Sports Tech Jumps Ahead

Inc. (USA) - - CONTENTS - By Jeff Ber­covici

How Sparta Science is us­ing deep lev­els of data to keep ath­letes per­form­ing at their peak while re­duc­ing in­juries.

A blown ul­nar col­lat­eral lig­a­ment—the UCL, in the el­bow—is among the worst in­juries a pitcher can suf­fer. And it costs teams mil­lions of dol­lars. Sparta Science, a leader in the grow­ing sports-tech in­dus­try, has fig­ured out the an­swer. It’s in the legs, not the arm. Founder Phil Wag­ner be­lieves he’s un­cov­ered other se­crets for min­i­miz­ing ath­letic in­juries while max­i­miz­ing per­for­mance. So do his grow­ing list of com­peti­tors. Game on!

PHIL WAG­NER is a man who be­lieves in con­trol­ling his phys­i­o­log­i­cal re­sponses, not let­ting them con­trol him. Each night, he uses a tech­nique called co­her­ence train­ing to har­mo­nize his heart rate and breath­ing to max­i­mize the restora­tive delta sleep phase. Upon ris­ing, he spends the first three hours of his morn­ing un­der red lights to stim­u­late the mi­to­chon­dria in his reti­nas to pro­duce more en­ergy. This reg­i­men al­lows him to limit his sleep to four hours and still feel re­freshed. Wag­ner also fasts 18 hours a day so his stom­ach won’t dis­tract him when he’s too busy to eat. “The men­tal con­structs around eat­ing are ac­tu­ally pretty in­ter­est­ing,” he says of the con­di­tion most of us sim­ply think of as “hun­gry.”

Still, when Wag­ner, who runs a sports-tech com­pany called Sparta Science in Sil­i­con Val­ley, glanced at his phone af­ter a meet­ing one morn­ing in 2010 and saw he had nine missed calls from his wife, the re­ac­tion of his an­i­mal brain was a pure fight-or-flight adren­a­line surge. Those calls could only mean some­thing was ter­ri­bly wrong at the hospi­tal, where his new­born son was be­ing treated.

Three-month-old Ma­son had been look­ing jaun­diced, so that morn­ing Wag­ner’s wife had taken him to the pe­di­a­tri­cian. There, Ma­son was given a diagnosis of some­thing called bil­iary atre­sia. A med­i­cal school grad­u­ate, Wag­ner knew it was se­ri­ous. “They call it the silent killer,” he says. Ma­son was the one in­fant in 20,000 born with­out a bile duct. He needed emer­gency surgery to cre­ate one, and spent the next few months in the ICU while doc­tors waited to see if he would need a liver trans­plant.

The wait­ing car­ried an ex­tra charge of anx­i­ety for Wag­ner: He was not only a new fa­ther; he was also a new en­tre­pre­neur. As any par­ent would be, he was re­luc­tant to leave his sick child’s side, but he was also barely a year and a half into run­ning Sparta. Af­ter a slow start, the com­pany had fi­nally be­gun draw­ing a reg­u­lar clien­tele of elite ath­letes, who had heard about Wag­ner’s abil­ity to im­prove their per­for­mance us­ing a pro­pri­etary jump-test­ing anal­y­sis. This was no time for a hia­tus— Wag­ner was the one per­son the com­pany couldn’t func­tion with­out. He was torn be­tween his du­ties as a fa­ther and the de­mands of his startup. “I was re­ally hop­ing they wouldn’t be mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive,” he says.

They weren’t. To­day, Ma­son is a healthy 7-year- old, and Wag­ner is more than ever mas­ter of his in­te­rior states. On the rare days things aren’t go­ing well at Sparta, all he has to re­mem­ber is the cri­sis he and his fam­ily weath­ered seven years ago. “It puts stress into rel­a­tive terms,” he says.

Prof­itable and with a staff of 15, Sparta is a leader in the rapidly emerg­ing sports-science in­dus­try that is us­ing ma­chine learn­ing and pre­vi­ously un­heard of lev­els of data about ath­letes in ac­tion to help pro­fes­sional and col­lege teams min­i­mize in­juries and max­i­mize player po­ten­tial. Sparta col­lects prodi­gious amounts of bio­met­rics from a seem­ingly sim­ple jumping ex­er­cise. But Wag­ner says that data is the key to truly un­der­stand­ing ath­letic per­for­mance.

