Ahead of the Sochi Olympics, a handful of ski jumpers used a non-traditional training method to increase their propulsive force by 13% and their jump smoothness by 11%.
In just four weeks. And no, they weren’t Russian.
The method: a pair of specially engineered headphones from Halo Neuroscience that stimulate the brain into a state of "neuropriming" during training. After showing successful results among U.S. Ski Team members ahead of the last Winter Games, athletes from the U.S., Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago have all been using the technology to prep for Rio.
So, uh, how the hell's it work?
Basically, the headphones induce a user's motor cortex into a state of “hyperlearning” whereby the brain can teach the body to perform at higher levels. “Training becomes more productive for the brain to build optimized neuronal circuity for athletic movement,” according to a Halo Neuroscience press release.
The company — which also works with members of the military as well as NFL, NBA and MLB players — is already getting results.
"During resistance training, I usually do weighted hip thrusts at 100 kg," said Sierra Leone sprinter Hafsatu Kamara. "After using Halo Sport, I can now train at 120 kg and I feel like my training is pushing me into top form."
Hocus pocus? Placebo? Possibly. Halo Sport is yet to be subjected to any aggressive form of scholarly review.
But one thing it isn't (at least for the time being)? Against the rules.
Can't hurt to try it.
If you wanna get your Olympian on, discounted Halo Sports are available for $649 for a limited time.