Marc Who?


The fundamental nature of sport pushes athletes, both professional and recreational, to exceedingly greater levels of physical and mental performance. World and personal records quickly become the “norm” in performance as individuals perfect their craft and discover better ways to train, recover, and compete. I once asked a very well respected colleague and conditioning coach, “What tactics can we implement to help our athletes recover more efficiently, especially during multi-event competitions?” His response, “Build better athletes!” Short, sweet, to the point, and so true. This building process relates to athletes capitalizing on elements of their recovery that will allow them to train as efficiently as possible while providing their bodies the necessary means to adapt to their training program. Nutrition, sleep, manual therapy, ice baths and compression clothing are all commonly used tools to assist in the recovery process. One additional element that I have recently become more familiar with is the use of the Marc Pro device.

I was first introduced to the Marc Pro (Marc is an acronym for Muscle Activated Recovery Cascade, by the way) during a weekend long CrossFit event in central Oregon. I had heard of the device only through a few YouTube clips and brief conversations with local athletes. The concept of using additional modalities to potentially assist and accelerate the recovery process was very intriguing. After a great conversation with Troy Willis, one of the founders of the Resiliency Project and my Marc Pro guru, I was ready to introduce the product to my patients and athletes. Immediately I was getting great feedback from athletes about how much better they were feeling between events. Those athletes that had them at home were also sending me comments about their recovery between training sessions and how they were having less soreness, quicker recovery time and continued gains with their training.

The concepts behind the effects of the Marc Pro can get a little nerdy with terms like angiogenesis, vasodilation, and nitric oxide production, being the major physiological effects of it’s use. To simplify it I will barrow a quote from Kelly Starrett in which he describes the devices ability to “take out the garbage and bring in the groceries.” The non-painful, involuntary muscle stimulation we see with the device helps to create greater fluid movement in and around the area being stimulated in an attempt to “flush” out the byproducts of cellular breakdown and physical activity.

The Marc Pro has quickly become a resource that I use with both the high level athletes and the recreational “weekend warrior” that may have over done it a little.  The Marc Pro is a component of the recovery process, but not a stand-alone feature. It is important that people recognize it’s benefit while still focusing on other areas of recovery such as nutrition, sleep, stress and one of the biggest, their training schedule.

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