For years, pro teams have em­ployed quants armed with sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis to draft, trade for, and pay play­ers on the ba­sis of their out­put on the field. Now they are tak­ing that same ap­proach to the ath­lete’s body, first to keep it pro­duc­tive—that is, off the bench—and sec­ond to in­crease out­put by help­ing it achieve its up­per limit of fit­ness. Even­tu­ally, that tech­nol­ogy will fil­ter down to week­end war­riors, too. Firms in this in­dus­try in­clude P3 Ap­plied Sports Science, in Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia; Fu­sio­net­ics, in Mil­ton, Ge­or­gia; and Kit­man Labs, which, like Sparta, is a Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pany. That’s not co­in­ci­den­tal. Data-cen­tric sports-tech com­pa­nies such as Sparta have be­come the lat­est recruits to Sil­i­con Val­ley’s ven­ture cap­i­tal teams. Go ahead, call it mon­ey­ball for in­juries—the team with fewest bro­ken play­ers wins.

WAG­NER HAS AL­WAYS had con­fi­dence in his abil­ity to con­trol things that oth­ers write off as whims of bi­ol­ogy or luck. It’s at the heart of what Sparta does. Once a week, the 12,500 pro­fes­sional and col­lege ath­letes who train at Sparta HQ, or whose teams pay from $20,000 to $200,000 per year to use its tech­nol­ogy, step onto a square me­tal plate and per­form a se­quence of six ver­ti­cal jumps, striv­ing to get as high as they can. Data col­lected from sen­sors un­der the plate feeds into a ma­chine-learn­ing soft­ware al­go­rithm, which an­a­lyzes the force gen­er­ated dur­ing the jumps— how pow­er­fully the ath­lete ex­plodes off the ground and how evenly that force is dis­trib­uted over time and be­tween the left

“What about a 32-year-old Cau­casian with a his­tory of ham­string strain who has a .303 bat­ting av­er­age? What does he need?” —Phil Wag­ner, Sparta Science

foot and the right foot. The al­go­rithm then gen­er­ates train­ing rec­om­men­da­tions for the ath­lete that may not seem con­nected to a given weak­ness. The magic is in the eight years of data that Sparta has now col­lected that can tailor workouts to cor­rect spe­cific de­fi­cien­cies. A bas­ket­ball player try­ing to de­velop a more ex­plo­sive first step might be told he should add bench presses to his work­out—be­cause, some­what coun­ter­in­tu­itively, the data shows bench­ing makes the legs more pow­er­ful. A soc­cer for­ward with an ex­plo­sive first step but who lacks sus­tained power might hear she’s at risk for de­vel­op­ing hip prob­lems and ought to do more lunges to rem­edy the prob­lem.

Among the teams us­ing Sparta are the NBA’s Cleve­land Cava­liers, MLS’s San Jose Earth­quakes, MLB’s Colorado Rock­ies, and the NFL’s At­lanta Fal­cons, who reached the Su­per Bowl in Fe­bru­ary. Col­leges such as Auburn and Penn are also on board. Gabe Bauer, head strength and con­di­tion­ing coach for the Rock­ies, first came across Sparta six years ago, when the team was look­ing for some sort of tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tion that would al­low play­ers to track their workouts with­out tot­ing around a clip­board and a pen. “We weren’t even look­ing at the in­jurypre­ven­tion side of things orig­i­nally,” he says. Like every coach, Bauer bal­ances com­pet­ing im­per­a­tives: On the one hand, everesca­lat­ing salaries mean that the cost of in­juries, in the form of lost play­ing time, is ris­ing too. On the other hand, there are so many new train­ing tech­nolo­gies vy­ing for the time and money of peo­ple like him, he can’t af­ford to waste ei­ther on a prod­uct

that doesn’t have a clear ROI. By Sparta’s cal­cu­la­tions, it saved teams like the Rock­ies $12.1 mil­lion each last year by keep­ing play­ers off the dis­abled list. And that’s be­fore you fac­tor in the per­for­mance gains, which are harder to at­tribute purely to fit­ness train­ing but, Bauer says, are just as pal­pa­ble. Sparta coaches raised some eye­brows on the Rock­ies train­ing staff when they rec­om­mended that in­fielder Daniel Descalso stop lift­ing weights be­cause his scan re­sults showed it wasn’t help­ing his force pro­file. But the Rock­ies went along with it. Last sea­son, Descalso’s slug­ging per­cent­age, a mea­sure of bat­ting power, jumped 100 points. “The re­sults we’re get­ting back, hon­estly, they’re amaz­ing,” Bauer says.

