With the Rio Olympics only days away, professional athletes are putting the finishing touches on their preparations. Some amongst them have opted for non-conventional means to increase their competitive edge. And no, this article has nothing to do with the doping scandal that is dominating the headlines.
A handful of Olympic athletes are looking to boost their chances with the help of a new wearable called Halo Sport. The device, which looks like a pair of overly sized headphones, was first unvelied in February. According to the manufacturers website, “Halo Sport uses pulses of energy to prime the brain, powering athletes’ most effective workouts”. They call this Neuropriming.
Neuropriming uses pulses of energy to signal the motor cortex, improving the brain’s response to training, essentially putting the brain into a temporary state of ‘hyperlearning’. When paired with workouts, Halo Sport accelerates gains in strength, explosiveness, and dexterity.
The device syncs with a smartphone app which provides you with training programs to both utilize new muscles and to coordinate how your body functions. You can also pair the headset to your smartphone to listen to your trusty playlist. The company says The US Military accelerated pilot and sniper training by 50% with neurotechnology similar to Halo Sport.
“Halo’s technology is an exciting leap forward for neuroscience and was unimaginable even five years ago.” said Dr. Gary Abrams, Director of Neurorehabilitation at UCSF
A number of professional athletes training for the Rio Olympics are using the device. This includes Hafsatu Kamara (100m sprinter from Sierra Leone); Michael Tinsley (400m hurdler from the US); Mike Rodgetrs (4x100m relay sprinter from the US); Samantha Achterberg (pentathlete from the US); and Mikel Thomas (100m hurdler from Trinidad & Tobago).
“My goal with Halo Sport is to improve technical positioning during hurdles, and I’m excited to say that my technique has improved a great deal since I started using the device,” Mikel Thomas said.