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Development Team Member
Posts: 46
Has anybody tried NIRS with Kaatsu training?

The theory is that the lack of oxygen causes the slow-twitch fibers to get fatigued
and so fast-twitch muscles are recruited.
it increases vascularization, increases the
release of HGH, and inhibits the release of cortisol.

I am wondering if there have been any measurable performance
improvements for endurance sports.

Development Team Member
Posts: 49
I remember seeing some pretty good info somewhere on the forum about "blood flow restricted exercise". And I think there was a webinar somewhere on the Moxy site as well.

I never looked too much into it because I felt with my limited knowledge and just getting started with NIRS the chances of me doing it wrong and causing myself harm was way greater than the chances of me doing it correctly.

Development Team Member
Posts: 46
In order to actually purchase Kaatsu one has to go through an (online)
certification process whose purpose is to ensure hat the equipment 
(cuffs) is used properly.

There have been some conflicting reports regarding strength gains, but I haven't
seen any reports regarding its use for endurance sports.

Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
As jason mentioned, there is a  webinar on BFR.
I use in my  rehab clinic  BFR very regular where it makes sense. The  problem  with the   technique is, that  nobody  actually  uses  NIRS to see,whether the  compression ( occlusion intensity ) is properly applied. Even if  you use a pressure  testing system it is not a cook book again as it depends on many  individual factors on when and how  the blood flow is  restricted  and how.
 The theory is great  the practical application has some major   problems  if  NIRS is not used  to guide the  workout.As  usual  BFR is  a very old  technique  and  is used  with  different options of  control, but most  are expensive  and in  clinics  only.
There are some major  drawbacks in  total body activities  like  rowing, cross country  skiing and more. BFR  is  used  in very specific  rehabilitation where we have a very local  problem  and  where we  do no  worry yet on intermuscular coordination, but rather  try to prevent muscle losses  or muscle strength   gain as a pre ops preparation.

Summary :
 Jason  you made a very smart decision.

Development Team Member
Posts: 94

huge mistake researchers kaatsu when compared with the control group - no rigidly prescribed protocol technology performance movement.

If supported by the constant muscle tension the whole approach is Sm02 drops to zero, and does not require any wiring. 

Not to understand that the muscles themselves block 90-95% bloodstream that no wiring needed - a gross error.

Elite bodybuilders training full time in no-relax mode - "pumping".

My bodyweight norelax squad



Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
ber  what  the risk of  Katsuu or  BFR  is. The example  above is a typical example of a risky  workout  as you can see. In Katsuu the idea  is  to have steady info . What can you see  above  and  what happens.  It is a very different approach  and  is  perfectly  regulated  when using  NIRS  properly.  The idea  is to work out    with absolute minimal  load    as often the reasons  when we   choose  BFR  is , that we  are not allowed  to load ligament s or  bone structures   due to specif  reasons. Here   a  short inside  as an example.
This is the case
pre ops

Than post ops  and you can see why we are  not  able  or allowed  to load  heavy weight for  along time. So  goal is to maintain muscles as good as possible  plus  intramuscular  coordination  

followed  by a  NIRS  controlled   BFR  workout  by the  client

smo2 thb biceps  closer look  wiht explanation  thb  smo2.jpg   You can see  in green  preparation   for the workout, confirm  that we  have  still O 2 inflow. Than   workout  which increase   pressure but maintain inflow in red.
Duration is given by  the  patients intramuscular  contraction ability.
 Followed  by yellow relaxation  so    free flow  and   pooling outflow   and confirmation of a  still activity ( often pain related  with  problem  to actually relax   dd  fast and complete   and O2 still used. If  we have a   already  utilization problem  like  loss of mitochondria  due to muscle  damage  we can already stimulate this  situation with some respiratory integration as  done in this  case.

so  If supported by the constant muscle tension the whole approach is Sm02 drops to zero, and does not require any wiring. 

 so  that is  true  but has nothing to  do  with the idea  of Katsuu or  much better  BFR. What we see in the  readers example like a simple  muscle contraction creating an arterial  occlusion   which can easy be done naturally.  
But need a healthy  muscle and the   ability to allow  for a full  contraction force. If  we have a  damaged   muscle or  a  fixed muscle like in a  ruptured   quadriceps  patella  tendon for example  or  rotator cuff or  hip replacement  than we  simply never  can contract    that intense  . 
 So   we always have to look the full pictures  and  why and what was the goal  of  the BFR  idea  and for  what   applications So  the example  we have here is NOT  NOT a  BFR  restriction it is a complete Blood flow  stoppage with a very different idea  behind  and  you can see  squatting so  full  ability  to load  the  joints  muscle  bones.  So he    stops  blood flow  with muscle contraction. IN BFR  ideas we like to  keep inflow  and  not create a   stoppage with muscle contraction as  the client never  can do that anyway  due to the injury.

