Buzz your muscles like the pros with new electrical stimulation gadget

Some professional athletes claim that zapping their muscles with neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) devices can quicken recovery and build strength. Now a product used by Tour de France cyclists gets a scaled-down, friendlier-priced version designed for weekend warriors.

The Compex Edge, which launched in Europe in June, heads stateside to this week's IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles, one of the world's largest fitness trade shows.

The new device, priced at $349 compared to $1,600 for the professional version, will be available for purchase in the US sometime in October.

"Picture an iPod with electrodes that you connect to various muscles," described product spokesman James Chisum to Relaxnews. Using technology developed in Switzerland in 1986, the system relies on low-volt stimulation to arouse motor nerves and trigger muscle contractions - meaning your muscles get a workout while you sit there.

The goal: "To build muscle density, size, and strength," says Chisum, who cites other benefits such as reducing lactic acid, promoting muscle relaxation, increasing stamina, and releasing endorphins as part of the package.

A professional version of the system was launched in 2004, and the company boosts endorsements from American football stars Mark Sanchez and Jerry Rice as well as ultra-marathoner Josh Cox and 19-time Iron Man champion Chris McCormack. Chisum also says that this year's Tour de France cyclists used the Compex system.

Compex doesn't yet have a lot of competition in the marketplace, but Globus is another company offering NMES products, including one tailored for the consumer and priced at $499.

Info on the Compex Edge is not yet available on this site, but stay tuned for updates:

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