All professional athletes know that, in order to perform better, they must focus on proper yet rapid recovery. The same is true for everyday individuals. It is common to push ourselves beyond our limits, something from which our body needs to recover even if don’t feel as if we are injured. Recovery generally means rest, but resting too long means a loss of performance, strength, and stamina. As a result, many of us end up in a cycle whereby we don’t recover enough, thereby leading to more injuries, in the vein hopes of being able to perform better. Marc Pro is a device that claims to solve this issue, however, allowing you to recover quicker and better.
Marc (Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade) Pro is a type of EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) device. The manufacturers claim various professional athletes, including CrossFit athletes, baseball players, weightlifters, and triathletes, use it in order to aid their recovery. So what is it, and do you really need it?
Marc Pro has been cleared by the FDA as an EMS device. It sets itself apart from other EMS technology, however, because it doesn’t just focus on rapid and full recovery, but also on improvements in performance and condition, injury prevention, training maximization, and pain relief. EMS uses waveforms that make muscles contract. Aim it at the right muscles, and their contractions will deliver nourishment to the relevant area while flushing out waste at the same time. This also makes it completely different from the popular TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices, which aim solely to build muscle.
According to the manufacturers, using the Marc Pro for between half an hour and an hour will help to remodel and repair your muscles, but in such a way that you do not cause additional strain, stress, or fatigue as you would by exercising to recover. Best of all, the device is very easy to use so you don’t have to worry about doing things wrong. It also means that anyone, regardless of their level of activity, can use the device. That said, it is made specifically for those who use their muscles quite regularly and are more likely to experience injury and fatigue. According to the manufacturers themselves, the Marc Pro is the “next generation of muscle recovery”.
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Why You Need a Marc Pro as Opposed to a TENS
Whenever you exercise, you damage your muscle fibers. This is what leads to stiffness and soreness. The body then gets to work at repairing the damage that was caused, leading to stronger and bigger muscle fibers. Hence, the more you exercise, the stronger and bigger your muscles become. While the concept is simple, it is actually a lot harder in real life. Many people will start working out again when they haven’t properly recovered yet. Others are in so much pain or feel so sore that they forego on exercise for the time being, thereby lapsing their training and stopping the muscles from growing.
Marc Pro has been designed to contract muscles using a dynamic decaying waveform, after which it slowly releases the muscles. This means the fibers can relax properly, allowing the waste fluids to move around them without leading to fatigue. Additionally, because it uses waveform technology, it is able to reach the deeper muscles that are hard to exercises. Lastly, it is possible to stimulate the muscles for longer without leading to fatigue. This means results are optimized even further.
According to the manufacturers, Marc Pro sets itself apart from TENS because the latter uses high frequencies and voltages to power the square, static waveforms on the muscles. This is why it feels fatiguing, uncomfortable, harsh, and unnatural. It is also why TENS does not provide as many benefits.
TENS units are well-known across the world and particularly in the arena of muscle recovery. However, they use waveforms that are unnatural and square, whereas Marc Pro uses decaying waveforms. This means that the Marc Pro doesn’t just mask pain signals. Rather, the signal remains in the tissue for a longer period of time, thereby leading to lasting and significant results. The goal, as the manufacturer explains, is not just to mask the pain, but rather to actually provide relief.
The manufacturer’s website explains that you can use a Marc Pro after any activity or workout and that, in so doing, you speed up recovery. This means you lower the risk of injury, improve your performance, and generally feel better. The electric pulses in the device are sent to the muscle through the electrodes that you place on your body. They can stay there for a 30 to 60 minute session, during which time your muscles will alternate between contractions and relaxation. This is said to improve blood flow, thereby also providing your muscles with nutrients and getting rid of acids and other waste products. Because it uses dynamic decaying waveform, the device doesn’t just suddenly contract and release the muscle. Rather, it slowly builds up contraction and slowly lets go of it. Hence, more muscle is recruited and less fatigue is produced.
This is what really sets it apart from the many other TENS-based machines out there. The device itself actually looks very similar, however. It comes with a unit operated by batteries, through which the electronic signals are sent. Up to six electrodes can attach to the device and you simply places this on targeted areas of the skin. It also comes with two channels, which operate independently from each other. This means you can target different muscle groups at the same time, or double the intensity on a single group. While you use the device, you can simply lie or sit down and relax. You can choose from a number of settings, being:
- Conditioning, which helps to increase the capacity of your muscles through better delivery of nourishments.
- Recovery, which is perfect after strenuous activities as it improves nourishment delivery while speeding up waste disposal.
- Low intensity warm up/recover, whereby the contractions are less strong.
