Kaatsu training | pro tips

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
Post Reply
Maria4/4
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2022 12:40 am

Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Maria4/4 »

Hi everyone,

I want to start kastsu, but I don’t know how. I read several articles about its benefits and how to place the bands on harms and legs. But I have several doubts:

- what kind of bands should i use? Manual or automatic? Recommended brands?

- what kind of exercises should be performed with the bands?

- what is the recommended duration of the exercises (I read 20 min) and the frequency?

If you are a Kaatsu fan, I would love to know your tips.

Thanks,
Maria 4/4
User avatar
Tincup
Mod
Mod
Posts: 3592
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Tincup »

Maria4/4 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 5:03 am I want to start kastsu, but I don’t know how. I read several articles about its benefits and how to place the bands on harms and legs. But I have several doubts:
KAATSU is a brand, the generic term would be blood flow restriction or BFR
- what kind of bands should i use? Manual or automatic? Recommended brands?
Bands include:
Narrow, elastic, pneumatic with computer controlled inflation/deflation cycles that are made by the KAATSU company.

Manually inflated narrow, elastic, pneumatic made by the B Strong company

Manually inflated wide pneumatic like blood pressure cuffs

Ridgid pneumatic cuffs derived from surgical occlusion bands, Delfi brand & also sold by Johnny Owens (primarily used by physical therapists)

Wide and narrow elastic & inelastic bands that are inexpensively sold on Amazon.

I own a KAATSU system, B Strong bands, and a wide and narrow version of the inexpensive Amazon bands.

First off, no matter which setup you use, you need to make sure you are NOT occluding the arteries. This is where danger can occur. One way to test for this is to make sure that a) you have a pulse on the limb with the band on, and b) the capillary refill time (CRT) should be 3 seconds or less. CRT can be measured by pressing your thumb into the fleshy part of the palm of the other hand for 10 seconds, then count the time it takes to turn from white back to pink when you release the pressure. In my opinion, the safest bands in this regard are the KAATSU & B Strong, though I have friends that love the narrow, elastic cheap Amazon bands (I almost never use them as I don't find them effective).
- what kind of exercises should be performed with the bands?
For strength, use weights (can also use bodyweight exercises) that are around 20-30% of your one repetition max. The first set should be 30 reps or more to failure. Then rest 10-15 seconds for arms (20 for legs) and do 2-3 more sets. The number of reps to failure after the first set will likely be much less than 30. You can also do endurance activities like walking, running, rowing, biking or even high intensity with the bands on. I do a high intensity exercise where I will have leg bands on, do 3 minutes of mild exercise on a fan bike (in my case an old Schwinn Airdyne), then 8 thirty second cycles of 15-20 seconds of absolutely as hard as I can go and 15-10 seconds of mild (50 watt) & repeat. Then a 3 minute cool down, so about 10 minute session. I do this after a strength training session.

KAATSU can also be used in cycle mode while sitting or doing mild activity around the house. Examples of using the cycle mode. If I'm skiing a bunch of days in a row, I'll put KAATSU bands on my legs and run them in cycle mode in the morning to warm up and in the evening to refresh my legs. 12 days ago I took my car to the shop and walked home. Where we live it had been subfreezing for weeks with lots of ice on the road. The night before it snowed just enough to hide the ice. I managed to slip and fall hard on my left glute. No real damage, but pretty sore. Later in the day, I put the KAATSU bands on and cycled for maybe an hour and it reduced the pain materially. I also lent a KAATSU setup for rehab to my 45 year old niece who tore her ACL along with other injuries playing volleyball. After a few weeks she reported good improvement and continues to use the bands.
what is the recommended duration of the exercises (I read 20 min) and the frequency?
The KAATSU folks say 15 minutes with arms on & 20 on legs (KAATSU does not recommend using both arm and leg bands at the same time). However if you are using their bands in cycle mode rather than with constant pressure, then there really isn't a limit.

B Strong says 45 minutes max. B Strong is OK with arms & legs at the same time. KAATSU did 10 years of testing cardiac rehab patients in the hospital and saw some instances where having both on at the same time caused issues (much more research with KAATSU than any other equipment).

I would say the big thing is to make sure your CRT is good. Also if you start to feel pain or numbness, stop and release the pressure immediately.

For folks over 60, probably 2-3 times/week max. For a 20 year old rehabbing an injury, 2-3 times a day is OK. For KAATSU cycle, basically unlimited for use with mild activity. I'm 67 and in good shape and have no issue using KAATSU bands with exercise daily.

For more background Mercola interviewed Jim Stray-Gundersen 3 ish years ago. Gundersen worked for KAATSU then created his own B Strong bands. He's an MD who has worked with athletes his career.
Interview-JimStrayGundersen-BloodFlowRestrictionTrainingForMuscleMassMaintenance.pdf
Just before he interviewed Gundersen, Mercola wrote a 25 page paper on the topic.
blood-flow-restriction-ebook(1).pdf
A Gundersen presentation on the topic at IHMC.

