Thread: Tourniquet training... wtf?
3/01/2008 1:20am, #1
Tourniquet training... wtf?
After judo class today, I went to the boxing room at the local PCYC (Police Citizen's Youth Club) to do some pad work with my friend Yoshi.
He pulled out these wierd Elastic/velcro straps, and proceded to wrap them aoround his deltoids, and then pumped out 30 pushups before starting some focus pad work with me. I was looking at him with a WTF sort of expression, so after the rounds of padwork he explained that it's a popular training technique among lifters and MMA competitors in Japan.
I was dubious, being a sceptic by nature, but I'm also fairly open minded and willing to try new training methods if they come from a reputable source. He put these tourniquet things on my arms, pulled them tight, and had me do the same thing he had jsut done.
The pushups weren't so bad, I felt a little uncomfortable due to the build up of the "pins and needles" sensation in my arms.
When I did the pad work, I was shocked. Ordinarily, we warm up with 3x3 minute rounds of moderate to high intensity on the focus pads with 10oz gloves and a 30 second break between rounds.
Anyway, the pad work was extremely difficult - not because my range of movement was restricted (surprisingly, I felt like I was punching with better form; keeping my elbows in tight, corckscrewing, etc). After about 2 minutes into the first round, my arms were burning and felt heavy as hell. I was really surprised.
He claimed that applying these straps to one's shoulders and/or quads could be very beneficial when practicing striking, and also for certain lifts. He said that using this sort of a system could allow you to get better results with lighter weights.
Yoshi is a physical therapist, and holds a fifth degree black belt from the kodokan, so when he explains judo-related concepts and techniques, I generally take it on good faith. in this case, I was still dubious, so after the session (which, by the way I completed without the straps, telling Yoshi that I was not used to them, and might have to work my way up to using them)I rang my other friend jim - a fairly successful heavyweight MMA fighter, who has fought in Korea and Japan on promotions like DEEP. He's really into strange and esoteric training methods, so I thought I'd ask his opinion.
He said there was a lot of hype surrounding these strap things in Japan, and when he was in Tokyo before a fight last year, he had gotten mixed reports from other fighters. Some swore by them, and others dismissed them outright as a silly fad.
So has anyone encountered these straps before? If so, what kind of results did you get from them?
3/01/2008 2:23pm, #2
I believe this is called occlusion(sp?) training. I have heard of bodybuilders using the same effect of restricting blood flow then doing a big exercise to allow blood flow back into the muscle, but never actually using straps. I'm pretty sure about this, but it all sounds kind of silly to me, and the straps sound like they might be damgerous if used improperly.
3/01/2008 7:18pm, #3Originally Posted by Razamataz
Originally Posted by Razamataz
Thanks again for the information.
3/01/2008 7:31pm, #4
I believe Ronnie Colman is one of the body builders who does this kind of training for his legs. I can't remember where I read this but he does leg extensions to failure till he pushs all the blood out (1 set I'm assuming) and as the blood rushs back to his legs in the form of a huge pump, he goes and does squats. Again this sounds really dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, but obviously Ronnie Colman is a professional.
3/02/2008 6:18pm, #5
Thanks again man. I wish you could +rep people in this sub-forum.
On investigation it seems that vascular occlusion training can potentially be beneficial if done correctly by a trained professional Definitely not something to take a stab at blindly.
Yoshi is amply qualified to oversee the process, so I may eventually give it a go for a few weeks, and see how it goes. I'm going to do a bit more research first though.
3/02/2008 6:43pm, #6
Let us know how it goes. I'm always interested in learning about new training methods. Also, did you find if any studies had been done tp see if thise training is more beneficial than regular training?
3/03/2008 1:35pm, #7
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That sounds pretty interesting, I wish I understood this occlusion theory better. I remember on t-mag they said something similar to this for the whole 'constant tension' thing where you don't relax the muscle between reps by locking our setting the weight down or anything, and that the muscle tension created sort of a hypoxic state shifting it to the faster-twitch muscled which tended to work better anaerobically.
This'd seem to work on a similar principle, only with even more blood restriction for more hypoxia, but it also sounds pretty dangerous, I'd want to make sure I'd be able to get the thing off quickly if I needed to so it didn't cause any injuries. You'd need to be in tune with feeling your circulation if you were going to make it tight.
I'm wondering if a possible alternative for unilateral training might be to use your other hand to grip the other arm that you're working (or if a leg, both hands on the leg). This way you'd work your grip, and if you felt something wrong, you could release your grip much faster than it would take to remove a tourniquet. For larger areas it might take better knowledge of your major arteries (to slow blood coming in) and veins (to slow blood going out) to know where to exert more force.
Like just squeezing my thigh right now, even when I squeeze really hard it doesn't feel like much occlusion, maybe that's due to the fat or something, lol.
3/03/2008 5:37pm, #8Originally Posted by tyciol
Also, the straps themselves have a quick release at the end of them, and the body of the strap itself is velcro, so it's very easy to get off quickly.
As yet I can't vouch for the efficacy of the training method as yet, by it's definitely interesting.
I need to look into it further before I decide whter I trust it or not.
3/04/2008 10:08am, #9
From John berardi...
6) Topic: Kaatsu Resistance Training and Muscle Size
Authors: Takashi Abe and colleagues from the Tokyo Metropolitan University
Abstract #: 2389
In perhaps one of the weirdest studies of the conference, a Japanese method of training called Kaatsu was studied. Proponents of Kaatsu training suggest that the dynamic exercise of a muscle group that’s been occluded (with a pressure of 160mmHg) can improve the hypertrophic response to exercise. (In other words, they partially blocked the flow of blood with little band thingies.)
In this particular study, eleven men performed low intensity squat and leg curl training twice daily for twelve days. The subjects used 20% of their 1RM for three sets of twelve reps for each of the exercises. Six of the eleven men had the active muscle group occluded during exercise and five of the eleven men exercised without occlusion. After 12 weeks, squat and leg curl strength increased by 19 and 24% in the occlusion group and 14 and 1% in the non-occlusion group. Also, the thigh and gluteus maximus muscle volume (as measured by MRI) increased by 6.9 and 9.6% in the occlusion group and only 0.1 and 0.2% in the non-occlusion group.
If you’ve got a blood pressure cuff and some pink dumbbells, give this type of training a shot and let us know how it works out. Just don’t do it on neck day.
and that term leads to.. http://kaatsu.jp/english/index.html. If their studies are to be believed, then this is pretty impressive. But I can't help but think that this is just a great way to have an impressive accident.You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
3/04/2008 7:44pm, #10
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hmmmm.... I wonder if that study has been replicated with similar results. I personaly wouldn't try this type of training untill I knew what the long term and side effects would be. I know using a tournaquet (sp?) can be dmaging if left on for too long.
Gains or not, I just would not feel comftorable doing it.