KAATSU Training – Get Bigger Lifting Lighter?

Occlusion training – originally known as KAATSU training – has been called by some the “next generation of anabolic exericse”.

I have been experimenting with it in my own workouts, and with my training clients who are looking to gain mass and strength … and the results are pretty insane.

KAATSU training – also referred to as Occlusion training or Blood Flow Restriction training – involves restricting the outflow of blood from a given muscle group with the use of some form of tourniquet, typically a blood pressure cuff or knee wrap.

What this does is restrict the venous return of blood flow from the muscle, thereby causing blood to accumulate in the muscle due to the fact that it is unable to escape.

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance in 2014 set out to compare the effects of exercises with and without blood flow restriction. The researchers used parameters such as strength, power, and repeated-sprint ability, while also assessing acute and chronic salivary hormonal markers.

The researchers concluded with the following statement: “Occlusion training can potentially improve the rate of strength-training gains and fatigue resistance in trained athletes, possibly allowing greater gains from lower loading that could be of benefit during high training loads, in competitive seasons, or in a rehabilitative setting. The clear improvement in bench-press strength resulting from lower-body occlusion suggests a systemic effect of [occlusion] training.”

Now due to the impact that occlusion training can have on the circulatory and cardiovascular systems, it is important that you speak to your doctor or physician prior to beginning this protocol if you have ever suffered from a heart condition.

Please remember that the research surrounding occlusion training is still in its infancy, so the long-term implications of such methods are yet to be determined.

The only other thing that you need to take into consideration is the simple fact that occlusion training hurts!

It is amazing that you can create such physical pain with a relatively small amount of weight, but believe me when I say that it is not a pleasant experience at all.

For the upper arm workout I’m going to give you to try today, you should apply the bands just where your arm meets your shoulder, with a level of tightness that allows blood to flow into the muscles, but that will restrict the outward flow so as to elicit a pooling effect in the target muscle you are working.

If you can barely move your limbs while they are occluded, then chances are the bands are too tight, and if you are not in absolute agony by the end of your session then you probably need to tighten the bands a little!

As a general rule of thumb, the most common recommendation regarding band tightness is to tighten them to approximately 70% of maximum tightness. This will allow blood to flow into the muscles while still preventing the venous return out of them.

Here is an Occlusion trainig workout you can do for your upper body.

This is from the Anabolic Finishers program – which you should check out if today’s article interests you.

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Anabolic Finishers – Arms – B Workout

* The studies proving the benefits of occlusion training typically used around 20% of subjects’ 1RM – keep this in mind when selecting your weight.

* Take a couple of minutes rest between each exercise to remove the bands, compose yourself, and then reattach the bands after a minute or two.

1 – Barbell Curl OR Chin Ups

• 1 x 30
• 1 x max reps
• 1 x max reps

Rest 30 seconds between each set

Immediately followed by…

Triceps Pushdowns OR Triceps “Diamond” Press Ups

• 1 x 30
• 1 x max reps
• 1 x max reps

Rest 30 seconds between each set

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To sum up, Occlusion training – originally known as KAATSU training – has been called by some the “next generation of anabolic exercise”.

It involves restricting the outflow of blood from a given muscle group with the use of some form of tourniquet, typically a blood pressure cuff or knee wrap.

If you are looking to gain strength and mass – and do it while lifting LIGHER weights – it’s worth testing in your next training cycle.

Today’s workout is a sample workout that you can try to see how you like it.

For a full program based on these principles – and finishers for chest, back, legs, and more – check out:

=> Anabolic Finishers

Train hard, talk soon -

- Forest Vance
ForestVance.com

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