T Nation


Hello guys long-time lurker, new-time poster here.

I’ve been looking into muscle stimulators from one of CT’s old articles/forum posts and would prefer not to break the bank on getting a Compex Sport (I don’t mind missing out on the preset features, if I can save some money and input it into the machines myself). Can anyone recommend me any that can be adjustable from active recovery (1-10Hz) and muscle building in hypertrophy (50-70Hz), strength (75-100Hz) and explosive strength (100-120Hz) zones please. I’ve looked at technical specs on products with adjustable frequency of 1-120Hz, but am unsure if it needs something else (mA peak load for each channel, ect.)?

Thanks in advance!

A quick search on google will get you some pretty cheap ones… I have this one

Works pretty good, although the only one I’ve tried… Unless you are a professional athlete or have wipe my ass money IMO the compex is not necessary.

Thank you for the quick reply and link pelham32!

I’m thinking the Output Voltage needs to be higher. The Compex Sport Elite for example, uses 100 mA for a max charge of 2200 ohms, the one in your link uses 90 mA (peak to peak) into 500 ohms…seems like a lot less, but I’m not sure if it matters a lot (as far as hitting the fast twitch muscles). Perhaps that’s where the prices go up if you need the extra voltage lol.

I’ll wait for some more responses hopefully, but greatly appreciate yours and noticed one that’s in the 1000 ohms range from the website you provided.

UPDATE: So I took a lot of time and effort to carefully look into everything (Forums over on Charlie Francis’ website) and decided to “bite the bullet” and go with a Globus Sport Premium. I figure it has all the power for me to not outgrow it and the preset/memory settings are all a very nice bonus, but the pain threshold was probably the most important factor. I think only the Russian Stim units would have been strong enough at the budget I was willing to spend, but those things I hear are unnecessarily excruciating! These higher-end EMS models such as Compex and Globus, allow you to ramp it up quite high while keeping the pain as tolerable as possible, something the cheaper units do not do.

Was it necessary to purchase this product? Well for me personally, I had inguinal hernia surgery on my right side back in late-October. I had let the hernia go for too long and was forced into being operated on or risk having my intestines fall through! The surgeon who operated on me, said I had a “double hernia” caused from birth and from heavy lifting (I believe it happened prior to when I got into lifting weights, when I did manual labor for plumbing) and that I might eventually need to get the left side operated on as well since it was weak too.

He said I could need it in 10 months, 10 years or never…there’s just no telling. There is always the risk it could re-occur again even after being operated on (this happened to my friend more than once!), so this has hampered me psychologically in all lifting aspects. I love lifting (obviously, that’s why I love this website!), but I definitely did not enjoy being forced into inactivity for 3 months to recover (no lifting over 5lbs and zero cardio except very slow walking). Had I purchased an EMS unit at the time, I probably would have been able to at least preserve some muscle mass while recovering.

I’m thinking this EMS unit will allow me to play it safe with the hernia for certain exercises, as well as other injury preventative measures (I could definitely see this stimulating the quads quite effectively without placing unneeded stress on the knees). It’s already great for active recovery, but for those wanting to go above and beyond, maybe coming up with programs where there will be days that muscles get electrically stimulated without taxing the CNS, then reserving the CNS for something such as sprinting? Anyway, so far I love the gadget!