For who? Baby Boomers, retirees
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery
KAATSU 101 includes a number of articles describing various easy-to-understand applications and health benefits of KAATSU for people of all ages and from all walks of life.
BFR (Blood Flow Restriction) and Occlusion Training are defined and often promoted by young men, bodybuilders or individuals who are focused on muscle building. Conversely, KAATSU the original BFR is meant for everyone including – and especially for – those who are deconditioned (out-of-shape), lazy, older, or injured.
BFR and Occlusion Training often use inexpensive products, produced inexpensively, with inexact means to measure or understand precise or specific pressures.
KAATSU, on the other hand, has stood the test of time across 49 countries, being used by millions of individuals – ranging from 4 to 104 years old – during innumerable KAATSU sessions. KAATSU is frequently used by professional and Olympic athletes, but also by Paralympic athletes and disabled military veterans.
But the largest demographic group, by far, who uses KAATSU are aging Baby Boomers; those between the ages of 50 – 80.
These Baby Boomers are generally not focused on building biceps or broad shoulders, but more specifically on maintaining pain-free overall wellness or doing effective, efficient rehabilitation from injuries and surgeries. Their interest in KAATSU is more functional rather than cosmetic, more focused on generating a healthful hormonal response rather than getting bigger muscles.
As 75.8 million American Baby Boomers either transition from the end of their careers or are in full or partial retirement, many of them have spent their most recent years raising children, financing college educations, paying for weddings, and helping out with grandchildren. These pressures have played havoc with their fitness levels.
Previously over-stressed, overworked, and under-exercised, the Baby Boomers are now facing much more free time. But with their higher body fat percentages, lowered muscle mass, and lessened aerobic capacities, getting back into shape is not easy. A change of lifestyle and a change in mindset are required. But this is easier said than done.
“KAATSU can present an easy-to-implement catalyst for individuals over the age of 50 to return to their former selves,” says Paul Grzymkowski, the former president of Gold’s Gym Franchising. “10,000 Baby Boomers in America will celebrate their 65th birthday every day for the next 2 decades (3,650,000 new Baby Boomers per year). This is a huge market for every fitness professional to consider.”
A 65-year-old man or women sees the rest of their life much differently than they did at the age of 25 or 35. The quality of life is their focus, but it is at this time that their muscles have faded (or are fading) and various ailments are regular experiences.
“We must recondition the 26% of the total U.S. population in innovative ways, using modalities that are self-sustaining and much more low-impact than what we used to do in our youth or even mid-age,” added Grzymkowski. “Heavy barbells and dumbbells are not ideal equipment to serve as a catalyst to whipping Baby Boomers into shape. Aerobics, spinning, and elliptical machines are also not for everyone. We have to look for something even more revolutionary.”
Grzymkowski, a 67-year-old veteran of the fitness industry, has spent his lifetime around barbells, dumbbells, and spinning bikes. But he has substituted the iron of his youth for the pneumatic bands used by his counterparts in Japan. “I have not changed – I love feeling pumped when I exercise. When I feel my biceps bulge or my quads burn, it recalls my strength of former years. But I am doing this and changing my body shape without heavy weights. I am doing it with pneumatic bands and the KAATSU equipment that are used so effectively by senior citizens in Japan and elite athletes around the world. When I do use weights during my KAATSU workout I tend to use light dumbbells or weight plates of no more than 5-pounds.”
KAATSU is a Japanese word that means ‘additional pressure’ in English and is the original BFR as defined by scientific journals in the mid-1990s.
KAATSU is done with pneumatic bands that are inflated to safe levels by a mobile electronic touch panel device. The bands are a proven means to safely modify the blood flow during exercise and improve blood circulation in the limbs. This modification leads to pooling of blood in the muscles that leads to significant human growth hormone secretion and a literal tricking of the brain into thinking the body is doing vigorous exercise – when the KAATSU user could be doing simple walking or stretching in place.
Some of the simplest KAATSU exercise include hand clenches and bicep curls without light weights, heel raises or leg curls while standing up, or easy walking.