Compex Electric Muscle Stimulator with TENS Blog
Get Stronger, Faster, Without Working Harder.
Compex Workout - Monday April 3rd
This workout goes back to the posterior chain, focused on strengthening the glutes and hamstrings. The metabolic condiioning workout has a 9 minute cap so work hard but make sure the clock doesn't get away from you. Finish with your compex with the Glute pad placement shown below.
Sumo Deadlifts 3×5
40 Pull Ups
30 Ring Dips
20 Clean and Jerks @ 115/80#
** 9 Minute Time Cap
Pad Placement will be:
Pad Placement: Glutes
Compex Workout - Saturday April 1st
Saturdays workout is all about general conditioning with an extra focus on core stability. After the workout focus your Compex set up for the quads and shoulder for some recovery.
As Many Reps as possible in 16 minutes:
15 Overhead Squats @95/65#
12 Toes to Bar
Pad Placement will be:
Pad Placement: Quads and Shoulders
Program: Active Recovery
Compex Workout - March 31st
This workout is all about the Posterior Chain and strengthening the back side, with a metabolic challenge to push you to your max. After your workout use the Compex and the recommended pad placement to add a little extra to your workout.
Sumo Deadlifts 3x5
21-15-9 For Time:
Cleans @ 135/95#
** 8 Minute Time Cap
Pad Placement will be:
Pad Placement: Glutes
Compex Workout - Thursday March 30th
This workout goes back to building muscle stamina and aerobic conditioning. Notice the compex pad placement is the same as last Tuesday as the focus is recovery.
2 minutes of Row
2 minutes Air Squats
2 minutes trunk rotation @ 14/10#
2 minute jump rope
2 minutes assault bike
Pad Placement will be:
1 set of leads connect the hamstring and calf, and 1 set of leads on the quads on each leg.
Program: Active Recovery
Compex Workout - March 29th, 2017
Giving the legs a break, today's workout is focused on upper body strength and testing the lactate threshold. This workout involves some high skill dynamic movements, so modify as necessary. After the AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) use the recommended shoulder placement to finish off your workout.
Push Press 3 x 5
AMRAP in 7 minutes:
9 shoulder to overhead press @ 155/105#
3 Bar Muscle Ups
6 shoulder to overhead press @ 155/105#
2 Bar Muscle Ups
3 shoulder to overhead press @ 155/105#
1 Bar Muscle Ups
Pad Placement: Shoulders
Compex Workout - Tuesday March 28th
Todays workout is all about building your muscle stamina and creating a good aerobic base. After your workout use the active recovery setting to help recover for tomorrows workout.
Continuous rounds for 40 minutes:
40 Step Ups @ 24/20" Box Height
20 Inch Worms
Pad Placement will be:
1 set of leads connect the hamstring and calf, and 1 set of leads on the quads on each leg.
Program: Active Recovery
Compex Workout - Monday March 27th
Compex just got even easier!!
Most of you already know about the Recovery benefits of Compex but did you know you can train with it too?! Check back daily over the next 6 weeks for the Compex Training Program that can help you reach your fitness goals. It will guide you through set-up and the workout itself.
Our devices are more than just recovery - time take you and your Compex to the next level!
Today's workout focuses on lower body strength building as well as some high intensity metabolic work. Finish your workout with Compex using the recommended placement to get the most out of your workout. Post your results in the comments below!
Back Squat 3 x 5
3 Rounds for Time of:
15 Thrusters @ 95/65#
Pad Placement: Quads
Athlete Recovery 101
The greater the stress a training program produces, the greater the necessity for deliberate actions taken to maximize the body’s repair. Elite level athletes understand the value of rest and recovery methods and among them, the demands for recovery at the top tier become a full time career of practicing their craft. The human body is capable of incredible and seemingly impossible feats when properly nurtured and adapted to the right conditions.
