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.
We hear from Managing Director of Stronglines Physio Clinic, Fred Braithwaite, as he tells us how Compex assists them on their mission to rehabilitating their clients.
Compex is an awesome product. We have used it at Stronglines for years. We have used it post surgically, to facilitate muscle recruitment and to utilise eccentric overload without direct joint stress. We like it because it works and it fits perfectly into the rehab process.
At Stronglines we are very selective with the clinical intervention we use. Often products that physio’s use are trying to replace hands on treatment or apply some mystical powers to the area with very little clinical reasoning at all. Compex is NOT this.
Compex is unique in its ability as it is not trying to replace anything. It acts as an adjunct to accelerate treatment and allows the therapist and client to work together toward a common goal. It is the only clinical intervention that really facilitates active rehabilitation. Aside from it being the best in the market, it also has products available for both clinicians and clients. This makes it clinically relevant and applicable as the client can take home the benefits from using it in clinic.
We view it as a useful clinical tool to facilitate 3 main things:
#1 MUSCLE INHIBITION (see video)
- In the first clip you see near total involuntary contraction of the quads. The Compex is extending the knee joint almost entirely. For the client, it is uncomfortable yes, but it gives fantastic input and the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.
- Even if there is total 100% muscle inhibition we can fire it up and gain some afferent input as well as stimulating all muscle fibres to help prevent as much atrophy.
#2 NEUROMUSCULAR REPROGRAMMING (see video)
- The second clip is a patterning exercise, this a nice way to create or reinforce the engram without excessive load but offers a real challenge for lower limb control also.
- The electrodes are on the glute and quads in this
- Once the muscle is firing we can put it into a functional pattern and use Compex to turn the heat up on it.
#3 MUSCULAR CAPACITY (see video)
- The third clip is a squat to build capacity in the movement. The Compex creates a massive eccentric component which will bring on serious DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) with very little volume or intensity.
- The electrodes are on the glute and quads for this.
- Once the muscle is patterned we can build capacity with very little loading. Whilst the Compex is on there is little fatigue, but the eccentric component creates superb adaptation.
#4 ECCENTRIC OVERLOAD (see video)
- The fourth clip is an example of loading with Compex. Again you can use relatively low loads but yield high stimulus with Compex.
- The electrodes are again on the glutes and quads.
- Get the most from the protective and restorative effects of eccentric training using Compex. The DOMS from Compex are second to none! This means micro trauma, which means supercompensation leading to a solid recovery.
With all these benefits clinically, you can also use it to recover from sessions with the massage settings. That’s why we love Compex. It is so useful for all clients, from post-surgical, to athletes, to weekend warriors it has a huge potential application.
Dr Sue Knowles is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, who works for Changing Minds UK (www.changingmindsuk.com), and an author of self-help books for young people.
Top Tips for coping in Stressful Times:
1) Getting a good night’s sleep – Sleep is so, so important for your health and wellbeing. Maybe use this opportunity of being in lockdown to think about and improve your sleep routine, and you’ll see a big impact upon how you generally feel. Start by asking yourself, am I getting enough sleep every night? Do I have a proper bedtime routine? Do I generally go to bed and get up at about the same time? Is my bedroom an appealing place to sleep? (cool, dark, quiet). Then start to make little tweaks to your sleep routine and notice yourself start to feel a little more refreshed each day.
2) Closeness and connection – We need closeness and feelings of connection with others – it’s what makes us human. Although it can be hard to be physically close to others right now, think carefully about how you can continue to connect. It might be sending a text, photo or video, checking-in with friends or family, sending an email, or having a videocall, or finding ways to play games together online. You may even want to go old-school and send a letter.
3) Keep up with our exercise – For lots of people, exercise is one of the best coping strategies. It can relieve stress and tension, help us to ‘let go’ of the day, make us feel physically better, and improve our mood. It can also be an important part of our daily routine. Although you might not be able to exercise in the ways that you usually would (such as going to the gym) seek out other ways to exercise and be creative.
4) Self-soothing – One of the best ways to make ourselves feel better, is to find things that help us to feel soothed. Is it snuggling with a blanket on the sofa, having a bath, having a bowl of warm comforting soup, sitting in front of an open fire, or kneading dough? Everyone is a bit different, so you can have fun exploring what works best for you. For example, some people prefer warmth (a hot water bottle, hot bath etc.) and others prefer the cold (a cold compress or icy cold drink).
5) Opposite emotion – One way to alter our emotional state, is to do things that play into the opposite emotion. For example, if we’re feeling sad or low, it can be useful to watch a funny film/comedy show, read an uplifting book or listen to a high-energy playlist. Or if we’re feeling angry, we can listen to calming music and try to relax our bodies.
