The Compex team are extremely happy to announce another new athlete! 6x World Champion cyclist, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is joining the #CompexAthletes roster.
We sat down with Pauline to discuss her life, career and new affiliation with #TeamCompex.
Compex: Can you introduce yourself?
Pauline: Hello, my name is Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, I am 29 years old, and I am a professional cyclist. Born in February 1992 in Reims, France, I most recently won the European and World Cross-Country Championships in 2020.
Compex: How did you get started in your sport?
Pauline: Cycling is like a tradition in my family, as my parents were cyclists themselves. My dad owned a bike shop in Reims, where we used to live. However my mother never really wanted me to bike because she thought it was not a feminine sport. At the age of 5, she made me start ice-skating, but I didn't enjoy it much at all. So I decided to bike, and loved it right away. From a very young age, I think we can say I was a bit of a fighter. I was like my mother in that I would never give up! I was creating cyclo-cross parkours in the backyard with pallets. You could definitely say I was a bit of a tomboy at the time, but I loved training so much.
Compex: Which Compex products do you use the most?
Pauline: My SP8.0 is the one I use the most because it's the most efficient for my recovery. I was also able to test the Ayre compression boots, and I really liked them. I don't think it will take long before they become my favorite!
Compex: How does Compex help you find a competitive edge as an athlete?
Pauline: We often hear that recovery is as important as training, if not more, and I believe it is really something you need to seriously consider as a professional athlete. When you have Compex as a partner, it is so much easier to do so. Now, no more excuses to optimize performance on the recovery side as well.
Compex: Tell us a phrase that you live by?
Pau: "You can find positive everywhere". I know it may sound simple or cliché, but try your best to do it when the times are hard. It's a real challenge, and it can change everything.
The Compex team are delighted to welcome Pau Capell to our roster of athletes. Pau is a 2x Ultra Trail World Champion and will now have an army of Compex training and recovery products to help him #FeelNextLevel.
We sat down with Pau to discuss his life, career and new affiliation with the Compex brand.
Compex: Welcome to the Compex Team, Pau! Please could you explain to the Compex audience something about yourself? What is your background?
Pau: I am a professional Trail Running athlete and also an engineer, but I never got to work on it. After recovering from a cruciate ligament and meniscus injury at the age of 20, I discovered Trail Running and from then on I discovered a parallel reality. I have always been very athletic, loving both football and tennis. This quote chases me: "Fight for your goals and love what you have”. I think it is essential to have a strong balance between the dreams that you have and the people with whom you want to achieve them. For me, family and friends are the most important things, so if they can they always accompany me to the races.
Compex: How did you get into doing sports?
Pau: It all started because of my parents. I remember being a kid and practicing sports with them. I have always played football and tennis, always at the amateur level, but the best thing was practicing them with my parents and brothers and being able to share this passion with them. In addition, I am passionate about the sea and I have also competed in sailing.
Compex: Which Compex products do you normally use?
Pau: I use muscle stimulation to recover from intense training sessions, but I hope to use all the products that Compex has recently released on the market.
Compex: How does Compex help you find the competitive edge?
Pau: In recovery, a lot!
Compex: Tell us a quote that describes your way of life
Pau: Fight for your goals and love what you have.
Jeremy Leroux is a French triathlete and influencer. He has been in the sport since 2016, originally coming from the running world. Once a friend lent him a bike for a little while, he fell in love and thought "why not give this thing a go?". Today he is looking at Ironman distances and hopes to be on the starting mat as soon as possible.
Today with Jeremy, we break down how to get ready for your first triathlon. Getting started, investing in the right equipment, training splits and race day prep… we will cover it all and hopefully you’ll learn some helpful tips.
1 – BREAKING DOWN TRAINING AND NUTRITION
Compex: How many times do you train per week during race prep, and how do you split it between the three disciplines?
Jeremy: 15 to 20 hours, I try to bike 3 to 4 times per week, and about the same for running and swimming.
