic bands that are used around the upper arms for KAATSU Training.

KAATSU Aqua Bands: specialized pneumatic bands that are used around the upper arms and upper legs for KAATSU Aqua, a form of KAATSU Training that can be performed in swimming or therapy pools.

KAATSU Aqua Training: blood flow moderation training or rehabilitation performed in the water in the form of swimming, aqua-therapy or other forms of aquatic exercises performed with KAATSU Aqua Bands.

KAATSU Color: the resultant pinkness, rosiness or beefy redness in the skin in the limbs due to the engorgement of blood during KAATSU Training.

KAATSU Cycle: (1) brand name of KAATSU equipment, or (2) a means to warm-up the body for KAATSU Training with the KAATSU Master, KAATSU Nano or KAATSU Cycle equipment. It a type of KAATSU Training, therapy and recovery that involves either a 4 or 8 step process of releasing and applying pressure on the limbs at increasing levels of compression.

KAATSU Dose: the appropriate Base SKU and Optimal SKU that is specific for a given individual based on their age, physical condition, and amount of KAATSU Training experience.

KAATSU Instructor: an individual certified by KAATSU Japan Co., Ltd. to have studied and passed the KAATSU Specialist certification examination.

KAATSU Leg Bands: pneumatic bands that are used around the upper legs for KAATSU Training.

KAATSU Master: a portable 1134g (2.5 lbs.) touch-screen device that provides specific amounts of compressed air to the KAATSU Air Bands while recording and monitoring various data including Base SKU, Optimal SKU, time of KAATSU training, and capillary refill time.

KAATSU Master Instructor: an individual certified by KAATSU Japan Co., Ltd. to have studied and passed the KAATSU Specialist certification examination and completed the highest level of KAATSU Training in Japan.

KAATSU Nano: a portable handheld 263g (9.7 oz.) touch-screen device that provides specific amounts of compressed air to the KAATSU Air Bands while recording and monitoring various data including Base SKU, Optimal SKU, time of KAATSU Training, and capillary refill time.

KAATSU Pressure: the compression of the KAATSU Air Bands or KAATSU Aqua Bands around the limbs as measured in SKUs or Standard KAATSU Units.

KAATSU Protocols: the standard KAATSU procedures and know-how that enable safe and effective KAATSU Training and rehabilitation for individuals of all ages and conditions. Invented by Professor Sir Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D., FNAI in 1966 and since patented.

KAATSU Specialist: an individual certified by KAATSU Global, Inc. to have studied and passed the KAATSU Specialist certification examination.

KAATSU Training: the original form of blood flow moderation training, rehabilitation and recovery invented and developed by Professor Sir Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D., FNAI.

Leg Curls: an exercise to primarily work the hamstring by raising the foot backwards to the gluteus maximus. It is part of the alternative 3-point Exercises for the Legs.

Muscular Failure: the point in KAATSU Training or rehabilitation where no continued movement or additional exercise can be performed.

Non-lock Exercises: exercises where there is only partial extension of the limbs so the muscles are always engaged during KAATSU Training.

Occlusion training: blood flow restriction training to the limbs caused by the tightening of knee wraps, ropes, tubing or blood pressure cuffs around the limbs. Also known as BFR training or tourniquet training. Occlusion training is not KAATSU Training.

Optimal Pressure: the compression of the inflated KAATSU Air Bands after the Air Bands have been inflated according to the KAATSU protocols. Also known as Optimal SKU and measured in SKU (Standard KAATSU Units).

Optimal SKU: the compression of the inflated KAATSU Air Bands after the Air Bands have been inflated according to the KAATSU protocols. Also known as Optimal Pressure and measured in SKU (Standard KAATSU Units).

Petechiae: bleeding under the skin that can occur from broken blood vessels. It appears as tiny pinpoint red dots on the skin of the upper arm in some people as a result of KAATSU Training.

Pulsation: the rhythmical throbbing of an artery that is felt under the KAATSU Arm Bands or KAATSU Leg Bands.

Rep: a motion or exercise (such as a bicep curl or push-up) that is repeated and counted during KAATSU Training. Also referred to as a repetition.

Repetition: a motion or exercise (such as a bicep curl or push-up) that is repeated and counted during KAATSU Training. Also referred to as a rep.

