What is Brain endurance training (BET)?
Brain endurance training (BET) is a digital training method to cognitive load to the brain to fatigue. The brain in turn will adapt to this, like muscles do to training and get ‘stronger and better’.BET focuses on cortex and cerebellum based cognitive tasks such as STROOP tests, multi object tracking, decision making, ability to sustain attention, response inhibition, are a few of the drills that can be utilised. The neurological drills matter.
They are hard, boring, frustrating, fatiguing and only for serious athletes or professionals who want to raise their game.
Training is like a drug the dosage and timing needs to be right. With sports performance it always needs to be as specific as possible, especially when it comes to training the brain.
Most professionals simply have not done the leg work or research into creating programs which integrate the brain with the body . Many are toying with the idea because it looks cool and neuro is a buzz word, but hard data is needed nowadays for new ideas to be taken seriously in medicine or competitive sport. As a scientist this resonates with me. A 5% improvement in a measurable skill or variable is considered significant or ‘of value’ in pro sport.
New research by sswitch lead by New Zealander Grant Hayes and Dr Walter Staiano using the SOMA NPT Platform which was designed by Grant has revealed some interesting insights into the effect of BET on athletes.
Brain endurance training in professional athletes has been shown to enable them to:
- Sustain longer periods of endurance
- Sustain pain for longer
- Maintain higher levels of cognitive function under fatigue
- Maintain agility under fatigue
- Improve accuracy
- Reduce errors even when fatigued
- Offset mental fatigue for longer
You can read the full research on SOMA NPT performance enhancement on professional footballers HERE
This type of training can be used for any professional or person wishing to improve their mental resilience. You might be a student, a musician, a CEO or an armature athlete
How did I find out about BET?
I have known Grant personally for many years and I have nearly completed an 8 week BET program using the SOMA app and specific drills to improve power, vertical jump height, mental endurance and raise pain threshold. I will provide the data and videos in the next blog to see what the results show. My program consisted of 70min BET 3 times a week, which I was just about to integrate into my schedule as the training of course causes mental fatigue. I found it took my brain about 4 weeks to respond, that was when I felt and saw results.
Why I like the The SOMA NPT platform
The SOMA NPT platform is very easy to use as it runs on apple devices. It is portable and can travel anywhere and does not require a special set up that wastes time.
Adherence to the program is monitored as data is collected for every session, allowing trends over time to be assessed and the program modified accordingly. This means it is very hard to skip a session and then claim ‘This isn’t working’.
There is the coaches side of the platform which I can log into and monitor those who are undertaking BET programs and check their progress, using their SOMA IDs. The client or athlete side is purchased via the APP store and is about £17 per month (can cancel at anytime), which is cheaper than a private session or gym membership, so is a very small investment for a very useful bit of brain training.
Which drills do I do and how often?
The final part, you need a BET program which is easy to obtain as a one off fee (the same as a 1 hr private session with me) or you could even invent your own BET program using the drills you find in the app.
We all know the that the more you put into training the more you get out
As I have said 90min of BET a week is the absolute minimum, that would be 30min 3x a week. In one of Grant’s studies the athletes performed 100min a week. When I did my BET I did 210min per week.
I train about 4-5 times per week and 4 of those sessions are gymnastics classes that are 90 min long and many of the participants are in the 20s and I am in my 40s, so I attribute a lot to the neurological training I have done.
No matter where you are in your career or sports season BET can be used to to boost your brain.
I offer additional assistance in getting you set up with Performance Plans to save you time and get you started. The best way is Facebook messenger as I will reply promptly! See the messenger Icon on the right hand side of the page.
Thanks for reading !