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Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 12:20 pm  |  9 responses

The Bite Stuff, Pt. 2

Kevin tests the Under Armour Bite in the weight room, on the court, and in bed.

by Kevin Owens / @Waiting4Godunk

I thought before I describe the second day of testing, I would answer some of the questions I’ve received in regard to the Under Armour Performance Mouthwear with “Armour Bite” Technology (Armour Bite) which custom fitted, retails for $495 (that’s question 1). The second issue I did not address the first time around is the actual placement of the device. I know a lot of you are thinking the mouth piece covers the top of the teeth — I know this because when I first received it I thought the same thing. When my mouth was fitted, they took impressions of my entire mouth. I figured like most mouth pieces it would cover my front teeth, however when I received it and attempted to put it on, it was noticeably small.

At first, I cursed the dentist who took the impressions thinking he put the wrong addresses on the moldings. Giving it one last try, I slid it on my bottom jaw and it fit like a glove. I am sure I was told this down in Florida, but I may have been too giddy with excitement to hear. I almost omitted this story because I was afraid the comment section would be filled with hurtful phrases like, “He’s a big dumb animal ladies and gentlemen.” But I figured I needed to tell it like it is despite the ridicule I may endure.

Back to the testing… While reading the pamphlet I was given at the Global Symposium, I immediately felt this could be beneficial to me when lifting. While pushing out the last few reps of heavy weight, I constantly mash my teeth together. Little did I know that I was not increasing performance, but literally draining myself of energy.

Last week I went through a workout routine specifically designed for power lifting. I wanted to test how strong I was with my old enamel-destroying lifting style. After warming up I was able to bench press 225 pounds nine times, calculating my max at 292 pounds. (Attention all juice heads: I have long arms so please no “pencil neck” comments!)

I decided during this power testing day I would focus strictly on my “glamour muscles.” I was able to perform nine pull-ups before fatigue set in (again, long arms). I then moved on to my shoulders. I performed six reps of 135 while performing a push press. The push press is basically a Military Press with a little leg squat for power. Although I rarely wear a Speedo (anymore), I figured I’d give my legs a little burn as well.

Last week I returned to the weight room to perform the same tests now equipped with my Armour Bite. According to the research, my performance is said to enhance. I noticed a slight improvement on my golf shot but lifting to me is far more important. You see, my goal when I grow old is to be as big as either Hulk Hogan or Paul Sr from American Choppers. How intimidating would I be at 50 years old if I was 7-feet (6-10) tall and 300 pounds? Any young high school punk attempting to date my daughter would be terrified. Add a handlebar mustache and a tank top and that’s just gravy.

During my warm up, I noticed something different. Usually when fatigued, my triceps can’t generate enough power to complete the press. But this time I felt significantly more power at the end of my lift. The numbers in all of my tests increased, some significantly. While testing on 225 pounds againkevin_owens1 I powered out 12 reps. That’s a 20-pound increase in my max. When I tested my pull-ups I was able to perform 11 reps. Push press I performed 7.

Although additional research is still being done on the positive effects of the UA Performance Mouthpiece, the privately funded research (my gym membership fees) that I conducted have shown this product to be “performance enhancing” during lifting.

Test 2: PASSED

*****

For Test 3, I put the Armour Bite in during a basketball workout. Unfortunately this test was inconclusive because I do not clench my jaw when I run, jump, skip, dance, shoot and dribble… although this photo may beg to differ. During the season I have been wearing a mouthpiece I received several years ago after I had my front tooth knocked out. I use the mouth guard strictly to protect my teeth and not for performance. But this new technology intrigues me. I have endured several concussions during the course of my career. If I had a mouth guard that reduced the impact of concussions, perhaps now when my wife edits my writing, there would be far less typos.