SKU: Standard KAATSU Unit, approximately equivalent to mmHg as measured by the original KAATSU Air Sensor for the KAATSU Air Bands.

Squat: an exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips, gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and hamstrings by bending the knees and hips to lower the torso and returning to the standing position. It is part of the alternative 3-point Exercise for the Legs.

Technical failure: the point in KAATSU Training or rehabilitation where muscular movement can be performed but the proper technique is poor or lost or where the original form and/or speed is compromised.

Tourniquet training: blood flow restriction training to the limbs caused by the tightening of knee wraps, ropes, tubing or blood pressure cuffs around the limbs. Also known as BFR training or occlusion training. Occlusion training is not KAATSU Training.

3-point Exercises: a set of 3 different exercises that help indicate the Optimal SKU and can form the basis of KAATSU Training or serve as a warm-up.

3-point Exercises for Arms: a set of 3 different exercises for the arms that include 3 – 4 sets of hand clenches, 3 – 4 sets of bicep curls, and 3 – 4 sets of triceps extensions. The hand clenches can be done with hand grips if desired. The bicep curls can be done with light weights if desired. The triceps extensions can be done with light resistance if desire.

3-point Exercises for Legs: a set of 3 different exercises for the legs that include 3 – 4 sets of either toe curls (performed without shoes), toe raises and heel raises. These exercises can also alternatively include leg curls or squats.

Toe Curls: an exercise that works the toes and feet when the toes are curled under the foot. It is part of the 3-point Exercises for the Legs.

Triceps Extension: a strength-building exercise that stimulate the triceps in the upper arms. It is part of the 3-point Exercises for the Arms.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Re-Conditioning with KAATSU after Surgery


























































In order to quickly and effectively re-condition with KAATSU after surgery on the lower limbs, KAATSU recommendations are as follows.

Equipment
Use either the KAATSU Master or KAATSU Nano together with the KAATSU Air Bands (both arm and leg bands)

Regimen:
Includes KAATSU Cycle (preferably on both the arms and legs) + KAATSU 3-point Exercises (first on arms and then on legs) or KAATSU Performance Training (on either arms and/or legs)

Frequency:
2-3 times per week minimum, but sometimes more frequent (5-6 times per week) if desired/possible

KAATSU Cycle Regimen (Standard):
Step 1: Find the your 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 your 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). Contract your muscles in the positive and negative directions (i.e., going both up and down).

Option 2
Step 1: Find the your 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). Contract your muscles in the positive and negative directions (i.e., going both up and down).

Option 3
Step 1: Find the your 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). Contract your muscles in the positive and negative directions (i.e., going both up and down).

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

KAATSU 3-point Exercise for the Arms:
Step 1: Find your 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. Contract your biceps in the positive and negative directions (i.e., going both up and down).
Step 4: 3 sets of triceps extensions. Contract your triceps in the positive and negative directions (i.e., going both up and down).
Step 5: Proceed to KAATSU 3-point Exercise on legs

KAATSU 3-point Exercises for the Legs:
Step 1: Find your 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 your Optimal SKU (e.g., 200 SKU)
Step 2: Do the preferred activity of the patient (e.g., walking, resistance training, stretching, mobility exercises, rehabilitation)

Notes:
*The number of repetitions should decrease with each subsequent set.
*Alternatively, if you are walking on a treadmill, the total time should be limited to 20 minutes.
*If you are using your upper body, the total number should be limited to 15 minutes.
*You can elect to do both arms and legs (but not simultaneously) during the same session if you wish.

Photo is courtesy of KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato helping to rehabilitate an older patient recover from her recent surgery.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Pre-Conditioning with KAATSU Before Surgery




















































In order to quickly and effectively pre-condition with KAATSU before surgery on the lower limbs, KAATSU recommendations are as follows:

Equipment:
Use 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
*KAATSU should be done on both the arms and legs for the optimal systemic effects, regardless of where the injury is
*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 use 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.
*Because KAATSU has systemic effects, it is recommended to also do KAATSU on the arms in addition to the legs.

Photos courtesy of the SG Performance Center in Park City, Utah.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Is Motor Learning Enhanced With KAATSU?




















































The mechanism behind the concept that motor learning is enhanced with KAATSU is complicated.

