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Marc Pro Muscle Stimulator for Recovery
The Marc Pro is a muscle stimulator to aid recovery (and can be useful pre-ride also).
There are a lot of gimmicks out there for athletes (eat this, do that, etc), but this is one device that really does work. The principles are sound, which drew my interest, but I was skeptical. Still, approaching the age of 50, I need all the help I can get after hard workouts. So I bought one in late summer 2013.
It works. And that’s from a natural skeptic
See Breakout Days for some graphs and experience.
How it works
The electrical stimulation contracts the muscles at a steady beat, flushing 'yuck' out of the tissue while taking zero effort and fatiguing nothing.
It’s a little weird at first and grosses out my kids (legs are like a twitching frog on a battery), but the muscles definitely feel better afterwards, and I am certain that it speeds recovery, based on usage over months. My 2013 season was lousy, so it got only sporadic use, but 2014 makes it a key tool.
The only real catch is the time it takes: the muscles have to be in a relaxed position, which generally means being reclined and lying down. So sitting in front of a computer isn’t ideal, though a slouch can make it possible, but not ideal.
For those who have free time, no big deal, but for those who work an 80 hour weeks (five years going for me), finding an extra 20-30 minutes is something to deal with. Which is the only real reason I don’t use it as often as I ought to (time), because I know from experience that it is beneficial.
In the field (e.g., in the back of my SUV after the first day of the Everest Challenge), the main problem is dust or lint or crud; this tends to de-stick the electrodes. When using in dusty or linty environments, you’ll need more fresh-stick electrodes.
Get rid of the hair; you want smooth skin like a woman’s legs. Guys, just get over it! It is literally a pain to deal with hair: to find just the right electrode placement (essential), the pads need to be moved just-so to find the muscle/nerve, they can be smeared/pushed around with a bare leg, but with a hairy leg it’s pretty awful. Get rid of the hair. It makes finding the right placement far easier than yanking the electrodes off a hairy leg and replacing, which also makes the electrodes less stick pretty quickly.