Today we have the honor of interviewing Thomson Remo, Central Territory Manager at Exerfly, a leading flywheel training devices companies. On this podcast, Thomson is joined by Chris Chase, the director of performance for the Memphis Grizzlies, a top NBA team.
Founded in 2017, Exerfly equipment employs flywheel technology, which mimics natural movements during sports in a way that conventional weights simply can't, allowing athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all levels to get more out of their fitness programs. Exerfly's speed, constant resistance, and safe overloading is excellent for adapting the body for eccentric overload, stiffness, force absorption, isometric phases and transfer to elastic concentric movements. Exerfly equipment uses flywheel momentum to create constant resistance throughout the range of your exercise.
Pictures: Exerfly Ultimate
Pictures: Exerfly’s RackFly
Here is a video explaining how Flywheel training works with Exerfly:
Exerfly products are trusted and used by teams across the NHL, NBA, MLB, NRL, Premier League, Super Rugby, Sports New Zealand, as well as Olympic teams.
📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on Exerfly and Exerfly products. We also discussed the benefits for sports organizations and athletes to use their product. Chris Chase also shared his feedback on Exerfly, how he uses it and what he likes about it. Lastly we talked about Exerfly’s competitive advantage, business model and plans for the next 12 months.
Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Thomson and Chris:
On Exerfly, and what flywheel training is:
“Exerfly is a flywheel training device company. Flywheel training has been around for over a century. However, it has been emerging in popularity since about the 80s, 90s and into the early 2000s. One of the launch points for flywheel training in recent years has been space exploration. So, finding non gravitational training solutions to maintain bone density and muscularity while in space”.
“In fact, astronauts have been using these devices to maintain body composition while in non gravitational situations. However, in those recent years, use cases have been found in gravitational situations as well. So weight rooms in performance training facilities, spanning the whole spectrum from professional athletics all the way into rehabilitation and return to play”.
“Flywheel training has become very popular across a wide range of sports, everything from American football to baseball, basketball, hockey, and the Olympic sports. So flywheel training can be used for a variety of different applications within those sports, but we found particular aptitudes in strength and power development, as well as connective tissue development for injury prevention purposes and rehabilitation”.
On what Chris Chase believes makes Exerfly products stand out from other Flywheel companies due to its eccentric motor:
“It’s been a few years now since we got our first Exerfly device. The main interest we had with the product and the unique feature of it is the eccentric motor. That seemed to be a unique feature amongst all the flywheel companies that I have seen”.
“I think that over the years now I have been exploring and training myself on the flywheel, especially on the flywheel platform or the extra fly platform. And the first version that we got a few years ago, which again, has that motor feature on it, which enhances eccentric overload. And I think with other flywheel companies or flywheel training, protocol overload was maybe not true because of both phases of the movement”.
On how the Memphis Grizzlies use Exerfly product today:
“For instance, we use it as part of our training. If you're doing a squat on the flywheel, you're not really getting overloaded in the eccentric or downward phase of that squat, unless you have that added motor to it, which is what Exerfly product provides”.
“So that has been what we've tried to do with our players. We utilize it mainly for squatting, unilateral bilateral squatting, which is something we believe is important for basketball players in some form or fashion, because it's a more knee dominant movement, and it's something that players on the court, that are super stressed with in terms of things such as “I have to flex my knee and decelerate. And I have to have strong muscles”. So that is the biggest attraction”.
“Today we mainly use Exerfly for that eccentric deceleration impulse. Some people also call it eccentric breaking forces. Those can have huge advantages on flywheels in general. But Exerfly has that unique feature of ramping up that eccentric motor”.
On what a typical session looks like for the Memphis Grizzlies using Exerfly during the NBA season and during the off season:
“Each session on Exerfly is pretty quick during the NBA season. And I'm speaking to that from where we're at, just because we're trying to stress that training quality quickly with low reps and three to four sets. That's a pretty quick protocol”.
“And that's after somebody has maybe trained on the flywheel in the off season and built up this tolerance. And in the off season, we're more aggressive with the eccentric motor resistance to try to really improve that eccentric strength overall. And then in season, hopefully we're using that to maintain it so volumes are a little bit lower”.
