Kumamoto City has a population of roughly 740,000 people. When looking online I could only find two places that offered KAATSU training. Thankfully, I was able to visit both of them. Each clinic provided KAATSU training in different ways and in different environments and it was interesting to learn more about KAATSU from them.
I’ve been wondering since I learned of this business why there was a “y” at the end of “Support”. Kumi and Takashi Yoshida, the proprietors of Life Support-y said it was for “Yoshida” – their last name. Totally makes sense now 🙂 The Yoshidas used to operate a training facility in the downtown core of Kumamoto City. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they decided to close that location and offer KAATSU training in a different way. They now have a small home studio as well as a mobile training service so they can provide training in their clients’ homes or at their place of work.
Their clientele are a mix of professionals, athletes, desk jockeys, and folks who want to lose weight. I found it interesting that they take their training to so many different places with their mobile service. Many business owners and freelancers want to work out but have irregular schedules. They will often reserve on relatively short notice to fit in a workout. Using KAATSU, the workout lasts an hour so even busy professionals can make it work in their schedules.
Some people train twice a week, others once a week, and others once every 10 days. I inquired about this and they said that even with that frequency of training, the people who do that notice a difference in their overall fitness. It’s a slower level of improvement, but there’s still improvement to be had. Another thing they commented on was the fact that after KAATSU, people report that their necks and backs are less stiff and that pains in their legs and/or arms are reduced.
Takashi took me through a short arm workout and gave me a comparison of what the older, non-pneumatic KAATSU bands used to feel like compared to the newer pneumatic AirBands. In terms of the workout, as it is in North America when working with a personal trainer, workouts are customized to each client, whether that person is an athlete, bodybuilder, and others looking to build strength, or is coming for weight loss and body re-shaping.
Yes, you heard right. KAATSU training in Japan is marketed as part of a weight loss program. While we don’t consider KAATSU a weight-loss product, it’s a fact that as you gain more muscle your body will burn more calories at rest which contributes to your overall caloric gain or loss. When you are in a caloric deficit you will lose weight. Japanese KAATSU clinics combine KAATSU with dietary consultations to help clients achieve their weight loss goals.
You’ll notice that the gym is quite compact. The beauty of KAATSU training is that you don’t require lots of room to get in a lot of workout. Only light weights are needed so storage space for weight plates etc. isn’t really required. You can see in the picture that there is one weight machine/rack along with TRX suspension straps in the gym. Personal trainers who use KAATSU can open their own small boutique workout space with less overhead. Additionally, since KAATSU workouts can be done virtually anywhere, personal trainers who do home or office visits can travel with less equipment. Everything you need to provide a full body workout using KAATSU can be easily carried in a backpack.
The Yoshidas were very gracious with their time and explanations about how they train people with KAATSU and helped us understand the reasons people seek them out. They were delightful people and we will certainly be keeping in touch with them.