Fundamentally, there is much activity going on within the central nervous system when we address the issue about motor control and learning. Many of the explanations are linear and disregard the emotional aspects of the brain in adaption with motor load.

Motor learning in the KAATSU examples given below are simplified around the ideas of perfection, gross amount of repetitions, and then mastery of the skill. However, the reality, is that the process is far from that simple.

Where KAATSU excels and provides a realistic modeling of motor learning is knowing the dose dependent amount of load, repetitions (note: more is not better), and knowing a learning curve for each individual. This is why finding the appropriate Base SKU and exercising at the Optimal SKU to technical failure is so important when doing KAATSU.

Motor learning is a combination of changes in connectivity observed in not only motor systems (in the brain), but more so to activity in sensory brain regions (e.g.; emotional, visual, and neuromuscular). Thus, if we look at the traditional Japanese ways of training, we also look at their attention to learning by example, visual systems, felt experience, and actually loading the movement process.

When research studies removed effects of somatosensory activity, learning resulted in changes to frontal motor areas of the brain. This suggests that motor learning must be emotional, visual, and neuromuscular - and not a singular process of repetitions. This is one reason why when we teach a new activity or try to improve upon a known activity, we ask the athlete and coach to literally focus on the movement and video-record the movement until technical failure (not muscular failure).

Technical failure is when the athlete/client is no longer moving the body/muscles in the proper (technical flawless) manner. The concept of technical failure is fundamental with KAATSU.

KAATSU Specialists should always insist on good form and proper technique. When doing KAATSU and when getting to the point of technical failure, they ask the athlete/client to stop doing KAATSU. Technical failure nearly always precedes muscular failure. This is also why the Japanese coaches of elite athletes use KAATSU arm and leg bands at the same time.

In summary, if what we are talking about is the idea that motor learning takes place by repeated practice of a motor pattern, then it is primarily a brain function involving the motor and sensory cortex and areas of memory, proprioception, balance and probably many others. There is also likely some component of the mechanism involving the peripheral nerves and the muscle fibers they innervate. KAATSU influences these structures, but we do not precisely know how...and the subject of future KAATSU research. But we speculate that when we are performing a particular motor pattern under duress (i.e., with KAATSU), the memory of the event is amplified and saved in more vivid detail.

This is why we repeat the event in the exact same way until technical failure.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Friday, September 4, 2015

KAATSU Equipment Leasing and Financing



























Instead of paying in full for KAATSU equipment, KAATSU Specialists and users can now pay monthly for their equipment and certification. KAATSU Global has formed an alliance with eLease to finance KAATSU equipment purchases for either 24 or 36 months.

The process is quite simple and requires only a one-page application and a copy of the first page of the borrower's last three month's bank statements. The complete process takes no more than 2-3 days.

These financing opportunities are ideal for individuals who cannot afford a one-time payment for the KAATSU Master Package, KAATSU Nano Package or KAATSU Cycle Package. Each package includes 4 KAATSU Air Bands (2 arms + 2 legs), a protective case, an extended warranty for 24 or 36 months, and all accessories.

Payments as shown below. These rates are subject to credit approval and credit worthiness and, as such, the rates may vary.

KAATSU Master Package (normally US$4,795): $249.13 (24 months) $188.94 (36 months)
KAATSU Nano Package (normally $2,850): US$146.53 (24 months) US$1110.52 (36 months)
KAATSU Cycle Package (normally US$1,875): US$109.64 (24 months) US$83.81 (36 months)
KAATSU Aqua Package (normally US$3,000): US$117.41 (24 months) US$76.72 (36 months)

Additionally eLease can finance multi-unit mixed assortment of equipment for large purchases. To figure the approximate monthly cost of a large purchase just multiply the 24- and 36-month lease rate factors times the U.S. dollar value of the order. These factors are 4.91% or 24 months and 3.56% for 36 months subject to the lender's credit criteria.

For more information, contact via telephone at toll-free +1-888-410-6350 or email info@kaatsu-usa.com.

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Olympic Coach's Journey To KAATSU



Copyright © 2015 by Christopher Morgan, 2008 Olympic Swim Coach

My coaching career has allowed me to chase my dreams and realize them; travel the world and learn new languages. Most importantly, and through a twist of fate, my travels inadvertently guided me to meet my best friend, my soul mate…my wife. I am fortunate and humbled by the athletes who I have worked with and the amazing mentors who have taught me invaluable lessons and bestowed upon me treasures of information and knowledge.

