NFL Trainers KAATSU Playbook – Equipment

NFL Trainers KAATSU Playbook – Equipment

KAATSU pioneered the emerging BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) market. Its products are unique, patented, and unlike other BFR products.

Primarily, KAATSU begins at homeostasis and only gradually, slightly, and gently increases pressure in order to optimize the patented and repeated compression and decompression of the limbs. This is well established as the most effective and efficient means to increase vascular elasticity and stimulate a robust hormonal response. The effect of this modality is to temporarily, gradually, and gently modify the venous flow. The effects were first published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2000 and have been well studied since.

In contrast, BFR products begin at full occlusion. BFR products are based on the concept of LOP (Limb Occlusion Pressure). From that point of full occlusion, a certain percentage of pressure is released and the cuffs and tourniquets are deflated so the athlete can proceed with either rehabilitation or their workout.


NFL trainers and players can use three different types of KAATSU equipment. Each have their own unique benefits and advantages:

  • The KAATSU B1
  • The KAATSU C3
  • The KAATSU M3

Each model comes with the same type of KAATSU Air Bands. Each model uses the same protocols for athletic performance, rehabilitation, recovery, and general wellness.

KAATSU Air Bands

The KAATSU Air Bands come in four different sizes (small, medium, large, and extra large) for both the arms and legs. The bands are relatively narrow (compared to blood pressure cuffs), pneumatic, stretchable bands with a proprietary air bladder inside and are covered with neoprene. The bands are placed only around the upper arms or upper legs, no matter what part of the body is undergoing rehabilitation.

The KAATSU Air Bands are specifically described as bands – as opposed to cuffs or tourniquets. The KAATSU Air Bands have a uniquely shaped (oval) air bladder that inflates in one direction. The effect is only minimal compression of the veins of the arms and legs – and no impedence of the arterial flow.

In contrast, cuffs and tourniquets are specifically designed to occlude arterial flow and feel quite tight on the upper arms and legs.


The Bluetooth-enabled KAATSU B1 device is the latest model. The B1 operates via a smartphone and uses either an Android or iOS app.

The KAATSU B1 consists of two small KAATSU Wearable units for your arms and two KAATSU Wearable units for your legs.

KAATSU B1 app monitors the KAATSU Wearable units while capturing and archiving the usage data, and automatically inflates and deflates the band according to the KAATSU algorithms embedded in the Wearable chips. The apps are user-friendly and stores usage data in the cloud (i.e., KAATSU Performance database). The Wearable units are ultra-light, compact, and portable.

The app enables total customization of the Fixed, Progressive, and Regressive KAATSU Cycle modes. The app can customize the time under tension, time of decompression, and allow for different pressures to be applied to each limb simultaneously. This allows for optimal physiological gains.

The app and Wearable units power on, capture, monitor, and analyze all KAATSU usage data in the cloud.

The KAATSU B1, unlike other KAATSU equipment, does not require connector tubes. This allow players to have increased mobility to meet their performance, recovery, wellness, and rehabilitation needs. Similar to all KAATSU products, the B1 leads to an increase in vascular elasticity and generates additional metabolite nutrients, oxygen, and blood flow without occlusion of blood flow.

The B1 is versatile and can be safely utilized anywhere anytime – including in the rain, snow, mud, dust, and sand.

KAATSU protocols have been researched and tested by numerous universities, hospitals, cardiologists and scientists at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Jilin University, Osaka University, Harvard Medical School, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, and many others. Used in 49 countries, there have been millions of KAATSU sessions performed by elite athletes, special military forces, and people up to the age of 104 years.


KAATSU C3 is the third generation KAATSU Cycle device. It is the most widely used and most popular model.

The C3 is handheld, ultra-light, compact, and portable. It can be used anywhere – on the field, in the training facilities, in the gym, on the airplane, at home, or in the office.

Its portrait orientation enables it to be placed in a shirt or pants pocket during use.

The KAATSU Air Bands inflate and deflate in a patented sequence based on safe, optimal algorithms. The primary differences between KAATSU and the other BFR bands is:

  • KAATSU utilizes the patented Cycle function (i.e., 30 seconds of inflation followed by 5 seconds of deflation with incrementally increasing pressure).
  • Different pressures can be simultaneously used on different limbs – or the same pressure on both limbs.
  • KAATSU equipment and protocols were proven safe and effective after a decade of clinical use and research on over 12,000 rehab patients at the University of Tokyo Hospital (between 2004 and 2014).
  • KAATSU is used by cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, and physicians in various specialties.
  • KAATSU Air Bands do not occlude or impede arterial flow.
  • KAATSU is gentle and convenient in order to do anywhere anytime. No use of Limb Occlusion Pressure because there is no arterial occlusion even at the highest possible pressure.
  • KAATSU is sold in 49 countries (to date) for use by people up to the age of 104.
  • More research has been conducted in more countries on KAATSU than any other BFR device.
  • the seminal, groundbreaking research on BFR was conducted in the mid- to late 1990’s and published by KAATSU inventor Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in 2000.
  • KAATSU Air Bands are made of neoprene and are waterproof.


The KAATSU M3 is the third generation KAATSU Master model. It includes the most functionality of all the KAATSU equipment and is used in hospitals, clinics, and research institutes.

Its display shows the user’s pulse rate, perfusion index, and Pleth variability index in real time while the KAATSU Air Bands are on the player’s arms or legs. All usage data is stored in the cloud (at the KAATSU Performance database).

Based on the original KAATSU know-how and US patent #9,775,619 (Compression and decompression control system and vascular strengthening method), KAATSU products are protected by dozens of patents.