Wag­ner got into the ath­letic-per­for­mance field the way many peo­ple do: He was a jock who wasn’t quite ta­lented or lucky enough to make a ca­reer out of it. As an un­der­grad­u­ate at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Davis, he played de­fen­sive back on the foot­ball team but en­dured a series of shoul­der surg­eries, wrist in­juries, and con­cus­sions. “I love play­ing, so I was will­ing to en­dure a lot of pain,” he says.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, Wag­ner, who stud­ied ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­ogy, landed a job as a strength coach at UC Berke­ley, an hour away. The foot­ball pro­gram there was full of top-notch ath­letes, in­clud­ing fu­ture Ravens quar­ter­back Kyle Boller, but the team was ter­ri­ble, los­ing most of its games. When the coach­ing staff was fired af­ter his sec­ond sea­son, Wag­ner was left with the sense that he had suc­ceeded, but he had no means of prov­ing it: “I thought there’s got to be some way to val­i­date that these guys got bet­ter.”

Ready to give it an­other try as an ath­lete, Wag­ner moved to New Zealand to play for a semipro rugby team. It didn’t go well. In the first minute of his first game, Wag­ner took a shot that knocked him out and sep­a­rated his quadri­ceps ten­don from the bone. “When I came to, the mus­cle had ba­si­cally rolled up like a win­dow shade,” he says. “That was the one where I was like, all right, I’m out of here.”

From that point on, Wag­ner re­de­fined his mis­sion, from stay­ing healthy enough to play sports to find­ing a way to help peo­ple like him stay healthy enough to play sports. If his fel­low coaches didn’t know how to do that, he thought, per­haps doc­tors did. He was ac­cepted to the Thomas Jef­fer­son Univer­sity med­i­cal school, in Philadel­phia. Af­ter two years, he walked away, think­ing he had learned all he needed as a coach, but then the dean of USC’s med school, where he was con­tribut­ing to re­search, of­fered him a trans­fer slot. It was too good to pass up. Wag­ner agreed to fin­ish his MD.

It was at USC that he first en­coun­tered the some­times cu­ri­ous data be­ing col­lected by force plates, which mea­sure biome­chan­i­cal move­ment. Some ath­letes, he no­ticed, pro­duced an in­con­gru­ously small “im­pulse,” a func­tion of force mul­ti­plied by time, for no ob­vi­ous rea­son. Driv­ing down I-5 to San Diego one day, Wag­ner got stuck in an epic traf­fic jam. With noth­ing bet­ter to do, he pulled out a notepad and started noodling on the force-plate data he’d seen. “It was like a light­ning rod,” he says. “For three or four hours, the pen didn’t leave the pa­per.”

That epiphany was the ba­sis of the method­ol­ogy Sparta uses to­day. A jump con­sists of three phases: the load, in which the ath­lete crouches down and gath­ers en­ergy through ec­cen­tric mus­cle con­trac­tion; the ex­plo­sion, or transition from ec­cen­tric to con­cen­tric mus­cle ac­tion; and the drive, or ex­ten­sion and fol­low-through. What Wag­ner dis­cov­ered is that dif­fer­ent types of ath­letes gen­er­ate dif­fer­ent amounts of force in each phase of the jump. An ath­lete who re­lies on quick­ness, like the de­fen­sive back he had once been, demon­strates high ex­plo­sion, while those who per­form elon­gated ac­tions, like a pitcher’s stride off the rub­ber, show a lot of drive. While some de­gree of im­bal­ance is nor­mal and even use­ful, Wag­ner’s hunch—which data col­lected in hun­dreds of thou­sands of Sparta scans has now val­i­dated many times over—was that ath­letes who be­come de­fi­cient in some as­pect of force pro­duc­tion are the ones who get hurt.