Compex: For someone who is looking to get started in triathlon, would you advise hiring a coach? Joining a group? Or simply figure it out on your own?
Jeremy: I think it depends on people. If it is your first one and the goal is just to have fun, asking advice around you can be enough. Read, document yourself and look at what others maybe doing. However, if your goal is to get better in the sport, joining a team is great because you have a coach and teammates. Your trainings are well put-together, and your teammates push you to perform every day. This is the optimal choice for long term.
Compex: When you start training for your first triathlon, should you focus on one discipline more than the two others? Or should you equally share time between the three?
Jeremy: I think that you should always train all three of them equally, unless you feel very weak in one of the three disciplines. It is always better to train your weaknesses more than your strengths. However, there is no shortcut. Training, regularity and patience will be your keys to success.
Compex: Often people get overly excited when starting a new sport, which is understandable. How important would you say it is to not over-train and add rest days to your week of training?
Jeremy: Your body needs to recover. Having a coach is better because he or she will plan your recovery times. If you don’t have one, listen carefully to your body and what messages it is sending you. I know you’ll want to do more and more, but this is the best way to put too much stress on your body and run out of gas, or worst, get injured.
Compex: Should you train transitions between disciplines?
Jeremy: Of course, there are specific sessions where your focus is on the transition, going from the swim to the bike, or from the bike to the run. I would say at least once a week, on shorter distances, but with a race day intensity!
Compex: In a sport where you need plenty of calories for those long efforts, how important would you say your nutrition is?
Jeremy: Of course, it is very important to stay on track with your nutrition. You need to fuel your body correctly in order to perform well during your training sessions. Make sure you have some cheat days occasionally though; it is good for the body and for the mind (laugh).
2 – INVESTING IN THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Compex: Where would you say we should start looking when getting ready for our first triathlon, and how much are we looking at in terms of investment?
Jeremy: Since it’s the first and you don’t know if you’ll keep doing it after your race is over, maybe do not invest in the most expensive stuff. Get a good road bike that you are comfortable with (this is where you’ll spend the most time probably). Then look for a good swimsuit for open water, and maybe a couple of accessories for pool sessions in order to work on technique. Lastly, find a good pair of shoes for your running, and your set! As you get better, it will get more expensive for sure, but to start, you don’t need all the bells and whistles.
3 – STEPS TO YOUR FIRST TRIATHLON
Compex: In your preparation, do you think there is any interest in partaking in shorter distances to test yourself, like a local 10km, a swim-run etc?
Jeremy: If you’ve done your training right, I don’t think that is necessary unless you are training for an Ironman, in which case it might be useful to train or shorter distances like a half marathon. In the case of a first race, I would say maybe do your own mini triathlon to train transitions and race day paces. You’ll be fine!
4 – GETTING SET ON RACE DAY
Compex: Morning comes, and the stress is there. Any tips you could give us to embrace the race day jitters?
Jeremy: That is completely normal! Even if you are just doing it for fun, you’ll feel the stress for sure. Embrace it. You’ve done the training, you’ve put in the work, so stay focused and have some positive thoughts. Breathing can really help with stress as well, so make sure you are calm and relaxed. Something that might help take some stress off your shoulders is making a race day checklist. I always do that, so I don’t panic if I forget to bring something with me to the race.
Compex: What is your go-to race day breakfast?
Jeremy: I highly recommend not changing your breakfast habits. Changes are the best way to stress out more. Stay in your routine. For me it’s oats and nuts with Greek yogurt, some fruit and dried fruit, and coffee of course. For an Ironman, I like adding some rice for digestion purposes throughout the race.
Compex: Since we are talking about very long efforts, how do you manage eating throughout the race?
Jeremy: I usually know at which point in the race I’m taking my little gels or bars. I also make sure I drink about every 10 minutes on the bike. It is very important to have a plan, so you don’t run out of energy at some point, and so you don’t eat too much at once.
Compex: Do you warm up for the swim part the morning of the race?