Methods of recovery may include practices targeted at hormonal, neurological or structural stressors and the effectiveness of certain techniques may vary between athletes. The intention to each practice, however, is to maximize the performance potential of an individual. Here are some of the key elements and insights to elite level rest and recovery:
As simple as it seems, most people don’t get this one right. Our culture promotes a strong value to “overdoing it” and a full night of rest is a rare indulgence for most go-getter types. Sleep is invaluable to recovery in terms of mental health, hormonal balance and muscle recovery and there are incredibly anabolic (muscle growth and protein synthesis) processes that happen in the body during solid states of sleep. Even one night of poor sleep can significantly delay signals of the brain. Proper duration of sleep will vary per athlete and training methods, however, 7-10 hours is the norm. Try to sleep in an environment with as little light as possible and cooler temperatures are best as well.
The foods that enter your body are literally what fuel the functions of your body and can either harm you or help you. Alcohol, sugar and processed foods are toxins to the body that can cause inflammation and do catabolic damage to the cells. Because some people may be more resistant or tolerant to certain food types, it is important for each individual to determine the best dietary recommendations to follow that provide the right levels and qualities of macro and micro nutrients to the body. Athletes are often especially deficient in magnesium and may also benefit from supplementation with fish oil, B12 and CoQ10. Women tend to be more deficient than men in calcium and iron and may need to take extra measures to ensure proper supplementation.
Drinking adequate amounts of water is critical to living healthy, maintaining energy levels and high rates of recovery and performance. Although your sports drinks may contain water, they are not adequate sources of hydration and should not replace water itself. Even adding flavorings can make it harder for your body to process. Studies show that by the time you already feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated by 1-2%. Although this may seem insignificant, even the slightest levels of dehydration can cause irritability, poor memory, fatigue and reduced metabolism.
Mindfulness Practice / Breathing
Meditation practices are lesser studied in Western culture, however, studies have shown that practices in mindfulness and breathing techniques are beneficial to psychological and physiological wellbeing. In the performance athlete, the ability to control thoughts of pain or emotion can provide a competitive edge. Meditation does not have to be inherently spiritual or religious, but can bring clarity, reduce levels of stress and anxiety, and relieve tension. Athletics can tend to draw a certain personality type that are high-strung and judgmental to self, but elite athletes often share a common practice in “letting go.”
Body work covers a broad range of practices but may include active or passive stretching, foam rolling, massage, Graston technique, or cupping. Individual athletes may respond differently to varying techniques and should find what works best to suit their needs. Although body care specialists are important to seek out and learn from, self care will be a necessity to keep up with a demanding training regimen. One massage appointment per month will not be enough!
Hot and Cold Therapy
Although there is a lot of controversy on which methods of temperature therapy are best, many athletes utilize and find benefit in ice, heat, or contrast therapy for reduction of joint or muscle swelling or soreness and increased recovery time. Practices in heat therapy may be dependent on the nature of trauma or stress that an individual athlete has experienced and may differ when addressing stressors of the joints or muscle. Athletes should look to expert recommendations and even their own experience when using hot or cold therapy.
Electric stimulation devices such as Compex have been shown to increase recovery time in athletes and are medical-grade devices designed to contract the muscles in different ways that may promote blood flow, increase the muscle, and/or flush out lactic buildup. In more extreme cases even, an NMES device can be used to alleviate muscular spasms and cramps.
Whether your goals are to be an elite athlete or just beat your own markers of fitness to get back in shape, recovery methods are vital to optimizing your human performance and potential. Although these techniques have been suggested as recovery methods from athletic practices, recovery is important for any person that encounters physical, emotional, or mental stressors in everyday life. In order to put your best self forward, you have to take care of yourself in mind and body.
Fitness Test: Compex Muscle Stim Devices
Check out the review in Men's Health and Fitness on the Sport Elite and Wireless Device by Brittany Smith. Complete article here http://www.mensfitness.com/life/gearandtech/fitness-test-compex-muscle-stim-devices
YOU CAN ZAP your muscles—literally send an electric current down to nerve fibers, fire your motor neurons, and stimulate a strong muscle contraction. It's called NMES, neuro-muscular electrical nerve stimulation; more specifically, we're talking about two NMES stimulators from Compex, a company that’s been in the business of electrotherapy for over 20 years. So why should you want to try it out? For one, NMES can help you heal quicker if you're coming back from an injury. But, it's not just for guys who have been sidelined. It can also help you recover faster after a brutal WOD and even boost your performance in workouts by better activating bodyparts.
