Elite athletes and coaches are always looking for an edge. For over a decade, the impact of touch and heart rate variability training has been a critical part of athletic recovery, from massage and float tanks to stretching and compression. After experiencing the benefits of Apollo’s gentle vibrations himself, the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Minnesota conducted his own tests of Apollo to assess how the technology would impact athletic recovery and performance in athletes.
40 healthy elite college athletes at the University of Minnesota used Apollo for physical recovery and performance in pre- and post-exercise challenges. Each athlete’s biometrics (ie. heart rate, HRV, blood pressure, blood glucose) and performance pre- and post-challenge were measured, with and without Apollo.
Apollo improved HRV in 40 out of 40 athletes. Those athletes who had the lowest HRV at baseline showed the greatest net gain in HRV and experienced the most noticeable improvement in how they subjectively felt after using Apollo.
In addition, Apollo:
- Improved how quickly athletes recovered from physical exercise, as measured by their heart rate (HR) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). On average, within 5 minutes of completing an intense physical exercise, the athlete’s HR and SBP lowered 10-15 points faster than their baseline recovery time when using Apollo following intense exercise.
- Decreased the amount of glucose measured in the blood following a carbohydrate challenge, when compared to baseline. This preliminary result is consistent with other activities that increase parasympathetic (rest and recover) activity in the nervous system, which generally improves insulin sensitivity allowing cells to take in glucose from the blood.
- Enhanced the consistency of sustaining peak performance during intense workouts (e.g. athletes were able to perform more squats in a shorter amount of time consistently when using Apollo, compared to their baseline without Apollo).
As neuroscientists and physicians, we know that there is good stress and bad stress. Physical exercise stresses the body and by doing so, it makes us stronger and more resilient. But just like mental stress, too much of it with too little recovery leaves us depleted, tired, and unable to reliably perform at our peak. We’re very excited to see that Apollo can be an effective tool in the toolbox for boosting our physical recovery from exercise so we can be more resilient to the strain.