For who? swimmers, athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery
KAATSU users focus on three primary areas.
KAATSU protocols differ slightly for each of these 3 areas:
- Athletic Performance: to improve speed, stamina, strength, muscle size or change BMI.
- Rehabilitation: use together with physical therapy for people with broken bones, torn ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
- Recovery: used for jet lag, insomnia and recovery from vigorous workouts or intense competitions.
KAATSU Aqua can be used in multiple ways before, during and after a competitive aquatic competition (swim meet or water polo tournament):
Before the Competition
KAATSU Aqua and KAATSU Cycles are used in the off-season, pre-season, mid-season and championship season throughout the year. Prior to a championship competition, KAATSU Aqua and KAATSU Cycles are continued to be used during the taper phase in the days leading up to the competition and even during the actual competition.
While the total distance and cumulative intensity of hard pool and dryland training tapers off in the weeks and days before the competition, there are distinct benefits and advantages in continuing to use the KAATSU Aqua Bands.
Before and after each training session, KAATSU Aqua Bands can be used during stretching and to help prepare physiologically for their shortened taper workouts. 2-5 KAATSU Cycles before and after the workouts are recommended.
In the water, the KAATSU Aqua Bands are recommended for use while practicing starts, turns + breakouts as well as a few strong sprints.
En route to the Competition
KAATSU Cycles can be used on the (long) drive or flight to the competition. KAATSU Cycles on the arms – and especially on the legs – will help athletes (and coaches) relax on the night before the competition and during the morning of their races. The KAATSU Cycles can be done while simply sitting and relaxing or while doing easy stretching.
Preliminary Heats / Finals Usage
2-5 KAATSU Cycles on both the arms and the legs (done separately of course) can be done before getting in for warm-up or, preferably after the pool warm-up but before the first race.
In the case of 15-year-old competitive swimmer, Sean Doolittle, he performed the following KAATSU protocols during his championship meet in Florida:
- Traditional pool warm-up of 1500-2000 meters before each session
- 20 minutes before each race during the morning preliminary heats, he did 2 x KAATSU Cycles on his arms to warm-up using a Base SKU of 15 and an Optimal SKU of 150 (over a 7-minute period). He followed his KAATSU Arm Cycles with 2 x KAATSU Leg Cycles with a Base SKU of 20 and an Optimal SKU of 200 (over a 7-minute period) on the pool deck during his wait.
- After each preliminary race, he did a traditional easy swimming warm-down of ~600 meters.
- 15 minutes after his first race and warm-down and approximately 15 minutes before his second race of the day, he repeated the same KAATSU Cycle warm-up which also served as a warm-down from the previous race: 2 x KAATSU Arm Cycles with a Base SKU of 15 and an Optimal SKU of 150, followed by 2 x leg KAATSU Cycles with a Base SKU of 20 and an Optimal SKU of 200.
- He returned home and rested before the final events in the evening.
- For finals, he repeated the same KAATSU Cycle warm-up and warm-down protocols.
- Throughout the 4-day meet, he did several lifetime bests, dropping time in each of his races. His most significant performance was in the 200-meter butterfly which he swam his best time of 2:14.48, a decrease of almost 8 seconds from his previous lifetime best of 2:22.30.
Even with a long warm-down after finals, he did 2-5 KAATSU Cycles on his arms and his legs (done separately) in the evening upon returning home. This use of evening KAATSU usage at one’s home or in the hotel will help the athlete recover physiologically during a multi-day competition.
In the case of Sean, he came home at night and performed 3 x KAATSU Arm Cycles and 3 x KAATSU Leg Cycles while eating and watching TV.
Like many other athletes, his KAATSU Cycle pressures were higher in the evening session compared with his in-competition warm-up / warm-down KAATSU pressures: 3 x KAATSU Arm Cycles with a Base SKU of 18 and an Optimal SKU of 200 (over a 10-minute duration) followed by 3 x KAATSU L Cycles with a Base SKU of 25 and an Optimal SKU of 300 (over a 10-minute duration for 20 minutes total).
Similar Applications in Other Sports
These same protocols can be used before, during and after volleyball tournaments, tennis tournaments, basketball tournaments, football games, ice hockey games, water polo tournaments, ski competitions, track & fields meets, baseball games and workouts.