Jeremy: For sure, I always warm up for the swim if possible. If not, I’ll use resistance bands to wake up the muscles, massage stiff areas with my Fixx 1.0 and maybe even use the warmup program of my Compex to make sure I am ready to go.
Compex: What is the most important thing to focus on before your race?
Jeremy: There is not one particular thing. Stay focused and don’t forget to enjoy the experience. You’ll probably remember your first triathlon forever, so soak it in while you can!
And there you have it! Tips, tricks and motivation for your first triathlon. Let us know if you’ve used any or if you found any of them particularly useful. Compex is looking forward to hearing about your first triathlon story!
Maelys (24) is a French osteopath, influencer, & fitness advisor, who always loved to learn about nutrition. She has studied it so much that she wrote some eBooks with healthy diet option, to keep having pleasure eating whilst still matching your fitness goals. Her latest one called “Life Is Sweet” has some great recepies if you are a sweet-tooth person who wants to stay in shape but still enjoy desert.
Today we will go down the list of 9 famous stereotypes about nutrition with Maelys. Let’s eat some knowledge together!
Stereotype #1: Avoiding carbs to lose weight.
Maelys: “This one is very easy to understand, because it is all about balance. If you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll likely gain weight. However, if you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll most likely lose weight. You’ll maintain if you burn as much as you consume.
Now, you can eat 2.000 calories of burgers, if it is your maintenance intake, you will not gain or lose weight (we do not advise that obviously). Your carbs are on the nutrients chart and, such as protein, fats and others, they are not responsible for gaining or losing weight. Calories are.”
Stereotype #2: Training on an empty stomach is better for weight loss.
Maelys: “It is not optimal. Going for a training session on an empty stomach will have your body use muscle resources, which is more likely to degrade muscles. This is often counter-productive for the body. I suggest eating a little bit of carbs and a little bit of protein about an hour before training. Give your body a little bit of fuel, you’ll need it.”
Stereotype #3: Fresh-fruit juice equals eating a fresh fruit.
Maelys: “This is not true for two reasons. Drinking juice means that the fibers inside the fruit have been broken. You’ll end up having less nutrients and losing lots of the benefits of fibers.
Another simple thing to consider is the quantity of fruit that you need to make a juice. You’ll probably need 5 oranges to make a glass of orange juice, and that means a skewed energy balance in the end.”
Stereotype #4: Whey protein powder is considered Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).
Maelys: “This one is very simple. Protein powder is not a drug simply because they are found everywhere (chicken, eggs etc.). They are only a time-saver when it comes to consuming protein after training for example, instead of bringing your chicken breast when you are not that hungry post-workout.
However, they should never replace all your meals! You should get the majority of your protein from whole food and leave the powders post-training.”
Stereotype #5: Vegan protein is better nutrition than regular protein.
Maelys: “There is a big misconception about vegan things being always absolutely better for the body since they are technically better for the environment. There are lots of anti-nutrients in vegan protein, which prevent the body from assimilating all the nutrients in food.
I am not saying that being vegan is bad and you shouldn’t, but that just doesn’t make vegan protein better than regular protein. Keep an eye on your macro-nutrients if you are vegan, in order to avoid deficiencies.
Stereotype #6: Eggs are bad nutrition for cholesterol levels.
Maelys: “You have organs in your body that are made to work. If you bring too much cholesterol into your body, it will lower cholesterol synthesis. On the other hand, if you do not bring enough to your body, it will produce more itself. The body levels your cholesterol very well, and it does not matter if you eat 1, 2, 3 or 6 eggs per day.
However, if you already have a cholesterol problem, this is where you should be careful with your diet. Otherwise, you are all good.”
Stereotype #7: Do not eat after 6pm if you are trying to lose weight.
Maelys: “About 90% of people workout after work, so usually around 5 to 8pm. In order to recover well, you need food and sleep. If you train late but then you do not eat because you heard it is bad after 6pm, you are not optimizing recovery. And if you do not train late, it is still a question of energy balance. Eating the number of calories that your body need in order to match your goals is really what matters when talking about losing weight.
