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Compex Muscle Stimulator
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My legs feel tired after a big training session like everyone else. I put Compressport recovery socks on after a long run or ride for example and this helps. But I'm wondering about spending money on a Compex Muscle Stimulator, there are so many programs, though Recovery is the main beneficial I'm looking at and possibly injury or cramp prevention mode, with 30 modes it can become confusing. I don't think I'm after there workout sessions, I'd rather be outside training!

Anyone had any experience or recommendations? Living in Europe, Compex #1 brand been made in France. There are a few others but had to find, most Europeans seem to trust Compex only for some reason.

I have been looking at mi-technology which enables the system to calculate your physic and learn your physiology, thus been able to prevent modes that maybe twitching too high or low for your physic, obviously there's a large increase of price for Mi. I don't want to spend too much.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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mortirolo wrote:
My legs feel tired after a big training session like everyone else. I put Compressport recovery socks on after a long run or ride for example and this helps. But I'm wondering about spending money on a Compex Muscle Stimulator, there are so many programs, though Recovery is the main beneficial I'm looking at and possibly injury or cramp prevention mode, with 30 modes it can become confusing. I don't think I'm after there workout sessions, I'd rather be outside training!

Anyone had any experience or recommendations? Living in Europe, Compex #1 brand been made in France. There are a few others but had to find, most Europeans seem to trust Compex only for some reason.

I have been looking at mi-technology which enables the system to calculate your physic and learn your physiology, thus been able to prevent modes that maybe twitching too high or low for your physic, obviously there's a large increase of price for Mi. I don't want to spend too much.

I have this and use it just for recovery. I like it. I can't speak to the medical side of whether it's actually helping me recover faster but I'm hopeful it does.

https://www.compexusa.com/compex-edge.html
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mickison] [ In reply to ]
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That Edge product looks the ideal solution for me price wise but this product must be for the US market only, in Europe only SP models are available which are different cheapest been €260, though I will need to read more detail about each model, anyway that's good to hear positive feedback.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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mortirolo wrote:
My legs feel tired after a big training session like everyone else. I put Compressport recovery socks on after a long run or ride for example and this helps. But I'm wondering about spending money on a Compex Muscle Stimulator, there are so many programs, though Recovery is the main beneficial I'm looking at and possibly injury or cramp prevention mode, with 30 modes it can become confusing. I don't think I'm after there workout sessions, I'd rather be outside training!

Anyone had any experience or recommendations? Living in Europe, Compex #1 brand been made in France. There are a few others but had to find, most Europeans seem to trust Compex only for some reason.

I have been looking at mi-technology which enables the system to calculate your physic and learn your physiology, thus been able to prevent modes that maybe twitching too high or low for your physic, obviously there's a large increase of price for Mi. I don't want to spend too much.

I have thought about Compex many times but have never pulled the trigger on one. Instead I use various self-massage tools (foam rollers, peanut, lacross balls, etc) or recovery boots. Sometimes I am too tired for the self-massage tools and just opt for the boots. The one reason I would use it would be for very specific injuries. Have you thought about boots at all?


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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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boots - no I haven't, I'll look into this.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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A set of compression boots makes my tired legs feel much better than electric stimulation mainly from the massaging affect. To each there own though, I know plenty of college athletes that swear by electrical stimulation.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....

A good E-stim machine is not simply a TENS unit. TENS is pretty much completely useless for the intended purpose of the OP. I remember JR mentioning he felt E-Stim was better for recovery and boots better for warmup, but not what research or incentives motivated those comments. I have had 2 different models of boots, and did not feel they were of much value to me. I felt much better after E-stim, but I'm sure like training and nutrition, each person has a different solution.....
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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I've got it, however once I got my Normatec boots, I've never taken the Compex back out

