For who? Swimmers
For what? Recovery, KAATSU Aqua
19-year-old world-class swimmer Michael Andrew talks about how he uses the original KAATSU Master and the KAATSU Cycle mode for recovery (beginning at 9:59 in the above video).
It is important to note that he – and many other athletes in heavy training or during a competition – use the KAATSU Cycle mode before going to bed or taking a nap. The KAATSU Cycle mode is a repeated inflation and deflation of the KAATSU Air Bands. The pneumatic bands are inflated at subsequently higher and higher pressures so an increasingly amount of blood is engorged in the limbs. This purposefully mechanical process is essential to enable the production of hormones and metabolites.
Andrew talks about how he uses the KAATSU Master and KAATSU Cycle mode (beginning at 2:51 in the above video) to prepare for vigorous training. The repeated cyclical process enables a very gradual engorgement of blood in the limbs so the body becomes very ready for a rigorous workout.
At 6:05 in the above video, he also talks about how he uses the pneumatic KAATSU Air Bands for various aspects of his training – from swimming fast to starts off the blocks.
At 12:59 in the above video, he is looking to reach his race pain threshold – that feeling while he goes all out where the body tells the brain to slow down or stop – and keep going with his inflated KAATSU Air Bands.
Athletes can divide their use of KAATSU in three primary ways:
1. Athletic Performance Improvement
Athletic performance improvement can include a focus on speed, strength, stamina, range of motion, or technique. Each goal can require a different level of pressure. For example, aerobic exercise – like running, cycling or swimming – will require a lower pressure than anaerobic exercise. Stamina work dictates a lower pressure than sprint work. Stretching or range of motion exercises and technique work (e.g., sprinting or swimming race starts, baseball or golf swings, basketball or ice hockey shots, wrestling or boxing moves) can depend on the amount of work or ability to handle different pressures.
In the athletic performance realm, KAATSU should only continue until muscular fatigue is reached or proper technique is unable to be sustained. Ideally, that period can be anywhere from 5-12 minutes – and many times, even less time than that. That is, there is no need to continue KAATSU’ing while your body is so fatigued that poor technique is practiced.
Recovery can be repeated KAATSU Cycles after a vigorous workout or a game/performance – or even before going to bed. In these cases, the KAATSU Cycles should start at lower pressures (e.g., Group Low) and then gradually build up on each KAATSU Cycle. This gradual increase in pressure is key. On the KAATSU Cycle 2.0, this means that the athletes start at Group Low (the lowest pressure setting) on the first KAATSU Cycle and then Group Medium, Group High, Pro Low, Pro Medium, and Pro High on subsequent KAATSU Cycles.
If you want to improve your sleep quality, do simple exercises (e.g., forward and backward shoulder rolls, triceps stretching) while doing 2-5 bouts of conservative (i.e., low pressure) KAATSU Cycles.
For rehabilitation from a surgery or a muscle strain, back pain, broken bone or ligament tear, many repeated KAATSU Cycles 2 or even 3 times a day is extraordinarily helpful. This blog has several examples of specific protocols for rehabilitation of these such injuries.
In general, rehabilitation of capillary-poor body parts (e.g., ligaments, tendons) requires higher pressures and more frequent/numerous KAATSU Cycles than capillary-rich body parts (e.g., muscle).