If you train late and do not feel like eating a full solid meal afterwards, you can substitute that with a rich protein drink like a smoothie. However, I really do not recommend going to bed with an empty stomach especially after training. You won’t sleep well, and your body will have a rough time recovering.”
Stereotype #8: White meat is healthier nutrition than red meat.
Maelys: “Technically, yes. White meat is very healthy, but red meat has such great features for the body. I would advise eating roughly 750g of red meat per week top. There are great things from red meat that your body needs, but it is not the best source and that is why you shouldn’t eat more than about 750g per week.”
Stereotype #9: Energy drinks are great for performance.
Maelys: “I really don’t recommend energy drinks for performance. I don’t think they are optimal. Sure, they have caffeine and energy components, and sure you might feel pumped before training. However, you are mostly paying the brand (usually expensive) for something that is not necessary.
If you really need a pre-workout boost, I recommend making your own at home. Coffee is great, adding a little bit of salt in your water also for a great pump, but let’s be honest… your motivation is the best pre-workout there is, and should fuel you better than any energy drink on the market.
Matt Jaggard, Head of Strength and Conditioning with the Delgado and Lee Pro Tennis Academy explains how Compex devices can be used to prevent ankle injuries and how to optimise recovery and rehabilitation if an ankle injury occurs.
LinkedIn: Matt Jaggard
If you are an athlete of any kind then it is likely that you have experienced a very painful ankle sprain or strain. This is a highly common injury within court sport athletes. Compex can aid you by helping to prevent this type of injury from occurring and also whilst recovering if an injury has been experienced.
So how can the use of a Compex muscle stimulation device help?
First of all we need to take a look into the anatomy. This will give you a clear understanding of how the body works, what you need to target and why.
The peroneus muscles also called fibularis muscles or peroneals or peronæus, are a group of muscles in the leg. While the muscle group exists in many variations, it is normally composed of three muscles: peroneus longus, brevis and tertius.
These muscles help control key actions around the foot. They will need to be strong and robust allowing you to resist and control the very actions they allow you to perform. Something that the use of a Compex device can enhance whilst training. The reason that the use of Compex is highly effective with this set of muscles is that they are very difficult to activate.
So where are these muscles located and what do they do?
Ankle Strengthening and Injury Prevention
These muscles can be trained either statically or through a range of traditional ankle mobility, stability and strengthening exercises. This can be done by placing Compex electrode pads on the peroneus muscles and selecting frequencies between 45-70Hz. This will help to increase muscle volume similar to that experienced whilst training for hypertrophy by promoting optimised tissue formation.
Once a period of adaptation for increasing muscle volume has been completed, traditionally 6-10 weeks. It would be recommended that you move into a strength phase for a similar length of time. This requires your muscles to be exposed to frequencies between 75-100Hz.
Completing these two phases routinely will continually allow for the peroneus muscles to increase in volume and strength, making you more stable and helping you to prevent ankle sprains and strains.
Acute Injury Management and Rehabilitation
If you have experienced an ankle injury, the peroneus muscles along with tendons and ligaments around the foot and ankle would have been stretched, strained and damaged.
The use of a Compex device can not only aid with strengthen the muscles as highlighted above. They can also aid the recovery process.
During the initial phase of recovery, dealing with inflammation, Compex can help to reduce muscle soreness (1Hz). Additionally, muscle pain can reduce (5Hz) and capillarisation increased (8Hz). These varying levels of increased blood flow will help improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged region. During this phase it is recommended to place the electrode pads around the site of the injury (ankle and foot) rather than the peroneus muscles unless major trauma has also occurred in this area.
During the second phase of recovery with Compex, the profilation phase, frequencies between 10-35Hz can help minimise stiffness. Muscular atrophy can also be minimised whilst helping to manage lingering discomfort and swelling.
Once the symptoms have subsided, just like with any traditional rehabilitation, it is time to start remodelling the muscular tissue within the area which has been effected. Firstly by increasing muscular volume (45-70Hz). Then by increasing strength (75-100Hz) which are both mentioned in more detail above in ‘Strengthening and Injury Prevention’.