Mercola just released a new article on the topic.
how-to-be-healthy-and-strong-in-old-age.pdf
This podcast goes over the material in the article.

Mercola podcasts with KAATSU CEO Steven Munatones
One
Two

My personal preference are the KAATSU C3 (no bluetooth) or B1 (bluetooth) models. I think think the cycle feature is worth the cost. My second choice would be the B Strong system. My last choice would be narrow elastic Amazon bands with numbers printed on them (so you can be consistent with band tightness). Like these.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Tincup
E3,E4
Maria4/4
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2022 12:40 am

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Maria4/4 »

Tincup wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 3:37 pm
Maria4/4 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 5:03 am I want to start kastsu, but I don’t know how. I read several articles about its benefits and how to place the bands on harms and legs. But I have several doubts:
KAATSU is a brand, the generic term would be blood flow restriction or BFR
- what kind of bands should i use? Manual or automatic? Recommended brands?
Bands include:
Narrow, elastic, pneumatic with computer controlled inflation/deflation cycles that are made by the KAATSU company.

Manually inflated narrow, elastic, pneumatic made by the B Strong company

Manually inflated wide pneumatic like blood pressure cuffs

Ridgid pneumatic cuffs derived from surgical occlusion bands, Delfi brand & also sold by Johnny Owens (primarily used by physical therapists)

Wide and narrow elastic & inelastic bands that are inexpensively sold on Amazon.

I own a KAATSU system, B Strong bands, and a wide and narrow version of the inexpensive Amazon bands.

First off, no matter which setup you use, you need to make sure you are NOT occluding the arteries. This is where danger can occur. One way to test for this is to make sure that a) you have a pulse on the limb with the band on, and b) the capillary refill time (CRT) should be 3 seconds or less. CRT can be measured by pressing your thumb into the fleshy part of the palm of the other hand for 10 seconds, then count the time it takes to turn from white back to pink when you release the pressure. In my opinion, the safest bands in this regard are the KAATSU & B Strong, though I have friends that love the narrow, elastic cheap Amazon bands (I almost never use them as I don't find them effective).
- what kind of exercises should be performed with the bands?
For strength, use weights (can also use bodyweight exercises) that are around 20-30% of your one repetition max. The first set should be 30 reps or more to failure. Then rest 10-15 seconds for arms (20 for legs) and do 2-3 more sets. The number of reps to failure after the first set will likely be much less than 30. You can also do endurance activities like walking, running, rowing, biking or even high intensity with the bands on. I a high intensity exercise where I will have leg bands on, do 3 minutes of mild exercise on a fan bike (in my case an old Schwinn Airdyne), then 8 thirty second cycles of 15-20 seconds of absolutely as hard as I can go and 15-10 seconds of mild (50 watt) & repeat. Then a 3 minute cool down, so about 10 minute session. I do this after a strength training session.

KAATSU can also be used in cycle mode while sitting or doing mild activity around the house. Examples of using the cycle mode. If I'm skiing a bunch of days in a row, I'll put KAATSU bands on my legs and run them in cycle mode in the morning to warm up and in the evening to refresh my legs. 12 days ago I took my car to the shop and walked home. Where we live it had been subfreezing for weeks with lots of ice on the road. The night before it snowed just enough to hide the ice. I managed to slip and fall hard on my left glute. No real damage, but pretty sore. Later in the day, I put the KAATSU bands on and cycled for maybe an hour and it reduced the pain materially. I also lent a KAATSU setup for rehab to my 45 year old niece who tore her ACL along with other injuries playing volleyball. After a few weeks she reported good improvement and continues to use the bands.
what is the recommended duration of the exercises (I read 20 min) and the frequency?
The KAATSU folks say 15 minutes with arms on & 20 on legs (KAATSU does not recommend using both arm and leg bands at the same time). However if you are using their bands in cycle mode rather than with constant pressure, then there really isn't a limit.

B Strong says 45 minutes max. B Strong is OK with arms & legs at the same time. KAATSU did 10 years of testing cardiac rehab patients in the hospital and saw some instances where having both on at the same time caused issues (much more research with KAATSU than any other equipment).

I would say the big thing is to make sure your CRT is good. Also if you start to feel pain or numbness, stop and release the pressure immediately.

For folks over 60, probably 2-3 times/week max. For a 20 year old rehabbing an injury, 2-3 times a day is OK. For KAATSU cycle, basically unlimited for use with mild activity. I'm 67 and in good shape and have no issue using KAATSU bands with exercise daily.

For more background Mercola interviewed Jim Stray-Gundersen 3 ish years ago. Gundersen worked for KAATSU then created his own B Strong bands. He's an MD who has worked with athletes his career. Interview-JimStrayGundersen-BloodFlowRestrictionTrainingForMuscleMassMaintenance.pdf

Just before he interviewed Gundersen, Mercola wrote a 25 page paper on the topic. blood-flow-restriction-ebook(1).pdf

A Gundersen presentation on the topic at IHMC.

