Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Forget the Steroids

I saw an article this week about a Stanford University developed device that is designed to change the core temperature of an individual very quickly. The news articles I read, one of which is here, take the angle that this device is better at performance enhancement than steroids. I also found a more detailed article which explains a bit of how this thing works as well as some of the methodology used to get some of the amazing results. You can check this one out here. The discovery of performance improvements in athletes from this was apparently just something they stumbled on but they got great results with a lab staff member. according to the Stanford University News:
...the glove's effects on athletic performance didn't become apparent until the researchers began using the glove to cool a member of the lab – the confessed "gym rat" and frequent coauthor Vinh Cao – between sets of pull-ups. The glove seemed to nearly erase his muscle fatigue; after multiple rounds, cooling allowed him to do just as many pull-ups as he did the first time around. So the researchers started cooling him after every other set of pull-ups.
"Then in the next six weeks he went from doing 180 pull-ups total to over 620," said Heller. "That was a rate of physical performance improvement that was just unprecedented."
Apparently the heating of muscles causes the enzyme they use to create chemical energy to change into some unusable state which is what you feel as muscle fatigue. This change in state reverses as the muscles cool down and thus the fatigue goes away. Cooling the body eliminates  your fatigue and allows you to continue working without damage to the muscles. Sounds like pretty powerful stuff to me but I can't see paying the $3000 they are asking for it. The articles is worth a read and there is an interesting video on it below. I would not be surprised if you see some form of this available much cheaper in the years to come although it seems they have been at this for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment