Is Blood Occlusion Training The Future of Fitness?
By Kusha Karvandi
Blood occlusion training is a new form of training that is attracting a lot of interest in the high performance sports world. This form of training has been met with cynicism and concern by several experts because it, on many levels, seems to be “too good to be true.”
Imagine if you could achieve the equivalent of a total body workout where all of the muscles were pushed to maximum exertion, but without having to lift heavy weights and that workout required just 30 minutes of your time.
That is exactly what blood occlusion training can do.
This training helps to add lean body mass to your frame and increase your strength and endurance, while also helping you to cut body fat. Even better, you see results within just a few weeks.
It’s natural that people are rather suspicious about the benefits of this kind of training. After all, such claims fly in the face of traditional wisdom. However, this new workout method, which is also known as Kaatsu, is producing unprecedented results for rehab patients, athletes and gym-goers alike.
Some athletes claim that they have been able to add ten pounds to their one rep max in just ten days – something that is feasible for relatively untrained athletes, but an astounding claim for someone who has been training for a couple of years.
How Often Can You Do This Type Of Workout?
Kaatsu can offer improvements in strength, endurance and body composition without putting extra stress on your central nervous system (i.e. brain). Because it is a low threat to your nervous system, occlusion training can be performed every day. It has even proven to provide significant muscular development in the legs and glutes by simply wearing them while walking for 12-20 minutes per day.
What Is It Exactly?
The technique has existed for many years in Japan but it has only recently spread to the western world. In Japanese, the term Kaatsu means “additional pressure.” The technique works by using occlusion bands to restrict the amount of blood that can flow to the muscles in your extremities.
The idea behind the technique is that when you slow down the blood flow back to your heart, the muscles in your extremities start to fill with blood. This means that capillaries that are normally unused are filled with blood, increasing the concentration of lactic acid in the blood. This produces the same effect as you would get from prolonged periods of exercise, but in a fraction of the time.
In response to your bloodstream filling up with lactic acid your pituitary gland will start to release more growth hormone. Growth hormone is a powerful muscle-building, anti-aging and recovery hormone. Additionally, since you are lifting with light weights and high repetitions/sets, the recovery process is much faster than traditional weight training. Therefore, as muscle is built during the recovery process, your body will begin to build new muscle more quickly since you enter cycles of training and subsequent recovery much more rapidly.
Who Can Benefit From Occlusion Training?
Because of its low-intensity nature, occlusion training is great for athletes that are concerned about overtraining, women concerned about getting bulky from lifting heavy weights and those trying to rehab from injuries. There is research to suggest that occlusion training can also improve flexibility and muscle activation.
When you are putting long hours into the gym, it is easy to end up in a position where you are getting diminishing returns, or even going backwards if your rest and nutrition are not up-to-par. Occlusion training offers anabolic benefits without being so hard on the body.
Have you tried occlusion training? Comment below and let me know how your experience was.
Kusha Karvandi is an entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast with a passion for "biohacking" to help others live their best life. Kusha has 9 years experience as a personal trainer and health club manager, with over 10,000 session hours serviced and 15 certifications. He is the author of Nutriscribe, known for its no-nonsense, no calorie counting approach to weight loss and healthy eating. To round out his passion for helping others get in shape, Kusha has made it his mission to ensure that everyone has a unique personal training experience through his app, Exerscribe, which provides custom and adaptable workout plans to anyone with a gym membership.
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