We've all been there: that feeling like you're no longer in control of your own legs after a grueling workout, long trail run or extended bike ride.
Sore, achy and barely able to sit down or climb the stairs – these are all pretty common sensations when getting back into a workout or pushing yourself farther than the norm. But what if there were a way around this demise?
Thanks to advanced studies on muscle recovery, athletes and even casual weekend warriors are now turning to post-workout methods that can minimize and sometimes all-together prevent extreme muscle fatigue and soreness.
Such is the case for Marc Pro, a small portable electrical muscle-stimulating technology that helps reduce fatigue, muscle soreness and overall recovery time.
Adopted by some of the most serious athletes out there – including pro triathlete and Ironman champion Heather Jackson – the Marc Pro device is handheld and can go anywhere your athletic pursuits take you.
"I take it with me everywhere and use it while on flights, long travel sessions and even in the car coming down from the mountain – really, anywhere," explains Jackson, who enjoys backcountry riding in the winter, while simultaneously training for Ironman races.
The science behind Marc Pro is based on the opposite approach of pain-masking technology like TENS devices and other electrical stimulators on the market – which provide electrical currents to muscles that dull pain, but don't necessarily provide lasting relief, Marc Pro founder Ryan Heaney tells ASN.
The idea behind Marc Pro is to mimic the natural recovery process that the body already does on its own, using the same principle as active recovery, but without any extra effort or fatigue to your body. This process helps flush out metabolic waste and deliver nourishment to the areas that need it – like sore calves, back, shoulders or hips.
A Marc Pro session activates what Heaney calls a "cascading series of physiological effects" through its electrical currents, by tapping into a specific type of muscle contraction. The tech uses waveform and long pulse duration to produce non-fatiguing muscle contraction – the type that is optimal for muscle recovery, he explains.
"Most muscle stimulators use technology that stem from devices used for muscle re-education, where the goal is to fatigue muscles that have atrophied," Heaney says. "These devices have their purpose but when you are trying to recover, putting further stress on the muscles is counterproductive."
Marc Pro also offers the Marc Pro Plus, which offers dual functionality with high (60 hertz) and low (2 hertz) settings – both ideal for active pursuits, in their own respect. On low, the session targets muscle soreness through muscle contractions. On high, you'll receive more intense nerve-related pain relief through strong (but not uncomfortable, according to Marc Pro) buzzing sensations.
Obviously, establishing a shorter, less painful recovery period ultimately helps you get back to the trails, crag or your bike much faster.
But the internal benefits to your muscles and overall physical endurance are also key to consider for the long run. Injury prevention and an increased performance edge are important to anyone who wants to stay active and keep doing what they love.
"Marc Pro wants to continue to dominate the recovery space with professional athletes," Heaney says. "But moving forward we also want to help everyday and aging athletes see how much they can benefit from improved recovery."
The company has invested in its educational resources and support, with web chats, unlimited web conferencing and coaching calls to provide details and customization tips for those integrating Marc Pro into their recovery routines.
All photos courtesy of Marc Pro.
More Health Content from ASN