Data analytics and software development aren’t things normally associated with training professional athletes, but Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday in New Jersey will showcase several athletes that have taken advantage of technology to become champions.
EXOS, a self-described “human performance” company founded in Tempe, Ariz. in 1999, is one company that has used technology to help athletes train and rehabilitate from injuries. Several of their clients will perform on the biggest stage in American sports this Sunday.
“Our effort is in building technology that can capture the data, codify our expertise and design a specific plan for an individual person,” Dan Burns, CEO of EXOS told International Business Times. “We assign as much data as possible on the human and build a personalized game plan.”
The process begins with the emerging field of wearable technology. Working with groups like Adidas MiCoach, advanced sensors in practice jerseys capture biometric data from the athletes. EXOS has developed software to analyze the data, and experts use it design a workout customized to the unique needs of each player.
On the Seattle Seahawks, EXOS has worked with players like Golden Tate, JR Sweezy, Robert Turbin, Bobby Wagner, Max Unger, and Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s celebrity running back known for his “Beast Mode” plays and sideline Skittles.
For the Denver Broncos, EXOS has worked with Sione Fua, Malik Jackson, Brandon Marsphall, Brock Osweiler, Manny Ramirez, Sylvester Williams, and two of quarterback Peyton Manning’s favorite targets – Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
Some of the players came to EXOS before they were drafted to prepare for the NFL combine, a week-long showcase where scouts and coaches judge the ability of candidates. Others came for physical rehabilitation after an injury – something all too familiar to NFL players – to get back into the game as soon as possible.
One of the technologies used is “Power Plate,” a full-body vibration system that simulates thousands of muscle repetitions in a way that’s much easier on the body. Others include a gravity-free treadmill that helps players to move without impact to accelerate their return.
Injuries are a major focus of the NFL these days, especially the abnormally short time it has taken some NFL players to return from a traumatic break or tear. Burns said that the technology at EXOS helps speed up recovery time, but that the safety of players comes first. EXOS remains independent from the league and its data is protected by HIPAA, making it a place players trust for second opinions about their injuries.
Burns said that technology goes beyond physical training. EXOS also uses platforms that simulate gameplay to help players practice on-field decision-making skills without the bruising physical contact.
“There’s a strong correlation between emotional intelligence and on-field performance,” Burns said. “The ability to assimilate information and cognitive training can build champions.”
EXOS has extended its expertise in software and physical training beyond athletes to the military and even tech professionals. EXOS now provides personalized training programs to companies like Google, Intel and Tesla.
With more emphasis placed on physical health than ever before -- including parts of Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act that provide incentives to companies that keep employees healthy – Burns hopes more companies will see the advantage in using technology to build workouts custom-tailored to each individual. He sees “corporate wellness” growing to a $6 billion industry, and EXOS wants to be at the forefront.
This article has been updated to state that EXOS was founded in Tempe, Ariz. rather than Tuscon, as the article originally states. IB Times also misprinted the name of the full-body vibration system as "Power Play," and has corrected it to "Power Plate."