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Recovery

  1. The Ion®, Molecule® & the Future.

    by Webb Travis

    If you haven’t heard by now, the fitness world has been changing drastically. Not just with people’s performances, but also with their “down time,” preparation, recovery and ergonomics. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “train hard, train smart.” Well, the better term now is “Train Hard, Recover Harder.” I’m going to tell you about Compex’s newest tools of choice, the Ion® Vibrating Roller & the Molecule® Vibrating Ball.

    The whole science of these two products and their effect on the body comes from the combination of vibration technology and pressure which trigger both a myofascial release and muscle activation. The vibration causes the muscle to “turn on” and recruit blood to the muscle. Once this happens, the “gate theory” begins, where the “flood gates” start to open-up and all the surrounding muscle fibers are beginning to turn on and release any tightness that maybe occurring. While that is happening, the pressure of the body onto of the device of your choice, is creating a myofascial release that will allow your muscles & joints to increase their range of motion by loosening your fascia. This release is not only going to increase your mobility, but it can also get your whole body braced and ready for any challenge presented if prepared properly.

    The Compex® Ion® is an amazing tool that I personally use weekly to help provide relief to certain muscles. Not only am I using the Ion to help relieve my sore and stiff muscles, but by using this vibrating technology, I am able to activate my muscles in a movement preparation that I couldn’t have done 10 years ago. I roll out my hamstrings, quadriceps & glutes all of these muscles are constantly tight as a result from my intense strength training program, my running routine & my Jiu Jitsu. By using the four vibration levels of the Ion, I am able to penetrate my muscles and reach all the deep layers of muscle tissue. What use to take me 15-20 minutes of foam rolling, can now be accomplished in 5-8 minutes. This allows me more time for my training and also keeps my non-renewable resource, time, on my side. I’m also not a small guy, I’m 6’4”, 230 lbs and this roller feels like it is indestructible. Along with myself using the roller, I work with a variety of Mixed Martial Artist Fighters. From Muay Thai, jiu jitsu, boxing, wrestling and more, I am able to have my clients use the Compex Ion as part of their warm-up and cool down process.

    The Ion isn’t alone in allowing my fighters, training clients and myself to be prepped and ready for action. The Compex® Molecule® is just as amazing as the Ion, if not better because of durability, intensity, and efficiency because of its compact nature. Both of these tools have the ability to help increase blood flow, reduce next day soreness, release knots and tension, improve range of motion, help prevent injury, increase performance, relax and loosen muscles for soft tissue massage. By utilizing both of these tools, we are able to aid in the relief of sore or aching muscles from the exercise or recreational activities of choice.

    In clinical studies from both the Journal of Athletic Training & Journal of Sports Rehabilitation, foam rolling reduced DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and increased the of flexibility of the targeted muscle groups, and the clear vision of what the future of fitness was going to look like. In the study with Journal of Athletic Training, the controlled group showed that foam rolling showed a dramatic and effective increase in the participants range of motion. Along with a noticeable increase in their capability of the dynamic performance that was being done post-warm up. In comparison to the other control group, who was simple doing static and dynamic stretching.

    One of my clients, is the fighter Nathan “Carnage” Corbett, 11x Muay Thai World Champion, and WBC Muay Thai Hall of Fame. After three decades of intense fighting, training, traveling and more, Nathan received a double hip replacement in 2019. Since then, he continues to train, coach and travel to spread his experience, knowledge and love of his craft. Nathan has been wearing his body out and the “old school” recovery methods for some of these athletes, is to simply take an ice bath, sauna, and the occasional massage. In the last month of working with Nathan, I was able to take away the stiffness, pain, and discomfort he was dealing with. By simply having him use the Ion & Molecule before any of his “Carnage Elbow System” workshops or long training days. He’s now able to kick, punch, spar and move the same if not better than when he was in his prime over 2 decades ago thanks to utilizing Compex’s products.

