An answer to the age-old question: “Would training in a Gravity Chamber really work?”

Ever since the Gravity Chamber first appeared in the Dragon Ball series decades ago, kids around the world have wondered if it really is possible to become super strong by training under gravity higher than that of Earth.

The prevailing theory online is a resounding “no.” Or at the very least you’d get minimal benefit at the risk of serious damage to your body. While increasing the gravity around you would increase the weight of everything and thus push your muscles to work harder, it would also potentially cause serious damage to your circulatory system, joints, and Lord knows what else.

However, Prof. Yutaka Hirata of Chubu University’s Department of Robotic Science and Technology has conducted research that shows training under high gravity can have some unexpected benefits.

▼ Even more unexpected than 400 g having no effect on spiky anime hair

In an experiment, subjects were placed inside a machine that uses centrifugal force to increase the force of gravity downwards on their body to two g. Inside they were fitted with a pair of googles that caused their sight to be shifted about 17 degrees to the left. Then, they were asked to point to red dots that appeared on a touchscreen.

Because their hands were coordinated to their now mistaken sense of sight, they initially missed the dot. However, over time their brains can correct this and train the muscles to compensate for the change in perspective. In essence they are training their arms to work properly again.

Under a regular one g of gravity, it took test subjects an average of 60 attempts to retrain their eye-hand-coordination and touch the dots correctly. However, when the gravity is cranked up to two g, test subjects only needed about 20 attempts to train their arms to work properly again – a significant improvement.

While this is all well and good, it still doesn’t address the health issues of extended periods of time under two g, not to mention the hugely expensive machines required to simulate said gravity.

Luckily, this experiment also found a much cheaper and simpler way to produce similar results.

▼ That’s right! It’s the glare off a balding man’s forehead.

According to the same research, simply turning up the intensity of the room’s lighting also caused training to be accomplished faster.

This means that it is not the gravity per se, but an overall increase in stimuli that appears to cause humans to develop better muscle control faster, whether it be by gravity, lighting, or other potential forms.

More research is needed to determine how and why this effect occurs. Until then, if you’re developing your skills at tennis, drawing, piano, or pole dancing, it appears best to work at it in a very well lit environment for faster results, at least until you can get access to your own human-sized centrifuge.

Source: University Journal Online, My Game News Flash
Top image: YouTube/Cajun3D
Insert image: Pakutaso