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VO2 Max is a measurement on how effectively your body consumes oxygen during exercise. It can be affected by such things as the amount of red blood cells you have and how efficient your heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout your circulatory system. A safe and non stressful way to improve your VO2 max is with KAATSU training (referred to as BFR in the USA–blood flow restricted). For decades, KAATSU has been successfully used throughout the general population in Japan with a relatively low incidence of problems. Under qualified supervision, KAATSU training will trick your brain into thinking it’s experiencing a difficult workout (due to the manipulative effects of oxygen deprivation and fast motor unit recruitment).

Studies have been done with people exercising at 20% of their 1RM (a 1 repetition maximum is the amount of resistance that you max out at–i.e. -you can only bench press 200 lbs. once). Because blood pools in the veins and arterial blood flow is reduced, heart rate increases to try and meet the demand. This situation creates an increased oxygen demand to working muscles, so the outcome is that your body gets to experience a higher VO2 max. Maximal oxygen consumption reflects the aerobic physical fitness of the individual, and is an important determinant of their endurance capacity during prolonged, sub-maximal exercise.

So what does this all mean for you? Instead of putting in a lot of hours and mechanical stress on your body, you can reduce your training time and intensity with KAATSU exercise. You’ll also be able to do it more frequently and get that HGH boost in addition to an improved VO2 max!

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