Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Maximum Muscle Hypertrophy In Minimum Time With KAATSU

Some athletes - or individuals of any age (even up to 104 years old - see here) want or need muscle hypertrophy in a minimum amount of time. These are the standard KAATSU protocols for these individuals:

* always keep rest short between sets and between exercises. That is, rest 30 seconds maximum between sets or 60 seconds maximum between exercises.

* select loads that enable you to do a good number of repetitions (e.g., 30-60 in first set, 20-30 in the second set, >20 in the third set, >10 in the fourth set)

* focus on handling higher pressures rather than the absolute amount of weight being lifted

* remain well-hydrated before and during the entire KAATSU session

It is important - as always - to follow standard KAATSU protocols, no matter what your level of fitness or age is:

1. Always have good capillary refill within 2-3 seconds and feel no occlusion or numbness

2. Always start with KAATSU Cycles (i.e., 8 cycles of 20 seconds pressure on + 5 seconds pressure off). In fact, you can also achieve muscle hypertrophy doing only the KAATSU Cycles.

3. Use an appropriately high Base SKU and the highest Optimal SKU that is safe for you and falls within the standard KAATSU guidelines (e.g., good capillary refill)

KAATSU Arm Workout 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., 5-10 lbs. dumbbell) to do bicep curls slowly and deliberately until muscular failure to reached.

* Note: if you can do over 60 repetitions before reaching failure, then the KAATSU Base SKU and Optimal SKU are both 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.

Step 4: After the first set of 30-40 repetitions, set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
Step 5: Start the second set of bicep curls. It is ideal if muscular failure comes before 20 repetitions.
Step 6: Set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
Step 7: Start the third set of bicep curls. It is ideal if muscular failure comes before 10 repetitions.
Step 8: Set the dumbbells down and rest for approximately 15 seconds.
Step 9: 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 10: Return to the hand grips and do one more set of hand clenches until muscular failure. The discomfort should be extreme.

KAATSU Leg Workout Protocols

Step 1: Properly set the deflated KAATSU Air Bands around the upper legs.
Step 2: Do 2 KAATSU Cycles as a warm-up, inflated with a appropriate Base SKU (Standard KAATSU Unit) pressure and an Optimal SKU pressure.
Step 3: Select an appropriate weight load with the pneumatic KAATSU Bands inflated at the appropriate Base SKU and an Optimal SKU.

Step 4: Do squats until muscle failure in set #1, ideally between 30-40 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds [see Note below].
Step 5: Do squats until muscle failure in set #2, ideally between 20-30 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 6: Do squats until muscle failure in set #3, ideally around 10 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 7: Do squats until muscle failure in set #4, 1-3 repetitions is sufficient. Rest no more than 60 seconds, but do not release air from the pneumatic KAATSU bands around upper legs.

Step 8: Do leg extensions until muscle failure in set #1, ideally between 30-40 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 9: Do leg extensions until muscle failure in set #2, ideally between 20-30 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 10: Do leg extensions until muscle failure in set #3, ideally around 10 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 11: Do leg extensions until muscle failure in set #4, 1-3 repetitions is sufficient. Rest no more than 60 seconds, but do not release air from the pneumatic KAATSU bands around upper legs.

Step 12: Do leg curls until muscle failure in set #1, ideally between 30-40 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 13: Do leg curls until muscle failure in set #2, ideally between 20-30 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 14: Do leg curls until muscle failure in set #3, ideally around 10 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 15: Do leg curls until muscle failure in set #4, 1-3 repetitions is sufficient. Rest no more than 60 seconds, but do not release air from the pneumatic KAATSU bands around upper legs.

Step 16: Do calf raises until muscle failure in set #1, ideally between 30-40 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 17: Do calf raises until muscle failure in set #2, ideally between 20-30 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 18: Do calf raises until muscle failure in set #3, ideally around 10 repetitions. Rest no more than 30 seconds.
Step 19: Do calf raises until muscle failure in set #4, 1-3 repetitions is sufficient. Rest no more than 60 seconds, but do not release air from the pneumatic KAATSU bands around upper legs.

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.

