Compex Electric Muscle Stimulator with TENS Blog

Get Stronger, Faster, Without Working Harder.

  1. Compex Sport Elite Electric Muscle Stimulator: Shockingly Easy To Use

    Check out the review by Steven John from The Manual.  Please note that Steven was provided a device to keep by Compex at no charge, and his opinions in the review are his own. Go to https://www.themanual.com/culture/compex-sport-estim/ to see this article and more.

    First of all, forgive the “shockingly easy to use” pun. I went for the low-hanging fruit, yes; this device does not actually shock you, no. Rather the Compex Sport Elite uses electrostimulation (estim) — brief pulses of electricity transmitted through the muscles via electrode, e.g. — to aid with everything from improved blood circulation to increased muscle mass to faster post-exercise recovery. And yes, this Electric Muscle Stimulator really can do all that, and more. You just have to spend the time to learn to use it properly, and you have to get over the fact that using the Compex EMS is kind of really strange at first.

    First, let’s take a basic look at what electric muscle stimulation is: it’s making muscles work. There. I mean… I said basic, didn’t I? OK, we’ll go a bit deeper.

    When you pick up a barbell (or a cup of coffee or a copy of War and Peace), your brain is sending electrical impulses to your muscles via the trusty nervous system. All the right muscles contract, and the result is you lifting the weight (or other object). Or typing, playing the violin, running from a tiger, etc. The point is that your brain controls all sorts of voluntary muscle contractions. (And involuntary ones, yes, Mr. Scientician.)

    When you apply electrodes to your muscle groups and send charges through the muscle using a battery instead of your brain, your muscles will contract as well, albeit this time the contraction is involuntary. But guess what? Muscle fibers don’t care whether it was you’re brain or the Compex Sport Elite EMS device that made them contract; if they do so enough times, the fibers will endure the slight tears that lead to new growth and result in larger, stronger muscles. Using a Compex device can help you build muscle even if you are sitting in a chair, stuck in traffic, or even lying in bed; using the device during an active workout or as part of your warm-up or recovery can help you build a hell-of alot more muscle, and can keep your body limber and feeling great. Yes, many people see using EMS devices as a rather lazy approach to muscle building and fitness, but that’s largely a misconception of this type of hardware generally, and a diametric misunderstanding of the intended use of the Compex Sport Elite. This is not a way for the lazy person to exercise, it is a tool to help the fitness devotee make the most of his or her workouts. But it didn’t start out that way…

    I spoke to Brandon Hearn, Senior Director of Consumer Business Development with Compex, and got the lowdown on the brand’s backstory. He told me that the company “has been around for 31 years now. [Compex] was founded in Switzerland, and started out as a medical device company.” The products were developed for “people who had muscle atrophy issues, who needed rehab, that sort of purpose. But slowly and steadily we began getting more and more requests from fitness-related clients, and we became more geared toward sports and fitness products.” People realized the potential top quality EMS devices offered beyond keeping muscles of injured or elderly patients functioning, seeing that Compex products could also help fit people achieve ever greater strength and endurance capabilities.

    What sets the Compex Sport Elite apart from many other EMS hardware options is the fact that this device can “grab” almost 100% of the muscle tissue in a given area, providing your muscles with a productive, complete workout and avoiding dysmorphic issues many electric stimulation devices can cause. Think about it like this: when you lift a weight, you are using multiple muscles to heft and balance the load. When you use an electric pulse to contract a muscle, you run the risk of hitting and therefore working only a few fibers. The Compex sends electric pulses deep into the fibers, contracting almost every tissue in a muscle group, therefore ensuring the muscle is developed evenly.

    Alright, now let’ talk about me. I’m a runner/hiker and I do daily calisthenics and some moderate weightlifting. I was circumspect about EMS technology primarily because it kind of freaks me out, and also because I just wasn’t sure this type of device would do me much good. After all, I’m not looking to build huge muscles for competitive weightlifting or anything. But I do like making the most of my two to three weekly weightlifting sessions, and I do know the agony of severe lactic acid build up after a serious hike. So when I learned that of the nine programs the Compex Sport Elite offers, one was all about recovery and rapid lactic acid processing, and that many of the strength and endurance regimens could make those lifting sessions more productive, I figured hey, let’s give this thing a whirl.

    The first time I applied the electrodes to my body, I managed to put them on wrong and nothing happened. About 45 seconds of reading later and I realized I needed to reposition the adhesive pads and boom, my left bicep was twitching away without me doing anything more than watching in mild consternation. But y’know what? You get used to the involuntary muscle twitching pretty fast.

    I tried out the Compex on my quads, calves, and other arm, and then started trying it out on my abs some, too. While I have by no means had the time to become an expert with this device, I’ll say that I (and you will too) quickly got down the proper electrode placement for larger, distinct muscles and muscle groups, such as the biceps and quadriceps. Getting everything in just the right place to feel I was properly working my abdominals was a bit harder, and the fact that I have a moderately hairy chest wasn’t a benefit here. The goo on the pads is pretty forgiving on skin and even hair, I’ll allow, but it definitely took a bit of hair with it. Oh well.