Ariane Brodier is a French actress and author, very active on her social media. She has two beautiful toddlers (3 and 1) and loves talking about her mum life. More than 600k people follow her daily routine on Instagram.
She has always been active her entire life. Before her first pregnancy, she was into martial arts and fitness, working out about 2 to 3 hours every other day, with some running in between. Ariane is what you can call an active mum!
1 – ADAPTATIONS DURING PREGNANCY
Even if you are a fitness freak and you love to train every day, pregnancy will slow you down. That is completely normal, and you should not stress about it. But how do you adapt your workouts to still get a good session in?
ARIANE – First of all you should know that some sports should be avoided during pregnancy. Anything with an impact can have negative effects on your child, such as running or jumping. However, if you love cardio, you can still get your heart rate up without jumping, with an elliptical machine for example. We hear too often that you should not train during pregnancy and this is not true! Staying active will do wonders to your body when you are pregnant. Obviously, you are not pushing your limits at this stage of your life and you should not strive for performance.
If you want to stay active during pregnancy, make sure that you are doing it the right way. Stay close to your doctor during this period of your life, they will give you the best advice to continue your fitness journey while pregnant.
Were you able to stay motivated the whole time, even with all the changes that your body went through?
ARIANE – You know, when sport is something that you enjoy, I don’t think it is that hard to stay active. You should see training as a fun moment for you. However, if you do not feel like training at the gym or doing your regular workouts, how about trying new sports? For me, it was the opportunity to get into swimming for example. It was a new workout and made me feel very good. That is why I encourage you to use this period of your life to try new things that you might love in the long run.
Your body changes during pregnancy, and you cannot do anything about it. Was there a turning point where you realized “I have to accept that my body changes”?
ARIANE – It is a little scary at first as this is something you are not really in control of. But being pregnant is such a magical experience that you quickly accept how your body changes. Enjoying this experience of becoming a mother is so much more important than losing your abs for a couple of years. No matter what, your body will be different after you have your child, the sooner you accept that, the better you will go through the changes.
As a fitness enthusiast you probably had some sort of understanding of how nutrition works and made sure that what you ate was on par with your goals and your fitness routine. How did that change during your pregnancy, and how did you make sure you did not gain too much weight?
ARIANE – You know, working out is never the hard part in a fitness routine, nutrition is! 70% of your progress is made through nutrition. The one thing you should absolutely be careful with is refined sugar. Whether you are pregnant or not it is not good for you, but in a case of a pregnancy, you should especially avoid it. Other than that, do not stress about it to much. Make sure that what you eat is the best quality possible, have some healthy fats along the way for the growth of the baby, and always remember that the health of your child will partially reflect how you ate during your pregnancy.
2 – GETTING BACK AT IT AFTER THE BIRTH
First thing first, when were you able to exercise again after giving birth?
ARIANE – Before you go back to your running and your jumping and the rest of your workouts, it is detrimental that you go through perineum rehabilitation. This can last 1 to 2 months depending on how your pregnancy went. During that time, I went back to my best friend the elliptical.
I also made good use of my Compex after I went through perineum rehab. It is a fantastic accelerator and it helps you tone your abs faster. It works your muscles deeper than with a simple abs workout, it is convenient, and you see results quickly after giving birth.
Every mum in the world knows that having a child is a full-time job. How do you deal with things like lack of sleep, being interrupted in your workout etc.?
ARIANE – My favorite thing now is the well known “Morning Routine”. I like to work out first thing in the morning, before breakfast, it works well for me. This is because I used to be very tired throughout the day and even if my kids were asleep. I had some time for me, I could not find the motivation to train. Getting up early and committing to working out was my only way to make it work. It was like “ok, now it is 5:30am and you are awake. Let’s make the most of the next hour, because you know you will not do it later in the day”.
