BlazePod – The Ultimate Reaction Time and Reflex Training Tool

BlazePod Review Reaction Time and Reflex Training

BlazePod is an innovative tool that uses Flash Reflex Training to stimulate reaction time, decision making, and improve overall athletic performance. 

This article breaks down everything you need to know about reaction time, reflexes, and how BlazePod takes a powerful approach to improve an often missing ingredient in your athletic development.

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The Importance of Reaction Time and Reflexes for Athletes

In any sport, your body relies on its ability to make decisions that both maximize your athletic potential and keep you safe from injury.

How quickly your brain and body can make these calculations is the catalyst for the performance improvements that give you an edge over your competition. Every athlete can train to throw a ball further, faster, and with more accuracy. But all else equal, the athlete who can make the right decisions in less time is the most successful on the field.

An athlete’s reflexes and reactions are often referred to interchangeably. And “reflex training” is usually meant in reference to “reaction training.” However, reflexes and reactions are two different processes that have different impacts on your athletic performance.

Let’s break down the difference between the two, so you can understand what makes them different and where to focus your efforts to maximize your progress as an athlete.

Difference Between Reflexes and Reaction

Reflexes are the involuntary responses you have to an external stimulus. As soon as your body encounters a stimulus, whether visual or physical, your reflexes are the automatic actions you take without making any conscious decisions. 

Reactions are voluntary responses you have to an external stimulus. This means when you encounter a stimulus, your brain has to make conscious decisions on how to respond and what actions to take.

Since reflexes are automatic, they require less time for the actions your body makes to take place. Reactions have a slight delay (often measured as low as milliseconds) because additional decision-making must occur before you take action.

It’s important to distinguish between the two since reflexes and reactions rely on different neural pathways to occur, which slightly modifies the approach you take to training both to improve athleticism and reaction time.

Training your reactions provides you with the most room for improvement. Because you have conscious control over the decision-making process and actions, consistent practice will speed up the time between stimulus recognition, decision-making, and action taken. The time it takes for this process to occur is what constitutes reaction time.

Training your reflexes, while possible, gives you less margin for improvement because they are involuntary actions designed for danger avoidance. Typically, training reflexes’ primary objective is to override automatic responses that negatively impact your athletic performance – for example, closing your eyes before swinging a bat or catching a ball. However, training these neural pathways with enough consistency gives you greater control for overriding these responses to specific stimulus.

How to Improve Reaction Time and Reflexes

Vince Lombardi is renowned for his quote, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.”

Lombardi’s quote speaks to a profound truth in developing athleticism. The more you practice a task, the faster your brain becomes at making the decisions required to take the correct actions.

Have you ever taken a test online and halfways through the program crashes, and you had to start over? It’s astounding how quickly you breeze through the questions that you’ve already answered. Since your brain has already done the complex decision-making before, you bypass a large chunk of the heavy cognitive lifting, and your brain immediately goes into pattern recognition mode.

Training for sports follows the same process. The first time you do an exercise, encounter a new situation or run a new play, it feels clunky and slow. This is because there is a massive amount of new stimuli your brain has to process and figure out the right decisions and actions you need to take.

The more you practice that situation, the faster your brain can make the right decisions (and avoid the wrong ones) because you begin identifying patterns that bypass the decision-making you have already completed.

Luckily, just like squats in the weight room helps establish a foundation of strength that translates into various benefits on the field. There are also tools that can help train the foundation for “stimulus recognition > decision-making > action taken.” 

The tool we will be discussing today that is excellent for training the speed and repetition of this decision-making process is BlazePod.

What is BlazePod

BlazePod is a training system that leverages Flash Reflex Training, which supplies visual cues from LED light pods to maximize the cognitive aspect of training right alongside the physical aspects.

BlazePod’s unique design simplifies reaction training. The LED pods synchronize with a mobile app to provide predefined training sessions as well as customizing your own to match your individual training goals.

The pods keep track of your reaction time and coordination accuracy, logging everything in the app so you can measure your progress and improvements over time.

Each pod’s 8 LED color options combined with their weather-proof and smash-proof construction give you massive versatility in training options. You can find everything from task-specific to sport-specific training drills that add in the amplification of stimulus recognition and decision making.

Benefits of BlazePod Training

Improving your reaction time, coordination, and reflexes takes significant amounts of repetition. But reaction time training is usually a secondary element to a broader practice session. 

For example, if you’re a quarterback running routes with your receivers, you’re training your reaction time, but it is secondary to the main objective of the practice session.

Training with BlazePod allows you to isolate the “stimulus recognition > decision-making > action taken” element of training and will enable you to focus on maximizing its development independently and with repetition.

Just like any other form of training, the more you exercise these motor pathways, the more effective they become at the task they are completing. This skill set then translates into every other aspect of athleticism that relies on reaction time.

BlazePod training also incorporates physical activity into the training sessions. Energy expenditure and simple reaction time are directly linked. 

Just like exercise, focus and decision-making require energy. First and foremost, the fitter you are, the more efficient you will be at decision-making during physical activity. Secondly, training your reaction during periods of exertion gives your body the opportunity to prioritize and effectively manage the energy required for cognitive tasks during intense exercise. 

Combined, your overall athletic performance for reaction and decision-making improves precisely for the in-game intensity you will need.

The Different BlazePod Bundles and Kits

BlazePod comes in a variety of bundles and kits to accommodate specific training needs:

  • Ultimate Bundle
  • Basic Bundle
  • Standard Kit
  • Trainer Kit

BlazePod Ultimate Bundle

  • 6 LED Pods
  • 10 Functional Adapters
  • 6 Straps
  • 4 Cone Adapters
  • 6 Suction Cups
  • Charging Base
  • Protective Case for 6 Pods
  • BlazePod App

BlazePod Basic Bundle

  • 4 LED Pods
  • 4 Straps
  • 4 Suction Cups
  • 4 Functional Adapters
  • Charging Base
  • Protective Case for 4 Pods
  • BlazePod App

BlazePod Standard Kit

  • 4 LED Pods
  • Charging Base
  • Protective Case for 4 Pods
  • BlazePod App

BlazePod Trainer Kit

  • 6 LED Pods
  • Charging Base
  • Protective Case for 6 Pods
  • BlazePod App

BlazePod Accessories and Adapters

  • 2 Functional Adapters
  • 2 Suction Cups
  • 2 Straps

Prices Updated 11/30/2021

Final Thoughts:

Training your reaction time and the neurological pathways that produce motor responses is often an overlooked aspect of training. Typically, it takes a secondary role as a part of a broader training exercise.

BlazePod gives you the ability to isolate and prioritize a critical aspect of your athletic development. It ultimately allows you to capitalize on untapped performance that otherwise may be left on the table.

If you’re interested in reading more about tools to help train reaction time and coordination, take a look at our article on training with HECOstix. And if you want to stay up to date on all things mobility training, workout recovery, and tools to make you a better athlete, don’t forget to subscribe to the Mobility Athlete Newsletter!

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