-------------------------------------------------------------
Tough Times Don't Last, Tough People Do.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [TriSpencer] [ In reply to ]
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I had the top of the range model that wasn't wireless. Whatever one that was. It went back on day 27 of the 28 day return period. I felt like they did absolutely nothing for me. The auto feature was very conservative, to the point of feeling homeopathic in its strength. Ymmv.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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I've had the Compex Sports Elite (wired version) for a couple of years. To start with the summary I don't think I would buy it again and yet I am not willing to let it go either. There may be less expensive measures one can take or use to get as good of results and the results for recovery IMO are not measurable. All I can say is that my legs feel a bit better the next day from DOMS resulting from leg day at the gym (strength training is my primary training). I use it in massage mode or active recovery mode with all nodes set about level 20 followed by light spinning for 60 minutes Monday evening after a morning leg day. I still have DOMS on Tuesday, but it does not seem to be as severe as it does when I don't use it. Perhaps roller massage would work as well, but as someone else mentioned I am usually too tired. I have not used it for anything else and always connect the nodes on my legs in the same pattern. Kind of time consuming getting it connected when really time crunched and I end up not being a consistent user.


For me the light 60 minute active recovery spin works pretty good by itself most of the time without the EMS massage.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....

This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [ThisIsIt] [ In reply to ]
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ThisIsIt wrote:
synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.


As I mentioned earlier, there is NO correlation between TENS and Compex." A TENS unit stimulates the nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates the muscles.


Although both the TENS and the EMS units transmit electrical signals, the EMS focuses on the muscle rather than the nerve ending. EMS uses a cycle of stimulation, contraction and then relaxation at intensities from 1 to 130Mh to increase blood flow to the area, which decreases inflammation and promotes healing and muscle growth. By stimulating the muscles at their basic structure, an EMS unit causes muscle contractions similar to those obtained by exercise. The EMS units are specifically used to prevent atrophied muscles or for retraining muscles, such as in an individual who has been paralyzed or partially paralyzed. In addition, EMS is used for many other applications such as range of motion improvement, increased circulatory action and the prevention of blood clots."


It seems there have been no proven studies as of this point to prove effectiveness of either, but the same can be said of the boots.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [tridude93] [ In reply to ]
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I'm still waiting on my 6pack to show up when I use the electronic stimulation. They promised I'd look like a body builder in no time.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
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ggeiger wrote:
ThisIsIt wrote:
synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.


As I mentioned earlier, there is NO correlation between TENS and Compex." A TENS unit stimulates the nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates the muscles.


Although both the TENS and the EMS units transmit electrical signals, the EMS focuses on the muscle rather than the nerve ending. EMS uses a cycle of stimulation, contraction and then relaxation at intensities from 1 to 130Mh to increase blood flow to the area, which decreases inflammation and promotes healing and muscle growth. By stimulating the muscles at their basic structure, an EMS unit causes muscle contractions similar to those obtained by exercise. The EMS units are specifically used to prevent atrophied muscles or for retraining muscles, such as in an individual who has been paralyzed or partially paralyzed. In addition, EMS is used for many other applications such as range of motion improvement, increased circulatory action and the prevention of blood clots."


It seems there have been no proven studies as of this point to prove effectiveness of either, but the same can be said of the boots.

With all due respect, I'm not sure where you're getting this information. As a starter, unless you have implanted electrodes there is no way to recruit the muscle without also recruiting sensory nerves because the sensory nerves are so much closer to the electrical field created by the surface electrodes. Secondly, when you recruit muscles with estim you are doing it by recruiting motor nerves because the threshold for generating an action potential is much lower in a nerve than it is for a muscle cell. This is why it is usually very hard if not impossible with most clinical stimulators to recruit a de-enervated muscle.

The main difference between TENS units and other types of clinical stimulators is the former lack the power to generate much current. But depending on where your nerves are relative to the placement of your electrodes, how lean you are, power of the unit, etc. It is often possible to get muscle contractions with TENS units.

And if you can do that, I would be very surprised if it is any less effective (assuming either is effective at all) than any other stimulator for recovery.