- Potentiation (warm up), which stops you from feeling uncomfortable or fatigued during your warm up.
- Massage, which helps to activate and pump the muscles.
To warm up, you should use the device for between 10 and 20 minutes and recovery sessions should be for between 30 and 60 minutes.
The big question, naturally, is whether it really work, particularly considering the fact that it is not a cheap device. The fact that it has been FDA approved goes some way towards suggesting that it is indeed effective. Additionally, the American Society of Exercise Psychologists reviewed the Marc Pro in 2013 following a 10 week study. They noted a significant increase in the strength of calm muscles when compared to non-electric stimulation devices and they noted that muscle fatigue was significantly reduced.
Marc Pro has developed two models of their device, each with their own aims and objectives. As such:
- The standard model (Marc Pro) comes with a locked low frequency that is perfect for conditioning and recovery.
- The plus model (Marc Pro Plus) gives you the option of having high frequency waveforms as well, thereby fighting more significant aches and pains. Plus, it gives you the option of the standard mode as well.
What about Side Effects?
Electronic stimulation devices have been extensively studied and have found to have few side effects other than some localized and temporary redness. However, the electrodes should not be placed on damaged or broken skin, in the mouth, near the eyes, or on the neck. More specifically, Marc Pro should only be used on the lower and upper extremities, neck, back, waist, and shoulder, where exercise strain is experienced. Additionally, the manufacturers have stated it is not suitable for those who:
- Have implanted metallic electronic devices such as defibrillators or cardiac pacemakers.
- Suffer from epilepsy.
- Have recently had a fracture or acute trauma.
- Have recently had surgery.
- Have an inguinal or abdominal hernia.
- Have a critical ischemia in their lower limbs.
- Have cancerous lesions or cancer.
Prices vary depending on which model you purchase. As such:
- The Marc Pro costs $649.95, or 12 monthly payments of $54.16.
- The Marc Pro Plus costs $949.95, or 12 monthly payments of $79.16.
When you purchase your device, you will receive six packages of four reusable electrodes, which should last between 20 to 25 usages per package, particularly when applied to clean skin. New electrodes can be purchased with prices ranging from $8.99 to $71.99, depending on how many you purchase and what kind. Additionally, you can purchase aloe gel, lead wires, a belt clip, a storage bag, and battery chargers. All purchases are covered by a 30 day money back guarantee and a two year warranty.
When you receive your Marc Pro, it will come with two lead wires, a padded carrying case, a user manual, two lead wires, and the battery.
- It is proven to be effective through scientific studies and has receive numerous positive reviews stating the same.
- It goes above and beyond what TENS machines can do.
- It allows you to focus on different muscle groups depending on your workout regime.
- It helps to flush out toxins.
- It reaches very deeply into the muscles, including the more difficult to target.
- It improves blood flow, thereby also improving nourishment of the muscles.
- It is very easy to use.
- The device is small and portable so you can take it with you to the gym, on vacation, or anywhere else.
- It isn’t uncomfortable and there are no reported side effects.
- It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
- You can purchase replacement parts, which are quite affordable.
- There is the option of paying in monthly installments.
- It is expensive. Of course, you get what you pay for and you can pay in installments, but at over $600 for the standard device, it will make a dent in your bank balance.
- You don’t get too many electrode packs with your first purchase. Because each electrode lasts between 20 to 25 sittings, and you only get six packs, someone who works out a lot will have to purchase a lot more. Indeed, most people end up having to pay around $8.99 per month for the pads alone. That said, Marc Pro is very transparent about this.
- The Marc Pro is only available through the company’s website and Amazon, and only in the United States. That said, it will also work in Europe if you have an adapter plug, as it is both 110V and 220V compatible. However, people in Europe do not yet have the option to purchase it.
The Final Verdict
Considering the price tag of the Marc Pro, it is likely that many people won’t even look at it. However, you may want to reconsider that, particularly since you have the option of paying in installments. If you work out a lot – or so little that you are pretty much sedentary for that matter – then this device may just be exactly what you have been looking for. The unique dynamic waveforms it uses have been scientifically proven to be of benefit in terms of muscle strength and recovery and the reviews of the Marc Pro have been overwhelmingly positive. The device is also very easy to use and you can adapt it to your own personal workout, focusing on those muscles that need more stimulation or more recovery. It also has different settings so that you can make it work for you, depending on what your personal needs are.
If you have been considering electronic stimulation to improve your workout and physical comfort, then this device is absolutely recommended. Since it is also covered by a 30 day money back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose (other than shipping and handling fees) by giving it a try. 100% recommended.
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