When Browns players return to CrossCountry Mortgage Campus for the start of 2022 training camp, they'll walk into a newly-built regeneration space fit with several recovery machines and additional training technology that will enhance all high-performance activities when the season begins.
The space, which will replace the team weight room next to the fieldhouse, will include five pieces of high-tech equipment, a yoga room, fuel bar, lab area and new office spaces for the Browns' performance and training staff. The redesign started in early March and is expected to be complete before players arrive for training camp in late July.
"Everyone on the staff is excited," said Shaun Huls, Director of High Performance. "It's all another component of the program. Having these new, innovative ways will serve a purpose and get more work out of the players because they'll be able to recover faster and feel better. In turn, you'll get guys to want to do more (on the field)."
The new technology and benefits that will be available to players include the following:
Cryochamber - Used for cryotherapy, which uses freezing or near-freezing temperatures to reduce inflammation and swelling around joints while promoting immune response.
Photobiomodulation Light Bed - Uses red and near-infrared light to decrease inflammation, reduce pain, improve energy, improve sleep, increase circulation, enhance soft-tissue healing, enhance mood and reduce stress.
Hyperbaric Chamber - Tube that increases air pressure and oxygen levels to improve recovery.
Altitude Chamber - Increases oxygen in the body to improve recovery and cardiovascular training.
Deprivation Float Tank - Implements sensory deprivation to enhance mental and physical relaxation and recovery.
The team will devote space for a fuel bar that will help the training staff optimize timing of nutritional delivery in players' individual nutrition plans as well as a yoga area, where sessions will be held twice a week in training camp and on Fridays during the regular season.
A room will also be devoted to phlebotomy, which will be used for biomarker assessments and IV therapy and will support players' metabolism, promote recovery and replenish electrolytes.
"I look at it like tools in the tool box," Huls said. "You have these basic fundamentals — your wrench and your hammer — and now you're adding more tools to it. It helps with the foundational components of the training and recovery and be better at what we do with them. There's going to be changes in the programs, but it's just another tool with the foundation that's already there."
The weight room, which was moved to a section of the fieldhouse during the pandemic, will remain in the fieldhouse for the time being but has been re-configured to create more space for football activities.
Huls worked with Director of Performance Nutrition Katy Meassick, Director of Berea Facilities Matt Srodek, Football Operations Coordinator Tyler Hamblin and the rest of the training and high performance staff to finalize the area, which should help the Browns build more efficient plans for players as they undergo recovery needs during the season.
"It doesn't replace hard work by any means," Huls said. "It's bringing the staff together, and we'll all be in a centralized location. After we identified the direction we wanted to go in, everyone in the building was just aligned and really put the plans together on the fly."