Last year I reviewed the Compex Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) system. I personally own the Edge (the most cost effective model) and some of my Conquer The Gauntlet Pro Teammates own the Performance (one level up). I recently upgraded all the way to the top and picked up the Compex Wireless. I have been testing it out over the last couple of weeks and here are my thoughts on their top of the line model:
If you are unfamiliar with EMS in general, check out the initial review here, it goes over a lot of the how and why of using EMS. This review will be focused on what makes the wireless model unique.
Size: The first thing you will notice is the size of the Wireless. It fits in the palm of your hand and is about half the size of the Edge making it easier to carry. As someone who travels a lot for work, this is a huge plus for me.
Wireless: The big feature is obviously the wireless option that comes with the device. Instead of four wires that connect to eight different electrode pad connections, the system comes with four Bluetooth enabled sets of “discs”. While the wires are fine using it is like flying economy class and the wireless is like sitting in first class on an international flight. Given the option, I think everyone would prefer the latter.
Functionality: The screen is also much improved from the first generation edge I have. Gone are the days of a screen that looks like my calculator from high school and I now have a colorful interactive screen that is just as easy to use but more pleasing to the eye. The controls of the system are very similar so I could have skipped the directions before use if I wanted to.
The Wireless has ten different programs including endurance, resistance, strength, explosive strength, pre-warmup, training recovery, competition recovery, massage, potentiation and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation aka pain relief). There are so many different options I haven’t had time to explore them all yet. I primarily use the endurance function since my focus is on Ultra-OCR. However, I’ve also recently started using explosive strength. Rather than just continue to build on what I’m already good at, I’m starting to use EMS to compliment my training by training parts of my muscles I normally don’t exercise, thus hopefully making me more well-rounded.
Charging: One of my other favorite features is the case which stores the Compex is also the charger. Unlike previous models, the case is hard plastic protecting your system. This is great for me as I often travel on business trips with my Compex and feel much better knowing that is safe and secure. When you are done with a session you pack up your Compex and just plug the charging cable into the wall. It charges and is in storage mode simultaneously.
Price: The normal price point sits at $1099.99, which is not cheap, especially when you consider all your other expenses as an OCR athlete like travel, race fees (use Mud Run Guide’s discounts here) and gear. However, if you can use it to perform better or recover faster, that may be invaluable to you as an athlete. As of today, they currently have a huge sale at 50% off with the model costing only $549.99. This makes it a steal in my opinion and as long as it sits at that price point, going for the wireless over the other models is definitely the right choice.
Overall: If you have never used an EMS device, you may want to start with the Edge to make sure you like it. However, I’ll say this, if you think you will eventually upgrade to the other models, I would just go all in from the beginning and buy the wireless. The lack of wires makes setup much faster and more convenient. For me, the convenience means I use it much more than I used the wired version. This convenience and more frequent use make the wireless the option to go with.
Pictures provided by Strength & Speed