Kaatsu (Occlusion) Training

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Kaatsu (Occlusion) Training

Post by nightcrawler on Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:39 pm

A hot new topic in strength training is blood flow restriction (BFR), or limiting the venous return of blood flow from the muscle. The goal is not to restrict arterial blood flow but prevent the return of blood flow to the muscle, typically by tightly wrapping limbs to cause the blood to pool in the muscle during exercise.

In 1966 at the age of 18 while Yoshiaki Sato was attending a Buddhist ceremony in his native Japan, his legs went numb while sitting in the traditional Japanese posture on the floor. He could barely stand the pain any longer with his legs bent underneath him. Out of desperation, he began to massage his calves in an attempt to relieve the discomfort during the long ceremony. He realized that his blood circulation was blocked in his calves as he was sitting directly on his feet. This was when he conceived the original idea of blood flow moderation training.

Over the next 7 years, he experimented on himself by applying different bicycle tubes, ropes and bands at different pressures on various parts of his body. He methodically kept track of what type of bands and pressures worked and what experiments did not. With years of detailed trial and error, Sato gradually developed effective protocols to safely modify blood flow in his limbs. By 1973 at the age of 25, Sato developed the details of Kaatsu as it is currently practiced. At that time, on a ski trip, he fractured his ankle and damaged the ligaments around his knee. The injuries were diagnosed and the doctors told Sato that it would take 6 months to heal.

With a plaster cast on, Sato rehabilitated himself with Kaatsu Bands applied to his upper leg. He repeatedly applied Kaatsu pressure on and off while doing isometric exercises for 30 seconds on and a few seconds off three times per day. The results of his regimen shocked his doctor when his muscles did not atrophy and he fully recovered within 6 weeks.

Between 1973 and 1982, Sato conducted Kaatsu Training and developed protocols that worked best for people of all ages and with various kinds of afflictions.

KAATSU is the secret advantage that Olympic and professional athletes from Japan, and increasingly in the U.S., Switzerland and Hungary, have been using to gain specific strength in order to improve speed and increase stamina.

Years ago, Olympic champion Misty Hyman from Stanford University did something vaguely similar. The 200m butterfly Olympic champion in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games placed several thick postage rubber bands around her arms and legs. She would at times swim as much as 8,000 meters with the bands at AFOX in Arizona under the guidance of its coach Bob Gillette as a high school student. Her unusual training method started in Arizona as a top age-grouper and continued at Stanford University under Richard Quick [where I served as an assistant coach].


You may find lots of articles related to Kaatsu on the internet.

Have fun!


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