And it doesn't hurt—aside from some alien tingling sensation you quickly get used to. I can attest to this; I tested both the Compex Sport Elite Muscle Stimulator Kit and the Compex Wireless USA Muscle Stimulator Kit.
But before you read what I thought, check out everything you need to know about personal NMES devices first.
What Compex Devices Do
A NMES electrotherapy at-home device mimics the electrical pulses your brain fires to contract muscles, only it lights up the entire length of your motor neuron so you get a complete contraction—as in 100% of your muscle contracts. The average Joe can contract anywhere from 25-40% of a muscle, whereas more muscular dudes (think: Phil Heath—who actively uses Compex) can get about 65%, says Brandon Hearn, the senior director at Compex & Consumer Business Development.
Compex is approved for a multitude of goals, like increasing your muscle size, strength, and density, boosting VO2 max, honing greater explosive strength, and faster muscle recovery. And clinical studies prove athletes can increase muscle size, strength, and endurance within a few weeks when combining Compex electric muscle stim in a regimen; it's also been shown to flush lactic acid out of muscles faster, getting you back on your feet and giving you a greater capacity to perform than using traditional methods or nothing at all.
Why Athletes Use Compex
High-profile athletes like Phil Heath use the device to booststrength gains. "If you want to lift more, you need to get the right muscles firing," Hearn says.
Hearn's used a device on CrossFit Games athlete Lauren Fisher when her foot was bound in a cast, due to an ankle injury. They cut a small hole in her cast in order to place an electrode to apply electrotherapy. "It prevents atrophy," Hearn explains. Lebron Jamesand players from the San Diego Padres are just a few more of Compex's top-tier clientele, as is Mat Fraser, 2016 CrossFit Games Champion and reigning “Fittest Man on Earth."
“Compex is a big part of my training,” Fraser says. “It’s an easy-to-use tool for activation, recovery, and strength. I use the strength cycles quite frequently—especially on my quads—and pre- and post-workout to help recovery on a nagging ankle injury.”
The Difference Between Devices
The Compex Sport Elite Muscle Stimulator Kit has 9 pre-set programs (so no guess work!): Endurance is designed to build your resistance to long-duration aerobic fatigue by promoting the growthof more slow-twitch muscle fibers over a span of 45 minutes. Resistance encompasses endurance and strength, activating the growth of both slow- and fast-twitch fibers for running and lifting in just 12 minutes. Strength boosts pure muscle strength more efficiently than weight lifting alone and reduces your risk of muscleand tendon injuries in 20+ minutes. Explosive Strength can bolster your vertical leap by developing greater short bursts of powerwithout the strain of plyometrics; you'll work in very brief durations, completing exercises like jumps, sprints, and throws in this program. Potentiation warms up your muscles, getting them up to their max working potential, without the usual fatigue of a warmup. ActiveRecovery helps diminish soreness and relaxes your muscles post-workout. Recovery Plus flushes lactic acid from your muscles in just 7 minutes, Hearn says; this program doesn't actually contract your muscles, but increases blood flow, perfect after competitions, races, and vigorous routines. Pre-Warmup doesn't contract your muscles either; it runs a current at a certain frequency designed to oxygenate muscles before a workout and increase blood flow. Massageimproves the movement of blood and oxygen through your blood vessels, too.
The Compex Wireless USA has all the same beneficial programs as the Sport Elite Muscle Stimulator. The only difference is it's portable. By going wire-free, you can attach the pods to the electrode pads, and go through your workout without fear of yanking anything out of place.
Ease of Use
You don't have to have a certificate in physical therapy, but you definitely need to read the instructions and electrode placement guide for the best results. The electrode pads are sticky and you don't want to handle the side you'll place skin-down too much. Clean your skin with soap and water (sweat, oil, and lotion break down the pads' stickiness, but they'll typically last 15-30 uses). Then, follow the placement guide and apply the pads.
Now, for the Sport Elite, you'll snap the electrodes right on the pads, making sure the red cable (positive electrode) is on the pad over the "motor point of the muscle" and the black cable (negative electrode) is placed on the "muscle trajectory." Don't worry. This sounds complicated, like you're jumping a car, but everything is color-coded and spelled out on the online manual.
