Dave Carlson Talks KAATSU (Part 1)

Dave Carlson Talks KAATSU (Part 1)

Episode Description

Coach Dave Carlson gives daily shelter-in-place workouts to 15-16 year old freshmen and sophomores from Los Alamitos High School in Southern California. They all log in via their laptops or smartphones and are able to hear and see each other and their coach online.

All high schools are closed and all sports practices and competitions are cancelled throughout Southern California in an attempt to limit the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to the local population – a strategy that is becoming more and more widespread throughout the United States and many other countries.

Carlson gives his student-athletes a series of upper body sets, lower body sets, core sets, and a technical skill workout – virtually as they participate on their smartphones and laptops. The entire workout is enhanced with KAATSU equipment in order to make their workouts as effective and efficient as possible.

The students gather online in the early afternoon and have 5 minutes to catch up with together as they see everyone on the Google Meet platform. They laugh, share stories, and make each other smile.

The virtual shelter-in-place workouts start with stretching exercises. Then Carlson goes through a series of upper body sets to strengthen the forearms, biceps, triceps, deltoids and lats. The entire workouts are done with either their KAATSU arm bands or KAATSU leg bands on.

He also does some core work including balancing exercises and lower body exercises including squats and lunges with the KAATSU bands.

He even adds in technical skills sets that teach the fundamentals of shooting a water polo ball. The students end the shelter-in-home workouts by themselves, laughing and enjoying each other’s company—virtually—with no end in sight as they adapt to their new normal.

Check out and order a KAATSU support system and keep in the fight.


We’re going into the fourth period and it’s a typical thing I ask is like, how are you guys feeling? Like, how tired are you on a scale from one to five? And so I’m expecting them to say, wow, you know, like we’re pooped. And all those teams in that Monday Night League are all top tier teams in the nation. And so the top tier teams are physical and it wears on you because they’re heavy. So I remember expecting the answers like, I’m pooped. And the girls are going, I feel good. And we were countering.

And so I’m caught off guard a little bit because we’ve only been doing this a couple weeks and we haven’t been doing it every day. During the season, we do it every day. So we’re doing it maybe three days a week. And I watch the video later in the video. I mean, the girls are counterattacking. It’s not like they’re going on cruise control and they’re in, they’re countering, countering, they’re playing hard. And so right then and there, I think it was week two of the girls using this, I was like, I’ve got this huge advantage.

Statements made in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For more information about KAATSU and KAATSU products, visit KAATSUglobal.com. That’s K-A-A-T-S-U-Global.com. Hello, we’re here with a KAATSU user of about almost a year, Dave Carlson. He’s a longtime military history, financial literacy teacher at Los Alamos High School and a very successful swimming and water polo coach. He’s coach high school, age group champions all the way up to the national team. Welcome, Dave. Thanks for having me. All right, Dave, for our audience who doesn’t know you and your sterling reputation in the water polo and swimming world, can you give us a little bit of background of your coaching experience?

Before I go into my coaching, what got me into coaching is I played for two USA Water Polo Hall of Fame coaches at Golden West College. There was two USA Water Polo Hall of Fame coaches on that coaching staff and Ken Hamorph and Tom Hermstead. There should have been three because Don Mahaffey was an excellent coach also. So we had three head coaches basically there. And I was fortunate to play for two state championship water polo teams. And it was a very small role I played.

I wasn’t a starter and I wasn’t even one of the first guys off the bench. But one of the things that this turned out to be was a blessing in disguise for me because sitting from the perspective and watching from the coach’s perspective through a lot of the games that were closed, I was able to digest a lot of things that I don’t think I would have quite digested if I was in the water as much. I began coaching high school at Edison High School for Greg Luttrell, and then that moved to Marina High School.

