Special Report

Innovative Methods Legendary Athletes Have Used to Remain the Best

Source: Mike Powell / Getty Images

Strobe light glasses
> Used by: Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan became so popular that every NBA game he played in was an event. Professional and amateur photographers wanted to take pictures of his every move, so he was subjected to constant flashes of lights throughout the game. MJ decided to start training with strobe lights flashing to mimic the effect.

Nike eventually came out with glasses that players can wear that use internal LCD lights to prepare players for random flashes. These glasses have been used by modern superstars like Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard as well.

Source: Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Blood rich plasma platelets
> Used by: Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning

Due to knee issues, Kobe Bryant went to Germany in 2013 to receive a new treatment known as platelet-rich plasma therapy or Regenokine. The therapy removes a patient’s blood. The blood is mixed with substances that are supposed to help with recovery, then re-injected to the patient. Other athletes like Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, and Tracy McGrady also used the therapy. Though many athletes use it, the treatment has not been proven effective.

Source: Jed Jacobsohn / Allsport / Getty Images

Catching bricks
> Used by: Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice became the NFL’s greatest ever wide receiver thanks to his work ethic. The son of a brick mason, Rice says he and his brother would toss bricks into the air and practice catching them as kids. This no doubt helped his great hands, as a football is much easier to catch. The method clearly worked for Rice and was adopted by All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown as well. In addition to catching bricks, Rice also developed his speed and tenacity by running down and catching wild horses as a child.

Source: Harry How / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Cryotherapy
> Used by: LeBron James

Cryotherapy has become a popular recovery method among professional athletes like LeBron James, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, and many more. The liquid nitrogen-powered chamber dips to under 100 degrees below zero to force the body to produce more oxygen-rich red blood cells, which are supposed to aid in recovery, though scientific consensus on the actual benefits is mixed.

Source: Adam Pretty / Getty Images

Hyperbaric chamber
> Used by: Michael Phelps

Altitude or hyperbaric chambers are sealed pods that provide the user with a 100% oxygen environment instead of the 21% found in the air. This increased oxygenation is favored by high-level athletes like Michael Phelps to support healing and recovery, though the medical community has yet to reach a consensus about its effectiveness.

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