California is the spiritual home of exercise and fitness. The coastal state spurned the bodybuilding movement with muscle beach in the 1930s and 1940s. The jogging movement centred on Cali in the 1970s, alongside Arnold and his Pumping Iron cronies. Nearly every diet, from flash in the pan fads to longer lasting movements, has its routes in California. The latest training concept to roll off the conveyor belt is the Cold Water workout, which as is the way nowadays, combines fitness with cutting edge technology.
Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, in the Nasa Ames Research Park, lies an unassuming single storey building. This is the low-key home of Peter Wasowski’s transformative fitness routine, which he believes will transform the way athletes recover from injuries as well as the way that they train for the Worlds blue-chip sporting events.
The Vasper cold water workout uses compression pads with coolant pads to trick your body into believing it has carried out a much lengthier and more vigorous workout than it really has.
The system fools your central nervous system into believing it has carried out a mammoth two and a half hour workout – when in reality its done a brief twenty minute workout.
This sounds suspiciously like a late night info-commercial for a machine that will give you a rippling six pack via a 9 volt remote control battery. The difference is that Wasowski’s team are delivering stunning results, and they have the recognised, big name case studies that mean its worthy of taking note.
To illustrate; USA olympic athlete Erica Ashley McLain has already used the VASPER cold water workout to slash her recovery time from a potentially career ending ankle injury
Mimic the physiology of children to deliver rapid results
The theory behind the VASPER system is to mimic the hormonal profile of quickly developing children, in order to deliver rapid results in fully developed athletes.
Wasowski theories that children’s boundless energy comes from the way that their bodies deal with lactic acid. Lactic acid is the byproduct of intense chemical reactions within muscles, and is responsible for the burning feeling that you get during intense exertion.
In children’s bodies – due largely to their smaller mass – this lactic acid pools in a very concentrated way in their muscles. This strong localised mass of lactic acid causes profound hormonal responses, most notably from the anabolic hormones which include testosterone.
The problem is that our bodies tail off very quickly post-puberty with regard to their ability to generate high concentrations of these growth agents. However, if you’re able to recreate these childlike conditions within the muscle, you are able to effectively slash the athletes recovery time.
So an ageing footballer who make ordinarily have taken 10 weeks to overcome an ankle injury, can use the VASPER fit tech to recover in more like two weeks.
How the VASPER works
The results outlined above are phenomenal, and presuming they stack up, they have the potential to have a huge impact on professional sports. So how does this technology work?
By compressing the muscles with the pads and coolant, the machine tricks your body into believing that it has carried out a hugely stressful workout.
So for example, the machine can be used to localise lactic acid in an athletes quads, hamstrings and calves, in essence recreating the damage that would be caused by a series of full throttle hill sprints.
The athletes CNS responds quickly and powerfully, because the volume of perceived muscle damage is high – in this example much higher than the athlete could have caused with a voluntary effort.
This forces the body to adapt, and adapt profoundly. Its response is to release higher volumes of anabolic hormones than it normally would, which causes not only huge adaptions in the target muscles, but also more generally because these hormones can not be laser targeted. Hormones are released into your blood stream and therefore can not be isolated to work locally by the human body.
The Cooling element – replicating swimming to deliver bigger results
The VASPER system uses cooling agents to replicate swimming, because swimming delivers 45 percent more fat loss due to its greater efficiency.
ordinarily when we exercise, we get hot. Much like a kettle brining water to the boil, our bodies overheat and start to release oxygen. Effectively, this is very similair to the steam coming out of a the kettle, and in fact, on a cold day you will often see an athlete literally steaming after hard exertion.
Swimming is different though, because the water keeps your body temperature down. This prevents the body from ‘steaming’, which in turn means more Oxygen remains in your muscles. Therefore, performance is not negatively affected anywhere near as quickly in the pool, allowing for harder effective training and greater oxygen/fat mobilisation.
The VASPER system, by cooling the key zones on the body (including your face and feet) is again able to make your body train at higher intensity than it voluntarily can. This contributes to the machines ability to deliver a 2.5 hour workout in just twenty.
Bottom line figures – VASPER training results
The proof is in the pudding, and the case studies are really impressive.
The most impressive is the case study of an ironman-triathlete. These athletes are as tough as they come, and they work really hard to shave seconds off their PB’s. If they shave a couple of minutes off a PB, then its truly noteworthy.
With that in mind, we take the story of the female triathlete who used this system. On the back of a mere ten workouts, she knocked a quite staggering 50 MINUTES off her personal best time. 50 minutes is a borderline insane improvement, raising the question of what would a full years worth of training with this machine do for an already elite athlete?
Theres some promising research ongoing with this machine by the US Navy, who are using it to treat post-traumatic stress. The machines ability to effectively reset a persons hormones could lend it to a whole host of medical applications.
This all sounds like a mix between a wild fitness dream and a low rent info commercial, but expect to hear a lot more about the VASPER fitness system over the last quarter of 2013, when they get their research case studies back.
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