Test 3: INCONCLUSIVE

*****

My final test was in the bedroom (cue sexy music). Not like that, you sickos! Get your minds out of the gutter. You see, over the past three years, I have endured a bit of stress. That’s what happens when you work hard, are completely capable, yet continuously get crapped on by the people who control your destiny. I may not show the stress in my daily life since I am such a positive fellow, but at night I have been grinding my teeth. It has gotten so bad that I needed a root canal to fix one of my poor molars. (Maybe I should send that bill to my agent.) So I decided to start wearing the Armour Bite when I slept.

According to Under Armour, the yellow plates bearing the UA logo are made of an impenetrable, unyielding material. That is a good sign considering my teeth would be grinding against these pads for eight hours a night. After wearing the UA Mouthpiece while sleeping, I felt an improvement in the back of my mouth. I have had a lot of pain throughout my back teeth and gums over the past few months. Since wearing the UA Performance Mouthpiece the pain has subsided. Trying to disprove the positive results of this mouth wear, I called several local dentists and priced-out both custom-fitted night guards and mouth pieces. The average prices were similar to the price of both the Armour Bite Mouthguard ($495) and the Armour Bite Mouthpiece ($495).

I tried, during this piece, to keep my integrity as a journalist and not be a corporate suck-up; however, in my business, results are what counts. This mouth piece certainly worked for me. I am not sure how others fared, but I was able to lift more, hit one amazing golf shot, and stop the pain in the back of my mouth, and all of this for a price that is competitive with similar products. Maybe if you do not grind your teeth, lift weights, or play a non-contact sport, this product would be useless. But for me, I definitely felt the benefits, and with only a minor speech impediment.

Kevin Owens is a veteran of overseas professional basketball who also writes for Waiting For Godunk and Hugging Harold Reynolds. You can also catch him on Twitter @Waiting4Godunk.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    $500? Damn.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I don’t quite get it, is this sort of like Power Balance except in your mouth? Did he say you need to clench your teeth for it to be effective? Wee bit confused.

  • http://WaitingForGodunk.blogspot.com Waiting For Godunk

    Eboy, I thought the same thing, but compared to prices of a custom mouth guard or night guard it is average. I called about 15 dentists over the past few days and the average price was between $425-$550. Like I said it may not be for everyone, but if you are in the market, I’d recommend this product.

  • http://WaitingForGodunk.blogspot.com Waiting For Godunk

    omphalos, the origin behind it is from “olden times” when warriors used to put leather straps in their mouths before battle for the same performance enhancing reasons. During most stressful situations the body clenches its jaw. It’s part of the fight or flight response our body has. As Rocket Ismail said to me, if you are about to get leveled by a linebacker…you are clenching your teeth.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Now that’s a cool anecdote, “as Rocket Ismail once said to me…” nice.

  • fabo

    sounds like a may need to get one hannaka.

  • Central Jersey Dental Rep

    Basically, the compression of TMJ (Jaw joint) when clenched during sports or other times,causes the body to release hormones for example Cortisol which cause fatigue and tiredness among other things. This effect is the exact opposite of the adrenaline the body produces when playing sports thus counteracting the adrenalin. It’s the adrenalin that gives your body the advantage when playing sports to hit the ball further, hit the opponent harder or lift more weight. If we remove the clenching (compression of the TMJ joint), we remove the production of cortisol and other hormones that counteract adrenalin thus allowing the body to fully take advantage of all the adrenalin it produces and the effects adrenalin gives us. The end result, better performance. Athletic mouthguards are not a one size fits all product hence, when they are uncomfortable, they are not worn. Not only do you risk severe injury or tooth loss, but a poorly fitting mouthguard will decrease overall performance as well because the athlete will be focused on the discomfort of the mouthpiece and not the task at hand…make sense? And the cost is as such because these guards are custome made by an outside laboratory, not by the dentist himself. He/she takes the impressions, sends them to Bitetech and then he fits the guard and adjusts to ensure proper fit and comfort. Hope this helps

  • http://WaitingForGodunk.blogspot.com Waiting For Godunk

    That is an expert right there ladies and gentleman.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    The price is steep, but, having been gifted one last March and enjoying it at both the gym and for sleeping, I co-sign everything Kevin says.

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