The first thing you might notice about Phil Heath are his biceps. Building arms the size of many athlete’s thighs is no small task so if you want to look like the legend, you’ll have to work like him, too.
The use of a NMES device such as Compex® can build muscle strength and density by utilizing the full potential of a muscle group. Maximize the bicep “pump” with this Compex routine:
The Compex Pre-Warmup program uses low frequency electric waves to help increase local blood flow and the temperature of a muscle group in under 5 minutes to help reduce risk of injury and potentiate your muscles. Place the electrodes on the biceps and perform some bodyweight “air curls” before your session.
The Compex Resistance program helps maximize muscular effort by activating both Type 1 (slow-twitch) and Type 2 (fast-twitch) muscle fibers to increase strength and enhance full performance potential. During the contraction phases of the program, perform your favorite “bicep pump” exercise and let your NMES device maximize the contraction!
Check out our Bicep page to learn about pad placement and videos with some of the movements you see below.
Some of our bicep favorites are:
Incline Hammer Curl
EZ Bar Curl
Wide-Grip Barbell Curl
Overhead Cable Curl
Your session is done - maximize the rewards! The Compex Active Recovery program will help you recover faster for your next session and reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness. This program should be used just after your session to stimulate blood flow to help bring nutrients to the muscle group.
Put on that tank top, head to the beach.
“To be a champion your goal is to be a little bit better each day, making sure that every day is an opportunity to be your best.” - Phil Heath
Phil Heath is preparing for his 6th defense as Mr Olympia in Las Vegas this weekend. Early this year we got to peak into his training program and spend some time on set for our Compex photo shoot with the legend himself.
Check out the latest Compex® blog written by 1st time CrossFit® Games athlete and Compex athlete Sarah Loogman, where she interviews her Invictus teammate and Compex Athlete Lauren Fisher.
Mindset, Goals and Baking with Lauren Fisher
If you’re a fitness fan, chances are you’ve heard of Lauren Fisher. At 23 years old, Lauren is an accomplished professional CrossFit athlete and internationally competitive weightlifter. Battling back from a surgery following last season, Lauren will be making her 5th appearance this year at the 2017 CrossFit Games, hosted for the first time in Madison, where she will compete against the “fittest on earth” in a four-day competition that tests athletes endurance, strength, athleticism and will power.
Despite her young age, Lauren has placed herself among the CrossFit elite with top performances including a 9th place finish at the 2014 international CrossFit Games and 1st place in the 2016 California Regionals. As a weightlifter, she claimed the 2014 USAW Junior National championship in the 63kg category and earned the Best Overall Lifter award. On the international stage, she earned a bronze medal in the clean and jerk at the 2014 World University Championships.
Needless to say, she’s pretty fit.
But what makes Lauren stand out among her peers goes beyond the scoreboard with her demonstration of intense focus and work ethic. With two weeks left before the 2017 CrossFit Games, I asked Lauren to answer a few questions to peer into the mindset of a professional fitness athlete:
What has been one of your greatest obstacles that you’ve had to face, either as an athlete or in your personal growth? How did you overcome it and what was the greater lesson that you’ve learned that allows you to be who you are now?
I think the biggest obstacle that I had to face actually happened this past year. After the 2016 CrossFit Games, I knew something was wrong with my ankle and I got an MRI right after the Games to find out that I had a 2cm longitudinal tear in my peroneal tendon and an ostechondrial lesion that needed repairing. I couldn’t run and push off my ankle without pain. August 30th, 2016 I had ankle surgery. The doctor said I would be out for 5 to 6 months which meant I would be back just in time for the Open, but my conditioning and strength numbers would be nowhere near where they were the previous years. I was able to grow mentally as an athlete during this time. My goals this year had shifted to just making it through the Open, then qualifying for Regionals and now making it back to the Games. Looking back, I thought this year was just going to be a growing year and I wouldn’t even be able to compete but I did just that and surpassed my expectations. I think this helped me understand that if you set your mind to something, you can do anything. Don’t let one little obstacle get in the way of your goals. There is always something meant to come out of any hard situation and I think for me it helped me realize how grateful I am when I am able to compete and train healthy. No one likes to be injured, but I’ll tell you what I got a really strong upper body out of it.
There is obviously a lot of sacrifice that comes with elite performance so where do you most find reward in what you do? What’s the “light at the end of the tunnel” that you look to or that you would encourage others to look to when things get tough?
