Your muscle recovery just got an upgrade. As athletes, we understand the importance of muscle recovery to ensure long-term success.
We need that time to repair what strenuous exercise does to our bodies to prevent pulled muscles, torn ligaments, or broken bones due to muscle fatigue. It’s as important as our workout.
But how much do we focus on it?
Now don’t start worrying if you realize that maybe spending time on recovery hasn’t been on your radar.
To be fair, most of us don’t. It’s an afterthought rather than a forethought.
We focus on the heart-pounding workouts that get us the results we want and need for a healthier lifestyle.
While that is a fantastic mindset, we won’t get too far in our training if we are tearing our muscles due to fatigue or if we’re too sore to workout at all.
We have already introduced you to the best percussion massagers on the market, and you are welcome for that.
It was a good add-on to our article about the best recovery tools where we mentioned that compression recovery systems are “compression garments on steroids.”
Intriguing, no? Perhaps you perked up a little on that and want to know more.
Let us introduce to you the muscle recovery superstar, also known as the NormaTec Pulse 2.0:
What is the NormaTec Pulse 2.0, and How Does It Work?
The NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Full Body Recovery System is a muscle recovery system that is exactly what every fitness enthusiast needs after a hard day at the gym.
With three different versions, full-body, leg, and leg/hip, the NormaTec Pulse has you covered when it comes to recovery.
As the boots and arm attachments inflate with air, they squeeze your muscles through the different zones.
By doing so, this dynamic air compression technology massages you to relieve soreness by improving circulation.
The increased blood flow clears blood lactate (the amount of lactic acid in the blood), enabling you to repair your muscle fibers quicker.
Basically, you now have an on-call massage therapist. Sweet!
If you despise deep tissue massages because it’s too much pressure, don’t worry. This system comes with 7 intensity levels, including a zone boost for more problematic areas.
Using a digital control, you can set the compression to exactly what feels comfortable for your needs.
The app allows you to control it from your smartphone as well. Because it runs on an internal battery, there is no need to plug it in unless you are charging it.
A 2-year warranty gives you some extra security that you are investing in a great product.
It’s super quiet, so feel free to rock out to some jams without any interruptions while you are recovering.
- Easy to set up and use
- Greatly accelerates muscle recovery
- Decreases muscle soreness
- Improves circulation
- Recommended by physical therapists
- Bluetooth connection allows you to control it with an iOS/Android device
- Customer service is slow to respond
- Battery life is under 2 hours
Sore Legs? No Problem.
The NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System is just as good as it sounds. Leg soreness makes it difficult to want to do anything the day after a hard workout.
Enter the leg recovery system with the best boots your money can buy. This system comes with leg attachments that offer dynamic compression to those sore muscles.
Because one size does not fit all, the boots come in short, standard, and tall options.
One review called it an “extraordinary tool” that provides relief for athletes after rigorous training workouts.
Using these boots after a workout is a surefire way of preventing pain and soreness associated with a tough workout.
Put a Little Hip Into It- Hip Attachment Review
Taking it a step further, the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Leg and Hip Recovery System brings a little extra to those who need a full, lower body recovery.
This product comes with boots and a hip attachment providing increased circulation to the legs and the gluteals.
By including the hip attachment, the air compression technology massages through the gluteals triggering more blood flow for the legs. This easy-to-use recovery system is a must after your gym workouts.
It keeps the blood flowing, decreasing muscle fatigue, and leading to better workouts the next day.
NormaTec Pulse 2.0 – Is it easy to use?
Truly one of the best things about NormaTec is its simplicity. It’s so easy to use, and it comes with step-by-step instructions.
Put on the arm attachments or boots and simply connect the hoses. Then, connect the hoses to the main device.
At this point, you can select your compression cycle and press play.
The system will start your compressions in the order that you selected. Now all you have to do is relax and recover!
Does NormaTec Really Work?
Yes, it does! The NormaTec Pulse 2.0 recovery system has revolutionized the fitness industry to include professional athletes everywhere.
It is FDA cleared for increased circulation and decreased muscle pain, while the compression can also be used for warming up muscles before a workout.
The compression sequence acts as a massage to decrease inflammation by providing the much-needed circulation to the muscles. Exercise causes tiny fiber tears in your muscles.
Muscle recovery is so important because the body can heal those torn fibers and rebuild them stronger.
Increasing circulation by putting pressure on your muscles through compression speeds up the recovery process, minimizing soreness.
The Proof is in the Science
A science article published in January 2016 on Science Direct looked at the effects of compression garments on muscle recovery by collaborating research from four different literature databases.
The conclusion? Compression garments showed reduced lactose dehydrogenase, an enzyme found in the body that spikes when there is tissue damage, and decreased muscle swelling after compression was applied.
Passive muscle recovery is letting your body rest to ensure that it recovers from a strenuous workout. A study done in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology in the fall of 2020 researched the difference between passive muscle recovery versus active recovery (using a NormaTec recovery system).
More specifically, they compared the quickness of blood lactate clearance after each recovery method.
After the participants worked out, they immediately recovered either passively or actively for 30 minutes.
The results? Those who recovered actively had a significantly faster rate of blood lactate clearance.
This proved that the muscles were repairing quicker than in the passive recovery group.
People, the science is there.
Active recovery via a NormaTec recovery system helps to build your muscles back faster and decrease your soreness. Bring on the harder workouts!
