It’s been a strange year for the fitness crowd. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted — among many horrible economic and societal side effects of this disease — in gym closures across the nation. Some local gyms were able to take their fitness classes online, followed closely by a boom in at-home fitness. It’s been a good year for at-home fitness tech and companies like Peloton aren’t complaining. While gym closures revealed that some people couldn’t adapt to working out at home, many of us slapped the proverbial chalk off our hands and embraced home-fitness tech like Blazepod.
Unlike many of the fitness items permeating Kickstarter and Indigogo, Blazepod isn’t some crazy contraption designed to replace the generally free-weight-centric workout that most are used to. Rather, Blazepod takes a more holistically fit approach to working out at home, even though the product was designed and released well before we all shuttered into our living rooms. It found new life under lockdown restrictions, as it offers a mental workout alongside a physical one.
Blazepod is a series of Bluetooth connected pods that light up and then you slap, hit, kick, smash or tap them. It’s what Blazepod brands as “Flash Reflex Training” and considering the context of how generally terrible training at home is — no matter the flow of Zoom Zumba Classes that exist now — it’s a fairly accurate representation of the physical and mental engagement that occurs when slapping these simple little pods.
The Blazepod app (available for Android and iOS offers a ton of pre-programmed workouts encompassing individual activities, martial arts, competitive fitness and team sports. A lot of them are specific to certain sports or certain situations, but there are so many to choose from that you should be able to find something that applies to your living room with relative ease. The Blazepod pods can be stuck to vertical surfaces and are designed to take a beating. Which is why designing your own workout is the best option.
Through the app, you can set up timing using either your own configuration or pre-set logic bases. You can track your hits and reaction times down to the millisecond. Then analyse your results, hit a screenshot and share it on Facebook so your friends and family know that you are doing fitness. The great thing about creating your own workout with the Blazepod app is that you can literally toss these things on the floor, program some random colours and get in a plank position (or squats) and start slapping. Stick on one the ceiling and jump. Don’t stick them on the ceiling fan though, unless you are trying out for America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Aside from the fitness uses, Blazepod also applies its tech to more societal and developmental uses such as primary school physical education, elderly health and wellness, physical and cognitive therapy and tactical training. The common thread in all these uses is brain stimulation. Connecting physical reactions to brain strength is not a new theory, but one that has been proven to increase cognitive abilities.
This is what makes the Blazepod workout so appealing. It’s not some giant rubber band that you have to talk yourself into pulling, or a row machine that doubles as a bookshelf, or even a stationary bike. Once you start using the pods, you are continuously engaged through the simplicity of colour and reactive action. You can even integrate the pods in your other workouts (do a curl with the resistance band, stomp on a Blazepod pod for example) to add some brain activity to the workout.