For me, I love what I’m doing and I love trying to be the best athlete that I can be. Since I don’t play sports anymore, CrossFit has been my outlet to have fun and be competitive. I love all the people I train with and every single one of us pushing each other to get better. I think that’s what gets me going when things start to get tough. I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have this opportunity to train for a living and travel the world. All the long hours and exhausted nights are worth it when you’re out there competing on the biggest stage.
What are your goals or intentions for the 2017 CrossFit Games?
For the 2017 Games, my goal is to leave it all out on the floor every single workout knowing that I had nothing left. If I can do that, I will be happy with my performance. Obviously, a top 10 finish would be nice.
What are a few of your most important daily habits, aside from training?
Aside from training, my nutrition is very important to me. I weigh and measure all my food so I can make sure I am getting in enough calories during my long training days. Rehab exercises, stretching, and reading all make the list as well.
How do you maintain balance to your life, or do you? What are some of the non-training of non-CrossFit things that are most important to you and how do you manage those things, values, or relationships?
I definitely have balance in my life. I think if I didn’t have any balance that training wouldn’t be fun to me anymore. My family, boyfriend, and friends are all very important to me and they understand what I’m doing so its very easy to balance my relationships with training.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
I think a lot of people don’t know that I love to bake desserts. When I was little, I wanted to start my own bakery. I’m already planning the things I want to bake after Games and enjoy!
Lauren recently graduated with her degree in Business Marketing from San Diego State University - congratulations, Lauren!
(* CrossFit is a registered mark of CrossFit, Inc.)
I remember the exact moment that I decided I wanted to be a CrossFit athlete. I was a spectator at the 2013 Nor Cal Regionals standing in the dusty bleachers near the pull-up rig, watching the individual women division complete Event #4. The entire floor of competitors was rallied around the final finisher of the heat and the whole venue erupted with energy to cheer her on. I remember in that moment telling myself “I want to do that.”
So I turned down an overseas career opportunity to dive into CrossFit.
Two years later, I would compete at my first Regionals on a team and then the following year, make my first individual appearance in 2016. But as it almost always goes, when you accomplish one dream you must move on to the next and in this sport, the next step is the CrossFit Games.
The road to worthwhile success is not usually the easy one. I had a comfortable home, comfortable income and comfortable community where I was just beginning to feel like I was rising out of the hustle. But nothing really grows out of comfort - if you dream boldly, you must expect to do bold things.
So I moved to San Diego.
It was an unexpected opportunity and spontaneous decision to train at CrossFit Invictus, something that even one year ago I would not have dreamed of and probably not agreed to, either. I left my home, fiance, family, friends and community very close to my heart to actualize my “all in” mentality for 2017, something I never intended to do until the path was laid out.
There were new obstacles, challenges and fears as I prepared for the Open and Regionals with then-strangers. The idea that my ultimate success or failure would lie outside of my own control made me nervous, to say the least. Would my new teammates be willing to sacrifice as much as I have? Do they want it as bad as I do? Am I good enough to be a part of this? But that’s the thing about commitment; you choose to trust the process and move forward regardless of your fears and you let reality outrun your dreams.
And now we are headed to the CrossFit Games.
See you in Madison!
“Imagine if we decided what we wanted in our life and we figured out a away to make that happen. How cool would that be versus just waking up and being busy.”
- Cameron Harold
Dave Dawson is a world record holding athlete that has used Compex for the past 8 years to accelerate his training goals. He drives to be the hardest worker in the room and uses Compex to push his body to the limits. He relies on Compex to help him train at a higher level, while not putting the stress on his body that an equivalent load in the weight room would.
Dave’s athletic background highlights include:
- Top 20 HS recruited football running back, baseball player and water polo player going into college.
- 11-0 amateur MMA record, 1-0 professional record (Pride fight league in Japan).
- 2008 All Ironman award AFL
- 7 years in NFL
- 3 world records in strength and power production
o 13.2 horsepower produced
o 4,922lbs of force generated
o 36 pull ups with a 50 lb weight vest in 60s
Here is what Dave had to say about his experience working with Compex:
“My focus has always been training smarter not just harder. I've never been satisfied with being just good, I’ve always wanted to be great. The Compex NMES unit allows my body to go beyond what I could have ever achieved on my own.
I feel if you use Compex it will allow you neurological advancement and muscular strength/power you cannot get any other way. I have use the device for recovery as well. It allows me to feel instantly refreshed and hit training, competition and challenges 50% faster than merely following normal recovery protocols (ice, heat, stretch, massage, rest). Strength training with the Compex device while performing dynamic/resisted movement gives results that are literally shocking. I have trained over 800 volleyball club athletes on Compex without altering their strength training, and averaged a vertical jump increase minimum of 4 1/2" in 4 weeks. Some achieved even higher.