With his back­ground, Wag­ner didn’t have to be told that teams would pay a lot for any prod­uct that re­duced the risk of in­juries, even frac­tion­ally. For rea­sons that aren’t fully un­der­stood, in­jury rates in most sports have risen over the

years, even as sports medicine has be­come more so­phis­ti­cated. (Bet­ter diagnosis is thought to be part of it; longer sea­sons and heav­ier train­ing reg­i­mens fac­tor in too.) A sin­gle com­mon in­jury, rup­ture of the an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment, costs NFL teams an es­ti­mated $63 mil­lion an­nu­ally. In base­ball, where the av­er­age player salary tops $4 mil­lion, more than one in four pitch­ers will tear their ul­nar col­lat­eral lig­a­ment, which re­quires Tommy John surgery to re­pair—re­plac­ing the dam­aged lig­a­ment with an­other one from the pa­tient’s own body or one from a ca­daver. Typ­i­cal re­cov­ery time ex­ceeds the length of a base­ball sea­son. The epi­demic of UCL rup­tures has spawned a cot­tage in­dus­try of self-styled ex­perts and qua­si­sci­en­tific huck­sters, such as the pitch­ing guru who tells his clients to crawl on the floor like ba­bies, claim­ing there’s some­thing in the pri­mal mo­tion that’s ther­a­peu­tic.

Af­ter se­cur­ing a loan with the help of the Cal­i­for­nia Small Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion, Wag­ner signed a lease on a 9,000-square­foot ware­house in Menlo Park, bought a pair of $20,000 force plates, and de­clared Sparta open for busi­ness. That was in 2009, right in the mid­dle of the re­ces­sion. “We had three months of zero cus­tomers,” he re­calls. “Hav­ing no busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence, I’m think­ing, ‘Oh, shit. What did I just do?’ ”

What Wag­ner did have was con­tacts in sports, es­pe­cially in the Bay Area. He started cold call­ing agents to see if any of their clients might want to try out this force-plate an­a­lyt­ics thing. He man­aged to at­tract a cou­ple of base­ball play­ers and a quar­ter­back from Stan­ford. Word of mouth spread. Sec­ond base­man Chase Ut­ley, then with the Phillies, be­came an early client. Two years later, NBA guard Jeremy Lin, who had grown up in nearby Palo Alto, started work­ing out there. Al­though Wag­ner was mind­ful of the mas­sive PR value names like Ut­ley and Lin car­ried, he says he never took VIPs on for free. If Sparta’s method­ol­ogy worked, there was no need. “We hope to con­sis­tently pro­vide every team and in­di­vid­ual at least 10 times in im­me­di­ate re­turn value on their per­for­mance and in­jury risk,” he says.

AS SPARTA WAS GAIN­ING notice, it was also gain­ing com­peti­tors. Around the time Sparta was spin­ning up, a few hun­dred miles south, in Santa Bar­bara, an­other jock-turned- doc, Mar­cus El­liott, was open­ing a clinic that used high-tech equip­ment to an­a­lyze ath­letes’ move­ments and as­sess their in­jury risk. While Sparta has the ap­pro­pri­ately Sil­i­con Val­ley feel of a startup in a garage, El­liott’s P3 Ap­plied Sports Science has a posher vibe con­sis­tent with its clien­tele of Los An­ge­les celebrity ath­letes. El­liott, a Har­vard Med grad who looks like the doc­tor in a soap opera, spends his va­ca­tions do­ing things like pad­dle­board­ing with San An­to­nio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard. P3 uses force-plate anal­y­sis, but it sup­ple­ments it with a con­stel­la­tion of high-speed cam­eras that cap­ture the mo­tion of every joint and limb and ren­der it all in 3-D graph­ics.

Across the coun­try, near At­lanta, there is Fu­sio­net­ics, founded by Micheal Clark, a phys­io­ther­a­pist who spent many years as head trainer for the Phoenix Suns. Dur­ing Clark’s time there, the Suns were con­sis­tently one of the health­i­est teams in the NBA de­spite its ros­ter of older-than-av­er­age play­ers. Clark’s sys­tem, based on a the­ory of “move­ment ef­fi­ciency,” in­volves iden­ti­fy­ing and treat­ing range- of-mo­tion lim­i­ta­tions that pro­duce com­pen­satory in­juries. Among the tools he uses to di­ag­nose is a sys­tem called Op­to­jump, which mea­sures how and where ath­letes in­ter­act with the ground in jumps. Kobe Bryant has said he never would have lasted 20 sea­sons in the NBA with­out his Fu­sio­net­ics treat­ments.