And at Marina High School, I was fortunate to be able to coach the first officially sanctioned Division 1 CIF Championship Girls Team. It was in 1998. I was the marina coach and we had upset the number one seed, Long Beach Wilson in the first ever inaugural CIF Division 1 finals. There were CIF championships before that. It was just not sanctioned by CIF. After that, I got a teaching and coaching job at Los Alaminos High School where I boys and girls water polo and boys and girls swim.

In the meantime, starting in 1999, I was recruited pretty much by Jim Brumm, Jason Lynch, and Mark Parker to work with the men’s national team. At that time, I was under coach Johnny Vargas. I became the co-head zone coach back then. It was called Zone 7. It wasn’t the Southern Pacific zone. Zone 7 included Santa Barbara and Long Beach, Orange County, Riverside and Inland Empire. And I held that position as a co-head coach until Parker decided that he wanted to just concentrate on high school.

And I became the head zone coach. And in my time coaching at Los Alamidos and Marina High School for high school, we’ve been in the Sunset League with both of those teams and my water polo teams on the boys side. I coached from ’98 through 2012 and my boys teams either at Marina High School, Los Alamidos had won nine league championships and two CIF championships. And then the girls side between Marina and Los Alamidos. My girls’ teams have won 12 Sunset League Championships and two CIF Championships on the girls side.

In 2009, Andrew Rowe, he had been asking me for a couple of years to go over to SoCal. And he gave me the most prestigious club job you can have over there. He entrusted me with the 18 and Under Boys program. That first year in 2009, I went in and the team was absolutely stacked and won two national championships in that first year. Future Olympian Josh Samuels was the captain of that team.

I was the head 18 and under coach for from 2009 to I think 2016 and my boys teams there had won four national championships. And as a swim coach, I’ve coached Boys and Girls Swim at Los Alaminos and I’m currently just the girls swim coach and girls water polo coach. Yeah, and you’ve used KAATSU for almost a year now. You started in summer back in July and just tell us your first initial reactions to KAATSU.

What got me interested in trying it out was a couple of the guest speakers that I had that you got from me from my military history class had said something about it and then I asked you about it if I could try it and you happened to be going up to Redondo Beach to do a short workout with the former Navy SEAL and said I was welcome to join. So I went up there with you to Redondo Beach and we met some former Navy SEAL at a hotel lobby and I think it was the armbands that I tried first.

Yeah, and you were gonna do some push-ups, I recall. So I remember you asked me, as I was putting them on before we actually started a cycle, you asked me how many push-ups I could do. And I remember saying I could do somewhere between 75 and 100 easy. And you had asked me, I think, to just try 30. And I remember thinking, yeah, that’s gonna be easy. 30’s not much of a challenge. And so the KAATSU band’s inflated, and I began to do my push-ups, and you asked me to do ’em nice and slow.

And so I started to do ’em nice and slow. And I think it was about, I don’t know, around 15, where I could feel the lactic acid really building up all in my arms, and it got extremely difficult. I don’t remember how many I did, but I remember it was difficult after about 15, 16, it got pretty difficult. Yeah, and then we took the armbands off you, and then we put them on your legs, and you did some walks and some short bursts of speed. How did that feel? Yeah, so I remember you were working with, is it Will? Will, yes, Will Bradley.

So you were working with Will, and I asked if I could just kind of try out on my own leg bands. And so I remember walking across the street, I was walking parallel to the beach, and you said, you know, just try to do a couple of short bursts of runs. So I remember I would walk for a little bit, and then I would just take off on a full on sprint for maybe 10 or 15 steps. And I could feel the lactic acid build up in my legs really quick.

And, you know, I just, I never would have thought doing that little, I could get that much of a workout. Yeah. Now, dial forward six months or so. And you’re a very fit guy. You know, you go to the gym a lot. You play some pretty intense basketball games. But with KAATSU, you completely like flip-flopped your training regime.