    I’m sure over time I will become more comfortable with the strength and endurance building programs, but it was the post-workout recovery assistance that caught my attention initially and that I see myself making the most use of going forward.

    The Compex Sport Elite can help you stave off delayed onset muscle soreness (which they call DOMS), therefore precluding one of the most common issues the athlete/outdoorsman faces. If you are a serious hiker, you know the score: you get off the mountain feeling great, but within hours, your legs are locked up and throbbing and your back is sore as all hell. But not if you spent some time with the Compex’s recovery programs. In this modem, the device produces a constant but low-intensity frequency of pulses that induce gentle muscle contraction akin to getting a massage. The result in increased blood flow that helps move lactic acid out of there muscles and bring oxygen and nutrients in. I have tried the recovery program out after runs and workouts, and I can’t wait to try it after my next big hike.

    And hell, I might even start building some muscle while sitting at this desk.

     

  2. Tuesday Tip - Building Muscle Mass

    In case you missed it:

    Follow us on Instagram @compexusa for a new tip every Tuesday

    Todays tips is all about learning how Compex can help you build muscle mass.

  3. Tuesday Tip - How to Bypass the warm up

    incase you missed it:

    Follow us on Instagram @compexusa for a new tip every Tuesday

    Todays tip is about how to bypass the warm up setting in your device.

     

  4. Tuesday Tip- Programs

    Incase you missed it:

    Check out @compexusa on Instagram for a new Tip every Tuesday

    Todays tip is all about program selection. Program selection is important based on your training and recovery goals. For more information on all 9 Compex programs check out our website here.

     

  5. Tuesday Tip - Turning up the Intensity

    In case you missed it:

    Check out @compexusa on Instagram for a new tip every Tuesday

    Todays tip is all about turning up the intensity when using your device.

  6. Tuesday Tip- Saving your Wired Battery

    Just in case you missed it:

    Follow Us on Instagram at @compexusa for a new Tip every Tuesday at noon

    Todays Tip is all about Saving Your battery if you are going to be storing your device for an extended period of time.

     

     

  7. Tuesday Tip- Using the Endurance Setting

    In case you missed it:

    Check out @compexusa on Instagram for a new tip every Tuesday

    Tuesday tips is about how to utilize the Endurance program to get a little more out of your workout.

     

  8. Fight Muscle Fatigue with the Latest Compex® Lineup

    It’s finally here! On May 8th, Compex® will be releasing a lineup of new colors across all wired devices. The devices themselves will be identical with the best of Swiss technology, but now you’ll have more options in shopping for your first or upgraded device.

    The new colors will be:

    - Recon Green

    - Tactical White

    - Seal Black

     Compex  devices are beneficial for the occasional to elite competitor seeking a performance edge or for an exercise hobbyist looking to relieve aches or tightness associated with physical activity as well as to train for those activities.

    NMES devices use electric waves to send signals to the muscle to cause an involuntary contraction. Dependent on the frequency of the wave, this effect can be used to help recover or even train the muscle to suit a variety of athletic needs. In Compex devices, preset programs have been engineered to optimize the efficiency of these desired effects with programs ranging from Massage to Active Recovery and Explosive Strength*, among others.

    Not interested in fancy colors, but still want a great device at discounted cost? Keep your eye out for clearance discounts on our website leading up to and at the release of the newest devices. The originals will not be reproduced again so get them while they’re in!

    *Note: not all devices come with all of the colors, see the comparison chart  for more information.

  9. Compex Recovery: Which Program Should I Use?

    The most common use for an electric stimulation devices is in recovery, and rightfully so. An NMES device such as Compex can be used to decrease recovery time by using involuntary muscle contractions and controlled levels of electric pulses to improve blood flow, reduce muscle soreness and flush away lactic build up. But if you turn on a Compex device, there are more recovery programs than just one and knowing how to choose the correct program will further enhance the benefit of using a Compex device.

    So which program should you choose?

    Active Recovery

    This program is also known as the Training Recovery program in the wireless device. This program would be best used immediately post workout and studies have shown that immediate recovery markers are improved by 4.5x when using a Compex device versus a voluntary cool down. Although the program will run for 20 minutes, just 6 minutes of use is enough to be effective in flushing out lactic build up and recovering from “the pump.” This program would be very beneficial in a competition setting or between back-to-back training sessions or events.

     Recovery Plus

    This program is also known as Competition Recovery in the wireless device. This program would be best utilized in the hours or days following a physical effort or on “rest day” to reduce muscle soreness or stiffness. This program should not, however, be used during competition.

    Massage

    This program is also known as Muscle Relaxation in the wireless device. This program is a low-frequency electric pulse that will help to relax tight muscles and help restore mobility with increased blood flow and movement. Like the Recovery Plus, this program should not be used during competition.

     Choosing the correct program can help to amplify the efficiency of your recovery between training and competition events. Better recovery equates to higher levels of performance and decreased feelings of fatigue or soreness and can help an athlete advance to the next levels of their potential.

  10. Meet World Record Holder Dave Dawson

    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.”

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