For the Wireless, you connect the pods onto the pads by sliding them onto the metal applicators; they'll snap right into place.
The biggest difference you'll notice between the two is in the control unit. The Wireless device is superior in its usability. The LED screen lights up when you power on, giving way to the pre-made settings. Choosing which setting you want, the area of your bodyyou're working, and adjusting the intensity of the resistance is intuitive and seamless. The Sport Elite takes a bit longer to get used to. Sometimes you'll power the device off when you're trying to get a program started, so it takes some putzing around to get used to the controls.
When you're done, you just snap or slide the electrodes off, and stick the pads back on their plastic for storage. The Wireless electrodes fit into their own docking unit.
When I met with Hearn, I tested the Wireless USA unit. With electrodes in place on our biceps, we went through the Resistanceprogram together. Now, to reach a significant percentage of working fibers, you need to hit a minimum intensity of 30 mAmp (the red zone, about 250 mAmp, will deliver surprising soreness). Sitting in chairs with hands resting on our thighs, palms facing up, Hearn started the workout, using resistance level 3. The current is strong; Hearn describes it as a biting sensation—and that's no joke. Your arms will probably jerk uncontrollably at first in response to the buzzing energy coursing through your body. (Mine did.) These contractions should be powerful, but you don't want them to be intolerable or overpowering.
From here, the program begins. You only need about 6-10 contraction phases for a solid strength and performance workout, Hearn says. During the stronger "work" contractions, we completed bodyweight arm curls. During the "rest" phases, I relaxed my armsand rested my hands on my thighs; the intensity automatically drops to 50 percent during each rest phase to promote blood flow and improve recovery rate. Once the work phase begins again, Hearn raised the stimulation energy to recruit a higher number of musclefibers. The idea is to keep raising the intensity after each bout. FYI, the ceiling is 999 mAmp on power.
The workout only lasted a few minutes. "In two days, your biceps will be more sore than you've ever felt before," Hearn says. He wasn't kidding. The next day, a significant amount of soreness was sinking in; by day 2 I had a hard time extending my arms out straight. It's like the first time you ever did a significant lifting session, or tried a brand new program for the first time.
I was equally as impressed during the Massage and Active Recoveryprograms, too.
How to Use During a Workout/Everyday Life
Electrical stim devices can be used every day. Use them to prime your muscles during a warmup and activate muscles that have become dormant from sitting all day before a heavy lifting session. If you want to work out with a stim device, you can use it 3 days per week per muscle group, Hearn says.
"Traditionally you'd use a device like this two hours after training—but before bed is ideal," says Drew Little, C.S.C.S., a performance specialist at Michael Johnson Performance, an elite training facility in McKinney, Texas. That's because men have a big spike in growth hormone and testosterone at night, which helps burn off fat and build more muscle. "Shower, so your skin is clean for the electrodes, muscles are warm, and your blood vessels are open, as this will lower the resistance to the electric current, make for a cleaner contraction, and provide better recovery and stimulation," Little explains. Now, if you did a high-intensity sprintor heavy squat, you don't want to complete a program on a device thats just as intensive. "Post-workout, use programs that have a short duration of work and long periods of rest—like a 1:4 or 1:5 work to rest tatio—compared to ones that are 1:1," he suggests. The concentric contraction won’t fatigue your muscles, because it pumps blood in, then releases, which is what your heartdoes.
You can also use a device in tandem with resistance training. On legday, before your workout, set the electrodes on your quads or glutes. Complete 6-8 (max) contraction cycles on a resistance level 3 or 5; squat or lunge for 8 seconds on, 4 second off. Then complete the remainder of your leg workout. After, throw on the Recovery Plus program for about 7 minutes to clear lactic acid. Or, use a device after your workout. Do your typical leg day routine. Next, apply Compex first to your quads, and choose resistance, strength, or explosive strength. Turn the intensity up with each contraction, and then do the same for hamstrings.
Want bigger calves? Put a bar on your back and do calf raises with the electrodes in the proper place; that's more than enough to blast your weaknesses.
