Compex: Hi there Ray, great to meet up with you - please tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ray: Hey Compex! I’m a Canadian Explorer, ultra distance runner and Founder of non-profit impossible2Possible. I truly think we underestimate what we are capable of! A former pack a day smoker, I discovered adventure, and it turned my life around completely. I’m a recent recipient of the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada, and an Explorer in Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. To this point, I have ran 17,000+km across the world’s deserts, and unsupported expeditions in some of the coldest places on the planet. You can read more about my story on my website.
Compex: What sport do you do and how did you get into it?
Ray: I guess you could say I am an ultra distance runner, but I started out as a sedentary smoker who, through the inspiration of my younger brother, discovered the outdoors. Shortly after that I began ice climbing, mountain bike and adventure racing, and eventually ultra running. My first running race was the 2004 Yukon Arctic Ultra, which I won. In 2006-7, I ran 7,500km across the Sahara Desert with two buddies of mine. The expedition had us running an average of 70kms a day without a single day of rest, for 111 days. National Geographic tracked the expedition by web, as well as the documentary film ‘Running The Sahara’, produced by Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, was created in an effort to raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa.
Compex: How does Compex Muscle Stim help you to find a competitive edge?
Ray: I am 51 years old, but honestly, I recover better and I am faster then I was at 35. I'm now often racing and sometimes winning ultra endurance events. I credit much of this to recovery, and functional strength training. When I discovered Compex, it changed EVERYTHING for me. And in preparation for expeditions, I use my Compex during strength sessions- especially core workouts- which I have found dramatically improves workouts. On the recovery end - my Compex gets TONS of use. I have even brought it on expeditions like my 1,850km crossing of the Namib Desert in summer. Every night, in my tent, I’d put the Compex on my legs for recovery. It works, amazingly. Period.
Compex: Which program/s do you like to use?
Ray: Mostly Strength, all recovery and massage modes, and Pain Management modes.
Compex: Do you use other Compex products?
Ray: Yes! I use the Fixx, and now I love that too!
Compex sat down with Alexis Gsell, Patrice Paquier & Anael Huard, who are members of the French Ski Federation, to discuss their experience integrating Compex with their ski training.
Most athletes have their own Compex that they use regularly sincethe launch of the brand (over 30 years ago). There arefour preferred uses: warming up the muscles, injury prevention, improved recovery and strength development.
- For recovery, athletes use Compex in the late afternoon after a running or cycling session,
using the programs Capillarisation and Active Recovery. These programs work well together for a superior
- For injury treatment such as tendonitis or contractures, athletes use recovery programs to improve
recovery time and reduce pain.
- Regarding treatments post-injury such as ACL, Compex can be used under the supervision of a doctor with specific rehab programs. It is then used in combination with strength exercises to stimulate more muscle fibres. When an athlete is injured and cannot train, the use of Compex is also important to maintain a level of muscle activity in other areas of the body (not necessarily the injured ones).
The ways in which you use Compex depends on your objectives.
- For recovery, athletes use Compex in the late afternoon after a running or cycling session,
Patricia Soave, our expert trainer in Compex, will help you to get visible results the same way she does for her customers.
In order to get the best out of her programmes, you have to follow 3 basic rules:
1. Regularity => A muscle that is not stimulated regularly will not adapt. You have to train minimum 3 times a week by muscle group for 4 to 6 weeks in order to get visible results.
2. Intensity => To the maximum bearable intensity in order to stimulate as many muscle fibres as possible. At the beginning, the contractions might surprise you and you may ache in the days following. This is normal, because EMS will enable you to develop an important quantity of muscle fibres, more than during a normal bodybuilding training session.
3. Combination of proposed exercises during contraction phase => Will enable you to shorten your training sessions with maximum efficiency, without putting any strain on your joints, but with heavier loads. The strength of EMS combined with voluntary contractions will multiply the benefits of your session. You will get a real muscular benefit!
Director of Vertigo Diffusion and of Wellness Attitude based in Lausanne (Switzerland). Trainer at the Sports Department of Lausanne University since 1993 where she has trained more than 1500 fitness coaches. Personal trainer since 1995.
