Thursday, February 13, 2020
KAATSU Specialist Series: The Three P's of KAATSU
Former NCAA athlete and KAATSU Specialist Chris Dahowski understands the three specific areas of advantages and benefits of KAATSU for competitive athletes. He calls this concept, the Three P's of KAATSU:
This is defined when the athletes are wearing their KAATSU Air Bands - either on their arms or legs - and are in either the KAATSU Training or KAATSU Cycle mode.
The lactate build-up that inevitably comes with movement while the KAATSU Air Bands are on literally kickstarts the natural biochemical process in the body. When this movement becomes technically flawless with the KAATSU Air Bands on, this is the optimal way to start preparing the athlete for performance gains.
"After the athlete trains with technically flawless technique and builds that perfect movement into their muscle memory, even if they are not going all-out or at highly intense levels, this is the first part of our KAATSU protocol," explains Olympic coach Chris Morgan. "Then, we ask the athletes to take off their KAATSU Air Bands and then replicate their technically flawless technique while working intensely and going all-out.
This can be done while improving free throws with a basketball player, swinging a golf club or baseball bat, or trying to improve times for an Olympic runner, swimmer or rower."
The raw use of the KAATSU Air Bands during technically flawless athletic movements, even without intensity of all-out exercise is the catalyst for improvement in speed, stamina, or strength. KAATSU introduces physiological changes in the body, a natural adaptation, while the mind-body connection is being refined.
This is defined when the athletes are wearing their KAATSU Air Bands - either on their arms or legs - and are in either the KAATSU Training mode and going close to or at race pain or at their highest level of intensity and focus.
When the athletes start to feel the discomfort of their lactate levels increasing as they start to train faster and more intensely, profound changes in their neuromuscular system, vascular system and endocrinology system have already begun. Increases in endothelial cells and IGF-1, and significant release of nitric oxide and human growth hormone, occur naturally and enable the athlete to improve physiologically.
This is especially true if the athlete does KAATSU Cycles before and after each workout, and KAATSU Training within each workout.
Coaches understand that their athletes' mindset is absolutely critical for self-confidence and positivity. If the athlete's mind is in the right place, then all their training and preparation will lead to improvement and achievement of their goals.
Morgan explains, "Instead of "race pace", I like to tell the athletes that they must become comfortable with "race pain". At every aerobically-based competition - whether it is swimming, running, rowing, or cycling - there comes a point where fatigue and discomfort come into play. The athletes feel that discomfort - or as they describe it as pain - and start to slow down and adjust their pace...downwards.
But with daily use of KAATSU Air Bands, they can become much more familiar with that race pain. With familiarity comes acclimatization and they learn how to deal with it psychologically."
Dahowski, who coaches dozens of teenage athletes and prepares them for NCAA Division 1 competition, has a unique view of how to optimally use KAATSU Air Bands during coaching of his high school athletes.
“We push our swimmers in fast-swimming sets for 12-18 minutes. Then we will build a social kick where the kids can grab their kick boards and talk as much as they want during specific times during a workout,” Dahowski explains. “But if they do not give it their all or slack off, then we subtract a minute from the social kick. So if we have a built-in 5 minutes of social kicking within a workout and they slack off, then we knock off a minute of their social kick time.
Believe me, when their social kicking time is reduced, the kids have a great way to focus.”
The social kick serves another purpose. It is a great way for Dahowski to gauge whether or not his athletes are reaching their potential.
“After a really hard set, they start their social kicking. But on the first 50, the kids are totally quiet, just kicking slowly with their kick boards. When they have really pushed themselves, they need time for their body – and minds – to recover. But by the 75, I start to hear murmurings and then by the 100, they are chattering like normal. This is a great indicator whether or not the intensity was there.
When I start to hear giggling, I know they are ready to go for the next (hard) time."
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