So remember    when we argue  right or  wrong
 better we  argue  what is the  physiological idea behind  the  workout.


Development Team Member
Posts: 94
If you squat in the range of 30 degrees in the area of the parallel oxygenation drops to zero even without barbell and wire/cuffs harnesses. Do not sit in full, and do not wake up completely, about the part of the amplitude in your video.

Similarly, in flexion and extension legs - partial amplitude, not to put a plate on the counter == 0% SmO2


Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
As you can see  a very old   video  and  only SmO2  as a  feedback . If we have tHb   we most likely  would see an  occlusion  development  and it is not a  question of   weight,  but a question of   intramuscular  coordination as  so often  and  you can see here a  nearly 90 degree   knee   angle  as well leaning against the wall not free   squatting so easy to create in many people a  art  occlusion but  due to   muscle compression and not  due  to BFR  with a  belt.
  That means we may have in the  priority  quadriceps  muscle an  occlusion but not  for example in the tib anterior . where as a  belt  at the  top of the  femur  will create a   limitation of  blood flow in  the  whole leg area  not just  in the priority  working muscle  so a very different application and therefor  outcome. 

Posts: 265
Here's a link to the BFR webinar that was mentioned.  It doesn't go into NIRS very much though.


Development Team Member
Posts: 94
When investigating the efficiency, it is often in the control group gained through the entire volume week muscle disappears. But in some studies there is a steady increase in the control group both of volume and power parameters, which remains after 3 weeks. These are studies where strictly prescribed execution protocol.


The knee extensions
and flexions were performed in isotonic concentric
and eccentric modes, respectively. The rhythm of
the movements was set by visual and sound signals
using custom software. The extension and flexion
times were 0.4 s and 1.9 s, respectively. The total
tension time was equal in all training sessions (Fig.
1). During MI and HI, the rest period between
extension2flexion cycles was 3 s. During MIR,
each extension was started immediately after a flex-
ion. Therefore, the knee extensor muscles continu-
ously produced tension during a set so that the
torque during a set was maintained at an approxi-
mately constant level (Fig. 1). The knee angle and
the real torque produced by the knee extensors
during exercise were recorded as described above.

Maybe you will be interested in the work of this author workout without muscle relaxation, well-established protocol execution movement, there are works by American researchers where very detailed write rule of muscle contraction to maintain a constant tension, and these researchers in the control group, the muscles grow no worse than experimental with kaatsu / cuffs, he even wrote a paper which proposes to determine the anaerobic threshold is not just for NIRS, and in relation to its EMG.


Development Team Member
Posts: 94

If you go back to the health athletes, the goal stayers - make a 200-300% hypertrophy of the slow fibers.


It is believed that from the usual training are not rising, but if we take the individual data, it is found in so-called ultra responders who most RNA, ribosomal signals, the highest rates of protein synthesis and strength of growth grow both slow and fast fiber! And much better than from experiments kaatsu and BFR or norelaxation training.



Blue - slow Red fast fibre



Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501

Nice  points  and  nothing really  to argue.
What is  fundamentally different is  the  way  BFR  works  and when it can be used  and  how we can use it  save.  

 The majority  of coaches and athletes so    in general  " healthy " people are  driven by performance  and  completely miss the point  what stress or  better    physiological stimulation means. That's  why  we create  "zones "  based on performance.

1.  Strength or  muscle contraction in most healthy people in  decent trained muscles  will be able to create intramuscular  coordination so we will see a  change in tHb ( Blood flow / volume? as such we  crate a blood  flow " restriction"  based on actual muscle    activity. That means the BFR is targeting the  activated  muscles  and its priority.
 2. BFR  is used far before  Kaatsu  for situation in rehabilitation, where the  patient or client,  due to the injury  simply  has  no chance  to  activate  sufficient   intramuscular coordination  yet or  he   may not be  allowed  to  do it.
 So here is  where we  try to maintain if possible  muscle properties  so  that as soon we  can load  again we   have not lost too much  due to the  relative restriction.  

I  showed  an example  forma  femur  fracture.
 Now in this  case the client   is unable to even get close  to a decent  intramuscular  contraction due to  pain  and  damaged   quadriceps and hamstrings  muscles. As well   she is not allowed  to load  weight on the  leg  as of yet  at all.

So  any  muscle attempt  fails  to reach the needed   physiological  stimulation to maintain as good as possible the  current  properties of the  muscle. Any strength workout  will fail.  due to the lack of  muscle contraction intensity.
. With  BFR  on the top of her  thigh we now  can  create a  physiological  stimulation  close or similar  to a  natural,   muscle contraction BFR   but we can do  this  with a  very minimal available  muscle contraction ability.. 
 This is the difference on when we use  BFR  or  a natural BFR  due to  the  muscle contraction ability.

