words // Brandon Richard
With each passing year, we’re experiencing dramatic changes in the standards set for the modern athlete. Take NFL players for example. According to a study by the associated press, just one NFL player weighed as much as 300 pounds in 1970, according to a survey conducted by The Associated Press. The number expanded to three 300-pounders in 1980, 94 in 1990, 301 in 2000, 394 in 2009 and 532 when training camps began in 2010. With advances in nutrition, weights, kinesiology and development, there’s also a need for equally advanced training techniques. Workouts have shifted from jumping through rows of old model-T tires to using specialized high-tech equipment at training-specific facilities. Nobody is raising on the bar for athletic training more than SPARQ.
Back in 2004, SPARQ was started to create a standardized test for athleticism called the SPARQ Rating and to sell training equipment and methods to help improve athleticism focused on the high school athlete The acronym stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness. Described as Nike’s game-changer, SPARQ is tireless in their pursuit and creative in their approach, driven to expose, elevate and execute visionary ideas and innovations to serve a singular mission – building better athletes. Their methodology goes beyond existing theories and thinking around performance to get to the core of what is required to improve athletic performance.
SPARQ insight and expertise inspires and motivates athletes at every level by fueling game-changing products and performance innovations that athletes have come to expect from Nike and their associate brands. Some of the best athletes in the world have taken their games to new heights partially because of their SPARQ training regimens. Speedy Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hits another gear by using the SPARQ Speed Ladder, while Detroit Lions wideout maintains arguably the game’s best hand-eye coordination by training with SPARQ Vapor Strobe Training Glasses.
Take a closer look at both of these innovative products and much more below. If you’re ready to elevate your game, shop a full range of SPARQ Training Equipment here at Eastbay.
Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Training Glasses are designed to designed to improve visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and other skills. Built with flexible LCD lenses, the glasses use strobe technology to take away varying amounts of visual information. Eight different speeds can be controlled by the user to change the level of difficulty. The strap is adjustable, removable and washable.
By adding weight to your workout, you also add power, agility and speed to your game day performance. The Nike SPARQ Resist Vest features ergonomic design balanced weights that reduce strain on the joints. Breathable, easy-cleaning nylon microfilament fabric turns back moisture. Unrestricted movements are enhanced through the use of modular weights. Front and back weights are easily removable. A short waist design and generously cut armholes ensure comfort and a secure fit.
Quick feet, balance and coordination are essential tools when you’re engaged in any athletic competition. The SPARQ Speed Ladder helps you maximize them all. Made with 100% polypropylene, the 9-feet long ladder is stable under pressure and designed so that its 6 rigid rungs always lie flat. Inserts in the webbing runners ensure that the runs remained evenly spaced during use. Two ladders can be hooked together with the lock-tab connection system. The ladder is portable, foldable and comes complete with a convenient carry bag.
Add a new dimension of explosive power to your game with the SPARQ Parachute 2.0, designed to create weight-specific resistance during cardio training for the extra speed and stability you need to out-play opponents. This parachute features heavy-duty webbing lead and veil fabric for maximum durability, metal tri-ring reduces belt bunching for improved chute tracking and an adjustable waist belt. Also included is a portable carrying bag with a drawcord.
SPARQ Speed Hurdles 2.0 feature an innovative, versatile design that allows you to train hard for increased speed, agility and explosive power. The 2007 Winner of the I.D. Design Distinction Award for Consumer Product, these hurdles are built with a durable, lightweight ABS base that provides stability for use in drills. Lightweight and durable ABS springs back into shape after being stepped on. Hurdles adjust to 6″ or 12″ heights and collapse flat for easy storage and transport. A nylon carrying strap secures hurdles in a set of six, while a storage ring allows you to hang them flat.
Increase foot speed, agility and balance with the SPARQ Agility Web System, a system of eight-sided rings that join together at any angle – vertically and horizontally – to mimic game-day scenarios and drill for repetition. The 2008 Winner of the I.D. Design Distinction award for Consumer Products can be laid flat or raised to hurdles or obstacles for endless training possibilities. Agility Web rings fold up flat for easy transport and storage.
Lightweight but tough, the Nike SPARQ Power Sled 2.0 is a versatile training apparatus that provides a solid platform and durable, adjustable straps so you can perform a variety of resistance training exercises that help build explosive acceleration and strength. The polypropylene structure is rigid and maintains its shape for even weight distribution during pulls. You can load a variety of objects onto the sled, including water jugs, weight plates or sandbags, which can be held down with nylon webbing and adjustable straps. The sled is lightweight and portable for your convenience.