If you're a baseball player, playing in a rec league with some buddies or competing competitively, use the Massage or Pre-Warmup programs to keep your muscles ready to go during breaks.
If you're traveling, use the Massage or Pre-Warmup programs tokeep oxygen flowing through your legs on a flight.
Strain something during your WOD? Pop on the electrodes with ice or stim and complete Massage or Active Recovery.
*You don't want to use a device like Compex on the resistance setting every day. To periodize your training, Little suggests doing 10-15 treatments as a strength stimulus if you lift heavy weight (that's 3-4 weeks). Then give your body about a month break, only using the device for recovery. This will revert your body back to its natural tendency, so you can progress and further gains the next time you use a resistance program again.
See how else you can use muscle stim to enhance performance training, squats, deadlift, and more.
If you're serious about your overall fitness and recovery, this is a sound investment. The Compex Sport Elite Muscle Stimulator Kit is $649.99 and the Compex Wireless USA Muscle Stimulator Kit is $1,149.99. For the ease of use and added mobility, opt for the Wireless.
A Lesson in Lactic Acid: Active Recovery with Compex
Virtually every human being has experienced the bodily responses associated with strenuous activity or physical exertion. Heavy breathing and muscle fatigue are not unique to athletes alone, although high-performance individuals certainly experience strain to an exceptionally higher degree. Regardless of intensity, however, the science is the same and a basic biological understanding of how our human bodies respond to physical stress is important to understand how to best recover.
When we perform a physically strenuous activity, our lungs will demand to breathe more rapidly as the body fights to supply the working muscles with oxygen as fuel. The body prefers to generate energy aerobically, or through this exchange of oxygen from our environment into our muscles, but activities of higher intensity will require energy production at a higher rate than what we can deliver through oxygen intake alone. When the body cannot deliver energy through oxygen alone, the body will use what is called pyruvate, a breakdown substance of glucose (blood sugar), and convert it to lactate to be used by the body which in turn is converted back to glucose again. This is called the anaerobic process, or the Cori cycle. This type of activity is limited, however, and this type of energy production can generally only last for seconds to a few minutes, during which time lactate will accumulate to high levels. But what does that matter?
High levels of lactate in the body will increase the acidity of muscle cells and create an environment that inhibits the breakdown of glucose, the very activity that lactase itself makes possible. Although this may seem counterintuitive, it is a defense mechanism of the body to prevent extreme damage through high levels of intensity in physical activity.
This build up of lactic acidity is commonly referred to as a muscle “pump” and is the burning sensation associated with high repetition or high intensity activity. When the pain or discomfort of this physical response finally causes us to stop, the body will enter a state of recovery in which it will clear the lactate build up and restore the body to a physical state ready for another anaerobic bout.
So how can this knowledge positively impact our training? On one hand, increasing our aerobic conditioning will improve athletic performance by extending our bodies capabilities of using oxygen - an easier, more available and more enduring source for energy production. Training mentality is also important in not always shying away from the “pump” and enduring intense discomfort for longer periods of time. Finally, however, intentional practices of physical recovery to flush out lactate buildup as quickly as possible are incredibly beneficial to a performing athlete in a high-intensity sport, especially if an athlete has consecutive events or training sessions and must recover as quickly as possible.
The Active Recovery program of Compex is designed for exactly the purposes of immediate recovery from these type of physical events. Although the full duration of the program is 24 minutes with electric frequencies that start from high to low, it will effectively flush out lactic buildup in just 6 minutes. Not only does this program clear out lactate, but promotes fresh blood flow to the area to bring in vital nutrients and even oxygen back to the area. For these reasons, this program is best used and most effective immediately post workout or event to maximize recovery in the most minimal amount of time. In competition, this can be a tremendous advantage to the athlete performing back-to-back events so that they are biologically as fresh as possible for the next event.
When it comes to performance, the greatest athletes recognize the vital necessity and incredible benefits of intentional recovery methods. Alongside proper efforts in nutrient timing, hydration and mobility, using electric stimulation with a Compex device provides an edge from off of the competition floor and will help you perform to your greatest physical abilities you may have yet to imagine.
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