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.
Physiotherapist and L1 CrossFit Trainer, TJ García walks us through integrating Compex with your functional training routine.
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.
Mat was a US Olympic weightlifting team hopeful until suffering a back injury. Despite doctors telling him he would never lift again, Mat was persistent in his recovery and returned to compete for Team USA.
After retiring from weightlifting Mat found CrossFit to start casually lifting again. CrossFit became much more to Mat as he earned back to back second place finishes in the 2014 and 2015 CrossFit Games. Mat claimed the ultimate title as Fittest Man on the Earth in 2016 and 2017.
Compex: Hey Mat, please tell us a bit about how do you use your Compex device?
Mat: I use the strength cycles on it quite a bit, especially on my quads. I have been using it on the muscles around my ankle pre and post workout. Using the warm up program helps loosen up the muscles while the recovery programs help me get through my long training days.
Compex: Sounds like you’re getting great use out of it! How has your Compex device helped your training?
Mat: It's supplemented and added to my training. Like I said I use it for recovery, activation and strength. So it has been very helpful all around.
Compex: Why do you love it?
Mat: I just really like how it is one tool for activation, recovery and strength. It's really easy to use and it works. It's a big part of my training.
Compex: What is your favourite program on the device?
Mat: I love any of the strength cycles. It's crazy to me how much I feel like I worked out after doing one. They are awesome to get some more work in.
Compex: Awesome, thanks for sitting down with us, Mat!
Compex: Hey Will! Great to see you as always, let the Compex audience know a bit about you. What's your background?
Will: Hey guys, so I am based in Cheltenham but own a gym in Worcester. I train at CrossFit Cheltenham and Bullpen Fitness. I've been competing in CrossFit for about 6/7 years now and became affiliated with the Compex UK team, previously I played national level rugby.
Compex: Thanks! Tell us more about your sporting career and your highlights...
Will: I compete in CrossFit. I suppose a few highlights are: finishing twice top 10 in the European Regionals, winning a regional workout, winning an open workout (in my region) and winning various high level competitions throughout Europe.
Compex: That's a great level to have reached and we've loved being a part of your journey. How does Compex Muscle Stim help you to find a competitive edge?
Will: For me, every time I squat I use my Compex SP8.0 WOD Edition afterwards. Ideally I'll use it within 3 hours just to get some blood flow through my legs and speed up the recovery process. I have had tendon problems in my knees in the past because of tight quads so the Compex definitely helps to relieve this tightness.
Compex: Which program/s do you use?
Will: Mainly training or competition recovery after workouts and events.
Compex: (If applicable) do you use other Compex products?
Will: Knee sleeves to provide support when I'm lifting - I can recommend those for sure!
Compex: Tell us about your team training, if you can send a logo too and if you want any offers putting out.
Will: So Team Training is an online programming company. We initially started writing CrossFit/functional fitness style programmes, but are now beginning to expand. We initially offered strength, conditioning and non bias programmes designed to cater for different athletes. These are priced at £10 per month. We now offer a 3-per-week program, a pure strength programme and a 16 week pull up programe=me. The strength and the pull programs can be purchased in blocks so you will start at the beginning of the cycle. All of our other programmes allow people to simply jump straight in. The strength and pull blocks are priced at £30.
Check our website for more details: www.teamtrainingprogramming.co.uk
Compex: Sounds great and really enterprising Will. Best of luck with it and any upcoming events and we hope to see you again soon!
Compex: Hi Frederik, great to see you and hope you're well! Please give us an insight to you?
Frederik: Hi guys, certainly so I'm from Belgium, living in Menen close to the border with France (Lille) and I'm affiliated to Compex Benelux team.
Compex: Thanks Frederik, and how did you get into your sport?
Frederik: I'm a Triathlete. I started when I was 17 (I'm now 40 in 2019) and I turned pro when I was 23, having previously been a competition swimmer. My goal as an athlete is to continue until 2020 and win as many Ironman as possible. I still have 3 years to prove my value. For me, the important thing is to believe in yourself, and that's what I do all the time.
Compex: That's great, you've certainly been a committed Triathlete for a long time! How does Compex Muscle Stim help you to find a competitive edge?
Frederik: Compex helps me in every concept to improve. To recover faster and better so that I can train harder to get stronger.
Compex: Good to hear! Which programme/s do you use?
Frederik: I use it for Recovery after training and competition which really helps me a lot. I also use it before some training sessions to prepare muscle activity, which is very helpful!
Compex: Do you use other Compex products?
Frederik: I'm really interested in using Compex Tape more often.
