TJ De Santis
“Did you like my songs?” asks Gegard Mousasi. Apparently, the sounds I thought I heard coming from Max Martyniouk’s isolation tank were really coming from Gegard’s.
“I was making noise so I could feel something,” the light heavyweight says as he exits the tank after 45 minutes. Martyniouk exits a few moments later. Following their post-chamber showers, both men are quickly chatty about their experiences.
“I feel like a new person” says Max. “I think I had a panic attack for the first five minutes, but when I relaxed and calmed down, I fell asleep. I had a good dream, too. I had a nice car and a nice house.”
Mousasi’s experience in the tank wasn’t as intense as Max’s.
“I was in there thinking, I need to take my mother to Japan. She hasn’t been anywhere before. I think she would like that,” says Gegard. Results vary from inside Float Lab, but both said they would be willing to do it again.
“I need to practice more,” says Gegard. “I think if I practice, I can shut myself off a little more.” The former Strikeforce 205-pound champion is a fighter, and he thinks like one, too. This was a good experience for him, but he plans on learning from it and making sure the next time is even better.
For those interested in visiting Float Lab, or those curious about isolation chambers, visit floatlab.com.
TJ De Santis
Crash explained to us that finding the results you may desire from an isolation chamber comes with time. I had the chance to experience it for myself last January. I only lasted 45 minutes before I had to use the restroom. Once you break the concentration, you really have to start all over again.
I am not one for alternative medicines or meditation, but from my experience in the tank earlier this year, I can honestly say it’s an incredibly soothing experience. Through our day-to-day activities, we are rarely alone, and when we are in solitude, that time is usually spent thinking or worrying about something or someone else.
In the chamber, albeit for just 45 minutes, I was alone with myself -- and not the alone I usually am when I play video games until dawn. The silence and darkness lull you into a nearly a sleep-like state. You float and truly feel little to nothing. I would be lying if I said I had an out-of-body experience, but I did feel like I was flying. I am curious to hear how Gegard and Max feel about their experiences.
TJ De Santis
After about 20 minutes in the isolation chamber, it sounds like Max “Payne” Martyniouk is singing or saying something. From the waiting room, I hear what sound like faint words coming from the chamber. Dave and I have set the over-under for Max’s stay at 63 minutes. We both took the under. From his pre-chamber nerves, and now the noises, I am wondering if he will even make it to the 30 minute mark.
Roughly 10 minutes later, I hear Gegard making noises. I am starting to wonder what is going through their minds in the “think tanks.”
TJ De Santis
“I feel like I am going into a fight,” says Max Martyniouk.
The lightweight is about to take his pre-isolation chamber shower. Crash has explained to us that you have to go through a process before you jump into the “think tank.” You must first wash your body clean of dirt and grime. Then, you put in ear plugs, so the salt water doesn’t get into the ear canal. He assures us that “it won’t do any damage even if it does,” and Martyniouk seems relieved, but still hesitant.
Gegard Mousasi is the first to get into his isolation chamber. The Iranian-born Armenian is laughing and having a good time prior to exiting in to the darkness. His joy may have been from Crash letting him ride the TurboSonic machine.
When you walk into Float Lab, you’ll see two machines which look like odd scales. Crash tells Mousasi to stand on the machine, and then presses a few buttons. Mousasi starts shaking like he is driving over a gravel road. The benefits to the machine, Crash explains, are plentiful. He tells us that this machine works over 600 different muscle groups, as well as increasing bone density and promoting blood cell health. As of right now, it’s just promoting laughter from Mousasi.
Afterward, Dave Mandel and I try to get an interview with Gegard, but it’s nearly impossible. The light heavyweight is all giggles following the 10 minute experience. Once he calms down, he goes off to the isolation chamber, where Crash has given him all the time he needs to find his inner self.
TJ De Santis
The Float Lab is a little shop located off of the boardwalk in Venice Beach. It sits behind an ice cream shop and draws little to no attention. There is no marker outside, other than a reminder to passersby to be quiet, and a sign that reads “do not enter.” Should you choose to investigate further, you will meet a gentleman named Crash.
Crash is someone whom you’d expect to be running a shop like this. He is an alternative thinker whose youth was spent amongst hippies. Don’t judge the book by its cover, though, because the knowledge he has to offer is not only unique but incredibly interesting.
An isolation chamber is something you might think of as strange, or even a bit scary. Crash will tell you “it is what you make of it.” The room is basically a pitch black industrial-size refrigerator. On the floor is a bath of water with 800 pounds of Epsom salt. Inside, you cannot see, hear, nor feel, as the water is heated to exactly the temperature of your skin.
“Once your brains starts turning things off, you can start to really be with yourself,” explains Crash. He tells Max Martyniouk and Gegard Mousasi that our brains focus so much on gravity navigation that we can’t process things on a very high level. When you’re in the isolation chamber, your senses are allowed to rest. After these last few days of training, the guys are all deserving of a rest.