Chances are you’ve heard of NMES before – that’s neuro-muscular electrical stimulation for the uninitiated or electrical muscle stimulation. And chances are just as likely that you’ve quickly dismissed it as quackery.
Well, not so fast.
It turns out that NMES has the proven ability to speed up muscular healing, improve post workout recovery and even enhance workout performance.
Those are some pretty good reasons to take NMES seriously. When you do, you’ll quickly identify who the market leaders are – which will take you directly to a company called Compex. They’ve been around for nearly 30 years and offer a range of electrical muscle stimulators for all sorts of applications. Today we’re going to get up close and personal with their very popular Compex Mini Wireless muscle stimulator and the Powerdot TENS unit. We will try to settle the long standing Powderdot vs Compex debate.
Compex Mini Wireless
The Compex Mini Wireless is an electrical muscle stimulator that is fully portable for use anywhere, at any time. That means that you can use it right in the gym or even on the track. The unit connects to your smartphone to provide you with an amazingly user-friendly way to stimulate your muscles on the go.
Through this muscle stimulator, electric pulses are delivered through the skin to the muscles through the electrodes. There are wires that connect the pads to the control unit of the device.
The modules firmly attach to the pads that you place on your skin. Each module is equipped with Compex’s patented muscle intelligence technology. A ‘Me Scan’ function on the remote automatically adjusts the stimulator settings to the specificity of each muscle.
The Compex Mini Wireless muscle stimulator features two modules, 6 pads that attach to your muscles and 6 programs that are accessible through the Compex App via Bluetooth.
The whole thing is operated though a small handheld remote control unit. It has an LED which lights up when the unit is on. You select your program, with usability being intuitive and seamless. You can also control the intensity of the stimulation through the control unit.
The remote features full instructions on how to apply the pads and set up the unit for use. It has a usability range of up to 2 meters. The colored LED screen provides optimal visibility. You can also check the placement of the electrodes on the screen. The interface then displays detailed information to guide you through your workout.
The six programs that are included with this package are:
- Pre Warm-up
- Training Recovery / Active Recovery
- Muscle Recovery
- Pain Relief / TENS
The Pre Warm Up program produces a low frequency muscle twitch, while the Endurance program is designed to activate aerobic metabolism. Anerobic metabolism is targeted in the Resistance program. The Training Recovery program produces a similar muscle twitch to the Pre Warm Up program. The Muscle Relaxation program runs at the lowest twitch possible and is designed for post workout recovery. Finally, the Pain Relief, TENS program is specifically designed to bring fast relief from localized pain.
The Compex electrodes can be used 15 to 30 times, depending on the user’s skin type. To maximize user life, your skin should be non-greasy, shaved and clean. The unit comes with one set of electrodes. When these are used, you can purchase replacements directly from Compex.
The Compex mini wireless comes with rechargeable batteries. Your purchase is protected by a two-year warranty.
In summary, the Compex mini wireless is an extremely user-friendly device that is the ideal gym workout companion. Its discreet handheld remote and easily pad application mean that you can seamlessly integrate it with your gym or track sessions. Overall, we were extremely impressed with this cutting-edge training innovation.
Compex Mini Wireless VS Powerdot 2.0
A main competitor to the Compex Mini Wireless is the Powerdot 2.0, muscle stimulator manufactured out of Australia. Like Compex, the Powerdot connects via Bluetooth to an App, allowing you to target specific body-parts.
Whereas the Compex provides you with six programs, the Powerdot 2.0 muscle stimulator gives you ten, with such additions as explosive strength, massage and strength endurance. They also offer a duo version which allows you to work both sides of the body at once, something which you don’t get with Compex.
What is TENS?
TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is the application of minute electrical pulses to the muscle. The purpose is to provide quick relief from pain by stimulating the sensory nerves. This has the effect of increasing endorphin release, which helps to alleviate pain. At the same time, a mechanism known as GATE Control Theory blocks the pain singles to the brain.
TENS is a well attested means of pain relief that is a valuable benefit to anyone potentially suffering from muscle related pain.
Are EMS and TENS Safe?
Yes. Both therapies have been in use for decades and there have been no reported safety issues or long-term negative side effects.
The Compex Mini Wireless NMES unit is a very impressive muscle stimulator. It provides the ease of use and portability that allows it to be used right in the gym or on the field, where it does the most benefit.
The remote control and matching APP provide an extremely user friendly experience and the programs offer a range of stimulation options to meet all requirements. The addition of the TENS pain relief program makes this also an extremely valuable device for people suffering from localized pain (something that could happen to any athlete at any time!).
The Compex Mini Wireless muscle stimulator represents quite an investment dollar wise, but if you’re serious about your training, it’s a purchase that you won’t regret.