NormaTec PULSE 2.0 Recovery System – The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

Do you want to push your recovery to the next level? Use the same technology that Lady Gaga, Drake, Dwyane Wade, Drew Brees, Chloe Kim, and so many more? The NormaTec PULSE 2.0 Recovery System is designed to improve recovery in a very cool way.

Why I chose to test the NormaTec PULSE 2.0

My background is in health and fitness. I started training in 2009 and have been fortunate to have learned from some of the best fitness professionals in the world.  It is imperative to me to keep up on the latest health and fitness insights, tools and best practices.

The NormaTec recovery tool came onto my radar a while back and it intrigued me.  An opportunity to test one out popped up, so I jumped on it. I took the unit to several gyms in the Denver Area, to get other fitness professionals’ opinions on the recovery tool. In hopes to get several other points of views, from real-world coaches.

Testing it out on other fitness professionals

I immediately took the PULSE 2.0 over to my fiend’s gym – Axistence Athletics for the “unboxing”.  I think that is the term the cool kids use (or used to use!) LOL.  Ryan Humphries SFG, SFB, Dan Jimenez and Garrett Sylvester SFG all gave the PULSE unit a go.  Perfect timing as they had just wrapped up a brutal leg session!

Dan Jimenez and Pulse 2.0

Dan Jimenez using the PULSE 2.0

As you can see from the pics, they were digging the recovery tool.  We intentionally did not read the manual, to see if us cavemen could figure out how to operate the device.  Turns out we can! Dan immediately cranked it to 7 (the unit goes to 7, not 10).  We all watched the PULSE 2.0 inflate each chamber, and the corresponding blue light on the control panel light up.

NormaTec Pulse 2.0 control unit

NormaTec PULSE 2.0 control unit

I downloaded the NormaTec app and was able to easily pair the unit and start taking over Dan’s session.  The Bluetooth connection is quick, strong and very responsive.  You can see that in the video above.  I love it when gear works the way it is supposed too!

The next stop was a gym that had 2 recovery rooms.  One of them had a few of the NormaTec recovery tools in it, along with some Hyperice Hypervolts and other tools.  Read our detailed review on the Hypervolt here.

Without him knowing that I was working on this write-up, I asked him what he thought of them.  He was a fan and gave me the run down, from his point of view.  In his facility, the NormaTec is an additional service that they offer their customers.  If you are a gym owner, think about that for a moment.  This could be used as an extra service.  Think about it… 🙂

Back at my home gym – Push Gym – I surveyed the trainers to see if they had used any tools like this.  Some had, and they were fans.  Namely, my colleague Katie Pendergast.  Listen to her podcast interview here. She had used the NormaTec on her several times and was a fan. That was encouraging.

NormaTec Pulse 2.0

NormaTec PULSE 2.0

Wife approved!

Back home, I put the unit to the test on my wife.  She is not easy to impress (do not read between the lines on that!) so she makes a good reference. She had varicose veins and underwent surgery a few years ago to treat them.  Although the aesthetics were improved, the pain lasted and has been bothering her.  One of the best treatments for her was swimming.  But, it is the middle of winter and our neighborhood pool is a block of ice, so that is not much help.

I will be honest, seeing the relief on her face as she enjoyed the Pulse unit was really moving.  Watching anyone go though pain, especially someone you love so much, just sucks.  Seeing them gain some relief is deeply gratifying.

In this case, it was a win/win.  Because she was able to kick back and relax while using the unit AND watch her favorite show.  It also means that I get to do the same now 🙂 We took turns each night using the recovery tool.  It was a fun, weird, and therapeutic experience LOL.

Ok, so that was a lot of perceived benefit.  What about measurable benefit?  How do I quantify that “it feels like it is working”? I can’t, so let’s put some science behind this write-up.  I will do my best to add what I feel is relevant to you and not just cite tech nerd research.  Although, I love that stuff.

NormaTec PULSE 2.0 controll unit

PULSE 2.0 is easy to read

How does the NormaTec PULSE 2.0 Recovery Tool work?

There is a three-part system to this recovery tool.  Pulsing, gradients and distal release.  Say what? Let’s break it down a little.

Pulse

The Pulse is called the Pulse because… it uses dynamic compression (pulses), instead of static compression.  Mimicking the natural pumping action of the body.

Gradient

Much like the one-way valves of our veins and lymphatic system, the unit holds and then forces pressure in one direction.

Distal Release

The fitness recovery tool times each zone for optimal recovery window.

To summarize, it compresses and then releases pressure towards the heart.  Much like a good sports massage or other recovery methods.

Some more science to back it up

As an NSCA personal trainer, I get a publication called The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  It is a great resource for health and fitness professionals.  Here is a link to one of the studies – Peristaltic Pulse Dynamic Compression of the Lower Extremity Enhances Flexibility. Sounds like a fun read, right?!  Kidding.  But, feel free to scope it out for yourself.

Here is a good one on how it has been demonstrated to help with pain threshold. Dynamic Compression Enhances Pressure-to-Pain Threshold in Elite Athlete Recovery: Exploratory Study. It is a real page-turner, for sure! Again, joking aside, this is really interesting stuff.  At least to me and fitness nerds like us.

There are plenty more of these to read.  Some on The NormaTec and treatment of DOMS – you know, that soreness you can get after a hard training session. I am impressed with the study on how it can improve RH blood flow to the treated limbs. Pretty cool stuff!

Final thoughts on the NormaTec PULSE 2.0 Recovery Tool

As a fitness professional, the appeal of a recovery tool like this is apparent.  If you own a gym and offer additional services (snacks, massage, infrared sauna, etc) this would be a great asset. For athletes, this is a no brainer.  Just look at the NormaTec website to see all the various athletes and celebrities using this.

The cost is probably going to turn some people off.  It is a decent chunk of change for sure. At $1295 for the unit we tested for this write-up, I can appreciate that this is out of the budget for many people. There are other recovery techniques and tools that cost less.  Heck, Epsom salt baths are great and cost a few bucks!

But, I have not found a better-researched recovery tool that does what this can do.  I am trying to find a good analogy to put this all in context.  Something like – “it’s a mechanical massage therapist that you don’t have to tip.  And can use every day.”

Bottom line – this is a great recovery tool for those who appreciate their health and fitness.  There are several gyms that offer the use of a NormaTec device.  You can find them here. Perhaps you can check it out for yourself and see if it is right for you.  I know it is right for me and my wife!


 

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