Apr 14, 2009

The Normatec MVP


I've been using a new recovery tool for the last month, the Normatec MVP. I came upon it after throwing a pile of research at the various ways (legal) to improve recovery after hard training sessions or races. This year with the BC Bike Race providing seven race days back to back I wanted to set myself (and my race partner Dave) up for our best possible chances at a podium.

My plan is to use the Normatec MVP after each of the seven race days, then use the Normatec MVP after BCBR to take me up to World Solo 24 Hour Championships which is three weeks after the seven day stage race.


Now that I've lived with the MVP for a month, I'm finding it provides two roles; pre and post trg session or event. Using the MVP before I get on the bike helps setup my legs for the workload and using the MVP after the session or event is clearing my legs of the workload.

How does it work? It's an external peristaltic pump which mimics the internal mechanical actions provided by your own muscles, using a smart programmable technology you can program it, to your preferred setting, to clear your legs (faster than the body is capable of by itself) of waste product or fluid buildup. Well that's the "How does it work?" but the question remains... Does it work?

Heck yeah!


I think the MVP is fantastic. In my experience it's not an imaginary effect, it's an impact that you can visibly see on your legs immediately following a 15 or 30min session. It's something you can immediately feel on the bike. It's producing results. The image below was taken today, by Evan, just as I had hit the inflate button on the "Space Legs" following an hour on the CompuTrainer. I actually got some of this writeup done as I sat in the MVP. ;-)

An example of the impact the MVP can have... Following the Ouachita Challenge last weekend I had to dive straight into the Pilot and start the long drive back to Texas in order to get home in time to take the boys to school on Monday morning. Approx 2hrs into the drive my legs were aching from not getting to stretch after the race and from sitting in the same driving position while the post-race swelling remained in my legs. It was getting really irritating. I pulled into a gas station, plugged the MVP into an inverter in the Pilot and did a 15min MVP recovery protocol, the same protocol that Garmin-Slipstream uses. I climbed out of the MVP and started to drive again and the difference was shocking. I felt like a new man or in this case a new driver - the MVP recovery protocol almost made it feel like I hadn't raced. Too bad the MVP couldn't act as a time machine and help me get rid of the six flat tires I had in the race.

When I was arranging my purchase from Gilad Jacobs at NormaTec, we discussed all the various teams and athletes using the MVP successfully, it was a real eye-opener how wide spread the MVP's use is. I understand in the past it was somewhat of a secret weapon but it seems that is no longer the case.

I'll post more on the MVP as I lead up to the summer. I'm excited about it's benefits and how it's going to help improve the racing season.

Be sure to click on this Garmin-Slipstream link or this Garmin-Slipstream link if it's good enough for these guys...


Anonymous said...

Assuming it works, what is the ethical distinction between this and doping?

Shaun Taylor said...

You pose an interesting question. I'll try and answer it with a question back to you...

What is the ethical distinction between wearing glasses to correct your vision or racing with blurry vision? I don't have an issue with someone wearing glasses.

In other words, what I am achieving with the Normatec is an enhanced recovery process, working with my body, naturally, as opposed to shooting a chemical into my veins. That's a big difference in my books.

That's my opinion, but it might not answer your question.

Anonymous said...

It is a great question indeed. If you look up the definition of doping it says...The use of a drug or blood product to improve athletic performance.

The NormaTec is a totally non-invasive recovery tool that is very similar to massage yet much more effective.

Kirk said...

but how much did it cost...cause I want one to!

Shaun Taylor said...

Drop Gilad a line at Normatec.

I'll be bringing it up to Alberta with me for BCBR and then 24hr Worlds. Are you going to be out there at Worlds?

Anonymous said...

I don't think the glasses comparison really works. Using these to recover isn't quite "doping", but it does give you an advantage that people not spending the money on them won't have.

Shaun Taylor said...

Hey Anonymous, you wrote:

"I don't think the glasses comparison really works. Using these to recover isn't quite "doping", but it does give you an advantage that people not spending the money on them won't have."

The glasses comparison might not work for you, but it still stands as a good example for the conversation at that time. If you want have a conversation about something else you can drop me a line anytime.

Using the Normatec isn't doping, period. It also isn't 'sort of doping'. There is an advantage to using the Normatec of course, much like there are advantages to eating high quality nutrient dense food on a smart schedule appropriate to your sport. Stretching is an advantage as is a foam roller. Massage is an advantage. A light bike is an advantage. Wearing glasses is an advantage versus not wearing them. Good shoes are an advantage. Staying hydrated is an advantage. Lots of things can be advantageous. None of these things are doping.

It seems to me your point isn't about the product or about 'doping', rather you are focusing on money and how much things cost? If the Normatec cost a dollar would you buy it and use it and if so would that make you a 'doper'?