How can you tell you’re on the KAATSU Canada site? Images in metric 🙂
Folks new to KAATSU ask how long they can use it for, and what pressure settings would be best for them.
My answer: it depends.
It depends on:
- Your overall physical condition
- Your age
- Whether you have underlying health conditions
- Your current state of hydration
- . . . and more!
Start Short and Low
Think for a moment about what KAATSU does. It engorges your limbs with blood, causing your veins and capillaries to expand to hold the additional blood volume. Then it releases pressure for 5 seconds before recompressing, expanding your veins and capillaries again.
Your body needs to get used to this. In the same way a new runner wouldn’t head straight out and run a marathon on their first outing, your body needs to become used to KAATSU. How much time this takes depends on you. Young, fit athletes will be able to go to higher pressures faster than a deconditioned person in their seventies, for example.
The suggestion with KAATSU is to start with short durations (i.e. 1 set, or 5 minutes) on your arms and then on your legs, using Cycle mode (pressure on and off) on the lowest pressure range. See how you feel after that. Repeat for a few days, and if you feel fine (i.e. not feeling worse) doing this, then increase the duration to 2 sets (10 minutes) on arms and legs. Allow your body to get used to KAATSU and increase the time by 1 set every few days, or even up to a week, depending how you feel.
Steven Munatones (CEO of KAATSU Global) told the story of an Olympic gold medalist diver who started using KAATSU. They told Steven that they were exhausted using KAATSU, so Steven asked what they were doing. He immediately told them to lower the pressure and use KAATSU for shorter durations. The diver’s exhaustion went away after doing this.
It is possible to have too much of a good thing. Start with short durations and low pressures on Cycle mode and increase the duration as you build your body’s tolerance to KAATSU. Make sure you’re well hydrated.
Once you’re able to manage 6 sets in a row on Cycle mode on your arms and then on your legs, consider starting to use KAATSU more than once per day. You don’t have to work out every time you use KAATSU. Just wear it passively, or while you’re doing household chores. There are physiological benefits just from using KAATSU in this fashion.
What about Pressures?
The pressure you would use with KAATSU again depends on the factors listed above. In much the same way that you would build up to using KAATSU for longer durations, you would want to build up to higher pressures over time. How long that might take depends on your goals and your physical condition.
KAATSU is generally safe for the majority of people. However, we advise people to build up their tolerance to the duration and pressure. You’re still exercising your body when you use KAATSU, so think of it like any other form of exercise. Start short and low and build yourself up. There’s no need to go from zero to 160 (0 to 100 for any Americans in the room 😉 )!