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May 09, 2007

"The Glove" Hits The Market

Remember "The Glove"?

Grahn and his research partner, biologist Craig Heller, started working on the Glove at Stanford in the late 1990s as part of their research on improving physical performance. Even they were astounded at how well it seemed to work. Vinh Cao, their squat, barrel-chested lab technician, used to do almost 100 pull-ups every time he worked out. Then one day he cooled himself off between sets with an early prototype. The next round of pull-ups — his 11th — was as strong as his first. Within six weeks, Cao was doing 180 pull-ups a session. Six weeks after that, he went from 180 to more than 600. Soon, Stanford’s football trainers asked to borrow a few Gloves to cool down players in the weight room and to fight muscle cramps.

...

In trying to figure out why the Glove worked so well, its inventors ended up challenging conventional scientific wisdom on fatigue. Muscles don’t wear out because they use up stored sugars, the researchers said. Instead, muscles tire because they get too hot, and sweating is just a backup cooling system for the lattices of blood vessels in the hands and feet. The Glove, in other words, overclocks the heat exchange system. “It’s like giving a Honda the radiator of a Mack truck,” Heller says. After four months of using it himself, Heller did 1,000 push-ups on his 60th birthday in April 2003. Soon after, troops from Special Operations Command were trying out the Glove, too.

It's going mass-market:

RTX Cooling Glove.jpg

The system has been in testing now for 2 years with a range of elite sporting teams, firefighters, the military and sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis, who often suffer badly from an inability to regulate core temperature. Testing has been an unmitigated success - no adverse side effects have been found, the system has been shown time and again to cool the body core quickly and effectively - and some unexpected performance gains have become apparent.

Using the RTX system while exercising under a thermal load increased athletes' endurance by 25%, increased the initial recovery rate by 50%, and increased fat oxidation by 15% - meaning the athletes burned a greater percentage of fat instead of carbohydrates during exercise.

Seems like it'll be huge -- and as good a reason as any to start exercising again. If only for the novelty value of seeing results quickly. The thing seems like mechanical steroids.


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posted by Ace at 02:59 PM

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