In Charlie’s original protocol, 50 seconds are necessary to recover from fatigue. So it seems logical to me that if during that time you do something improving it, the recovery would take place sooner. Exactly how much I don’t know. We could easily find out with a few tests, since the program in Charlie’s unit can be adjusted.
That’s because Compex has deeper pockets and was able to sponsor the studies. However, the protocols (programs) that were used in the studies are identical between the Compex and the Globus machines.
But the Globus machines sold in the US have a somewhat more robust (longer) pulsewidth: it increases the strength of the contraction at the same current intensity; conversely it allows to decrease current intensity to obtain the same contraction strength, thereby increasing comfort (see the relative post on Chronaxie and Rheobase and Lapique’s Law in the EMS Theory thread).
I haven’t tried it enough to say what number is optimal yet.
For example, if you shorten the rest, albeit with active recovery added, you will be fine for a set number of reps but might find additional fatigue after that starting number.
So you might start with a maximum of 10 reps, counting on the shorter contraction times to compensate for the shorter rest and move to 15 once you can determine that:
A: You have no training losses elsewhere in your training program
B: The intensity of the contraction remains high to the last rep you use.
Another option is to divide the EMS sessions in a day, divided by 4 hours. IE 2 set of 6 or 3 sets of 5, basically whatever you want.
This is very handy when recovering from an injury that limits other training and we have done this at times .
There is no reason why you can’t be as flexible with the use of EMS as you would be with other training modalities, keeping in mind that you are sparing the nervous system compared to other methods.
Still looking into all it can do. There is a lot there! I think the key is to start with a conservative approach as I listed above and then move towards more reps, to see how much difference the active recovery and a superior wave form available here can do for you. You know it will help but you need to see how much. This option didn’t exist when I first started experimenting so many years ago. I have used it mostly on myself so far but the real test will come when I can transfer it to top athletes who are in a max power training phase. I have some coming here soon for that and it will be very interesting to see how they respond.
This past summer two highly ranked jr 18 year old tennis players from a US tennis academy came to work with Charlie. Unexpectedly one of them arrived with a foot injury so Charlie worked with the one who was healthy and had me work with the one who could’nt play tennis.
I used the mobiliztion 1 and 2, the warm-up for rehab and then used max strength for quads, glutes, hams and the back. She was not very lean on arrival but after one day on bike tempo and stim you could already see an excellent response. We used the stim for the better part of every other day for 10 days with bike and pool. Her body was transformed despite not doing any running or much tennis. ( she was able to hit a ball an hour or less every other day but no running or moving on court until the very end)
I have also been using the stim on one of Charlie’s clients for a knee injury to bring blood flow to the area and strenghen the quad and keep his hamstrings loose as well.
This is an excellent device with options to deal with all sorts of issues.
We love it.
What protocols did you use for this purpose? I feel I don’t use my compex as much as I could and should be. Many of my athletes are starting to get really tight hamstrings, especially in the adductors. Was hoping my unit might be of use in loosening that up. Would active recovery work, or some type of recovery protocol? What parameters might I use for this (time, intensity, placement etc)
I have another athlete who dislocated her knee cap making a cut. We have been doing strength for hamstrings using 6 second contraction, 30 second rest for 10 seconds. (therapist has been doing stim on quads, but neglecting hams). Any suggestions for this athlete?
1 I’d use the active recovery modalities where the tightness is concentrated, most likely low down near the knee.
2 I’d see if you can move the reps up from 10 to 15 at least, as she’s limited in other training activities.
I might also consider active recovery for her quads as well.
I used the active recovery for a knot recently that felt as large as a small grapefruit. I followed up with massage and did this after a light warm-up so he wasnt getting on the table cold. The results were fantasic and this was a non athlete.
For loosening see how the response goes first before changing any variables.
Does your stim have a max strength modality? Quiz the therapist to see what they are thinking and decide from there.
I have max strength (6 sec contractions) with 30 sec rest.
I used active recovery only with an athlete today. She felt immediately better. Curious to see how she feels Monday.
I began playing with my compex today with acive recovery, i’m curious if there is any difference in response in how intense the contractions are. I didn’t feel any difference after a session, maybe I had it too high??
The higher the intensity the better. Intensity means current (mA, or milliamps). Higher current penetrates deeper in the muscle tissue, thus recruiting more muscle fibers. Higher recruitment means helping more blood flowing in a larger portion of the muscle.
Because Active Recovery programs (like those in Globus and Compex machines) are made of twitches rather than sustained contractions, and twitches develop only about 1/3 to 1/4 of the force one develops with a sustained contraction, one doesn’t run the risk of overloading muscle fibers and the tendons, or to make them sore.
There are a couple of differences between the Globus and Compex Active Recovery, if anybody is interested.
Based on my experience, I do believe there is an “optimal” intensity for the recovery settings. While this optimal intensity is not low, it is not necessarily has high as you can handle. I’ve had variable results with different individuals - which I assume correlates with muscle fiber type.
In some cases, I have dialed down the intensity slightly and experienced better results. I would assume it is similar to a massage session, where too hard and deep a massage can have less optimal results. There is likely a point of diminishing returns. As with training, it is your job to determine “how much, how long, how frequently, etc.” based on your experience with various individuals and their tolerances.
I do not disagree with you: personal experience rules over theory. I’m inclined to think though, that if ESTI did not get any result, either the training was not stressing the body (i.e. didn’t need active recovery), or the Active Recovery program was too weak, and didn’t make a difference.