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Old 10-21-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
Luke Douglas
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Default Kaatsu, or, Scary Japanese Bodybuilding

Hey All,

Just curious what all the eggheads here at the fitness skunkworks called Performance Menu think about Kaatsu. I've no plans to try it out and am actually really scared of it, but I thought it might be fun to mull over for a bit.

The Kaatsu lowdown, as I understand it:

1. use tourniquet like devices to restrict the blood flow to your muscles.
2. do some light exercise
3. grow really big and strong really quickly

Strange things start to happen when you try this out. Apparently when using Kaatsu bands merely walking promotes muscle growth if you put the wraps around your upper legs ( http://www.ergo-log.com/kaatsu.html ). Putting the wraps around your upper arms and benching increases strength both in your triceps and pectorals. Yes, that means there is an effect both proximal and distal of the band. WTF. ( http://www.ergo-log.com/kaatsubenchpress.html )

Also, apparently it is super dangerous. The inventor almost killed himself when the bands caused blood clots in his calves which then became a full blown pulmonary embolism. Oh yeah, its almost guaranteed to give you rhabdo. ( http://www.ergo-log.com/kaatsugonewrong.html)

Anyway, I just discovered Kaatsu and am terrified.

Oblig. Wiki. link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaatsu
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:24 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Hypoxia to muscles causes a strong hypertrophy reaction via buildup of the intracellular metabolites.

But yeah, those are also the same processes that cause extreme forms of DOMS, rhabdo, and as you noted the risk of clotting, etc.

Best to stay away.... far away.
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
Garrett Smith
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Can I do Kaatsu with teh Olympic lifts? LOL

"Men will die for points"...especially if they are Kaatsu metcons.
Garrett Smith NMD CSCS BS, aka "Dr. G"
RepairRecoverRestore.com - Blood, Saliva, and Stool Testing
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:36 AM   #4
Steve Shafley
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Certain folks have tried it without the special occluding equipment and found it doesn't really work in the real world. Imagine that!
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:19 PM   #5
Joe Hart
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Didn't that kill Kenny one time?
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:47 PM   #6
Gant Grimes
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It's as and useful as autoerotic asphyxiation.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:42 AM   #7
Timothy Scalise
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Originally Posted by Gant Grimes View Post
It's as and useful as autoerotic asphyxiation.
so its ok if you have a spotter then?
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:47 AM   #8
James Evans
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And some kind of hand signal or safe word.
The rationale for reduced gin intake and the knowledge of the perils of alcoholism and attendant metabolic derangement has almost entirely come from physicians and researchers.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:21 AM   #9
Grissim Connery
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Is the reason that you want to try this because you're not seeing progress, or did you just think it was cool?

Do you just want big muscles, or did you want more strength/sport specific increases? This probably won't help with technique in any capacity.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:32 AM   #10
Luke Douglas
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I have neither interest nor intention of trying kaatsu. I was simply impressed by the shear insanity of the thing.

It was brought up more as a curiosity than anything else...
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