How Old Can You Do KAATSU?  Can Children Use KAATSU?

How Old Can You Do KAATSU? Can Children Use KAATSU?

Many parents and coaches have asked whether KAATSU is appropriate for teenagers and young children.

Fundamentally, the answer is yes.

However, it is the policy of KAATSU Global, Inc. to limit KAATSU’s use to teenagers over the age of 13. Officially, KAATSU User Manuals state,

If you are under the age of 14, we recommend you do not use KAATSU.” In the KAATSU Specialist training program, the guidelines state, “Do not use if you are under 14 years old.”

These recommendations are due to a small number of overly ambitious adults who place KAATSU Air Bands on their children with too high pressures in the KAATSU Constant mode for much too long durations. In their zeal to see athletic success for their young children, parents and coaches occasionally believe “more is better” with KAATSU (as with other training modalities from their perspective). That is, a higher pressure is better than a lower pressure. Or the KAATSU Constant mode produces better results than the KAATSU Cycle mode. Or 60 minutes of KAATSU is better than 20 minutes of KAATSU.

None of these are true – and can be detrimental or, at the very least, sub-optimal to standard, proven-over-decades protocols of KAATSU:

  • Primarily or exclusively use the Cycle mode
  • Start off with low pressures and gradually, only incrementally increase the pressure
  • Focus on the Progressive Cycle mode – continue to work through the deflation phases if you wish
  • Limit the KAATSU Constant mode to 10 minutes
  • Be very well hydrated before and during KAATSU
  • Always – without failure – confirm your CRT (Capillary Refill Time) is short (ideally under 1 second and minimally under 3 seconds)
  • Always see a pinkness and slight vein distention in the limbs where the KAATSU Air Bands are placed
  • Always feel comfortable – never induce pain or lightheadedness – while doing KAATSU Cycle sets

If these guidelines are strictly followed, there are no physiological reasons why individuals younger than 14 should avoid using KAATSU.

For example, athletes younger than 14 can very effectively use KAATSU for recovery after workouts and between/after competitions, or for rehabilitation of bone breaks, ligament tears, tendon ruptures, lacerations, muscle strains or tears, or for jet lag mitigation.