Note: the recommended rest of 30 seconds for muscle hypertrophy differs slightly than the standard recommendations of a 20-second maximum rest for other KAATSU protocols.

Copyright © 2016 by KAATSU Global

KAATSU Stretching

KAATSU during Stretching can be done two different ways:

(a) Stretching with KAATSU Cycle

(b) Stretching with Optimal Pressure

KAATSU Specialists often ask older patients or rehabilitating clients to simply stretch as the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated during the KAATSU Cycle mode - and to relax during the 5-second rest (deflated) intervals. These patients do not - or cannot due to age or other ailments - even do the KAATSU 3-point exercises because it is too stressful. For these individuals, stretching with the KAATSU Cycle is sufficiently effective.

Conversely, younger healthy KAATSU users can inflate to their Optimal SKU and stretch before and/or after their KAATSU workouts. Stretching with the inflated bands serves to help keep the muscles limber and avoid muscle hypertrophy that some individuals and endurance athletes do not want.

Unlike KAATSU training for muscle hypertrophy (see here), KAATSU users who are stretching do not need to go to fatigue. Most do not even come close to muscle failure. They are simply stretching the muscles that are engorged in blood.

Copyright © 2016 by KAATSU Global

Dr. Alan Mikesky On KAATSU

Alan Mikesky, Ph.D., FACSM, Professor Emeritus, Department of Kinesiology, School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis discussed his experience with KAATSU. "I was first introduced to the concept of KAATSU Training, also known as blood flow restriction training, at the national convention of the American College of Sports Medicine in 2006.

KAATSU Training has been and continues to be one of the most exciting innovations involving resistance training that I have run across in my professional career of over 30 years.

It has become a very active research area and rarely does a month go by that one or two new studies have not been published in reputable professional journals. The cumulative results from these studies indicate that KAATSU training is safe, effective and deserving of all the research attention it is getting.

There is still much to be learned about the physiology of how it works, how it is prescribed and its potential applications, but it is clear that KAATSU training has unlimited potential as a means for maintaining and improving muscle function in populations ranging from the infirmed patient to the elite athlete.
"

Below is a listing of Dr. Mikesky's published abstracts and papers related directly to KAATSU:

Fujita, S., A. Mikesky, Y. Sato, and T. Abe. (2008) Fatigue characteristics during maximal concentric leg extension exercise with blood flow restriction. International Journal of KAATSU Training Research. 3: 27-31.

Weatherholt, A., M. Beekley, S. Greer, M. Urtel, and A. Mikesky. (2013) Modified KAATSU Training: Adaptations and Subject Perceptions. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45(5):952-961.

Mikesky, A.E. (2013) Cross-Over Muscular Adaptation to Blood Flow Restricted Exercise. Letter. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45(5):1019.

Segal, N.A., M. Davis, R.B. Wallace, and A. Mikesky. (2015) Efficacy of Blood Flow Restricted Low Load Resistance Training for Quadriceps Strengthening in Men at Risk for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis. Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation. 6(3):160-167.

Segal, N.A., G.N. Williams, M.C. Davis, R.B. Wallace, and A.E Mikesky. (2015) Efficacy of Blood Flow-Restricted, Low-Load Resistance Training in Women with Risk Factors for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 7:376-384.

Ogasawara, R., M. Sugaya, M. Sakamaki, S. Fujita, H. Ozaki, T. Yasuda, Y. Sato, A.E. Mikesky, A. Takashi. (2009). Change in Temperature of Active Muscle During Low-Intensity Resistance Exercise with Blood Flow Restriction. Med. Sci. Sports and Exerc. (Suppl) 41(5):Abstract #2835, S475.

Meek, A., A. Heavrin, N.A. Segal, A.E. Mikesky. (2014). KAATSU Cuff Tightness and Limb Anthropometry: Effect on Blood Flow Restriction. Med. Sci. Sports and Exerc. 46(5S):Abstract #3006.

Segal, N.A., A.E. Mikesky. (2014) Assessment of Efficacy of Partial Blood Flow Restriction Low-Load Resistance Training for Quadriceps Strengthening in Men at Risk for Knee Osteoarthritis. Med. Sci. Sports and Exerc. 46(5S):Abstract #3322.