For strengthening you're going to need the higher power to recruit a significant amount of muscle to generate high forces to induce the strengthening. I have no idea how a Compex compares to clinical stimulators in that regard. A good indicator is that if it's not forcing your leg straight when stimulating the quads it's not producing very much force.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
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ggeiger wrote:
ThisIsIt wrote:
synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.


As I mentioned earlier, there is NO correlation between TENS and Compex." A TENS unit stimulates the nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates the muscles.


Although both the TENS and the EMS units transmit electrical signals, the EMS focuses on the muscle rather than the nerve ending. EMS uses a cycle of stimulation, contraction and then relaxation at intensities from 1 to 130Mh to increase blood flow to the area, which decreases inflammation and promotes healing and muscle growth. By stimulating the muscles at their basic structure, an EMS unit causes muscle contractions similar to those obtained by exercise. The EMS units are specifically used to prevent atrophied muscles or for retraining muscles, such as in an individual who has been paralyzed or partially paralyzed. In addition, EMS is used for many other applications such as range of motion improvement, increased circulatory action and the prevention of blood clots."


It seems there have been no proven studies as of this point to prove effectiveness of either, but the same can be said of the boots.

looks like you copy and pasted marketing crap from compex site. to me they are the same... my device stimulates the muscle


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [synthetic] [ In reply to ]
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synthetic wrote:
ggeiger wrote:
ThisIsIt wrote:
synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.


As I mentioned earlier, there is NO correlation between TENS and Compex." A TENS unit stimulates the nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates the muscles.


Although both the TENS and the EMS units transmit electrical signals, the EMS focuses on the muscle rather than the nerve ending. EMS uses a cycle of stimulation, contraction and then relaxation at intensities from 1 to 130Mh to increase blood flow to the area, which decreases inflammation and promotes healing and muscle growth. By stimulating the muscles at their basic structure, an EMS unit causes muscle contractions similar to those obtained by exercise. The EMS units are specifically used to prevent atrophied muscles or for retraining muscles, such as in an individual who has been paralyzed or partially paralyzed. In addition, EMS is used for many other applications such as range of motion improvement, increased circulatory action and the prevention of blood clots."


It seems there have been no proven studies as of this point to prove effectiveness of either, but the same can be said of the boots.


looks like you copy and pasted marketing crap from compex site. to me they are the same... my device stimulates the muscle

No, actually it was a TENS site without a vested interest in any product. People often confuse the two modalities and they really are 2 different animals. Different wave forms and huge differences in power.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [ThisIsIt] [ In reply to ]
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As I said, I'm not saying there has been any shown value, just like Normatec and the boots. Having had both and still having the E-stim, I can speak from experience. I truly wanted both systems to do what the marketing said, but for me my experience was pretty much a money drain. On occasion I use the E-stim and have had some seemingly more rapid recovery from race efforts. Boots did little other than make me rest on the couch which was not a bad thing. I will say that the E-stim units ( have had both Compex and Globus) do patch quite a punch, and recall using my first unit purchased on a muscle program on my quads. While it was not terribly strong to my pain threshold, 2 days later I was sorer than I had ever been in my life. They pack more power than any human I've encountered can take. I actually bought my first one years ago from Simon Whitfield and he said he and his pals would put the electrodes on their abs and see who could take the most. Depending on what muscles you use it on in strength mode you sometimes DO have to immobilize the legs. I think the muscle building capability to injury/trauma recovery could be of great value, but fortunately have not had to use that.

Once again, I am not promoting either, but each person may have totally different results, even if the placebo effect.



