Your brain is regulating your muscles to protect you.” Even I have to confess that I’m not likely to strap on a Halo Sport again anytime soon. Call me crazy, but despite the number of people who I hear have donned the headset harmlessly, and the reams of research that have shown the worst short-term adverse effect of tDCS to be a little temporary redness on the scalp for some users — or the prickling I felt. The idea of shooting electricity into my brain will definitely take some getting used to. Back at Halo, after doing my curls, I learn my results: Lifting four different weights, my muscles produced an average of 5.4% more joules of energy during my Halo Sport – powered curls than during my earlier, non- Halo curls. Though it was only one session, the gains were consistent across weight levels. They’re also consistent with the results of a myriad of other testers, many of them serious athletes. “The data certainly suggests that Tom’s bicep muscles are able to produce more energy during [tDCS]”, Halo concluded. With results like these, you can expect the Halo Sport to become a fixture among competitive athletes, who seldom pass up a way to gain an edge. The company has already started selling to pro teams and the military. Granted, at R10 000 each, the headset price is high, but Halo plans to sell to gyms and trainers as much as (or maybe more than) to individuals, so gym-goers with a competitive streak can reserve a headset, maybe for a small fee, or use one with a Halo- certified trainer. If early adopters like Emily Hu — a medical device engineer by day and world-record power lifter by night — are any indication, the Halo Sport will face an uphill battle getting gym goers zapping. Hu holds the all-time highs in bench and deadlift for her weight class. She heard about the device earlier this year and contacted the company to see if they would let her test the device — she’d worked with tDCS in clinical trials and felt perfectly comfortable with the idea of using it for fitness. How did you get hooked up with Halo? I’m very science oriented, so people are always bringing me new devices to look at and vet. A friend mentioned this to me, and once I saw all the research behind it, my instincts were piqued pretty quickly. The Halo is cutting-edge and has never been contemplated in the field of athletics. It has tremendous versatility. We’re talking about the human brain, about getting more effective at what you desire. How important has it become to your athletes? We train about 600 Olympic and pro athletes in 42 sports, all over the world. These are people who are separated from their competitors by minute differences. If I can get them results not only in the musculo- skeletal system but in the brain’s capacity for retention, that’s a huge advantage.
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- Fall '19