And right down the road in Menlo Park is the head­quar­ters of Kit­man Labs, founded by Stephen Smith, the former re­hab coach for Ire­land’s Le­in­ster Rugby. Kit­man of­fers yet an­other tech so­lu­tion to the move­ment-and-in­juries prob­lem: It tests ath­letes daily us­ing a 3-D-mo­tion-sens­ing sys­tem of the type found in video game con­soles. The measurements are sup­posed to de­tect small changes in range of mo­tion that sig­nal pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive re­sponses to train­ing. Billy Beane, the in­no­va­tive Oak­land A’s gen­eral man­ager and sub­ject of Michael Lewis’s

Mon­ey­ball, was so im­pressed by Kit­man he signed on as an ad­viser. And those are just Sparta’s head-to-head com­peti­tors. There are also a slew of sport-spe­cific firms us­ing mo­tion cap­ture, wear­able sen­sors, and other meth­ods to help pitch­ers, ten­nis play­ers, or golfers op­ti­mize their mo­tions.

Next to 3-D mo­tion cap­ture, Sparta’s tech­nol­ogy can seem a lit­tle, well, spar­tan. Why be con­tent with look­ing at an ath­lete through the soles of his feet when you could be mea­sur­ing his whole body? Wag­ner’s re­tort: All of the oth­ers are gather­ing data they don’t know how to in­ter­pret. They’re com­pil­ing haystacks in­stead of find­ing nee­dles, and then draw­ing con­clu­sions no more sci­en­tific than the baby-crawl­ing pitch­ing guru’s. “That’s a key prob­lem in sports science right now—it’s more about mar­ket­ing,” he says. Wag­ner points across the gym to where Daniel Descalso is fly­ing down an As­tro­Turf strip used for sprint workouts. “We could gather force data on this sprint and ev­ery­one would write sto­ries and talk about how cool it is. The prob­lem is, it has no sci­en­tific va­lid­ity.”

Be­cause Sparta has been mea­sur­ing one thing and one thing only in the same way for al­most nine years, Wag­ner says, its data is all “clean,” or us­able. That moun­tain of clean data yields the kind of rig­or­ous in­sights that not only im­press coaches but also stand up to peer re­view. Sparta has turned its data into six sci­en­tific pa­pers (four pub­lished, two pend­ing) on in­jury risk fac­tors, more than any of its com­peti­tors. The crown jewel is one pub­lished in col­lab­o­ra­tion with re­searchers at the famed Stead­man Clinic in Vail, Colorado, show­ing a cor­re­la­tion be­tween force-plate pat­terns and UCL tears, the in­jury that costs MLB teams more than any other. The star­tling con­clu­sion: Pitch­ers who demon­strate the most drive rel­a­tive to the other parts of their jumps blow out their el­bows more of­ten.

How is it pos­si­ble to de­duce any­thing about a pitcher’s el­bow on the ba­sis of how he jumps? “How could you not?” says Wag­ner. “There’s a big rub­ber on the mound for a rea­son. Peo­ple for­get that all move­ment is ini­ti­ated through the ground. Even in swim­ming, races are won or lost in starts and turns, which are es­sen­tially a jump.”

When it comes to the in­ter­sec­tion of sports and data, Julie Al­le­gro, founder and gen­eral part­ner of Fyr­fly Ven­ture Part­ners, is an un­usu­ally dis­cern­ing critic. At her firm, she fo­cuses on ma­chine-learn­ing star­tups with large, pro­pri­etary data sets. But she also grew up in the sports world: Her fa­ther, Jim Al­le­gro, was a found­ing ex­ec­u­tive at ESPN. “So every­body sends me all their sports star­tups,” she says.