As International Gymstick Master, Presenter, Lecturer and Judge, she has been invited to more than 20 countries and collaborates with prestigious companies.
Compex sits down with Spanish Personal Trainer, David Navarro.
It seems that muscle stim has suddenly become fashionable, but the reality is that high level athletes and physiotherapists have been using Compex® for long enough to be able to attest to its success.
Compex® is not a fad, it is a reality taken to the highest level. It enables users to recover and improve their muscle condition, muscle gain, movement, and quality of life, be it in sport or during their daily life challenges.
As a personal trainer, I believe Compex® is best used to train for specific goals. My clients must trust that I am fully committed to helping them reach their goals, and I must be able to trust my tools.
When explaining the training process to my clients, I make sure they understand that without the high-end technology of Compex®, certain goals will take a lot longer to achieve, and in some cases may be impossible.
While I’ve used the Compex® Fit 5.0 to achieve a lot of different results, I find it most effective in helping my clients compensate their weaker muscle groups, and to strengthen and recover muscle structures compromised during sport or daily activities.
One such client is Sara Lobla, a wedding photographer who suffers from back, shoulder and knee pain due to the physical demands of her job. When Sara is preparing for a wedding, I can take these demands into account when planning her training routine with Compex®. This helps me to know exactly what programmes to use during her training sessions.
And just as athletes have down time, so Sara has periods with less work. This gives me a window to really focus on muscle training to give her more strength and resistance, allowing her to focus on her job.
Working with 2 channels simplifies any type of workout and lets me focus on individual muscle groups without the need to deactivate additional channels that would be present on other devices.
Sara has now successfully relieved her back, shoulder, and knee pain. Besides using the Compex® Fit 5.0 to improve her muscle condition, helping her to keep taking impressive photos, we also use this device to help her get in shape and tone her buttocks and abs.
Ultimately, nothing escapes from the Compex® Fit 5.0!
Compex sat down with French Personal Trainer, Mevenig Rio, to discuss his experiences with Compex.
I work in a gym, but also at home. My clientele is varied and interested in everything from health, returning to sports, aesthetics, self confidence, and weight loss, to more specific objectives related to weight training, running, cycling, and preparing for police or fireman contests.
I began using Compex® in my own workouts to improve recovery. Once I had discovered its other features I used it for pain management, massage, and physical preparation. Then I used it with my clients in their personal training sessions, which gave them added value and improved my coaching.
I use Compex® a lot in combined sessions; I combine voluntary exercises with Compex contraction to boost and energize my sessions and get results more quickly, and with both beginners and experienced athletes. It is the choice of the exercise associated with Compex® that will enable maximum muscle fibres, optimized training and help achieve better results.
In terms of results for my clients, I have noticed a real gain in recovery, which is faster and allows for better quality sessions. In the treatment of muscle and tendinitis, Compex® relieves pain and promotes healing. On the physical preparation of runners or cyclists I have also seen real progress in terms of gaining strength while keeping the muscle mass gain. Gain in muscle tone is also much faster for users looking to lose weight or tone up.
Compex® boosts and optimizes its sessions by targeting a specific work goal. Thanks to the good recovery it enables, it makes it easier to chain drives and prevent injuries. Best of all, Compex® allows you to complete your training and planning at home, meaning you can reach your goals much faster.
Compex sit down with Osteopath, Bernand Bonthoux and discuss how he uses Compex to help treat skiers.
An evolution in skiing techniques and materials has caused athletes to change their training methods and use electrostimulation.
Previously, the post-injury period was often the only instance these devices were used. However, after being in the ski industry for 30 years, I have seen an increase in the use of Compex.
A few years ago, every Nordic skier used electrical stimulation solely for recovery and Alpine skiers used it to increase strength; we can now say that the situation has completely changed.
Use of Compex in Skiing:
Compex can be an the ideal partner to help you warm up muscles, prevent injuries, recover better and faster, and even develop strength.
