Get a jump on the competition with this essential, year-round tool
By Hammer Nutrition
Race season is winding down, and many of us are now looking forward to a few months of recovery. Rest and recovery are essential to ongoing athletic performance and overall wellness, but that doesn't mean we must give up all of our hard-earned fitness gains. By using an Electromuscular Stimulation (EMS) unit during the off-season, you can maintain - and even improve - your level of fitness. By early next season, you'll be one giant step ahead of the competition. (And with prices now slashed 22-37% on all Compex EMS units, you simply cannot lose!) Here are three important ways that EMS can work to your advantage during the off-season.
- Resistance (Compex), Resistance Strength (Globus) - This program trains the Type IIA fast-twitch muscle fibers and is similar to doing a weight workout with fairly light weights and high (20+) reps.
- Strength (Compex), Maximum Strength (Globus) - Training the Type IIB fast-twitch muscle fibers, this program is similar to a weight workout with heavier weights but fewer (8-10) reps.
- Explosive Strength (Compex and Globus) - This program stimulates the Type IIB fast-twitch muscle fibers and the Type IIB fast-twitch creatine phosphate energy system, similar to doing plyometrics or a 1-3 rep max weight workout.
Using EMS also can help prevent injury because it will only tax your muscles, not joints or connective tissue like heavy lifting would. EMS strength training is an excellent complement to weight training and off-season training. You can use one of the above workout programs to add volume to your training day.
2. Cardio and endurance maintenance - Working the Type 1 slow-twitch muscle fibers, the EMS Endurance programs are ideal for maximizing the benefits of cardio workouts at the gym. Because of the muscles' tremendous workload, an Endurance workout session equates to 4-5 hours on the bike or 2 -3 hours of running.
Also, continue using Active Recovery often; it will not stress or fatigue your muscles but will help maintain the muscle responsiveness that you developed by using the workout programs. The Active Recovery program on both Compex and Globus will help keep you loose and injury-free by:
- Increasing blood flow to the muscle group to flush out accumulated waste products, making room for fresh blood with oxygen and nutrients
- Stimulating the production of endorphins, for an analgesic/pain-alleviating response
- Massaging and relaxing the muscle
3. Recovery from overuse and injury - If you've developed an overuse injury or injured yourself in a crash or fall, now is the perfect time to focus on a full recovery. The Active Recovery program (on both Compex and Globus) is one of the best ways to help your body repair itself. You can't overuse the Active Recovery program. Running it daily or even multiple times the same day will help speed your recovery and prepare you for next season. Run the Active Recovery on the muscles that surround your injury to increase the flow of blood and nutrients to the area for healing.
With EMS as your ally this fall and winter, you can hold onto the fitness you've gained this season, and start next season stronger than ever before!