I would also like to point out that you can use this opportunity to try out new sports again. Do not stress about a routine, as having children and a routine are usually things that do not go together (laughs). Be ready to adapt and things will go well.
Were you able to quickly go back to your eating habits or did you face any challenges?
ARIANE – Breastfeeding will not let you go back to normal: it makes you SO hungry! Your body needs fat to produce milk, and you will want to eat a lot, all the time. But the way the body works this out is incredible. Keep eating healthy, stay away from refined sugar and everything will be alright.
It depends on people, but having someone to guide you through this period of your life can be beneficial. We often think we are doing things right, but having an external person overlooking can help you with the choices you make daily.
Let’s end on a positive note here and talk about how you perceive your body after giving birth. Your body has changed and even if there are things you can do, you said that it is necessary to accept that you will not go back to 100% what you looked like before. And that is fine! Are there any tips you can give to young mothers to help go through that process of “accepting who you are now”?
ARIANE – When you become a mother, your focus shifts from “yourself” to “your kids”. You lose some of that “care” that you only had for your own body before. It can be harder for some mothers as the changes we go through can be very different from one woman to another. But becoming a mum is a whole new status and that is the most important thing to remember.
I love the “I am who I am movement” these days. It's a movement that highlights the fact that no matter what you look like, how much you weigh. As long as you are doing everything to becoming the best version of yourself, you are on the right track and you should be proud of yourself! Find things to challenge you daily and always enjoy the process. The smile of your children will always be more valuable than the best set of abs.
Alexandre Vallot (28) is a French coach in Paris. He has been coaching for 6 years now. From pro athletes to regular folks trying to simply stay in shape, he likes to train anyone with a purpose and a desire to progress in their fitness journey. He does not only want his clients to be motivated while he coaches them, but he wants them to create a mindset that they will carry forever.
Today we go down the list of 5 important factors to consider when you want to get back in a training routine after a long break: your nutrition, your training plan, your routine, your relationships, and the goals that you have.
1 – Back to eating healthy
Weight is not the number one indicator of your fitness level and you should not stress about it too much unless you compete in a sport with weight classes. However, weight can be a way to measure your eating habits, which can tell if you have been eating less or more. Therefore, keeping an eye on your weight can be beneficial. Being inactive for a long time can lead to some unwanted weight gains.
What is your tip for people going back into training regarding their eating habits?
ALEX – First of all, it really depends who you are talking to. If we are talking about an experienced person, it is “easier” to have a strict approach. Usually the person knows what it takes, and you can be stricter for the first couple of weeks in order to really get back to the shape you want.
However, if you are talking about an unexperienced fitness enthusiast, you cannot cut back too fast. You need to take steps, otherwise it will not last. I like to not use the word “diet” as it sounds scary to most people, and just talk about making small adjustments day after day. First cut the extra drinks, then dial back on the snacks, add some veggies etc. But if you cut too much too fast, you risk ending up in this “new year resolutions” type of vibe, where goals vanish after a month.
2 – Finally training again
No matter the reason, not being able to train for awhile is going to have effects on your body and your mind. Some people will feel (too) excited about going back to the gym and may risk injuries. Some people may have lost the motivation and will find it hard to go back. For all those cases, how do you get back into training mode?
ALEX – You should not imagine going back to the gym as the perfect scenario where you are motivated, you are stress-free, you perform the same… Things have changed ! However, one thing that has not changed is how beneficial “moving” is for your body. Whether it is 10, 30 or 50 minutes, moving at least twice a week will do wonders. Your motivation will come back slowly but surely and seeing your body change and adapt is the best boost you can hope for.
However, do not try to do too much or too complicated too soon. Same as the nutrition part, take steps towards coming back to your routine. Those steps can include a training partner or a coach! This is the best way to stay motivated as you are now accountable to someone else. If you are a Compex user, use the Compex app to plan your training sessions, share your results with your friends and see your progress.
3 – Going back to a routine?
