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Reviews: CHECK training device and more

49check_opt.jpegCHECK your readiness to exercise

Hockey’s demands on your fitness levels are ever increasing. But while we all know the benefits of training programs, one big question nobody seems to take account of is ‘what does my body say?’

If we are lucky, we get training programs from our personal trainers, fitness coach or strength and conditioning coaches. They meet us, assess us, write a program for us and release us into the gym. We then follow the regime to the letter.

How do we feel? Is it doing us any good? Our trainers say so, but really? Unless you are an elite athlete in a continually monitored programme, you will never know. All you will do is fill in your training record or plug the info into your PC with the stats from your latest run. How many miles, how many calories etc

Do you know if you should train today? Maybe you should just take it easy and rest. Many athletes keep on training even when they have not recovered properly, which actually decreases performance. It even may lead to overtraining syndrome making you prone to injuries.

One solution to this problem is the CHECK™ device which assesses your training readiness and enables you to optimise your training by assessing fatigue in the nervous system. It is specifically aimed for sports requiring speed, strength, skill and coordination – think hockey!

CHECK gives you access to real-time information on recovery of your nerves and muscles enabling you to avoid over-training syndrome and reduce injuries.

The beauty of the device is that it takes about 30 seconds to do its job. There is a thumb sensor to which an electrode is attached and then placed on the wrist. Then a smart phone app will do the assessment in real time!

The assessment device uses low-voltage current (TENS) to stimulate the peripheral nervous system. Disposable or multi-use electrodes are used to execute the test while a regular AAA battery provides the power.

It is recommended that an assessment is carried out every day – preferably soon after you wake up.

The assessment results are stored in the CHECK™ cloud and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. The data can also be integrated with selected online services such as training diaries.

The device assess the fatigue in the nervous system based on muscle reflex generated by a specific low-voltage current. The delay and intensity of the muscle reflex reveals the total load on the nervous system of an athlete. I must admit, at first it feels rather strange. You feel the current and your finger ‘twitches’!

The Smartphone app (Android/iPhone/iPad3) provides a simple and fast overview of the assessment results including the instant ‘Training Readiness Index’ and a recommendation for today’s exercise.

Overall a great idea, as it allows you to train according to your body’s limits. Fatigue, injury and over training are avoided.

CHECK Starter pack €249

See www.checkmylevel.com

Shock Doctor Gel Max Flavour Fusion mouthguard

Around £19.99

Mouthguards are always something you really wish you had been wearing rather than a thing you enjoy in the moment. Perhaps that’s why you see so many hanging out the side of youngsters’ mouths.

The addition of a flavour to the established Shock Guard Gel Max might help to keep it in precious Rupert’s mouth a bit longer. Choose orange, lemon and lime, fruit punch or blue raspberry, to taste.

But if you are making your decisions on more adult criteria, this is strong guard with which you can get a decent firm fit with careful ‘boil and bite’ moulding. Comes in adult sizes too!

See www.shockdoctor.co.uk

MacWet sports gloves – climatec

Around £29.99

Even if you aren’t a fan of gloves for hockey, there are days that are just too wet to shake a stick at. Chamois grips work for some but an alternative is a specialist sport glove.

These snug fitting MacWets stick to traditional hockey cushion grips like glue, even when soaking. In the ‘Climatec’ option they’ll also keep the chill out. A cooler mesh back is available if you prefer. The short cuff styles are best suited to hockey.

Handy for coaching, they don’t have to be removed for demos. See www.macwet.com

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