Now  NIRS is  the  tool  of  choice, when it comes  to control the   level of BFR  and the  intensity  of the muscle  activation.
 What you like to see is a  restriction but no inflow restriction  and  you   like to   quite  as  soon you create an  arterial occlusion  but you need a  outflow restriction.
 The only  easy and fast  way  to be sure we  have this  task  achieved  is over NIRS live feedback. 

This is  what surprised  me from the BFR  webinar  as  out of  what ever reason   people working in  that  field  still after  more  than  10 years  do not see the benefit  of a  NIRS  live  feedback involvement in this technique  and therefor any comparison  to   " traditional'  strength workouts   will show very  little if any difference. 
BFR  is  a great  way to work in rehabilitation when we target heavily injured areas, which  not  can create  thereof sufficient hypoxia  due to the lack of  load  or  contraction ability. The only way we   therefor  can mimic  similar  physiological demands  like in a healthy situation is  over controlled ( NIRS  controlled  [wink] BFR in that injurred area.


Development Team Member
Posts: 94

Kaatsu problem that, if it comes to people with big muscle (thigh 60 cm or more) cuff can not block the blood flow to them, at least at those pressure levels is commonly used.

Of course very useful to watch the level of oxygenation during strength training, I am happy to use Moxy for that, I had a lot of heated debate with some weight, at what rate (2-1-2-1 or 4-1-4 or 1-0-1-0) and amplitude need to train to create hypoxia in the muscles as blocked blood flow at different scales that it is necessary to make the blood flow through the arteries went back. Great device from my dreams.

BUT! Let's get down to the level of an abstract model, and her oxygenation drop and the overlap is not the purpose. This tool. Means for creating a certain set of metabolites (free creatine, lactate and pyruvate, other intermediates of glycolysis, reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, hydrogen ions, IMP, calcium, phosphorus, inosine and 10-20 other metabolite) which starts the signaling path, they act on the DNA reduce methylation and histone, then RNA synthesis protein and so on, there is discussion of metabolites that enhance membrane permeability hormones enhance the activity of the hormones (conversion testosterone to DHT and other action).

*I believe that the mechano-dependent pathways play a negligible role, elementary proof of this lack of growth slow fibers, the muscle is stretched equally, and only grow fast glycolytic fibers, where a high level of metabolic stress.
So is the word used "mechano-dependent" very controversial.

Example, called TRPV1 key trigger mechanical signaling. BUT! If you examine this signaling pathway, then you see that this metabolic signaling, and not the mechanical.


There are about 20+ metabolites (ROS RNS pH, oxidized lipids, capsaicin, acrolein, OXLAM (Linoleic Acid), NO, NADA, OLDA, 12/15-HPETE, nicotine, anandomide, endocannabioids, Mg2+, 5,6-EET,HETE, H2PO4, phosphoric acid, proteases and ~10 other) activating trpv1 and they are formed during exercise, and they do not need mechanical dependent events (extraordinary tension) on the membrane to activate trpv1 and hypertrophy.

Mechanical signaling pathway - this is a bad anecdote in my opinion.

At the other extreme - is excessive metabolic stress. Only the dose and time of exposure will determine the benefit or harm. Small amounts of acidosis and ROS - good. Large doses and long exposure starts lysosomal digestion of mTOR, block the anabolic signaling. According to this strength training, it is desirable to rest for 5-10 minutes between sets, and active (turn the bicycle) for the utilization of metabolites. If creatine can recover quickly, metabolites require much more time to return to baseline levels, especially in people with low VT1 and OBLA

Some people do not use mode with 30 seconds rest, although again it is because everything is relative, it is necessary for some of trained people. As a result, we need a certain measure - a burning sensation in the muscles, and ... a very useful monitoring oxygenation and Thb, recovery kinetic.


If the occlusion is a tool that we can expand our consciousness and we become indifferent to 80% or 90% occlusion, and we just do more repetitions where there is leakage of O2 and thus leveling it, and still achieve the desired level of metabolites.

In my opinion the distinction between benefits and harms is thin, and its study is necessary to me Moxy


Development Team Member
Posts: 1,501
Absolutely agree and  that's  why we  do BFR  in people  who can not create mechanically  a reaction   with the  targeted metabolic  outcome. That's  why  and  that's  why we use  BFR  plus  NIRS  guided in people with limited ability to create  the metabolic needs. So we have to look  on how we create  the metabolic  needs  by  either  delivery  limited ,delivery  and no  outflow limited, or  complete   stop  of  delivery and outflow , depending  what metabolite  reaction we like to create. 

Development Team Member
Posts: 94
Interesting data to compare blood flow contraction/relaxation.. 5% weight include

Value in visual, understandable pictures, I collect such researches for discussions with sportsmen.

8_l9AojxJWg.jpg  krovotok-350x363.png 

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