FitLight Trainer is a unique tool that's aimed to improve your mind/body connection. While many athletes focus on building muscle and endurance, the FitLight system is all about strengthening your brain.
It's a neurocognitive training tool that's designed to improve a range of performance parameters. The company advertises the system as quite flexible, since they want it to be a training option for any sport.
At its core, the FitLight Trainer is simple. The main components are lighted discs that can be placed anywhere. While they look simple at face value, these discs are hiding some interesting technology.
Each disc has two rings of LED lights. They act as a visual stimulant. Proximity sensors and impact sensors are built into the lights as well. These sensors measure response times and physical feedback.
One of the benefits of FitLight is that it's fairly customizable.
The lights alone are versatile enough to place anywhere. With a couple of accessories, you can mount them vertically on walls, stick them to the ceiling, or even tack them on poles.
Alternatively, you can simply place them on the ground. The waterproof design gives you some additional flexibility for your training location as well.
On top of placement flexibility, the lights are adjustable to provide the feedback you're after.
For example, you can set the lights to record a response when you provide physical feedback. When you want to up the ante and make things harder, you can set the system to pick up responses on the inner ring or outer ring of lights only.
Visual and audible feedback is possible, too. Adjust light brightness levels to work for your environment. You can also set the lights to beep whenever a response is recorded.
While the lights of the FitLight Trainer will play an important role in your training routine, a separate tablet will act as the brains of the operation. The lights communicate wirelessly with tablets. Whether you're training alone or working with a coach, you can complete training programs up to 50 meters away from the control tablet.
The tablet is how you’ll have control over how the FitLight Trainer operates. You can control light modes, create custom programs, and other functions. It’s also where you can see your results after you complete your training program.
The data provided is fairly detailed (but could be better). The tablet app provides high-level information to show you areas where you can improve. Both you and your coach can use this data to modify training regimes to make sure you’re getting more out of your workout.
The concept behind FitLight Trainer is simple. At the start of a program, the lights flash in a random pattern. Your job is to respond to those visual stimulations with an action.
What you have to do to trigger a response depends entirely on how you choose to set the system up. You can use touch-based triggers to tap the lights. Or, you can use the built-in proximity sensors to wave your hand or run past the lights.
Either way, the FitLight system is easy enough for athletes of any age to adopt. So, what kinds of benefits can you take from this unique form of training?
According to the developers of FitLight Trainer, the system can help enhance your cognitive response.
No matter what sport you play, your brain is working overtime to help you succeed. Say, for example, that you're on a football field. You're constantly keeping your eye on the ball while also staying aware of what other players around you are doing.
In a split second, you must identify openings, figure out what you're going to do, and tell your body to move! It might seem simple enough, but that chain of events takes time.
Your body and brain have to process a lot of information in a fraction of a second. First, you must use your senses to figure out a course of action. Let's say that you see the football flying in your direction.
Your eyes are picking up that visual stimulant, which then sends signals to your brain. After figuring out your next course of action, your brain has to send electrical impulses to your legs and arms to take action. This happens very quickly, but it's possible to make the process occur even faster.
Improving your response time can help you see drastic improvements in your sports performance.
Neurocognitive training is said to make that happen. Even simple training programs with FitLight may help to speed up that synaptic response. You can use the system as a simple mind game to strengthen your response times.
For a simple training routine, you can place the lights on a wall in front of you. Tap each light as it flashes. With each flash of light, you're training your brain to react as quickly as possible.
It sounds like a cakewalk, right? Chances are, your response times will be much slower than you think. Responding to these kinds of stimuli is brand-new. Thus, your brain has to work a bit harder to make your response happen.
Over time, you can build up those neural pathways. This is said to help those electrical impulses from your brain move faster. The more you train, the better your response times will be.
After you have mastered that training program, you can apply your skills to a real-world setting. For example, your coach can set up drills using the FitLight Trainer system to simulate movements on the field. This could be simple drills to improve your footwork or complex maneuvers that span the entire field.
Whatever the case may be, the FitLight system may be an option to help you see improvements in various aspects of your performance. The main benefit that you might see is better visual cognitive processing functions.
This means your mind would identify those openings faster and help you make important game-changing decisions on the fly. This might improve your overall response times and make you a more effective athlete overall.
In addition to better cognitive functions, you may experience better coordination.
Again, it all comes down to those neural pathways between your brain and your body. When people stumble on the field, it's usually because those brain signals were not prepared for the action they needed to take.
By establishing those pathways, you can quickly respond to events on the field confidently. Your body will be more primed for action, helping you perform moves without second-guessing yourself.
Finally, this type of training might help you see improvements in speed, agility, and stamina. Thanks to the versatility of the FitLight Trainer system, you can create custom programs that address your personal athletic shortcomings. Improving your cognitive functions can work wonders on your overall athletic performance while also giving you the mental strength to make smart and quick decisions on the field.
In general, the FitLight Trainer is a pretty solid option. It offers a handful of features and will likely prove useful for a lot of athletes.
But is there something better?
One of the main areas where there’s room for improvement is in the hardware itself. While the lights can be set up in a variety of ways, they are fairly limited when you think about the entire range of peripheral vision.
This means there are some large gaps for the athlete using it, preventing them from fully challenging themselves when it comes to cognitive function. These weak spots will end up showing when you compete.
The limited number of lights also puts a cap on how complex and challenging each drill will be. Not only will this impact performance, but will also prevent the athlete from staying engaged over time (something that’s often overlooked).
The nature of the lights also makes it much harder to emulate moving targets. Athletes are stuck reacting to a very fixed and simple track.
All in all, the portability you get from the FitLight Trainer comes at a cost. While you can set it up anywhere, there is a ceiling to the level of complexity you can program in.
If you’re looking for something a bit more robust that will seriously challenge your athletes, Reflexion is a better choice. Reach out to us here to learn more!