I use Compex on average 4 hours a day, 6 days a week and have done so for the last 8 years. Truth be told, I will continue to train with Compex the rest of my life.”
“The opinions expressed are those of the individual quoted. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.”
Mark Bell is a professional powerlifter, former professional wrestler, inventor, and award winning gym owner that also hosts his own Podcast called PowerCast. As an inventor Mark has his own line of “Sling Shot products” designed to help weight lifters go heavier safely. No stranger to incorporating effective tools into his training, Mark Bell took the time to review our Compex Sport Elite. Check it out!
Learn more about Mark and his podcast here.
Tomorrow the top athletes in the world will come together to compete in the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The IRONMAN Triathlon is considered one of the hardest one-day competitions in the world and consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride and finishes up with a marathon which is a 26.2 mile run. Professional triathlete and 2007 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Andy Potts will be among those elite athletes competing for the prestigious win. Compex caught up with Andy earlier this week to talk about his pre-race routines, recovery program, advise he has for newcomers and more.
Compex Interview with Andy Potts:
After finishing in the top 5 last year have you done anything different for your preparation this time?
Every year, I am always trying to introduce different things, so we are constantly improving. Contrary to most triathlon advice, I try something new every race too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s a flop but it helps me learn and get better. In preparation for Kona, one year, we tried to do more moto-pacing, another year I spent a month out on Big Island before the race. This year, my focus has been on a few key things- A specific focus on the bike, given how important it has been to the race in recent years, and recovery. My recovery routine has developed extensively and is as important to my racing success as any other element. Some of the key things I am doing include active stretching for about 30 minutes each day, weekly massage, daily use of my Compex Muscle Stimulator and a renewed focus on nutrition pre and post workout.
What's your pre-race meal?
I try to keep it really simple and fairly light pre-race. I will eat what’s available but typically stay away from foods high in fiber as that could be dangerous on race day.
How do you include Compex in your daily routine?
I typically use Compex during and after my stretching routine. With that, I sometimes use Compex at the beginning of the day as a way to activate my muscles and also provide a little bit of ‘work’ before I head out for the day.
What's one piece of advice you would give some who wants to do an Ironman?
First thing is listen to your heart. If Ironman is something that you will both enjoy and challenge you, jump right in. I highly recommend racing all types of events and distances, not just Ironman. There is an amazing network of local races at varying distances that provide a great opportunity to race locally, connect with your community, make friends and learn a lot about racing and yourself. In addition, it’s important to to make a commitment to yourself by eating right, gaining strength, and learning about your new pursuit. The last step would be to reach out to trusted people to find out how you can get more engaged and dive in.
What's the one thing you look forward to most after swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon?
I love the finish chute. There is so much energy and excitement. Whether you are first or 50th, there is a real energy that gets me pumped. A big part of the finishing chute for me is seeing my wife and family. There is nothing more important to me in the world than them and being able to see them after a hard fought day is truly special.
What's one thing people may be surprised you eat out on the race course?
My race day diet has really refined itself over time. I am almost exclusively on Powerbar products, so nothing too earth shattering there. It wasn’t always that way and I have experimented with everything from muffins in my bento box(btw- they get really crumby) to skittles in my special needs bag.
WATCH LIVE footage of the IRONMAN Kona World Championships here: IronMan.com
To learn more about integrating Compex electric muscle stimulation into your workouts visit our Compex Training page, and to discover more information about electric muscle stimulation visit our page on How Electric Muscle Stimulation Works.
Support Compex sponsored athlete Chad Mendes in his upcoming UFC 189 Interim Featherweight Title Fight against Conor McGregor on Saturday, July 11th 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former All-American wrestler Chad "Money" Mendes who has ended five of his last six wins by knock out (KO) will fight Ireland's Conor McGregor in the main event on Pay-Per-View at 10pm/7pm ETPT.
Learn more about how Chad Mendes supercharges his workouts and trains with Compex on his athlete page: ShopCompex.com/athletes/chad-mendes
Step up your game by adding Compex into your workout regimen. Even the most elite athletes use less than half of their muscle potential. By integrating Compex electric muscle stimulation into your workouts you can activate 100% of your muscle fibers for the ultimate in warmup, performance and recovery.
Learn more about Electric Muscle Stimulation.