6) Release any tension – When we get stressed, angry or anxious, we tend to hold this emotion within our bodies. Sometimes we don’t realise that we are feeling this way until we do a body scan. Try checking in with your body right now – how am I feeling in my body? Am I tense? Are my shoulders relaxed? If you feel any tension, gently let it go on each outbreath. Slowly notice your body start to relax. Other useful ways to let go of any tension are doing progressive muscle relaxation exercises or having a massage.
7) Tune into the here and now – When going through a stressful period, we might notice that our minds race, and our thoughts feel overwhelming. But when we can calm our minds, this can help us to feel much better, more in control, and reduce feelings of stress. Mindfulness is a technique that helps us to pause, quiet our minds, and ‘be aware’ in the present moment. There are lots of great apps out there with guided meditations that you can use, or you might want to try out the ‘breathing mindfulness exercise’ below.
8) Remember what works for YOU – We have often been through tough times in our lives and have somehow learned ways to get through them. Try to think back of what has helped you to cope in the past: what did you learn from that experience? What strengths can you draw upon now to help you to cope with what you are currently going through? What coping strategies can you use again?
9) Be kind to yourself – In this stressful time, the headlines suggest that society is generally being more empathic and compassionate. It’s absolutely true that lots of people are going out of their way to care for, and support, other people. But sometimes, we forget to do this for ourselves. We can continue to hold unrealistic and high standards for ourselves, when we would never expect this of others. It’s important to remind ourselves that we are going through this too, and that “It’s okay to not be okay”.
Find a comfortable position, whether you are lying down or sitting on a chair. If you’re sitting, make sure that your back remains straight, but allow your shoulders to gently drop. Notice your eyelids starting to feel heavy and gently close your eyes. Feel your body becoming heavy and allow it to sink down into the chair or bed. Acknowledge a sense of your body and mind slowing down. When you’re ready, bring your attention to your breathing, breathing in slowly…and out slowly.
Bring your attention to your chest, feeling it rise gently on your in-breath, and fall on the out-breath. Continue to focus upon your breathing, staying with each in-breath and each out-breath.
Every time you notice that your mind starts to wander, as it naturally will, gently bring your attention back to the feeling of the breath. If your mind wanders from the breath a thousand times, then your job is simply to gently bring your attention back to the breath each time, gently and compassionately.
Now, when you feel ready, gently bring your attention to your nose. Feel the cold air rushing through your nostrils on the in-breath, and the warm air rushing out through your mouth on the out-breath. If you find it hard to focus, perhaps swap this around, and breath in through your mouth and out through your nose.
Finally, when you feel ready, bring your attention to the whole breath. Notice how the cold air rushes in through your nostrils, how your chest rises and falls, and the warm air rushes out of your mouth. Be with each breath for its whole journey.
To end the mindfulness exercise, slowly bring your attention back to the room, gently open your eyes, and wiggle your toes.
To receive 20% off Compex Muscle Stim units, use the code: WELLNESS
In these challenging times, many of our Compex Practitioners are still available to offer online or telephone appointments. To book a paid appointment please use the contacts below:
020 8372 5926
The Physio Clinic Bristol - Pete Tang
£25 an online session or FREE for any NHS employees
5 Valleys Physio
Contact: Geoff Twinning
Prime Performance Physiotherapy
Guy Rogers – 01949 485084
Compex extends partnership with Team Bahrain McLaren
Compex is pleased to announce that we will be Team Bahrain McLaren’s official muscle stimulators partner in 2020.
Compex is a Swiss brand that over a period of 30 years has become the world leader in portable muscle stimulators for improved performance & recovery in sports.
Our partnership will allow Bahrain McLaren’s athletes to take advantage of Compex technology through the Compex SP 8.0. Sonny Colbrelli is happy about the partnership in helping his performance “I’m really happy to have Compex onboard. It’s a reliable and excellent support both to perform and to recover better. In one tool we can work on activation, recovery and strength. I use it, especially after a long day of training. It’s the best choice for muscle recovery, to recover faster and better. Moreover, it is easy to use and carry with us during our travels. In this period in which there are no competitions, I do two sessions a day: one in the afternoon and the other in the evening. This serves me to keep the muscles active and recover better after training efforts. I use Compex even in the case of small contractures because I saw that it helps me a lot.”
Arno Bosman, Global Compex Expert, said: “Compex aim is to help improve the performance of the team and relieve muscle pain, so we work together with the Team Bahrain McLaren staff to integrate Compex in the daily life of the cyclists.”
Pascal Bily, Compex General Manager, said: “We’re delighted to extend our successful partnership with the Team Bahrain McLaren with the renewal of our commercial partnership, we look forward to helping the team train stronger and recover faster.”
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 havetheir 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!