Last July, a friend who is a pro­fes­sor at Stan­ford busi­ness school told Al­le­gro about a lo­cal sports-tech startup she ought to know about. Af­ter boot­strap­ping for seven years, it was look­ing to raise ven­ture cap­i­tal for the first time. Al­le­gro agreed to meet Wag­ner and liked what she heard. “I know a lot of com­pa­nies claim to have pro­pri­etary data. But the vol­ume of data [Sparta] has—that’s a real com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage,” she says. “They’re so far ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, and with ma­chine learn­ing the way it is now, that’s just ac­cel­er­at­ing.” With Fyr­fly lead­ing the round, Sparta set out to raise $1 mil­lion in seed cap­i­tal; when it closed the round af­ter a month, it had $2.7 mil­lion.

Wag­ner wanted the money to hire more en­gi­neers. Sparta’s data­base was grow­ing so big, he says, its ma­chine-learn­ing plat­form was hav­ing trou­ble keep­ing up. “It’s like patch­ing a roof—you can patch it only so long.” The startup’s Sil­i­con Val­ley lo­ca­tion is a mixed bless­ing: Tal­ent abounds, but com­pe­ti­tion makes it ex­pen­sive. Just down the road in Menlo Park is Face­book, and Google and Ap­ple aren’t far away ei­ther. “The good thing is I can of­fer tick­ets to War­riors games,” Wag­ner says, the NBA team be­ing a client. With seven en­gi­neers now op­er­at­ing in-house, a few yards away from the train­ing area where fa­mous ath­letes bench and squat, Sparta is able to mine in­sights that are not only coun­ter­in­tu­itive but wholly un­ex­pected. For in­stance, it has found that white Amer­i­can ath­letes ben­e­fit more from sin­gle-leg squats, while Do­mini­cans do bet­ter with bi­lat­eral ones. No one knows why. But that’s the beauty of fol­low­ing the data: It works even if you don’t know why. “We’re just start­ing to scratch the sur­face with eth­nic­ity,” he says. “We want to con­tinue to get more gran­u­lar with pre­scrip­tions.” The end goal, Wag­ner says, is what’s of­ten re­ferred to in health care as “n of 1 medicine”: com­pletely in­di­vid­u­al­ized treat­ment. “What about a 32-year- old Cau­casian with a his­tory of ham­string strain who has a .303 bat­ting av­er­age? What does he need?”

Un­like some of its ri­vals, which have rushed out ver­sions of their prod­ucts for the cor­po­rate and con­sumer mar­kets, Sparta is mov­ing cau­tiously. It re­cently started work­ing with U.S. Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand, a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion from elite sports. Spe­cial forces soldiers, Wag­ner says, aren’t much dif­fer­ent from NFL play­ers, with one big ex­cep­tion: “The con­se­quences are much greater. In­stead of not mak­ing the Su­per Bowl or get­ting an­other con­tract, you die.”

In an­other two or three years, Wag­ner thinks Sparta will be ready to in­tro­duce med­i­cal and con­sumer prod­ucts. “Ul­ti­mately, our mis­sion is to make sure if there’s a de­sire by any in­di­vid­ual to be ac­tive, there should be no phys­i­cal ob­sta­cle to that,” he says. With a siz­able nest egg for the first time, he says, “we’ve got our hand­cuffs off.” Ath­letes, af­ter all, be­long on the field—al­though, for Phil Wag­ner, life on the dis­abled list has worked out pretty well.

“They’re so far ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, and with ma­chine learn­ing the way it is now, that’s just ac­cel­er­at­ing.” —Julie Al­le­gro, Fyr­fly Ven­ture Part­ners

THE DRIVE Pitch­ers rely on the ex­ten­sion phase of their mo­tion to gen­er­ate speed. And that’s where the prob­lems arise.

PUSHOFF Pitch­ing repli­cates jumping. Reach­ing back repli­cates a jump’s “load,” and push­ing off the rub­ber repli­cates the “ex­plo­sion,” the transition from ec­cen­tric to con­cen­tric mus­cle ac­tion. THE EL­BOW The varus torque a pitcher gen­er­ates in his UCL while throw­ing a fast­ball is about 32 New­ton me­ters. That much torque is at the limit of what the el­bow can with­stand.


Phil Wag­ner sits un­der red lights in the morn­ing to stim­u­late the mi­to­chon­dria in his eyes, a process he says gives him more en­ergy.

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