Yeah, so in the summertime to stay in shape, you have more time to go to the gym. I go to the gym seven days a week. I might miss if we have a tournament on like a Saturday, Sunday. But I generally go to the gym seven days a week in the summertime. I would ride my bike there for cardio two to three times a week. And I was making my way into the basketball games about two to three times a week, you know, the pickup games here for cardio.

And I remember after trying this, you asked me to experiment by not going to the gym for a couple of weeks, the KAATSU instead. And I remember refusing, just saying, “That’s absolutely not gonna happen.” I think I said, “I don’t want to get fat.” And you said, “Okay, well, why don’t you just go to the gym and why don’t you just try to maybe go a couple days to the gym?” And so I think I went maybe three days that week to the gym and I tried to do the KAATSU, you know, I did the KAATSU instead.

And then that slowly went to, when I saw that actually, my body reacted kind of weird to it. I think in the first week I was using the KAATSU, I think I dropped five pounds. You know, I was like, oh shoot, you know, then I better cut out some of the cardio. So I remember I stopped riding my, I think I stopped riding my bike to the gym and then I stopped playing basketball. I was really playing basketball just for the cardio.

And so, you know, I think within three to four weeks, I had scaled back going to the gym to just a weekend thing, you know? And I mean, it’s kind of a joke, but, you know, I don’t necessarily enjoy going to the gym. It’s something that I just do to work out. So on the way home from school, I remember, you know, something I would always get to my house. I would change into my gym clothes. I’d get in my car and I’d just drive to the gym before I could think of an excuse not to.

Then I’d get there and then everything’s good. But then I remember on the way home thinking, you know what, I’m tired. It’s been a long day. You know I’ve been coaching. I really don’t want to go to the gym. I’ll just strap on the KAATSU and watch ESPN. Just kind of like do some biceps, triceps with the bands, you know do some minor exercises while I’m watching ESPN. And then for the legs, you know just doing some of the oscillating lunges and the oscillating squats, and I’ll be good.

And sure enough, I mean, this is what that was in the end of July. That’s been my routine is going to the gym two days a week where I was going seven days a week. During the school year, I would go maybe three, four times a week, but I go like twice on Saturdays and Sundays. And you know right now, since I think it was towards the end of March when I go to LA Fitness, LA Fitness closed its doors, and I haven’t been to the gym since the end of March, and I think I’m in really good shape. I mean, my arms have gotten for sure bigger. And then the thing that I’ve noticed the most and people around me have noticed the most is the definition. And so not only has my arms, my biceps, triceps, forearms have gotten bigger, they’re more defined, or I think the word that people used to say are ripped. Yeah, that’s good.

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There’s a picture behind me of you at the gym and you have tattoos. You actually came up with a really cool protocol for tattoos and KAATSU. Can you explain that? What I did on one of my tattoos was I decided to do KAATSU arms and legs in the morning. I think my appointment was like 10:00 a.m.. I did the KAATSU arms and I did legs, maybe three or four cycles or whatever. And then I went to get my tattoo. After my tattoo was over, you have a wrap and it’s supposed to be in a wrap for an hour and then you can, you know, you’re supposed to wash it out, take a shower. And so what I did was I put the armbands on from the time I left, the guy that gave me the tattoo, I left and I think I just did cycles, like low cycles for about an hour on my arms. And I noticed when I took them off, there’s a lot more blood than maybe normal ’cause it’s pushing the blood there, its anopen wound.

But I noticed that it healed faster. The swelling wasn’t as bad as normal. It healed a lot faster. The whole process of the healing process after a tattoo, it was just a lot faster. So I did that again. I’ve gone and gotten a couple of tattoos since. And on my last tattoo, actually, part of it was on my elbow. And on my elbow right here, the guy doing my tattoo, I mean, he’s the head dude at his, he owns his own shop. And he said, this elbow is going to be swollen. Just a heads up, it’s going to swell up, but it never swelled up. It didn’t swell at all. There was no swelling. So the healing process doing the KAATSU cycles right before I got the tattoo. And then as soon as you leave, as soon as they wrap it up, as I’m leaving, you put it on immediately and, and you do it for about the entire hour on low. And if I were to get a tattoo on my leg, I’d do the same thing. And then as I come home, I’d immediately put the leg bands on and I would just for the hour while you’re waiting to unwrap it. You know, I do that.