We caught up with Compex triathlete Josh Amberger to talk about his favorite Compex program he uses and how he incorporates it into his weekly workout routine. Here's what Josh had to say:
I love the strength mode on my Compex and I use it twice weekly to compliment my strength sessions on the bike. We can only stress the heart and lungs to a certain point before fatigue, but I find I can use the Compex in strength mode to get a little bit more from the muscles without stressing the heart and lungs beyond the bike ride. Once I get in the door from a key bike ride, I prepare a meal and then sit down to eat whilst dialing the Compex into a strength program. The strength program has different levels of operation, which I can adjust depending on how hard and low I pushed on the bike, what training I have tomorrow, and how far away from a key event I am. It's the perfect mode for going one step further in my training.
To learn more about the different Compex units and which electric muscle simulator device is right for you, check out our product comparison page. There we talk about the differences and benefits to using the Comepx Edge, Performance US and our Sport Elite unit. ShopCompex.com/Muscle-Stimulators
IRONMAN Arizona is one of the most popular triathlon events in the world because the spectator friendly non-ocean swim, atypical flat and fast bike route and its relatively flat running course. Compex athletes Jordan Rapp, Timothy O'Donnell, Amanda Stevens, Mike Zafirovski, and Neily Mathias competed this year under unusually adverse conditions ranging from cold temps to high winds on each leg of the race. Learn more about how Compex athletes Jordan Rapp and Timothy O'Donnell incorporated Compex into their post-race recovery programs after IRONMAN Arizona.
Congratulations to all Compex athletes:
3rd Place: Jordan Rappor
5th Place: Timmothy O'Donnell
5th Place: Amanda Stevens
10th Place: Mike Zafirovski
21st Place: Neels Mathias
Compex triathlete Jordan Rapp, who placed 3rd, talks about his IRONMAN Arizona post-race recovery and how he incorporated Compex into this recovery plan:
"Post race, I typically wait to see how the body sorts out for a few days. In the immediate aftermath, everything hurts. If there's long travel involved (not the case in this race), then I'd use the Recovery Plus or massage settings on a very low current just to keep the muscles moving my legs on the plane ride. I thought of this after racing IMMEL in 2013, and sitting on that 16 hour plane ride after the race and just locking up, I thought, "I have to figure out how to do this differently." And that's when I started experimenting, and the Compex is so easy in that regard. But since I fly to Tempe and it's just an hour flight, there's a lot of walking - too much! - at the airport and such and so I don't worry as much about keeping the muscles moving. This race is also different because as the last race of the season, I'm less worried about bouncing back as quickly as possible. I try to mentally unwind as well and just sort of let things flow. I take this approach with vitamins and stuff as well. I just sort of step back away from being an athlete for a couple weeks at the end of the season.
But I'm very keen to get back into swimming, since I find that is a great way to stay active, recover fast, and continue to work on my biggest weakness. So I'll probably start to getting back into swimming before the end of the week. For swimming, I personally have found the Compex to be great for obliques. All the rib muscles take a beating with the various demands and super long day of an Ironman, but I seem to have particular trouble with some of my obliques. So again, I'd start with using that to get those firing. Some light massage, recovery plus, and then maybe some potentiation before I swim. Mid-season, I'd probably focus more on doing something with my legs, especially in the peroneals and anterior tibialis to get my toes and sub-talar joint control working again. But since I'll take at least a week off of running and cycling, I'll just wait to use the Compex as normal and as needed once I start back up there.
I'm sure that as I unwind from the race, sore spots will crop up - like in my neck from lugging the bike box and suitcase on a beat-up body - and I can just get some relief with massage or recovery plus modes, again with super low current.
And, at least for this time of year, it's also good to use the Compex to get your abdominals working after you stretch your gut out to 5X its normal size at Thanksgiving!"
Compex triathlete Timothy O'Donnell, who placed 5th, talks about how he speeds up his post-race IRONMAN Arizona recovery with the Compex Active Recovery program.
"Recovering from an Ironman is never quick or easy, especially IM Arizona where the concrete run course take a huge toll on your legs. I rely heavily on my Compex post to get me moving and speed up my recovery. The active recovery program is my go to for my calves and to increase blood flow across my IT band and quads I rely on Recovery Plus Program. Thanks Compex!"
Compex is the Neuromuscular Electrical Muscle Stimulation (NMES) device of choice for athletes, coaches and trainers around the world. Pioneering electrotherapy techniques through extensive research and innovation spanning the last three decades, Compex’s flagship “Muscle Stim” devices are used to improve physical performance, speed recovery in preparation for the next performance, and for rehabilitating the muscle for peak performance.
Compex enables athletes to safely customize their training, exercise more muscle fibers in less time, and recover faster. The result is a more efficient workout with less risk of injury and virtually no cardiovascular fatigue. Learn more at www.ShopCompex.com