So NormaTec Works, but How Often Should I Use It?
Every time you exercise, a NormaTec recovery system is recommended after you are finished.
Keep in mind, though, that you should also use this system before a workout.
Since it does such a great job of increasing circulation, your muscles are getting warmer faster. Warm muscles equal less chance of injury as you begin your workout. Plus, any additional lactic acid resulting from yesterday’s gym workout will be cleared before you begin exercising.
As soon as your cooldown is over, it’s time to recover with NormaTec actively. A great thing about this system is that you can utilize your control unit to decide how long your recovery is.
It will depend on the amount of physical activity you performed as to how long you need it.
The sessions last between 10 and 60 minutes and have varying intensities based on your personal program.
Test out some different workouts and different pulse intensities to see what zone works best for you. Get those boots on and start practicing!
The NormaTec Pulse or the NormaTec Pro?
Wait, there’s a Pro?? We are excited too because the options are fantastic, and we want you to be happy with your purchase.
Both systems activate muscle repair through air compression technology relieving you of unwanted muscle soreness.
The main difference between these two compression systems is the NormaTec Pulse Pro’s ability to customize your settings specific to your rehabilitation and recovery needs.
The sky’s the limit with the Pro as it has three modes to choose from, recovery flush, rehab, and custom. The NormaTec Pulse Pro is essential for the rehabilitation of injuries.
This system also features a touchscreen device with impact-resistant glass to customize your rehabilitation.
The ability to control your recovery to exactly what your body needs is the main difference from the NormaTec Pulse 2.0. See our pros and cons for the Pulse Pro below.
- Better for rehabilitation
- Customized treatment available
- Additional programming options
- Benefits may not be worth the price difference
Talk to Me About Money
Do you think that maybe these devices are too expensive? Let’s compare them to a similar active recovery technique, the massage.
Usually, quality massages range anywhere from $70 to $100, depending on what kind of massage you are getting and where you are going.
High-end spas tend to be much more expensive, but you are really paying more for the locale and the spa experience than the massage itself.
If you were to get one massage per month for an entire year, you would spend in the range of $800 to $1200.
Remember, that’s only one time a month that you focus on active recovery, which is vital to maintaining long-term benefits for your body.
Now let’s dive in to see what these units cost.
NormaTec Pulse 2.0 is a Great Value
We’ve spent some time breaking down the cost for a once-a-month massage.
Before the sticker shock scares you away, let’s see the value you’re getting from purchasing this product.
If you are working out at the gym three times per week, you utilize this dynamic air compression system 24 times per month.
Remember, you want to use this system before AND after your workouts for the best results.
Okay, back to massages. Instead, if you got a massage after every workout, you would spend $840 per month for twelve, $70 sessions. That’s over $10,000 per year!
Now logistically speaking, you would probably only get massages once per week if you were actually going to a facility.
However, that price point is still over $3,000 per year, and you’re missing out on active recovery for two-thirds of your workouts.
Are you feeling that $1895 price for the NormaTec a little bit more now?
The benefits for your hard-earned money far outweigh the initial price for the recovery system.
Not only that, you get to do all of this from the comfort of your home before and after your workout for excellent active muscle recovery. Boom!
But the Pro is More Expensive, Right?
Yes, the NormaTec Pulse Pro is an even more expensive option. With it, you are getting full customization for your money.
The ability to customize your entire rehabilitation to your exact needs is right there in your control device or through your phone’s app.
Plus, you have the ability to rehab your injury from your home after consulting with your doctor, of course. Not having to venture out to physical therapy when you are in pain is ideal as well.
You are looking at a more hefty price tag of $4,692 for the arm and leg combination recovery system.
The leg version, which features the boots only, is a little cheaper at $3904.
We will note that the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 and the Pulse Pro are not any different in the air compression active recovery, so paying that much more for the Pro might be something to consider.
How does the Rabid Reboot compare to the NormaTec Pulse 2.0?
When you are looking to make such a big investment, you want to make sure that you check out all of your options.
The Rapid Reboot is another viable muscle recovery system that is available.
This unit uses a similar air compression technology as the NormaTec and comes with many different attachments in different sizes.
There are five different sizes available for the boots alone.
That’s huge. Not to mention, there are even a couple of sizes for the arm attachments, which is nice for those of us with bulging biceps.
- Maximum pressure of 200 mmHg
- Various modes available
- Multiple time options
- Great for accelerating recovery
- Could use more compression zones to increase versatility
- The console is huge
For $1,196, you are saving some money buying this compression system. However, there are a few specific traits that the NormaTec features that are missing from the Reboot.
One of the great things about the NormaTec is how light and compact the unit is.
In comparison, a review of the Rapid Reboot is that it was so bulky and heavy that the customer couldn’t even handle it and was returning it for this reason.
Another difference is that the NormaTec has target zones to get specific areas, while Reboot lacks that versatility.
Even at just a little over $1000, you are spending a lot on the Reboot.
Our thoughts are that if you are going to spend that much, why not spend a little more for a better product in the NormaTec Pulse 2.0?
While there are some competitors out there, the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 stands out in the crowd.
At a reasonable price, it’s dynamic air compression system makes your active recovery so much easier.
No more running to a massage therapist every week.
Now you have just what you need at home to warm up and recover.
Goodbye muscle soreness after your intense workouts!