Crossover Effects Of KAATSU After Accidents

For who? researchers, Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? Strength, stamina, functional movement, mobility, flexibility, recovery

At the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Center for Translational Musculoskeletal Research and the University of Indianapolis Department of Kinesiology, Dr. Alan Mikesky and his research team researched the crossover effects of KAATSU [see Modified KAATSU Training: Adaptations and Subject Perceptions here]. Dr. Mikesky was looking to confirm the systemic effects of KAATSU.

The researchers applied KAATSU Air Bands on only one arm of subjects and tested the strength, girth, tomography scans along with RPE (Rated Perceived Exertion scale) of both arms of the subjects.

The research team correctly did KAATSU and measured both the Base SKU (which they called “Cuff Tightness Pressure in mm Hg”and Optimal SKU (which they called “Cuff Inflation Pressure in mm Hg”) levels.

It should be noted that the SKU levels were conservative for relatively young subjects. The subjects started at 10 Base SKU in Week 1 and increased to 30 Base SKU by Week 8; they started at 90 Base SKU in Week 1 and increased to 180 Base SKU by Week 8. Both the KAATSU arm and the non-KAATSU arm girth increased (measured in cm between Week 0 and Week 8):

Non-KAATSU Arm (cm) girth:
Week 0: 22.7 cm
Week 2: 24.3 cm
Week 4: 24.9 cm
Week 6: 25.7 cm
Week 8: 26.1 cm

KAATSU Arm (cm) girth:
Week 0: 23.0 cm
Week 2: 23.2 cm
Week 4: 24.5 cm
Week 6: 25.4 cm
Week 8: 26.1 cm

The research showed how doing KAATSU on one limb can have crossover (systemic) effects on the other limb – a very important goal for individuals with one injured limb who is trying to recover.

In the United States, a well-known case where this effect was practically demonstrated was with 2010 Olympic silver medalist Todd Lodwick who broke his left arm and torn his ligaments 28 days before the 2014 Winter Olympics. With KAATSU done on his non-injured limbs, he was able to compete admirably well in both the ski jumping and the Nordic combined events after only 5 weeks of KAATSU. His coaching staff noted that Lodwick was getting too muscular after a few weeks of KAATSU – despite his broken bone and torn ligaments. In response, his SKU levels was reduced and he stretched more and did low-pressure, post-workout KAATSU Cycle sets so his muscle hypertrophy was not accelerated (see above). Personally, Lodwick liked the effects and ultimately was able to compete.

In summary, doing KAATSU on healthy limbs can have direct crossover benefits to the strength and girth of an injured limb or core.

Another previous study conducted in Japan is entitled Cross-Transfer Effects of Resistance Training with Blood Flow Restriction (see here).

Silver medalist Todd Lodwick is shown above doing similar KAATSU Cycle sets after his skiing accident and was able to rehabilitate and recover quickly enough to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.