Lots of people have a fitness routine. You train around the same time of the day, you eat at the same hours, you sleep about the same amount every night etc. When that has been broken for a while, people may be lost when it is training-time again! How do you help people get back to their routine?
ALEX – You need to realize that in this situation, time is your best friend. Getting back slowly but surely is the best recipe to a successful come-back. You should also be open to changes in your fitness routine, and not desperately want it to be the same as before. Adding new movements and training methods can do wonders to your body. So why not start by trying something new? Bodyweight workouts, yoga, Compex-Training… You used to be a gym-rat that loves pumping weights? Try new sports and workout methods, your body will love it.
4 – The influence of your close friends
The fourth point may be left aside by a lot of people but is more important than we think. The influence that our friends and family have on our choices in life is huge. You cannot stop talking to people just because they do not motivate you, so how do you deal with your closest relationships when it comes to your motivation to be healthy?
ALEX – Like you said, you cannot stop talking to people just because they do not agree with you, otherwise you will not keep many friends! There are two different types of people in my opinion. First is the closest friends, then you have the people around you that are the closest to your training habits. Your friends might be party-people and maybe you get invited to diners often. However, the most important is: where do you train? Do you have a coach? Are these friends also training buddies? Having friends to party-with is not an issue, as long as you have a fitness circle to stay right on track with your goals. Once again, it is all about balance
5 – Defining your goals
Setting goals can be challenging. The way you write down a goal can instantly tell whether you will be successful or not. We hear often people say, “I want to be stronger” or, “I want to lose fat”. These statements are never to be fulfilled. The reason is: they cannot be measured. 1kg of fat lost will not make you happy. However, you still “lost weight” and according to your goal, you are successful. But we all know this is not how you will be happy. How do you help people set goals the best way possible?
ALEX – For me, the first step is defining who do you want to become. Do you want to be a professional athlete, do you want to be a fit mum, do you want to look good at the beach… These are all different approaches. When you have defined that, you can create a ten-step plan towards your goal. These steps must be small challenges, attainable, measurable, and realistic. For example, your first step could be “Eat three whole fruits per day this week”, or “Exercise 20 minutes, three times this week”. These steps are measurable and realistic, they will open the path to success in your fitness journey. I know it sounds all Instagram-ish but setting goals measurable and realistic goals is the number one key to success.
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!
Matt Jaggard, Head of Strength and Conditioning with the Delgado and Lee Pro Tennis Academy tells us about the negative effects of air travel and how to negate these effects to maximise performance on arrival.
E-Book: International Travel and Tournament Preparation for Tennis
LinkedIn: Matt Jaggard
Air Travel and Improving Athlete Readiness with Compex
If you are an athlete competing at the top then it is highly likely that you will be exposed to a vast amount of international air travel. Travel days are not easy and they are certainly not rest or recovery days which is a point of view I have come across all too often.
Travelling has the potential to, and almost definitely will have an effect on your physiological and psychological state. The research is clear in demonstrating this with both short-haul and long-haul travel.
Direction of travel Time Zones Crossed Flight Time Findings N/A 0 1hr Enhanced cardiovascular stress. Heart Rate, Systolic and Diastolic Blood Pressure, Rate Pressure Product (Heart Rate x Systolic blood pressure) and Mean Blood Pressure all altered significantly. Psychological and physiological stress contributing to travel fatigue East 6 9hrs 20m Autonomic Nervous System activity assessed via Spectral Analysis of HRV. Reduced function on arrival, full volume and intensity recommended after 3 days East 5 7hrs 50m Athletic function only effected on days 3, 4 & 5. Measures back to baseline on day 6. Delayed effect. West 7 11hrs 30m Autonomic Nervous System activity assessed via Spectral Analysis of HRV. Delayed effects of travel, reduced volume and intensity recommended for day 3 East & West 7 15hrs 30m Irrespective of travel direction, reduced maximal sprint and counter movement jump performance was evident up to day 3 and 4 following travel, respectively
Fig 1. Psychological and physiological information collected on various flight lengths and directions. 1, 2, 3, 4
As you can see from the table above, athlete readiness can be immediately reduced after what seems like a simple 1hr commercial flight. Addition to a number of performance markers are heavily effected for up to 5 days following longer flights.