This guide shows you 4 training plans:
- Alpine Skiing: 4 weeks
- Alpine Skiing: 8 weeks
- Nordic Skiing: 5 weeks
- Nordic Skiing: 10 weeks
The 4 week program offers assistance for seasonal skiers and/or snowboarders. The primary goal of this preparation is to reduce the risk of injury and avoid the manifestation of aches and pains.
Major muscle groups to be targeted:
- Alpine and freestyle skiing: Quadriceps (knee ligaments injury prevention) and core
- Nordic skiing: the recovery of the lower body muscle groups on Quadriceps and Triceps surae. The emergence of new competition standards, with
more explosive speed requirements, engenders more intense muscle stim techniques such as strength building. The importance of the
upper body is increasing as well and can be integrated into this program.
- Snowboard: Quadriceps and abs
Several rules to help you achieve your objectives:
- The prerequisite for this training is to be in overall good shape and to train on a regular basis; obviously, the ski season is not just 4, 8 or even 10 weeks
- For people who are not used to muscle stimulation (especially the strengthening program), a 2-3 week initiation is highly recommended before starting
with a training plan.
- When you feel comfortable using the Compex device, you can add the Potentiation program to prepare the muscles before competitions.
- Practicing a sport where you have to ‘seek’ snow can be challenging when travel is frequent and you don’t have a chance for a proper recovery session.
Therefore it is essential to use the recovery programs.
- Finally, for casual skiers, this tool can be considered a supplement to other sports activities throughout the year.
Become a champion skier or just ski for fun; Compex will help either way!
Compex Meets... Guy Hemmerlin, Head Coach - Endurance Training Concept
Guy helped to put together our Triathlon training guide, 3 bespoke plans for Half-Triathon, Triathon 70.3 and Triathlon 140.6.
I used Compex for ten years as a tri-athlete. It allowed me to complete my daily workout with muscle stimulation sessions specific to my needs. The workouts I did with my Compex device complimented the work I was doing in all three of my sport’s disciplines.
When my career evolved into sports coaching, I naturally integrated Compex with the regime for my professional and amateur athletes. I am convinced of the value of this technology and appreciate the development and research constantly undergone by this brand.
Whether to encourage a more complete recovery or enhance a specific muscle-building workout, Compex equipment is a valuable training tool for
any tri-athlete. This sport consists of three extremely demanding disciplines which require a significant volume of muscular training and development. Compex saves time while retaining the highest workout quality.
After a decade-long triathlon career, Guy Hemmerlin put on the coaching hat in 1996, taking the reins of the D1 Tricastin Team.
In 1998, he took advantage of the evolving internet to become the first coach in Europe to launch a remote coaching website. Year after year, Guy deepened his knowledge and experience from continual contact with professional and amateur athletes in the field.
In 2014, Guy published his first long-distance triathlon training book entitled ‘0-226 km’. In 2015 he wrote the important swimming manual ‘From Pool To Open Water’, decrypting the front-crawl. In the same year, he became a certified Ironman coach, an honour very few achieve.
A true professional, his expertise is virtually unsurpassed. The Guy Hemmerlin training method is constantly evolving, but remains accessible to all athletes, a benchmark in the Triathlon world.
Compex Meets... Dr Thierry Laporte, Sports Cardiologist in Bordeaux. Head of Pôle Activité Santé Hôpital Bagatelle.
Dr Thierry Laporte assisted us with putting together our Marathon Training Plan.
It has been almost 20 years since I started using VO2 max assessment tests and training thresholds on runners and cyclists. As a Sports Cardiologist, it is exciting that from an individual’s data it is possible to offer a customized training program.
As well as a heart-rate monitor, I often recommend using electrical muscle stimulation; EMS provides a useful compliment to conventional training sessions, particularly in the following examples:
- After intense ‘qualitative’ sessions, usually involving a 30/30 split (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off resting) or after a session at threshold, using the ‘Active Recovery’ programme can speed up the recovery process, building muscles, and thus empowering athletes to train again the next day without qualitative or quantitative accumulative fatigue. This reduces the risk of over-training.
