KAATSU Research Studies

KAATSU is supported by extensive research. Documentation below is representative of a greater body of published research and clinical studies.

KRS-002-KAATSU-RESISTANCE-TRAINING

 

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KRS-001-Hemodynamic-and-Autonomic-Nervous-Responses

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KRS-003-KAATSU-WALK-TRAINING

 

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KAATSU Papers

KAATSU Training has been the subject of many peer-reviewed publications.

Title Year Journal
Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans. 2000 Journal of Applied Physiology
Effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscle function in athletes. 2002 Eur J Appl Physiol
Skeletal muscle size and circulating IGF-1 are increased after two weeks of twice daily “KAATSU” resistance training.  2005 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Hemodynamic and autonomic nervous responses to the restriction of femoral blood flow by KAATSU 2005 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Hemodynamic and hormonal responses to a short-term low-intensity resistance exercise with the reduction of muscle blood flow 2005 Eur J Appl Physiol
Muscle fiber cross-sectional area is increased after two weeks of twice
daily KAATSU-resistance training
2005 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
KAATSU-walk training increases serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in young men 2005 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Use and safety of KAATSU training: Results of a national survey 2006 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Electromyographic responses of arm and chest muscle during bench press exercise with and without KAATSU 2006 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, KAATSU-walk training 2006 J. Appl. Physiol.
Use and safety of KAATSU training: Results of a national survey 2006 Int. J. KAATSU Training Res
Effects of KAATSU training on haemostasis in healthy subjects 2007 Int. J. KAATSU Training Res.
Hemodynamic and neurohumoral responses to the restriction of femoral blood flow by KAATSU in healthy subjects. 2007 Eur J Appl Physiol.
Blood flow restriction during low-intensity resistance exercise increases S6K1 phosphorylation and muscle protein synthesis. 2007 J Appl Physiol.
Hemodynamic responses to simulated weightlessness of 24-h head-down bed rest and KAATSU blood flow restriction. 2008 Eur J Appl Physiol.
Resistance exercise combined with KAATSU during simulated weightlessness 2008 Int. J. KAATSU Training Research
Cross-transfer effects of resistance training with blood flow restriction. 2008 Med Sci Sports Exerc.
Muscle activation during low-intensity muscle contractions with varying levels of external limb compression 2008 Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Muscle activation during low-intensity muscle contractions with restricted blood flow. 2009 J Sports Sci.
Effects of low-intensity bench press training with restricted arm muscle blood flow on chest muscle hypertrophy: a pilot study. 2010 Clin Physiol Funct Imaging.
Effects of low-intensityresistance exercise with blood flow restriction on coagulation system in healthy subjects. 2010 Clin Physiol Funct Imaging.
Effects of low-intensity KAATSU resistance training on skeletal muscle size/strength and endurance capacity in patients with ischemic heart disease 2010 Int. J. KAATSU Training Res.
Effects of Low-Intensity Walk Training With Restricted Leg Blood Flow on Muscle Strength and Aerobic Capacity in Older Adults 2010 J Geriatric Physical Therapy
The effects of low-intensity resistance training with vascular restriction on leg muscle strength in older men. 2010 Eur J Appl Physiol
Neuromuscular fatigue following low-intensity dynamic exercise with externally applied vascular restriction 2010 Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Effects of walking with blood flow restriction on limb venous compliance in elderly subjects. 2011 Clin Physiol Funct Imaging.
Effects of Exercise and Anti-Aging 2011 Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine
Combined effects of low-intensity blood flow restriction training and high-intensity resistance training on muscle strength and size. 2011 Eur J Appl Physiol.
The effects of different initial restrictive pressures used to reduce blood flow and thigh composition on tissue oxygenation of the quadriceps 2011 J Sports Sci.
Effects of low-intensity, elastic band resistance exercise combined with blood flow restriction on muscle activation. 2012 Scand J Med Sci Sports.

 

Effects of KAATSU Training on Haemostatis in Healthy Subjects

Purposes: The KAATSU training is performed under the reduction of muscle blood flow by a specially-designed belt (KAATSU belt), which induces blood pooling in capacitance vessels by restricting venous return. However, no prior studies have examined the effects of KAATSU training on haemostasis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate acute effects of KAATSU training on haemostasis including fibrinolytic responses in healthy subjects.

Methods: Two protocols have been performed. (1) 6 healthy men (mean age= 48 ± 5 yr) performed KAATSU (160 mmHg) of both thighs for 15 minutes and then KAASTU training combined with low-intensity leg and foot aerobic exercises for ~10 minutes in hypobaric chamber, which mimics 8000 feet in airflight. (2) Another 7 men (mean age=30 ± 4 yr) performed leg press exercises (30 % 1 RM) with and without KAATSU of both thighs 24 h after bed rest. Blood samples were taken at rest, immediately after KAATSU, and exercises with or without KAATSU, and after exercise. For the investigation of blood fibrinolysis, determinations of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) activity or antigen, plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1 activity or antigen, fibrin degradation product (FDP) and D-dimer were used. Prothrombin time (PT) and platelet counts were also measured.