For strengthening you're going to need the higher power to recruit a significant amount of muscle to generate high forces to induce the strengthening. I have no idea how a Compex compares to clinical stimulators in that regard. A good indicator is that if it's not forcing your leg straight when stimulating the quads it's not producing very much force.
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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to directly answer the OP and also give my personal observations...

the compex unit without a doubt has its benefits. its not just a placebo effect... I truly believe it works for recovery as there is a marked notice directly after usage and the day after. just using it on, say, the calves, after a hard leg / run day, my calves would feel decent whereas my whole upper legs would be sore.

my wife also noticed the effects.

we have both recovery boots (air relax) and the compex muscle stimulators. I use the recovery boots VERY often, the compex unit is sitting in a box.

why?

the compex unit takes time to dig out of the box, put the sticky pads on a very targeted muscle group, then however long the program is suppose to run for that targeted group. after that muscle group is done, move the pads around to different muscle groups, wait the allotted time... I think you get the idea.

recovery boots you simply slide your legs in them, start the program and sit there and let it do is magic on your entire legs. its much much easier with faster results for your entire leg.

2018 Schedule: Texas Half Ironman April 8 // Tri Cap Tex, May 28 // Cypress, TX Sprint July 29 // Kemah, TX Olympic October 21
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [mortirolo] [ In reply to ]
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I've used Compex, Globus and MarcPro for EMS. It may be individual as others have said but I use it to flush out my legs after a long moderate effort or a hard high intensity effort. When I do it I have my legs vertical against a wall (laying on my back and I put the settings to a comfortable spot.

After using them all I opted to get the MarcPro for 2 reasons.

1. I felt their manual was easiest to use and navigate. Compex manual was like a whitepaper from a medical research laboratory and just ended up being overkill. I've also seen many Compex users I've spoken to use the MarcPro pad placements over the Compex ones
2. MarcPro was specifically designs for Recovery and nothing else. I've seen their use by Chiro and Physio professionals on numerous sports teams in the NBA, NFL and MLB. They are also sponsoring a Continental cycling team

Being in Canada I had to do some wizardry to get a unit as they were not available to ship here for some reason or another. That being said the Compex and Globus devices works, but I just found them a tad more "techie" than I required.

------
"Train so you have no regrets @ the finish line"
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [ThisIsIt] [ In reply to ]
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ThisIsIt wrote:
synthetic wrote:
compex is expensive... you can get a generic TENS unit from walmart for $40 that does as much. better than the boots by far. cant put the boots on the glute muscles....


This was going to be my comment as well.

Is there any evidence that these stimulators can help recovery/performance for endurance sport?

And more importantly, is there any evidence that there is anything about the parameters of the stimulation from something like a Compex that a regular old TENS unit can't do? Assuming the latter puts out enough current to recruit some of your muscle.


There are studies, this one is a close match to the OPs questions:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7595984 Effects of electromyostimulation and strength training on muscle soreness, muscle damage and sympathetic activation

And there are many others as well.

The only references to TENS I can find in PubMed are all in relation to treating pain, e.g.:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...articles/PMC2746624/ Effectiveness of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Hyperalgesia and Pain
Abstract
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a nonpharmacologic treatment for pain relief. TENS has been used to treat a variety of painful conditions....
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Re: Compex Muscle Stimulator [damon.lebeouf] [ In reply to ]
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damon.lebeouf wrote:
to directly answer the OP and also give my personal observations...

the compex unit without a doubt has its benefits. its not just a placebo effect... I truly believe it works for recovery as there is a marked notice directly after usage and the day after. just using it on, say, the calves, after a hard leg / run day, my calves would feel decent whereas my whole upper legs would be sore.

my wife also noticed the effects.

we have both recovery boots (air relax) and the compex muscle stimulators. I use the recovery boots VERY often, the compex unit is sitting in a box.

why?

the compex unit takes time to dig out of the box, put the sticky pads on a very targeted muscle group, then however long the program is suppose to run for that targeted group. after that muscle group is done, move the pads around to different muscle groups, wait the allotted time... I think you get the idea.

recovery boots you simply slide your legs in them, start the program and sit there and let it do is magic on your entire legs. its much much easier with faster results for your entire leg.

Near identical experience. Was happy with my air relax, but fell for Compex’s marketing as their stuff is always on sale. If you are looking to buy, wait until it’s at least 60% off.

Can’t say that one is better the other, but Compex is a PITA to set up.

Have not tried it for anything beyond the recovery. I’m likely missing out on some benefits.
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