First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Bob Prichard: We are not having any problems, thank you.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Somax.
Bob Prichard: I founded Somax Performance Institute after runners I was working with reported they were running a minute per mile faster after I released microfibers (mild scar tissue) in the connective tissue surrounding their hamstrings. At first, I doubted their reports, but when it kept happening over and over again, I decided I needed to better understand running mechanics because I was not improving their strength or endurance. A local running coach told me running mechanics consisted of two things–cadence (how fast you move your legs) and stride length (how much ground you cover). Since all the runners I saw all ran differently from each other, I thought there had to be more to running than just two variables. Fortunately, I had a camera and started to record my runners before and after I worked with them. I soon saw the difference was a big increase in what I call the Stride Angle, the maximum opening between the front and trailing upper leg, usually at toe-off. I then not only released microfibers from around the hamstrings but also around other muscles and my runners ran even faster. Then I had a runner who had pain in his left knee only when he ran. No orthopedist, physical therapist, coach, or trainer was able to help him. Since there was no difference in his stride as seen from the side, I decided to record his stride from the front. Over a few days, I discovered his pain was the result of stiffness in his left shoulder. After I released his microfibers, he ran pain-free. This taught me to look at the entire body when evaluating athletes.
I applied for my system analysis when I was asked to work with a local college swim team. Spending 20 hours a week over 18 months, I discovered that the power in swimming comes from the hips, not from the arms. After I trained 17 Olympic swimmers to improve their hip rotation, they went on to win 43 Gold Medals and set 11 World Records. Researchers at the national training center in Colorado Springs confirmed that in five days, I doubled the amount of peak force they applied to the water. I have subsequently analyzed and improved efficiency in golfers, tennis, soccer, and baseball players and reversed age-related stiffness in masters athletes. My latest discovery is that school backpacks reduce mental and physical performance by permanently reducing chest expansion and lung capacity. One of our college athletes who had carried a backpack to school every day increased his lung capacity 33% after we released the microfibers causes by his school backpack. He also went from a C+ average to graduating with A’s in two majors and two minors.
How does Somax innovate?
Bob Prichard: We innovate from constant research and study. Our research activities take up 50% of our time.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Bob Prichard: Because it is not safe for athletes to travel at this time, we do half of their program remotely. We are currently working with a golfer halfway across the country. He has successfully increased his flexibility 47% after years of stretching made no improvement at all. The reason that we can run a successful remote program is that in addition to reducing microfibers, we also reduce stress and tension, both of which make athletes stiff.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Bob Prichard: We haven’t had to make difficult decisions. Our chest expansion is 4,” which is double the average chest expansion. This means our brain is getting much more oxygen, which reduces stress and anxiety and improves our ability to find new solutions. In addition, we are working on two new books. The first will be BEYOND MUSCLE, which explains that muscles are never more than 20% efficient, which is why it takes decades for athletes to make the kind of improvements we make in weeks. A good example is a golf. Bryson DeChambeau added 30 pounds of muscle to his upper body over the past winter and added 30 yards to his drive. One of our golfers stopped lifting weights, and after we released his microfibers and tension, he added 60 yards to his drive. The second book will be THE GREAT BRAIN ROBBERY, or how school backpacks, sit-ups, ‘core’ work, bench presses, and vaping all reduce lung capacity and brain oxygen. This massive and widespread reduction in brain oxygen is why mental health problems have doubled in young adults since the introduction of school backpacks, and freshmen enrollment in STEM majors dropped 40%.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Somax in the future?
Bob Prichard: Since our brain is getting plenty of oxygen, we have very little stress or anxiety. We see our company growing worldwide as athletes realize that training muscles that are vastly inefficient will only allow them to compete. In competitions we have analyzed, it was always the most efficient athlete who won. A good example is Janet Evans, who dominated distance swimming, but had a VO2max of only 56 (couch potatoes are 46, her opponents were 70-80). But her chest expansion was 50-100% greater than her opponents. East Africans dominate the top 400 times in the marathon simply because Western and Japanese runners bounce up and down 50% more than they do.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Bob Prichard: Our competitors are all the coaches and trainers in the world. They are all restricted to training the muscles, which offers them a perpetual annuity because it takes years and decades for their athletes to improve. As our athletes win more and more competitions, other athletes will follow and sign up for our programs.
Your final thoughts?
Bob Prichard: Training muscles (strength, fitness, and stretching) is a 2000-year-old technology. Like all old technologies, it is long overdue for a replacement.