    One of the easiest selling points, is the size of both of these tools. They can fit snuggling into a backpack, a carry-on, hand-bag, and a laptop bag with ease. Along with the sleek and sexy look, the modeled finish of the product allows for good gripping on your body’s surface as you release and warm up your muscles.

    The future is upon us, and if you haven’t noticed that we are finding ways for humans to live longer, athletes to increase their careers, and people to not have to suffer from injuries. We don’t need to deal with the pain anymore, instead we need embrace the “pain” with the right tools so we can progress further. Using the Compex Ion & Molecule is a must-do in my fitness routine, along with all my clients. They are all feeling and seeing the benefit of each. What are you going to do to benefit yourself and your training goals? What can Compex do for your current training regime? Remember, if you are going to train hard, you have to recover harder.

     

    *Compex®, Ion®, Molecule® are registered trademarks of DJO, LLC

    Summarized study results from:
    Pearcey, GE., et al. Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of Athletic Training. January 2015; 50(1): 5-13.
    Su, H., et al. Acute effects of foam rolling, static stretching, and dynamic stretching during warm-ups on muscular flexibility, and strength in young adults. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. November 2017; 26 (6):469-477.

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

     

  2. How to Be Ready for The Open

    The Open Training

    So, you’re thinking about doing the Open. What’s stopping you from doing it?

    Five weeks of challenging workouts to test you both mentally and physically is not an easy feat. While many competitors will spend hours in the gym tiring themselves out daily and trying different training routines to improve their performance, you can do the same without spending hours in the gym or fatiguing your muscles. So, what’s the best way to be ready for the Open?

    Brooke Wells, CrossFit® and Compex® Athlete, understands the demands your body goes under when competing during the Open and provides a little insight to help you be ready for the grueling few weeks, “The biggest thing is to treat the Open as if it were a regular training day! Don’t do anything different like try a new crazy pre-workout or warm up extra, extra long. Stay in your typical routine, and don’t freak or stress out about it,” she adds, “Trust your training and go as hard as you can. Make sure you are recovered before, have a good meal, get sleep, and proper recovery—like using a Compex® device).”

    When Compex® electric muscle stimulation is added to your workouts, it helps maximize your muscular effort by engaging a greater percentage of muscle fibers. Compex® devices target both Type 1 slow twitch muscle fibers which impact endurance and Type 2 fast twitch muscle fibers which impact power and explosiveness. Using a Compex® EMS device can help take your performance to the next level. Here’s how to be ready for the Open with the assistance of one of our EMS devices.

    Dynamic Warm-ups

    Before you begin you the Open workout, it’s essential to warm up your muscles. Using our pre-designed programs can help make your time more efficient in the gym. A dynamic warm-up helps loosen muscles and gets them ready for rigorous activity, which may help to prevent injury during training or competition.

    The Performance™, Sport Elite™, and Wireless Muscle Stimulator™ all offer the Pre-Warm Up program which produces a muscle twitch and runs at a low frequency while increasing local blood flow, warming the muscle tissue, and helping to improve reaction of the muscles prior to a workout or competition.

    The Sport Elite™ and Wireless Muscle Stimulators™ offer Potentiation which is recommended before a workout or competition, especially for sports requiring speed and velocity. Applied briefly just before the beginning of a competition, it offers immediate, well-potentiated muscle fibers and helping to optimize performance.

    So, before you tackle the challenge, turn on the Dynamic Warm-up setting to get ready to compete.

    Quick Recovery

    One advantage that you’ll have if you use the EMS device is that you can help speed up your recovery before the next workout, whether you want to redo the week’s challenge or you’re ready to take on the next one at The Open.

    Compex® EMS devices offer multiple post-workout programs to assist in your recovery. The variety of recovery programs are designed to bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to the muscles to help flush lactic acid, aiding you to recover faster.

    After your workout, place the electrodes on the muscle area you'd like to target. Select your program and let Compex® help you get stronger and fitter faster than you would with your regular routine.

