The Future of Recovery

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By bicyclebluebook March 28, 2014

So you bought that fancy used road bike or mountain bike you’ve been eyeing on Bicycle Blue Book. Maybe you saw the used bike value of one of your previous rides getting dusty in the garage and used that money to pick something listed on Bicycle Blue Book. Weekends are now a whirlwind of climbs and descents, single track and rock gardens. Which means your evenings are full of sore legs and hydration. What are you doing to recover and get ready for the next days suffering? If you are icing or compressing keep reading. It turns out the science of recovery has evolved as fast as the web’s used bike market.

Everything you know about recovery is wrong – ice doesn’t help, it may actually hurt, compression and massage may be the right idea, but an inefficient way to get it done, your Monday recovery ride is just right, but 24hours too late. This is the world according to MarcPro, and if they are right, it will change everything.

Effective recovery is simply a matter of getting waste left over from effort out and re-supplying muscles with the fuel they need. As it happens this is not so simple to do. The lymphatic system is tasked with removing these wastes, and it is a passive system, meaning there is no heart to keep it flowing. The only way to get it working is to compress the muscle around it. Of course the last thing anyone wants to do after a tough bike ride is go for another ride, which is exactly why all these alternatives – ice, compression, massage – have sprung up. Who wants to tell Froome he needs to go for a 30 minute spin after he summits Alpe d’Huez?

MarcPro has a solution. Their unit stimulates muscles with small electrical pulses delivered from reusable electrodes. The muscle stimulation creates no fatigue within the muscle, does not require any aerobic effort and after the initial shock of having your muscles seemingly grow a mind of their own, the effect is quite relaxing. Recent studies have not only shown that electrical stimulation for recovery works, it may actually be a cue to tell your body to create more capillaries. This not only turbo-charges recovery further, it allows the muscle to do more work in the first place.

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Electrical Stimulation

Two electrodes on each quad would be a typical way to recover after a ride, instead, after a three-hour day in the saddle we used the unit on the right leg only, leaving the left leg unrecovered. We felt if there was any noticeable difference in the way the legs felt there may be some truth to MarcPro’s claims. The results were nothing short of astounding. With each pedal stroke, the left leg felt tight and dead, a feeling we associate with the day after a hard ride. The right leg, the recovered leg, felt fresh and strong, ready for more miles and more high end effort. It was night and day, a feeling that could not be ignored. The Marc Pro works.

Perhaps this is because the unit was born from the medical field and makes no claims about creating six pack abs or letting you sit on the couch and get fit. The concept was initially designed to reduce dramatic swelling after injury, recovering muscle after exercise is easy for Marc Pro. At $650 for a unit, the MarcPro is a bargain. It’s less than a cheap set of wheels, the same price as a new Garmin, and it will make you much, much faster than either.

MarcPro Price: $650 (with four months of electrodes, $9 for replacement electrodes)

The Bicycle Blue Book is the web’s only accurate used bicycle valuation tool and the safest, simplest marketplace to buy and sell used bikes. Re-posted from peloton magazine, with permission.

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