In this post we will try to offer you general notions about how to use your Compex:
REGARDING ELECTRODES PLACEMENT
You will find two sizes of Compex electrodes, large (5×10) and small (5×5), your choice depends on the muscle group you want to train. Choosing the electrodes properly will result in comfort and effectiveness. In the beginning, according to science, the larger the size of an electrode, the greater the number of muscle fibers will be recruited, but of course, we must always adapt to the muscular morphology.
It is convenient that you initially follow electrode placement guides, for example, this Compex guide:
And if you want to know, explore and go further in your level of training with electrostimulation we suggest our MYOX training protocols and electrode application (see Myox training).
As for the Compex guide you will see marked with a red circle the place where it is recommended to apply the MI-SENSOR (Muscle Intelligence Technology), a technology which has the ability to “scan” your muscle and calculate and adjust the specific electrical parameters of your natural physiology in your workouts; for professionals: what this sensor does is calculating the chronaxia parameters (minimum stimulus time to stimulate a motor nerve) and rheobase (minimum intensity to produce this stimulation).
And why is it important to apply the Compex sensor?
Thanks to knowing and applying these electrical parameters in a specific way, you will get a more comfortable and efficient training, and the thing is that the necessary amount of energy to produce an optimum level of contraction will have been lower.
What position to adopt in my workouts with muscle electrostimulation? Basically, it will depend on your goal, if it is simply strengthening or if it has some technical-sporting purpose. In this post, we will speak in general terms: the position of stimulation depends on the muscle group that you want to stimulate, you will observe that in most situations it will be done with the articulation in the middle of its range/path that is where the muscle is found at an optimal level of shortening and generation of strength. As a general recommendation, you can follow the Compex guide that we have published above (proposed positions indicated with pictograms placed next to the electrode placement drawings).
Initially, it is recommended to work isometrically, so it is convenient to fix the ends of the member so that there is no movement. Training with this type of contraction allows stimulation with total safety. In later phases, the need or not to simulate the electrical impulses with dynamic actions must be analyzed, that is, generate movement during the contraction caused by your Compex.
The programs of the Vascular, Pain management Massage and the Active Recovery categories are different, as you must be in a comfortable position that allows you to relax and enjoy the benefits of recovering with Compex.
INTENSITY / ENERGY ADJUSTMENT:
When we train with muscle electrostimulation, the number of working muscular fibers depends on the amount of stimulation energy, that is, the intensity (measured in milliamperes -mA-).
Prudence and responsibility don’t lead to gradually increasing the intensity in successive training, taking into account that, when our goal is sports performance, we should try to achieve high stimulation energies over time in order to recruit the greatest number possible of muscle fibers.
The results in strength gain, hypertrophy and muscular resistance with muscle electrostimulation are related to a large extent with that “the greater the applied energy, the greater the motor recruitment and therefore, the greater improvements in muscle conditioning”. It is logical to think that, if low energies are applied only a very small amount of fibers will respond and only those fibers will progress, instead, if we stimulate with greater intensity, many more muscle fibers will respond and progress, obtaining, therefore, a better result.
It is recommended then, that once the appropriate adaptation has been made, to train with maximum stimulation energies, that is, the maximum tolerable intensity.
Thinking of the training session as a “unit”, keep in mind that the warm-up should be respected, in which the muscular shaking will be felt and should be visible, and later, already in the main phase of the training the stimulation energy will be progressively raised, from contraction to contraction. It is also recommended to move forward in the energies used from session to session.
PROGRESSION AT THE LEVELS OF THE COMPEX PROGRAMS:
The different levels that we find within the Compex training programs correspond to an escalation in Hertz (Frequency, electric impulses per second) which will determine a variation in the type of stimulus even if it is within the same objective. That is why we must allow our muscle mass to adapt to each of the levels and that the expected physiological and morphological adaptations can take place.
Therefore we recommend staying at each level a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks, and during this period the intensity of the stimulus will go up, although here there is much more to say (type of contraction, effort/rest ratio, etc.), but as we have already commented this is an article that offers general notions.
USE OF WARMING-UP AND BACK TO CALM:
Provided that there has not been a voluntary/traditional warm-up before the electrostimulation training, it is recommended to warm up the Compex. On the contrary, in case the application of the muscle electrostimulation is implicit in a complete training and has already made an optimal warming-up, it can suppress the warming-up of the Compex and go directly to the contractions of the main part.
You will notice that after the main part of “contraction/relaxation”, a few minutes of relaxation or “back to calm” is programmed in your Compex device is advisable to complete this part as it will facilitate your post-training recovery and, as it is logical, this will lead you to a greater and better predisposition for a subsequent training in later days. Of course, in case you have planned active-traditional training after the phase of contractions of the Compex, it will not be necessary to respect these minutes because we assume that at the end of traditional training you will return to calm through voluntary training.
A free training you can do online, in which we offer you the most important notions for the maximum use of your electro-stimulator, our online Clinic: How to train with Compex ?:
My name is Juan Peris, specialist in muscle electrostimulation, and in the closing of this blog post, I’d like to remind you that this article contains general recommendations. For the development of a personalized training plan or to expand knowledge in this matter CONTACT US or CHECK OUR TRAINING OFFER.
If you are trying to get to know the products of the entire Compex range, I advise you to read our comparative of Compex products, it will undoubtedly help you a lot: WHAT COMPEX MODEL CHOOSE? COMPARISON OF PRODUCTS.