    The Edge™, Performance™, Sport Elite™ and Wireless Muscle Stimulator™ offer the Active Recovery program which increases local blood flow, leading to a faster reduction of lactic acid than mere rest, promotes muscle relaxation and helps enable faster recovery. These devices also offer TENS which can be used to temporarily alleviate localized pain.

    The Sport Elite™ and Wireless Muscle Stimulator™ devices offer Recovery Plus which runs at a lower frequency for inducing gentle muscle twitches, increasing local blood flow, generating endorphins (the body's natural analgesic) and promoting muscle relaxation when muscles are fatigued after a vigorous workout or competition. They also offer Massage, which runs at the lowest frequency possible to help relax muscles that are fatigued after a workout or competition.

    While other competitors may take breaks, stretch or try the workout before they take on the Open workouts, you can allow your body to rest while still helping your muscles improve and strengthen by using the warm-up and recovery programs. Good luck during the Open!

    Shop our Compex® Muscle Stimulators

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

    CrossFit® is registered trademark of CrossFit®, Inc.

    Brooke Wells is a Compex® Sponsored Athlete.

     

  3. Recovery Throughout The CrossFit Games Open

    And...we’re back!

    It’s Open season once again in the CrossFit community. As you train your strength and skills to prepare yourself for your best performance yet, remember the importance in recovery as a ‘next gear’ tool to earning your success.

    The training leading up to the CrossFit Open is often a time of high energy, high volume and high stakes. This gateway competition gets increasingly more competitive each year as top athletes contend for a qualifying spot to Regionals. Even for those who are casual participants to this community affair find excitement this time of year and find themselves pushing harder through workouts. Because of this increase in volume and intensity, it means that it is equally as important to make sure that the body is adequately recovered from training, too. Though we may all try, you can’t ferociously burn the candle at both ends and expect to perform at your best.

    Recovery can mean many things, but some key practices can help you structure a responsible lifestyle that maximizes the benefit of your hard work. Though you may spend four hours in a gym, the other twenty are the ones that count.

    Time Management

    Simply learning to value and budget your time more wisely will have an impact on your sleep, work efficiency the relationship you hold to your responsibilities. How much time and energy are you wasting right now on social media? Do you drag through a 30 minute warmup everyday? If you are effective with the things you need to accomplish, you will leave more time for recovery practices and rest time.

    Visualization and Mindfulness

    The intensity of training for most athletes entering the Open season does a lot to tax the nervous system and the mind. Taking time to reflect on what is learned from training and how to increase a competitive mindset is just as important as the training itself. Take time to remember moments of success and visualize your goals.

    Joint Care

    Open prep often means repeating a lot of movements over and over in order to master efficiency. This can sometimes cause inflammation of the joints, tendons and ligaments and cause aching or soreness. Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric or beets can help with these pains, but also making sure that the connective tissues remain mobile.

    Soft Tissue Mobility

    Not only do our primary muscles get tight from training, but also the interconnected fascia that surrounds all of our nerves and organs, too. Exercises with a lacrosse ball, foam roller or yoga can be a good practice to maintain health of the soft tissue. Types of compression therapy or the use of an NMES device can help maintain blood flow in the tissue as well.

    Nutrition

    At some point, you will have to take responsibility for the fuel you put into your body. Supplements alone will never do the trick and learning healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes to the way you eat will help you increase the impact of your training. Find experts of the field and learn to test things for yourself to find the best building blocks for your body.

    The Open isn’t just a test of will power and strength, but about who is able to sustain health and focus through five tough weeks. Make sure you’re prepared for this years excitement by committing to your recovery as much as you do your training.

  4. 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.

  5. IRONMAN World Championship: Andy Potts

    andy-potts-triathlete-running-1

    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.

    andy-potts-compex-athlete

    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.

    Stay Connect with Andy Potts by following him on his social media channels:
    Facebook.com/AndyPottsRacing
    Twitter.com/Andy_Potts

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