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

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery



























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

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? rehabilitation, mobility, flexibility, recovery


























































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

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery




















































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.

Copyright © 2014 - 2015 by KAATSU Global

Is Motor Learning Enhanced With KAATSU?

For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery




















































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 the original BFR. 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 © 2014 - 2015 by KAATSU Global

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.

Yvonne C. Learmonth and her colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a study in 2015 called "A novel approach to low level resistance training in multiple sclerosis; Kaatsu occlusion training".

Their research was funded by a grant awarded from the American College of Sports Medicine [see poster on left or here].

Their conclusion was that 6 weeks of thrice weekly low-level resistance training in people mildly to moderately affected with MS results in large and significant changes in lower limb strength. This suggests that short progressive low level resistance training intervention may be an effective intervention for many people affected with MS. Occlusion resistance training appears safe and acceptable to people mildly to moderately affected with MS.

Copyright © 2014 - 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 © 2014 - 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 © 2014 - 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 © 2014 - 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 © 2014 - 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 © 2014 - 2015 by KAATSU Global

Friday, August 14, 2015

KAATSU'ing Collegiate Soccer Players

For who? Competitive athletes, soccer players, masters athletes, weekend warriors
For what? Strength, recovery, functional movement, mobility, rehabilitation, recovery

Sten Stray-Gundersen, a collegiate defender, is stronger and fitter than ever before as he shared his KAATSU protocols.

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