Competition normally start just days after arriving at a new destination. This means negating the negative effects associated with air travel should be the number one priority for all athletes. Therefore, this will help improve readiness on arrival and reduce the need to manage travel fatigue and drastically alter training plans prior to competition.
Combating the negative effects of travel and aiding athlete readiness
Compex recovery and massage programs which help increase blood flow are available on all Compex Muscle Stim products. This can be effective both during and after short or long haul flights.
Research has shown that whilst using Compex devices, frequencies between 3-9 Hz can demonstrate a 181-276% increase in blood flow5. Moreover, this will help combat the thrombosis experienced during air travel. As a result, this helps to negate negative physiological effects associated with travel and improve athlete readiness on arrival.
To explore international travel in more detail, looking at how to adapt to perform when acclimatising to heat, altitude or after crossing multiple time zones you can learn more from Matt’s book ‘International Travel and Tournament Preparation for Tennis’ with the general principles applying to all athletes and sports.
2 Botek, M., Stejskal, P., & Svozil, Z. (2009). Autonomic nervous system activity during acclimatization after rapid air travel across time zones: A case study. Acta Gymnica, 39(2), 13-21.
3 Fowler, P. M., Knez, W., Crowcroft, S., Mendham, A. E., Miller, J., Sargent, C. H. A. R. L. I., ... & Duffield, R. (2017). Greater effect of east versus west travel on jet lag, sleep, and team sport performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
4 Thornton, H. R., Miller, J., Taylor, L., Sargent, C., Lastella, M., & Fowler, P. M. (2018). Impact of short-compared to long-haul international travel on the sleep and wellbeing of national wheelchair basketball athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(13), 1476-1484.
5 Zicot, M., & Rigaux, P. (1995). Effect of the frequency of neuromuscular electric stimulation of the leg on femoral arterial blood flow. Journal des Maladies Vasculaires, 20(1), 9-13.
Sunday 10 May is the day of Go Vertical the virtual challenge that will give you the possibility to ride with many Compex athletes from around the world.
Whilst in some country it is now possible to train alone outside, in some others this is still impossible: “Go Vertical!” is the opportunity to cycle together, have fun and get to know our top athletes.
What is “Go Vertical!”?
From morning to evening you will have the opportunity to ride on Zwift with your champions and to follow their live interview on Instagram.
Reach the top of the Alpe du Zwift with the 2013 Ironman world champion Frederik Van Lierde, Team MMR pro cyclist David Valero, the two times ironman Lanzarote winner Alessandro Degasperi and the South African track cyclist champion Maroesjka Matthee, and many others...
This is not a competition, but of course we’ll keep track of every performance.
Go Vertical! How to participate
Would you like to cycle with our champions? Here’s what to do:
- Find the athlete meetup on Zwift: give it everything you’ve got and have fun
- Follow our Instagram Live
- Recover like a champ with your Compex
The program (UK time):
- 8:30 am Alessandro Degasperi, Maroesjka Matthee, Manon Genet and Claudia Galicia (live at 9 am on @compexita, @compexsa, @compexfrance and @compexspain)
- 9:30 am Frederik Van Lierde, Jeremy Leroux and Dani Niekerk (live at 10 on @compexbenelux, @compexfrance and @compexsa)
- 10:30 am David Valero, Yvan Jarrige and Laura Cosentino (live at 11 on @compexspain, @compexfrance and @compexita)
- 3:30 pm Catherine Colyn (live at 4 on @compexsa)
- 4:30 pm Giulio Molinari and Courteney Webb (live at 5 on @compexita and @compexsa)
COMPEX IS BY YOUR SIDE
Compex exists to give athletes of all sports and skill levels the tools they need to be better today and tomorrow.
We believe when clinically proven technology is paired with the passion for sport, the results are game-changing. And life changing.