And, and there is definitely a difference in how fast it healed and there was zero swelling. Yeah. Zero. It didn’t swell even a little bit. Yeah. Well, that’s a good segue into how you use the bands not only for rehabilitation when your athletes get hurt in a game, but also how you use it during practice, before a game and after a game. So just a few bits of pieces. What we’re trying to do with these KAATSU bands, and you can see the photo of the athlete behind me, is that you put the bands on the upper arm, and although it looks like a tourniquet, it’s actually a elastic band that keeps the blood in the limb. So the limb gets rather pink or reddish. And that’s a very good sign.

Just so how Dave actually used the bands to help reduce the inflammation and speed up the recovery process from his tattoos. We’re doing the same with athletes, whether they’re on dry land or in the water. So can you just sort of bring us up to date on how you use the KAATSU bands in practice, before a game, after a game? I first started experimenting with these KAATSU bands in the fall. High School Girls Water Polo is a winter sport. So in the fall, we generally have a summer league on a Monday night. And we practice every day after school, but typically my teams are in the regular season. When I coached the boys team, we were in great condition in the fall. I mean, we’re going to be in good condition, but you know in the off season, but we’re typically in great condition, tip-top shape by the time we are in league and then into the playoffs.

For the girls, during the fall, I mean, we do conditioning, but we really work on a lot of fundamentals. And so typically we’re in Monday night league and saying, going to the fourth period, you know how are you feeling? And the girls are generally, you know I’m tired. And they say, well, you’re not going to feel like that in the winter. This is how our opponent’s going to feel in the winter time, and you’re going to have a lot more gas in your tank in the wintertime. And so I started using the KAATSU bands about twice a week for the last 10 minutes of practice. We’d say, okay, last 10 minutes of practice, we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to do some sprints.

So we put the armbands on and we did, I mean, maybe four minutes worth of sprints, okay? And then, I mean, they could barely move their arms by the end. And so I typically go give me a number between one and five, five being up here, one being here, three is like average, and then four and two are in between. Okay, so five, if you can’t take anymore, the lactic acid is just unbearable. One, if it’s like, eh, nothing, and three is like, yeah, you know, it’s average. And so, you know, we’re eight sprints in, sorry, we’ve got five sprints, maybe on the 30 seconds. After five sprints, most girls are at five. There’s a few girls that might be at four, they’re saying four and a half. And I mean, five sprints. And so then the six would be easy. We would do stuff. You know, I tried these out too. You know, doing four or five sprints is very taxing ’cause the lactic acid builds up.

You can feel it in your arms. And so, and by the way, it just hits you, okay? So on the first sprint, I mean, you don’t really feel that much. It doesn’t feel like anything except for you can feel like you have the bands on you. The second sprint, it feels like your arms are getting a little bit bigger. It’s getting a little bit tighter. And I think it’s about sprint number three, if it’s a 25 yard sprint. You’re getting towards the end of the sprint, and all of a sudden your arm just feels like it’s blowing up. And I think by sprint number four or five, it feels like your arm’s gonna pop.

And so I know that that’s the blood gorging your arms. So we’d go about five sprints to six. We eventually worked up to seven sprints and then an easy, the eighth one, easy back. And then we’d do legs. So I’d go flutter kick on the wall for 20 seconds, and then they turn and they kick off the wall, and they would do either a flutter kick, head up with a skull in front of them for 25, or they would do flutter kick for 20 seconds.