Copyright © 2016 by KAATSU Global

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cupping versus KAATSU

The Greatest Olympian of All Time, Michael Phelps, has drawn a lot of attention to the ancient Chinese art of cupping during his continued gold-medal run at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Phelps, along with other American Olympians like 12-time medalist Natalie Coughlin and actresses like Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Simpson, have been seen with several visible red round marks on their body.

Cupping is used for recovery and to relieve pain. It is also used to treat pain, shingles, acne and breathing difficulties.

Practitioners of cupping use small glass cups that are placed over the skin and then a vacuum is induced inside a cup. The suction pulls the skin up into the cup that breaks the capillaries and causes the blood to pool and stagnate. This creates a bruise and leaves circular spots on the skin.

Cupping is commonly used among athletes because they want to stimulate blood flow in order to help muscles heal more effectively and quickly.

But physicians and physiologists know that a bruise is a blood clot. But does clotted blood really lead to improved blood flow?

Improved blood flow or not may not matter to Olympic athletes if the placebo effects of cupping provide them with a psychological advantage. This positive mindset may be significant enough to provide them a 0.04 second boost – or the difference between Phelps’ gold medal performance in the 200-meter butterfly and the time of Masato Sakai of Japan, the silver medalist.

But there is an alternative to cupping, a scientifically proven, effective, and safe way to improve blood flow and enhance recovery from strenuous exercise, either in competition or in training.

KAATSU.

KAATSU, or generically described a blood flow moderation exercise, was invented in Japan in 1966 by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato. After three decades of meticulous testing with people ranging from 4 to 104 years and years of research, athletes in 19 countries have discovered what is explained in over 100 peer-review published papers.

KAATSU is now used by athletes and teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball as well as Olympic swimmers, runners, triathletes, judoka, rowers, wrestlers, basketball players and rugby players from the United States, Japan, Brazil and China, as well as countries ranging from Hungary to Tunisia. It is also used by NASA, American colleges from West Point to the University of Missouri, and in hospitals and clinics from the University of Tokyo Hospital to the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paolo.

KAATSU equipment consists of a portable handheld unit that carefully monitors the external compression of pneumatic bands placed on the upper arms and upper legs.


These pneumatic KAATSU bands serve to safely reduce venous flow in the limbs, thus leading to an effective pooling of blood in the arms and legs. Through stretching or any form of movement – either strenuous exercise or physical therapy – with the KAATSU Air Bands on, the pooling of blood helps expand the veins and capillaries. Additionally, the KAATSU Cycle function effectively flushes out lactic acid in the muscles.

After 5-10 minutes of KAATSU Cycle, the athletes feel rejuvenated because the lactic acid is not only effectively removed from the muscles, but also the expansion of the vascular walls leads to an increased elasticity of the veins and capillaries.

There is also a concurrent release of growth hormones and nitric oxide caused by this blood pooling that aids recovery. This biochemical reaction is a natural effect of blood pooling that has positive systemic effects on the body. The hormones are transported throughout the body via the vascular system. When these hormones reach muscle cells that are under stress, cell receptors in these cells interact as the body is designed to do.

Therefore, KAATSU is a scientifically proven modality that has natural systemic effects on the body. These are not only more healthful and effective than localized cupping, but it also leads to a natural hormonal release and improved elasticity of the vascular system.

KAATSU versus Cupping, Advantages versus Disadvantages:

*Cupping breaks the capillaries in a localized area. KAATSU improves the elasticity of the capillaries.
*Cupping creates bruising in a localized area. KAATSU leads to a natural hormonal response.
*Cupping leads to visible red spots on the body. KAATSU leaves no visible marks on the body.
*Cupping requires an experienced practitioner. KAATSU can be done anywhere anytime by anyone who follows the standardized KAATSU protocols.
*Cupping feels very good to many people after a session. KAATSU makes the body feel recovered and very good after a session.

Swimming World Magazine also wrote about cupping by Olympic swimmers here.

For more information about KAATSU, visit @kaatsuswim, @kaatsuglobal, Facebook, Instagram and KAATSU Global.

Copyright © 2016 by KAATSU Global