Results: (1) In hypobaric chamber, KAATSU by itself significantly increased tPA activity, while PAI-1 activity was unchanged. Furthermore, immediately after the exercise, tPA activity increased significantly. (2) During the exercises combined with KAATSU 24 h after bed rest, tPA antigen significantly increased, compared with control exercises, but PAI-1 antigen was unchanged. In both cases, KAATSU training did not induce fibrin formation as assessed by fibrin D-dimer and FDP.

Conclusions: This study indicates that potentially favorable changes occur in fibrinolytic factors after KAATSU and KAATSU training in healthy subjects.
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Effects of a Single Bout of Low Intensity KAATSU

Effects of a single bout of low intensity KAATSU resistance training on markers of bone turnover in young men.  Traditional high intensity resistance exercise programs have been shown to have positive effects on bone metabolism. KAATSU resistance training, which combines low intensity resistance exercise with vascular restriction, accelerates muscle hypertrophy, however, the benefits of this type of training on bone have not been established. PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of acute (1 bout) KAATSU training for knee extensors and knee flexors on serum bone biomarkers in young men, 18-30 years of age.
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Day-To-Day Change in Muscle Strength

Day-to-day change in muscle strength and MRI-measured skeletal muscle size during 7 days KAATSU resistance training: A case study.  The purpose of this study was to examine the daily skeletal muscle hypertrophic and strength responses to one week of twice daily KAATSU training, and follow indicators of muscle damage and inflammation on a day-to-day basis, for one subject.  KAATSU training resulted in a 3.1% increase in muscle-bone CSA after 7 days of training.  Both MRI-measured maximum quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area (Q-CSA max) and muscle volume can be seen increasing after the first day of KAATSU training, and continuously increasing for the rest of the training period.  READ MORE…

Fatigue Characteristics

Fatigue characteristics during maximal concentric leg extension exercise with blood flow restriction. Low-intensity resistance exercise combined with blood flow restriction has been shown to elicit hormonal and neuromuscular responses similar to those with high-intensity resistance exercise.  However, muscle fatigue characteristics during resistance exercise with restricted blood flow have not been clarified.  Therefore, we measured maximal voluntary torque values during isokinetic concentric leg extensions across 30 repetitions at 180°/s either with blood flow restriction (BFR) or without restriction (CON) in eight healthy adults. READ MORE…

Skeletal Muscle Size and Strength are Increased

Skeletal muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted leg muscle blood flow: implications for training duration and frequency. The purpose of this study was to investigate once-daily walk training with restricted leg blood flow (KAATSU) on thigh muscle size and strength. Twelve young men performed walk training: KAATSU-walk training (n=6) and control (no KAATSU-walk; n=6). Training was conducted once daily, 6 days per week, for 3 weeks. READ MORE…

KAATSU Walk Training

Muscle size and strength are increased following walk training with restricted venous blood flow from the leg muscle, KAATSU-walk training. Previous studies have shown that low-intensity resistance training with restricted muscular venous blood flow (KAATSU) causes muscle hypertrophy and strength gain.  To investigate the effects of daily physical activity combined with KAATSU, we examined the acute and chronic effects of walk training with and without KAATSU on MRI-measured muscle size and maximum dynamic (one repetition maximum) and isometric strength, along with blood hormonal parameters. READ MORE…

Rapid Increase in Plasma Growth Hormone

Rapid increase in plasma growth hormone after low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion. Hormonal and inflammatory responses to low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular occlusion were studied.  subjects (n=6) performed bilateral leg extension exercise in the seated position, with the proximal end of their thigh compressed at 214 +/- 7.7 (SE) mmHg throughout the session of exercise by means of a pressure tourniquet.  READ MORE…

Bone-Specific Alkaline Phosphatase in Young Men

KAATSU-walk training increases serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in young men. Previous research has shown that high intensity resistance training causes increases in bone density and increases in serum measures of bone turnover like bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP). Medium intensity or low intensity training (like walking) does not result in these changes. However, low intensity training with blood flow restriction (KAATSU) has shown promise in bone and muscle rehabilitation settings. READ MORE…

Haemostatic and inflammatory responses to blood flow-restricted exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease: a pilot study

Low-intensity resistance exercise can effectively induce muscle hypertrophy and increases in strength when combined with moderate blood flow restriction (BFR). As this type of exercise does not require lifting heavy weights, it might be a feasible method of cardiac rehabilitation, in which resistance exercise has been recommended to be included. Although previous studies with healthy subjects showed relative safety of BFR exercise, we cannot exclude the possibility of unfavourable effects in patients with cardiovascular disease. We therefore aimed to investigate haemostatic and inflammatory responses to BFR exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease (IHD). READ MORE…