And then on the whistle, they would push off the wall, dolphin kick underwater, come up, and then it would just be a freestyle sprint. And that’s what we do. And we go one, two, three, four again. I mean, we get to number five, and there needs to be a longer recovery period. And I think we’d maybe get to six sprints, maximum, with that. So, I was noticing that the girls were saying they’re getting such a great workout in four to five minutes, maximum. And then the results happened, I think it was the second Monday night game. We’re going into the fourth period, and it’s a typical thing I ask is like, how are you guys feeling? Like, how tired are you on a scale from one to five? And so I’m expecting them to say, well, you know, like we’re pooped. And all those teams in that Monday night league are all top-tier teams in the nation. And so the top tier teams are physical and it wears on you because they’re heavy.

So I remember expecting the answers like, “I’m pooped.” And the girls are going, “I feel good.” And we were countering. And so I’m caught off guard a little bit, ’cause we’ve only been doing this a couple of weeks, and we haven’t been doing it every day. During the season, we do it every day. So we’re doing it maybe three days a week. And now watch the video later. And the video, I mean, the girls are counterattacking. It’s not like they’re going on cruise control and they’re in, they’re countering, countering, they’re playing hard. And so right then and there, I think it was week two of the girls using this, I was like, I’ve got this huge advantage over the rest of the teams.

If you followed my teams, I think that the things that people know about team that I coach is the things that we can have control over, we are going to take care of. One, you can always be the most physical team. Two, you can always be the toughest team. Three, you can always be in the best condition. You know, your legs can be strong and up on your legs. Major, major advantage is the volume of training that I’m doing as far as like conditioning is a lot less than I’ve ever done before. And I know it’s a lot less than other coaches.

And so my team is in better shape and they are doing less. On top of them being in better shape, knowing the science behind this, I know that their arteries and their veins are a lot more elastic when the blood flows through there. And so the blood flow is a lot more efficient than the teams that I’ve had in the past at being able to get to the muscles, especially in your legs late in the game. And so the fatigue isn’t there because the lactic acid is flushing out faster and they have more energy to play in the fourth period and get up on their legs in the fourth period. And I would guess somebody seeing one of my teams play and the energy that they have in the fourth quarter would probably guess that I’m conditioning them an hour in a day and I’m not. It’s like 10 minutes of conditioning. Wow. Maybe 15. Wow.

So that’s radically changed the way if you have a two hour or two and a half hour workout, you’re spending a lot more time now on the technical aspects, plays, and other things that frankly, you need to spend more time on. And with your conditioning coming down, you’ve got that time. Yeah, one of the, you know, I started out as a kinesiology minor at Cal State Fullerton. And one of the first classes we took was the techniques of coaching. And they kind of explained the process if you’re an age group coach or a high school coach or collegiate coach or professional coach. And I already knew I was a high school coach. And so they said, you know, when you’re in a high school coach, something that you have to remember is the amount of time that you’re going to have with your athletes is not the same amount of time you’re going to have with a collegiate team. And if you’re a collegiate coach, you’re going to have not the same amount of time as a professional team. And so the best coaches are the ones that are able to figure out in your two hours a day or two and a half hours a day or in the off season, you’re five hours in a week.

What can you accomplish in that short amount of time? And then on top of that, the best coaches can find a way to do two things at once. And so That’s another thing that I’ve been able to do with KAATSU is I have a limited amount of time that I can spend with my athletes. With the KAATSU, you know some of the things I’ve been able to do is we are working a passing drill or a shooting drill. We put the leg bands on for when we’re doing passing and then have them have the leg bands on for, I never have them on for more than 15 minutes. It’s like 10 to 15 minutes, it’s timed. Wow.

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From elite athletes and soldiers to aging baby boomers and busy executives, KAATSU Cycle 2.0 is the next generation training and rehabilitation device used around the world. KAATSU is used by the United States Department of Defense, as well as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. KAATSU, profoundly simple and simply profound. Statements made in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For more information about KAATSU and KAATSU products, visit KAATSUglobal.com. That’s K-A-A-T-S-U-Global.com.