- The ‘Endurance’ program is not a substitution for conventional quantitative long run session, but it helps to prepare the muscles stimulated during the active session. Compex stimulation can shorten the duration of a session by 30 minutes, limiting the musculoskeletal fatigue while maintaining the same muscle charge. Even in exceptional circumstances, such as poor weather or geographical impossibility, the complete ‘Endurance’ program can mitigate the adverse consequences of missing a session
- In the days leading up to the competition, it is recommended to reduce the training workload. In this case, I advise using the ‘Capillarisation’ Program every 2 days, 10 days before the race. This Program increases the blood flow, thereby improving the muscular efficiency during an endurance effort. It also has an advantage in not creating additional muscle fatigue. The ‘Capillarisation’ session can be integrated on a weekly training schedule in alternation with a muscle-strengthening session. There is an drastic improvement in stride-efficiency the days following Capillarisation. This is easy to track with a heart rate monitor; the runner will see an increase in speed whilst keeping the same heart-rate level.
The other area in which muscle stimulation is beneficial is for a prolonged immobilization as a result of a disease, muscle or tendon injury or after an accident or trauma. In all of the above cases, immobilization will result in atrophy and physical degeneration. Electrical muscle stimulation programs like ‘Reinforcement’ or ‘Muscle Atrophy’ (if atrophy is present), used on a daily basis, will limit the adverse consequences of ceasing to train. Keep in mind that it takes twice the length of time incapacitated to recover the former muscle strength and condition.
Compex: Hi TJ, hope you're well! What benefits does Compex give you for your functional training?
TJ García: Sometimes functional training focuses on all-over exercises such as squats, dead lifting, and others. But we mustn’t forget the need for exercises that target specific areas, in order to avoid potential imbalances that can stop us from seeing improvements from these workouts. In these cases, electrical stimulation can help us to work on a specific muscle, such as the gluteus medius through squats, to make sure that the knee doesn’t go inwards.
It also helps us to gain strength since electrical stimulation helps us increase the number of muscular fibres that respond to contraction, making it more powerful and efficient. We can also work on muscle resistance to make the muscles more resistant to fatigue. It is a great help in recovery, because it helps our muscles to relax, and it vascularises the area, cleaning waste products away from the muscle, which are generated when we train.
Other benefits are the convenience of being able to stick on some electrodes anywhere, at a competition, in the car, before and after training, and with wireless technology you can easily include it in your training.
Compex: How would you define Compex in 3 words?
TJ García: Effective, convenient and versatile.
Compex: Do you have any tips for anyone starting functional training?
TJ García: Always start off with a good trainer who corrects your technique, and have the patience to learn to do the movements properly.
Compex: What is it that makes functional training attractive and essential to you?
TJ García: The fact that it helps us become more agile and stronger for our daily life, for lifting suitcases or children, having a strong and healthy back, being able to run after your child or your niece or nephew without getting out of breath, at the end of the day it helps us enjoy life more.
We met up with Compex athlete, Tom Evans, a rising star in the ultrarunning world to find out how he is getting on and how Compex is helping to take him to a new level.
Compex: Tom, please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you're currently in training for.
Tom: Sure, so I've been running for the last year professionally, both ultrarunning and trail running. Currently I'm in training for the trail running World Championships representing Team GB (Tom would finish a fantastic 3rd place at the 2018 edition).
Compex: That sounds great and best of luck for it - how did you get into the world of ultra/trail running?
Tom: I had a couple of friends who did Marathon Des Sables in 2016 and I bet them that I could finish in a higher position than they did. One thing led to another and I ended up finishing 3rd! Subsequently I've raced all over the world, most recently in Costa Rica. After that, I decided to turn full time to try and put British ultrarunning back on the map.
Compex: Wow, that's quite a story and it sounds like your improving with each race. How does your Compex device help you reach a new level, and when do you use it?
Tom: After a hard day's running, the build up of lactic acid stays in the muscles. I use Compex to flush my muscles with fresh blood and oxygen that then allows me to recover faster, so that I can train harder (using the Training Recovery programme). I use Compex a lot when I'm travelling, I can use it on flights so I can keep training at my limits in order to improve and be the best athlete that I can be.
Compex: Great, thanks for chatting to us Tom, and best of luck with the training and racing!