KAATSU’ing Collegiate Soccer Players

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):

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 3×30 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.