Compex: Awesome, well we wish all the best for the season Frederik, we're sure you'll smash it!
Frederik: Thanks a lot guys!
Tony Voisin: Athlete OCR
Fitness instructor and coach
2017 Vice World Champion OCR
Compex: Hi Tony, it's a pleasure to meet with you - please could you tell us a little bit about yourself? How you got into the sport and your relationship with Compex?
Tony Voisin: Okay, so I practice the obstacle course. Sport for me is a lifestyle and I think that today it is the best medicine to guard against the bad things in the world. I've been affiliated to the Compex France team since 2018.
Compex: Great, and which Compex device do you use? How did you hear about Compex and what programmes do you use?
Tony: Currently I am using the Compex SP8 Wod Edition. I discovered Compex in 2016, when I visited the Compex booth at the Body Fitness Show. It was explained to me that this one device could help me recover from competition, and also to participate in my physical preparation and training.
I started to learn a little more and I acquired a Compex device. I first started using the recovery program, and I immediately felt the effects. I also used the program Heavy Legs because I have a problem with blood circulation. Then I integrated the capillarisation and I felt real benefits before my races.
Compex: When and how did you really start integrating Compex into your physical training?
Tony: I started to integrate Compex in my physical training in 2018, in view of the world championships. I first did a 5 week cycle on strength, twice a week, in addition to strength training in bodybuilding and a session in dynamics, that is to say box jumps or heels-buttocks.
Then, I followed up with a cycle of 5 weeks in resistance. I took a week of recovery between the two cycles to recover.
Compex: What did you get out of it?
I feel that in the ribs, which was my weak point, I have more power and I can better resist lactates. I really progressed, my legs are much lighter too!
Compex: The final word?
I will end with a phrase that is a bit my leitmotif: Get up with determination to lie down with satisfaction.
Compex: Hi Anouk! Nice to meet you, please could you tell us a little bit about you and your sport?
Anouk: Hi, my name is Anouk Garnier, I’m an Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) athlete. I’m Vice World Champion in OCR and I was also a member of the Spartan Race European champion team. I’ve also been a Compex France Athlete since 2018.
Compex: Wow, that’s an impressive CV. How did you get into OCR?
Anouk: I like to push myself, test my limits and press them back at every competition. This improvement is important in my everyday life, it helps me to grow and to be better. One of my favourite feelings is passing a finish line, feeling that I gave everything – that's why I'm addicted to the obstacle races.
Compex: How does Compex Muscle Stim help you to find a competitive edge? Which programme/s do you use?
Anouk: I am now using the Compex SP8 Wod Edition, but I knew about Compex years ago. At first I knew Compex only through its aesthetic programs and I didn’t know that it could also be used for recovery.
I tried the recovery program for the first time when I went to the OCR World Championships and felt a real difference in my recovery.
I now use a lot of post-workout recovery, post-competition recovery and relaxing massage programs.
Recently, I started physical fitness programs, including resistance programnes on the legs.
Compex: Thanks Anouk! Great to hear from you.
Compex: Hey Lucy, great to sit down with you - please could you tell our audience your name and where you're from?
Hi, my name is Lucy Majury and I'm from Farnborough in the UK - not far from London.
Compex: And what sport do you perform in and how did you get into it? Biggest achievements so far?
I have competed in Powerlifting and got 4 World Records I am also a Competitive CrossFit athlete. My biggest achievement is competing at CrossFit Europe Regionals 3 x. Making it once is amazing but to be able to do it multiple times was even better.
Compex: Wow, those are some pretty impressive achievements. How have you found Compex Muscle Stim helps you to find a competitive edge?
Compex helps me have a competitive edge as it speeds up and improves my training recovery. When you train multiple times a day or with high volume this is key.
Compex: Which programme/s do you use on your Compex device?
I really like using the training recovery and relaxing programmes - they are for sure my favorite. I also sometimes use the strength cycles as an addition to my training. I also use Compex knee wraps.
Compex: Amazing, it sounds like your getting great use out of it. We've heard whispers that you've launched a new company? Tell us a bit about that project.
Alongside competing in CrossFit I have my own nutrition, PT and clothing businesses. My partner (Mike) and I started the clothing brand, VITA, most recently and it is a project we are both so proud of. We sell clothes which can be worn to workout in and also outside of the gym. The clothes have all been designed by athletes who know exactly what is needed from workout clothing. Our biggest aim was to produce affordable, good quality clothes.
You can find our clothing at www.vita-active.com.
You can also use code COMPEX10 for 10% discount.
