Medical Fitness Yamato
We were really looking forward to visiting Medical Fitness Yamato. Unfortunately, with the heat being so high, Andrea decided to stay back so I attended on my own. I arrived slightly early and was warmly greeted by Yuichi Nakao, a personal trainer at Medical Fitness Yamato. He was in the middle of a KAATSU training session with one of his clients and invited me over to observe.
Yuichi’s client turned out to be a Japanese celebrity actor and comedian. He comes for KAATSU training because he can get an intense workout done in a short period of time. When I arrived, Yuichi was putting him through a series of lower body exercises. It didn’t take many repetitions for him to be feeling the burn, so to speak. While he was going through the exercises, he often exclaimed”Kitsui!”, which translates to “demanding” or “intense”. He also noted that this was only during the exercise and that after his short cooldown on the treadmill that he wasn’t in any discomfort and that he felt good.
Medical Fitness Yamato is an extension of the medical clinic in the same building. Around 40% of their clients are cardiac rehabilitation patients with the balance being fitness clients of all ages, including seniors and students. Because the facility is geared towards rehabilitation and general fitness, they also offer yoga, pilates, TRX training, and nutritional consulting, among other modalities.
Yuichi ran me through a typical upper body routine with KAATSU training using the KAATSU Master, which is the typical device used by the majority of KAATSU clinics in Japan. Bicep curls, tricep extensions, rows, and the like were the exercises. Again, short and sweet, with an upper body workout only needing 10 minutes or so to complete.
We talked a bit about the business of KAATSU training. Yuichi said the percentage of KAATSU training clients is low in their clinic because people tend to want to come and work out on their own, without a personal trainer. Their clients have been given a rehabilitation program to follow so know what exercises they need to do and for how long. Because a trainer is required for KAATSU training in the studio, the cost is higher, which could be another reason why they don’t have more people using KAATSU, even though Yuichi agreed that it provides a more effective and efficient workout.
Another thing we talked about was what the medical community thinks about KAATSU. He said not all doctors are fans of KAATSU. I found this interesting as KAATSU has a 50-year history of being safe and effective for people of all ages. Of course, in North America, the medical community is mostly unaware of KAATSU. If you were to ask your doctor whether it was the right thing for you, chances are they would say no – because they wouldn’t know what you were talking about. I was surprised to hear that some percentage of Japanese doctors aren’t on board the KAATSU train, so to speak.
Yuichi was very generous with his time and patient with my halting Japanese. He also took the time to introduce me to the owner and manager of the clinic next door, and to the other staff in the training facility. I was grateful to have such a good host and I learned a lot from the time we spent at Medical Fitness Yamato.