When I started coaching under the late Richard Quick at Stanford University in the 1990’s, I was nervous about making mistakes, yet comforted by Richard and his preacher-like aura.

Richard was a swimming genius and a magician of motivation. I remember someone once told me Richard “could make a rock swim…” I believe that to be true.

One thing that Richard was always keen about was new and innovative toys and tools that could help athletes get better. I am sure that some of that passion for new information was implanted in my 'swim coach' genetic code.

One of my more vivid memories of Richard and Stanford Swimming was when a young swimmer by the name of Misty Hyman came to join the legendary swimming family at Stanford University. One training tool that was traditionally associated with Misty was the monofin. However, some people might not have ever know that back during her training under Bob Gillett at AFOX in Arizona, and continued through a collaboration with Richard at Stanford, Misty would wear multiple large rubber bands around her thighs and upper arms.

Though it seemed strange, I was totally captivated by this unique way of restricting blood flow to the extremities while raising the heart rate through training. I did not think much about it…at least not for 15 years.

Jump ahead to 2013…

After a very successful coaching career in Switzerland, I returned to Stanford for a brief coaching opportunity in 2012 and then relocated to Boston in the spring to take on the assistant coaching position at Harvard University. My fortune continued while at Harvard, most importantly one day while sitting in my office and observing 2012 Olympian Alex Meyer dive into the pool for an early swim with Olympic coach Tim Murphy. On this particular day, someone else accompanied Alex and Tim and they seemed to be testing some kind of equipment. My curiosity had never waned and I was drawn to the pool deck where I met their guest, Steven Munatones.

I was no stranger to Steven and his passion for swimming. I had read one of his books about Open Water Swimming while coaching some open water swimmers in Europe. I had also seen him at some meets and events many years prior. Coach Murphy and Steve were observing Alex swim a series of 50’s and I noticed some kind of bands wrapped around his upper arms as he trained. Alex was/is a true glutton for punishment, so when I saw his grimace after only a handful of 50’s at a moderate speed, I asked myself, 'What are these crazy arm bands?' I continued to watch as they switched to legs…OUFF, Alex maintained the same facial result.

I introduced myself to Steve and I think he immediately felt my enthusiasm for this interesting way of creating a 'race pain' without the need for a time-consuming test set. I asked many questions and requested Steve to come back and test the bands on me. He obliged and I was blown away. Steve and I talked about the rubber bands that I had seen Misty use so many years prior…he said the science was almost identical. He called these bands KAATSU. He explained that the equipment and protocols and concepts were developed in Japan.

This was when KAATSU first entered my life and I will forever be indebted to this moment.

I followed this up by introducing the Head Women’s Coach at Harvard to this very interesting training tool. She believed in my philosophy and passion for 'outside of the box' training techniques and we steadily grew a relationship with Steve and some others who were practitioners of KAATSU. In order to safely and successfully implement the KAATSU Aqua Bands into our training, all parties agreed that the coaches should undertake some formal training in KAATSU and become KAATSU-certified. It was incredibly interesting, though I struggled with how exactly we would begin with the team.

Then, because of an injury, the how and why became crystal clear.

In early 2013 I had made a pack with myself to get fit. I needed and goal, so I set me eyes on a Tough Mudder obstacle race. It was a perfect event to get myself motivated to train and be ready. I even used the KAATSU Master to improve my fitness level. On the day of the event, at mile #10, I slipped on a log and smashed my side. The result was 2 broken ribs.

I continued to use the KAATSU Master and both arm and leg bands during my recovery. I was shocked at how fast the pain and sensitivity were diminished. I decided to see what was really happening. So 10 days after the x-rays revealed the broken ribs, I requested a second look. The doctor was in disbelief at how fast I had healed. This was all I needed to believe that KAATSU was the only reason for my quick recovery. I was TOTALLY IN and wanted the athletes that I work with to be able to benefit in any and all ways possible from a clear and methodical use of KAATSU.

I have never been so amazed at the results of anything in the sport of swimming as I am with a continued use of KAATSU Aqua Bands in everyday training. My athletes are not only healing pre-existing injuries, they are preventing injuries and making BIG time drops…this is HUGE!

Copyright © 2015 by KAATSU Global