Compex: That's incredible, you must be very busy. I'm sure our audience will be really interested to check out your website to gear up for their training sessions. Thanks so much for sitting down with us Lucy and best of luck in all your pursuits!
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!
Whether you’re a die-hard or more of an enthusiast, CrossFit is not for the faint of heart. Intensity is the name of the game and the goal is to push your body as far as it can go; you’d be surprised at what you’re capable of!
With any intense workout program, proper form, training and conditioning is crucial to achieving results and preventing injury. First and foremost, make sure your CrossFit program, gym, and coach are the right fit for you.
Once you’ve solidified a good workout / rest routine and dialed in your diet it might be time to consider taking your training to the next level with Compex electric muscle stimulator. Compex is not only designed to help you recover, but also to build strength; strength you can use to lift more, to jump higher and to exceed your fitness goals.
If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. Here is how Compex can help you with CrossFit.
Recruiting More Muscle
Compex can help you to build strength by recruiting more muscle but how? What does that mean exactly?
Say you are looking to increase the amount of weight you can lift. To be able to lift more weight, you need to train your body to recruit more muscle to the task. By lifting progressively more weight in the same motion, you more develop pathways from your brain to recruit more muscle, which is essentially what building strength is. This takes time and even at your fittest, you’re probably only recruiting around 30% of the muscle.
With Compex, you can recruit more muscle because the stimulation is direct and does not involve weight increases. The device works as the signals telling your muscles to fire instead of your brain. Targeting of these muscles is also easier because you are placing the pads over the muscles you want to contract. This is also helpful for underutilized muscle groups like gluteals that are important for strength but not as easy to build.
You can either use Compex to build strength instead of weight training, in addition to your weight training program or while you lift.
Lifting with Compex muscle stim can help you build more strength by firing more muscle while you’re lifting, thus allowing you to lift more weight. If you’re working on your deadlifts or clean and jerks, this can help you reach new weight goals.
Typically, in order to build strength, you need to lift more weight. However, this can lead to soreness and recovery time, pressure on joints and connective tissue, and possible injury. Compex muscle stim can help you work passed some of those hang ups and still increase your strength.
Using Compex muscle stim while you are training helps you have more muscle contraction without adding more weight. This reduces the impact on joints without sacrificing performance. Because of the impact reduction, this can also lead to a shorter recovery time. Get the most from simple bodyweight exercises or make your lifting sessions count more.
We all have a stronger side. When you are doing CrossFit, even if you are aware of which side is weaker, you body will still automatically compensate as soon as you lift, land or run. If you’re not balanced, there is risk of injury. If you have a weaker side, you’re not truly maximizing your strength.
Compex muscle stim has 4 different channels; that means you can hook the device up to both sides of the body at the same time. Use Compex to either strengthen a weaker side or to keep both sides of the body balanced while building strength.
Speed of Contraction
How fast your muscles contract is not crucial, but it is important for quick movements like clean pulls or jumping. Training your muscle to fire a certain way every time is the best way to increase the speed of contraction. Practice makes perfect and the same is true for your muscles; the more times they fire a certain way, the faster they’ll do it.
For example, when you jump, your leg muscles need to fire right away in order to send your body upwards. Jumping repeatedly to increase your jump or using weights can have a negative impact on your knees, feet or ankles before you reach your goals. However, training with Compex muscle stim allows you to train those muscles to fire how you want and as fast as you want.
Early this year, we told you about how volleyball player Brandon Talbot used Compex to increase his vertical leap and potentially break three world records. Talbot didn’t want to use weights so he chose electric muscle stimulation to increase his explosive strength. By doing so, he increased his jump using just Compex and ultimately was able to leap onto a 61’’ platform from the ground.
As important as training is to reaching your fitness goals, so is giving your body time to recover. When you’re in the zone, it might be hard to a take a day or two off to rest your muscles but Compex can aid in recovery and help you get back on the floor faster.
Using an electric muscle stimulator like Compex helps increase blood flow up to 600%. This means you’re moving out waste products that build up from intense physical activity like lactic acid or debris from muscle fibers. This leaves more room for fresh blood to help your muscles heal.
Foam rolling is a great way to break up adhesions that can cause muscle pain and soreness. However, foam rolling is a very mechanical process where you physically roll out your muscles like you would with a rolling pin and dough. While this is very effective, it can be painful. Using the Active Recovery program helps break up some of the adhesions, but it only targets the muscle, not any connective tissue, making it less painful. At the same time, it helps to release endorphins, making you feel better and want to get back out there.