Effects of Resistance Exercise Combined

Effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscle function in athletes.  The effects of resistance exercise combined with vascular occlusion on muscle function were investigated in highly trained athletes.  Elite rugby players (n=17) took part in an 8 week study of exercise training of the knee extensor muscles… READ MORE…

Hemodynamic Responses to Simulated Weightlessness

Hemodynamic responses to simulated weightlessness of 24-h head-down bed rest and KAATSU blood flow restriction. The KAATSU training is a unique method of muscle training with restricting venous blood flow, which might be applied to prevent muscle atrophy during space flight, but the effects of KAATSU in microgravity remain unknown.  We investigated the hemodynamic responses to KAATSU during actually simulated weightlessness (6° head-down tilt for 24 h, n=8), and compared those to KAATSU in the seated position before bed rest.  READ MORE…

Journal of Sports Sciences

Muscle activation during low-intensity muscle contractions with restricted blood flow. We examined muscle activation during low-intensity muscle contractions with a moderate restriction of blood flow and complete occlusion of blood flow. Unilateral elbow flexion muscle contractions (20% of 1-RM) were performed in Experiment 1 (30 contractions), Experiment 2 (3 sets x 10 contractions), and Experiment 3 (30 repetitive contractions followed by 3 sets x 15 contractions) with moderate restriction, complete occlusion of blood flow or unrestricted blood flow (control). READ MORE…

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology

Neuromuscular Fatigue Following Low-Intensity Dynamic Exercise with Externally Applied Vascular Restriction. This study investigated neuromuscular fatigue following low-intensity resistance exercise with vascular restriction (VR) and without vascular restriction (control, CON).  Fourteen males participated in two experimental trials (VR and CON) each separated by 48 h. Each participant performed two isometric maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs) before and after five sets of 20 dynamic constant external resistance leg extension exercises (DCER-EX).
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The History and Future of KAATSU Training

KAATSU training involves the restriction of blood flow to exercising muscle and is the culmination of nearly 40 years of experimentation with the singular purpose of increasing muscle mass. KAATSU Training consists of performing low-intensity resistance training while a relatively light and flexible cuff is placed on the proximal part of one’s lower or upper limbs, which provides appropriate superficial pressure. KAATSU Training should not be confused with training under ischemic conditions which has previously been reported. READ MORE…

The Use of Anthropometry for Assessing Muscle Size

The gold standard for assessing muscle size (cross-sectional area and volume) has been magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT), however, these processes are very expensive and generally require a medical facility, and in the case of CT, can involve exposure to high levels of radiation.  The advent of B-mode ultrasound, in conjunction with simple anthropometric measures, such as circumference, can perhaps offer a quick, valid and reliable, and cost effective method to estimate muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and track changes in muscle CSA following training. READ MORE…

Haemostatic and Inflammatory Responses

As this type of exercise does not require lifting heavy weights, it might be a feasible method of cardiac rehabilitation, in which resistance exercise has been recommended to be included. This pilot study considers haemostatic and inflammatory responses to blood flow-restricted exercise in patients with ischaemic heart disease. READ MORE…

After Two Weeks of Twice Daily

Muscle fiber cross-sectional area (CSA) is increased after two weeks of twice daily KAATSU-resistance training.  The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of low-intensity (20% of 1-RM) resistance training (LIT) combined with restriction of muscular venous blood flow (KAATSU) on muscule fiber size using a biopsy sample. READ MORE…

Effects of Blood Flow Restriction via KAATSU AQUA on Speed and Endurance in Young Water Polo Players

The objective of this study was to examine effects of KAATSU AQUA on swimming speed and high intensity exercise endurance (HIEE) in swimmers and water polo players. READ MORE… (PLEASE NOTE: This research study is also available in a TEXT ONLY version as well as a COMBINED TEXT AND COLOR PHOTOS version.)

8 Days of KAATSU-Resistance Training

Eight days of KAATSU-resistance training improved sprint but not jump performance in collegiate male track and field athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of short-term KAATSU-resistance training on skeletal muscle size and sprint/jump performance in college athletes. READ MORE…

Acute Growth Hormone Response

Acute growth hormone response to low-intensity KAATSU resistance exercise: Comparison between arm and leg. Exercise is a potent stimulus to GH secretion. However, it is unclear if exercise-induced GH release differs between different muscle groups, i.e., arm and leg exercise, when performed at equivalent exercise intensity. READ MORE…

Effects of Low-Intensity KAATSU Resistance Training

KAATSU training induces muscle hypertrophy and strengthens muscle in athletes and healthy subjects through short-term and low-intensity exercise. This study delves into the effects of low-intensity KAATSU resistance training on skeletal muscle size/strength and endurance capacity in patients with ischemic heart disease. READ MORE…