Mercola just released a new article on the topic. how-to-be-healthy-and-strong-in-old-age.pdf This podcast goes over the material in the article.

Mercola podcasts with KAATSU CEO Steven Munatone
One
Two

My personal preference are the KAATSU C3 (no bluetooth) or B1 (bluetooth) models. I think think the cycle feature is worth the cost. My second choice would be the B Strong system. My last choice would be narrow elastic Amazon bands with numbers printed on them (so you can be consistent with band tightness). Like these.
Thank you so much Tincup! When I wrote “pro tips”, I didn’t expect a response so complete and useful. I am very grateful 🙏🙏🙏
Doc
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2023 6:04 am

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Doc »

Tincup

thanks for the great reply !!

I have the B1 and am starting training. Concerning the use of legs and arms at the same time in cycle mode, the phone app appears to only recognize a pair - Left and Right. Is there a way to include both sets ?

Thanks in advance.

Doc
User avatar
Tincup
Mod
Mod
Posts: 3592
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Tincup »

Doc wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 6:08 am I have the B1 and am starting training. Concerning the use of legs and arms at the same time in cycle mode, the phone app appears to only recognize a pair - Left and Right. Is there a way to include both sets ?
Doc,

KAATSU specifically does not want 4 band use. This is because in their 10 years of testing with cardiac patients at Tokyo Hospital, they saw that it could cause some patients to pass out due to low blood flow, as I understand it. Safety is their highest priority. I do not own B1's, but had use of a pair for a short period. The only way I could see how to use 4 at once is with a 2 phones with an app for each set. I did not have 4 compressors when I had use of B1's.

From a Ben Greenfield podcast with Steven Munatones & John Doolittle of KAATSU (from the transcript):
What are your thoughts on using the arms and the legs at the same time? Because I've heard some people are concerned about the safety of that. I've found it to be a little bit of a time hack because I'll go back and forth from squats to push-ups, to lunges, to pull-ups, and kind of almost do it circuit style with the bands on the arms and the legs and have swum, like I mentioned, like that, and also going on walks like that. But what are your guys' thoughts on occluding or on using the KAATSU bands on the arms and legs simultaneously?

John: Well, our primary core market is people who's in their 60s, 70s, 80s. I mean, our oldest client is 104 years old. I mean, you know the deal, Ben. They're not studs like you. We don't want those people putting bands on four limbs at once.

Ben: Why?

John: Well, there's a potential for them to pass out.

Ben: So, it's not a blood clot issue, it's more a matter of just your blood pressure–would it be your blood pressure dropping to the point where you would pass out because the blood is occluded, or is not occluded, but is relatively concentrated in these limbs?

John: Yeah. I mean, you slow down the venous return enough on two limbs and you definitely feel it, just like you're doing right now at your desk. You do it on all four limbs. While you can handle that, a lot of people can't. So, it's a safety thing.

Ben: Okay. It's just safety. Gotcha.
They do go into KAATSU use in this interview a lot.
Tincup
E3,E4
User avatar
Tincup
Mod
Mod
Posts: 3592
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Tincup »

A few other references.

These two Mercola interviews are with practitioners who use the surgical tourniquet bands where they occlude blood flow & then back off the pressure to a % of occlusion pressure. This not how the KAATSU bands work. However these guys do go through BFR use cases that are very interesting.

Dr. Ed Le Cara
Dr. Mario Novo

KAATSU blog article describing what happens differently between cycling and constant pressure.
KAATSU blog article for extreme athlete use of KAATSU.
The KAATSU blog generally has many articles.
Tincup
E3,E4
Doc
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2023 6:04 am

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Doc »

Cheers brother
Alexia C
Support Team
Support Team
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2022 3:20 pm

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Alexia C »

Doc wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 6:08 am Tincup

thanks for the great reply !!

I have the B1 and am starting training. Concerning the use of legs and arms at the same time in cycle mode, the phone app appears to only recognize a pair - Left and Right. Is there a way to include both sets ?

Thanks in advance.

Doc
Hello Doc,

As a Support Team Intern, I would like to welcome you to our forum! If you would like to explore the site in more detail, I can share several tools/resources to help you get the most out of your experience. The Primer is a detailed and informative resource written by a practicing M.D. with ApoE4/4. It includes information about the biochemistry of the ApoE4 gene and offers a variety of research-based prevention strategies.

Some helpful tips to navigate the site include the How-To Guide. It includes topics such as navigating the forum, private messaging, and searching. One great tip is using the quote (") button when replying to a post. Using the button will automatically alert the member of your response.

If you are interested in learning more about other members check out Our Stories.

Again, I am so glad you joined our forum. I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Please feel free to reach out anytime.

Warmly,

Alexia C
Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach
Doc
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2023 6:04 am

Re: Kaatsu training | pro tips

Post by Doc »

Thank you very much ;-)
Post Reply