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The Athlete’s Guide to the Brain: Hyperplasticity

Posted by Kane Russell on

The Athlete’s Guide to the Brain: Hyperplasticity

In our last post, we began exploring the brain’s role in improving athletic performance. We discussed the concept of Neuropriming, a method that strengthens brain-muscle connections (i.e. neural drive) when paired with athletic training. Neuropriming temporarily enhances motor performance, but increasing neural drive alone doesn’t equate to maintaining improvements. To achieve this result, the brain’s capacity for long-term learning and memory must be harnessed. At Halo, we’ve designed our first product to accelerate the brain’s natural learning processes. The result? Long-term maintenance of athletic gains. We refer to this mechanism as hyperplasticity.

Rewiring the Brain

To explain how hyperplasticity works, we’ll first have to dive into the nitty-gritty of some basic neuroscience principles. When our brains develop during childhood and adolescence, neurons are being generated that make and optimize connections very rapidly.

The creation of neural pathways allows us to learn and acquire memories.

For many years, scientists believed that the number of neurons and neural networks created during a lifetime was finite, and that once the brain fully developed, the amount of rewiring that could be done was extremely limited. However, recent research has debunked this theory, and studies have shown that even elderly people can generate new neural pathways and increase their capacity for learning and memory. Simply put, our brains are malleable, moldable, plastic. Thus, it makes sense that this phenomenon of rewiring the brain is known as neuroplasticity.

Practice Makes Perfect

So how does neuroplasticity relate to athletic training? Well, every time you learn a new skill, whether it is shooting a basket, kicking a field goal, or perfecting a golf swing, you are using your brain’s potential for neuroplasticity. The first time you try a new skill, the connections between the brain and the specific set of muscles required for that skill are not optimized. However, the more you practice, the more robust and refined that neural pathway becomes, with more neurons and muscle fibers being recruited and coordinated in the correct pattern.

Neural network creation

These plastic changes in the brain yield physical improvements relating to the skill. If you continue to practice, the optimized brain-muscle output will be maintained and so will the skill, but if you neglect practice, the functional connections will become less synchronous, resulting in poorer performance. So, there really is a reason why your mother always told you that practice makes perfect. It all comes down to neuroplasticity.

Accelerated Gains

Neuroplasticity is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the acquisition of any new skill. It’s common sense that if you practice something, you will get better at it. However, it is also common knowledge that improvement takes time, sometimes painstakingly long amounts of time. What if there were a way to reduce the time element? Enter Halo Sport. When a Neuropriming session is paired with athletic training, the brain is primed to more quickly generate and strengthen neural pathways. We refer to this phenomenon as hyperplasticity.

In essence, Halo Sport speeds up your brain’s natural ability to generate and optimize new neural pathways.

It is important to realize that completing one or two workouts with Halo Sport will not make you a pro overnight. Practice will always be required to consolidate a skill, so in order to realize accelerated gains over the long term, Halo Sport must be used regularly in combination with daily athletic training. If Halo is used sporadically or infrequently, the additional gains experienced will be small and temporary. However, if Neuropriming is integrated into daily athletic training, gains will be acquired and maintained at an accelerated rate.

Eventually, the skills learned will be encoded and stored as muscle memory, accessible without conscious effort. More on motor skill learning coming up.

Curious about taking the next step in accelerating your brain’s ability to create new neural pathways? Try Halo Sport risk free with our 30 day money back guarantee. Order yours here.

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We’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a note at hello@haloneuro.com, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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