“And depending on the player, we may try to touch things like higher peak forces and like I've said, higher rates. Or we may try to touch things or use protocols that are longer chasing impulse. So chasing again, more force over time, but it might be a bit slower, but we're still in that not really absolute strength or slower strength. We're using the flywheel to train some of these faster qualities”.
On how Exerfly product can be used for various use cases depending on the sports (NBA, NFL, MLB) in the US:
“The use cases within each of those sports vary pretty dramatically. So as Chris mentioned, the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) are using it for quite a bit of deceleration work, specifically for the lower extremity in athletes who are playing very rigorous season schedules”.
“We see something different happening when we look at baseball (MLB) teams, where they're going to be using it for a lot of upper body rotational work, and a lot of upper extremity work in terms of conditioning the tissues to withstand the forces of maybe in baseball's example, pitching or catching”.
“And then in football (NFL), we see a lot of emphasis on the return to play side. There we are seeing athletes who may be coming back from injury and need a gentle but progressively overloaded exposure to greater and greater stresses to drive that tissue remodeling, to get them back into plain condition. So to summarize we are seeing very different use cases across the board”.
On how Exerfly’s eccentric motorized mechanical overload technology works:
“The thing that most people recognize initially when they're comparing different flywheel train devices is the fact that Exerfly is the only eccentric motorized mechanical overload technology available. So when we're talking about eccentric overload, the concept driving this is that people are able to lower more weight under control than they're able to lift”.
“But there are methods to making that happen in traditional weight training. So if you're using a barbell, for example, there are devices called weight releasers, which allow you to put a heavier amount of weight on the bar as you start to descend and then the weight releasers pop off at the bottom of the range of motion”.
“So that additional load is removed from the bar and you're able to stand up with less weight. That was basically what was behind the concept of the motorized decentric overload, where not only are you able to overload that first repetition on the lowering phase, but you're able to overload every single repetition throughout an entire set and by nature, flywheel training is self auto regulating, meaning as much energy as you put into the device, it's going to give back”.
“So the motor gives us the opportunity to overload the speed of that downward pull in every repetition of every movement you're performing. So you can have a set last for as few as just a couple of repetitions, or you could have it last for 90 seconds at a time, and each one of those repetitions will be uniquely overloaded and you can make sure that you're able to continue exerting for as long as your training session demands for so whatever training stimulus you're trying to create, the extra flight can be set up in a way to accommodate that”.
On Exerfly’s rack mounted unit (RackFly) which is more portable and is being used by teams on the road:
“We also have a rack mounted unit, which allows you to do some of those upper body movements a little bit more easily. So we can anchor that to a traditional power rack in a gym. We have a variety of different attachments to mount those to the racks, or you can take it with you on the go. So many teams traveling frequently who want to be able to create greater stresses than they might be able to with the lighter weights that they're able to fit into their box of tools that they take on the road with them”.
“They're using these devices to create those stronger, more stressful situations for their athletes on the go. So they are using that in hotels, arenas, or right on the practice field or court side”.
On the types of improvements Chris Chase has seen after using Exerfly with his players:
“For instance, we have our five zero five testing or changing action challenges that we do with our players. And I think that's where I see a lot of improvements. It is in our ability to change levels. So for example flexing at a high rate change of direction and accelerate out of that. I think that's something that mimics the flywheel nicely or the flywheel caters to nicely. So I see some improvements in that, which is what basketball is full of with these small quick movements with a ton of changes of directions”.
On Exerfly’s goals in 2024:
“I think a lot of it stems back to the emphasis on progress in every sense, but the biggest part of that for us in 2024 is going to continue to grow our brand awareness in the U. S. Today Exerfly is a relatively new product to the American market. That being said, we already have some key prominent users like Chris and the Memphis Grizzlies. So our goal in 2024 is going to continue to expand on that into other sports such as baseball (MLB), American football (NFL) and basketball (NBA) here in the United States”.
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