Sports Magazine

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

By Jessicashaw

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

Here’s a full review of the Marc Pro, your secret weapon for faster recovery and better training.

As an athlete you take your performance seriously. Real seriously. You work your butt off in the gym, you follow your nutrition plan to the letter, and you stay late after practice to do additional work on your own.

This dedication extends itself to your recovery as well. You prioritize your sleep because you know that your bedsheets are where your body and mind recover and rejuvenate.

But you want something more. You want an edge on the competition. That’s where the Marc Pro can come in super handy.

The Story Behind the MarcPro

I came across the MarcPro via Kelly Starrett back in 2013 when he and Gary Reinl posted a conversation on MobilityWOD talked about how it was time to stop icing for recovery.

The gist of the conversation was this: Icing inhibits the body’s natural inflammatory response, which delays recovery. Instead of isolating sore and damaged muscles from blood flow, the goal post-workout should be to flush the area with clean blood.

This is where the MarcPro Plus (and other EMS or “stim” machines) step into the fold.

How the MarcPro Helps You Perform Better

The MarcPro is an EMS machine. EMS is nothing new—Soviet bloc countries were using them as far back as the 1970’s.

For the layperson, EMS machines may be more associated with late-night infomercials (like Dr. Ho) which promise you six-pack abs from sitting on the couch with a large pizza in your lap.

But that’s not what EMS is all about.

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

In the case of the MarcPro, it’s strictly a device for athletes to speed up the rate of recovery after tough workouts and competition.

You slap the electrodes to your skin and the machine fires a charge of electricity through your muscles, sending blood to the target area and simulating active recovery (so kinda like warming down). The Marc Pro does this without straining your muscles, helping to flush out muscle waste and stimulate CNS recovery.

The result of this is that your muscles heal faster, you bounce back quicker, and performance over the long term goes up. Giddyup!

The Benefits of the Marc Pro

The main benefit of the MarcPro is faster recovery from heavy training and competition.

For athletes who perform doubles, or who have limited time between workouts, or who want next-level recovery while in competition, the MarcPro helps to stimulate recovery and healing faster than passive recovery.

Here’s a list of reasons that the MP will change your training and competition for the better:

It’s totally portable. One of the things I love about EMS machines in general is that they are compact and portable. This makes it especially effective when you have to spend large amounts of time sitting all day (traveling, working, whatever), and you don’t always have access to facilities, whether it’s a bike/pool/or whatever it is you use for warming down and active recovery.

Great for off-day training. One study (non-athletes, but still relevant) found that EMS retained and improved muscle strength. The recovery protocols on EMS machines stimulate the muscles just enough to not tax your CNS, which means that you can work your muscles without straining or fatiguing them for tomorrow’s session.

Highly targeted. Pad placement means you can work just about whatever body part you need to target. Have a massive day in the gym and your legs are feeling beat up? Strap on the pads to your quads and glutes and flush out some of that DOMS. Went overboard on cleans and snatches? Place the pads on your delts and traps to ease the soreness and kickstart recovery.

Warm-down for your arms. How often do you think about warming down or stretching out your upper body? Probably not that often—doing active recovery for our legs is easy. Just stand up and go for a walk. For our upper bodies, however? Not so simple. An EMS machine gives you the means to have your upper body perform some form of active recovery after a hard session.

Who Else is Using the MarcPro?

The list of organizations, teams and athletes using the MarcPro is stunning. Kind of ridiculous, actually.

Some of the organizations and players include:

  • From the NBA: Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, and one of the top ball players of all time, Kobe Bryant, and more.
  • From the MLB: Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians; also included are athletes Josh Tomlin, Corey Kluber, Dan Straily and more.
  • From the NFL: Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams, and nearly half of the total National Football League.
  • From the NHL: Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes, Las Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and so on.

Also using the MarcPro Plus are elite level triathletes (Andy Potts), world champion cyclists (Giddeon Massi), weightlifters (Jared Fleming), CrossFit athletes (Scott Panchik), and many, many more.

Oh, and I am using it too!

The Research on EMS Machines

One study found that muscle strength and mobility significantly improved after an average of 8 sessions using a stim machine in a group of patients compared to their control group counter-parts. [1]

A study on baseball players found that EMS use was most effective at clearing blood lactate concentration following a six minute simulated game compared to active or passive rest. [2]

In a study of competitive swimmers three types of recovery were tested out: active recovery (warming down in the pool), passive recovery, and an EMS. While the active recovery method was best at clearing lactate after ten minutes, the EMS significantly out-performed the passive recovery modality. [3]

Marc Pro vs. Marc Pro Plus

Yup, it comes in two editions. The Marc Pro is the baseline model (the same one that I have), and it costs around $600.

The Marc Pro Plus comes with an added pain-relief mode that is designed to target nerve-related pain. This added feature kicks the price up to just under a thousand dollars. Yup, that’s not a typo—the Plus costs something like $950 on Amazon.

If that one added feature is that critical to you that might be worth it, but in terms of straight-up muscle flushing and recovery, the baseline version is more than adequate.

How easy is the MarcPro to use? It’s pretty foolproof—it comes with a manual to help you with pad placement.

Am I going to electrocute myself? I’ve been using it since 2013 and have yet to do so, and I can be a klutzy, absent-minded dummy at times. Just read the instructions, don’t jack up the dials the first time you use it, and off you go.

Will it get rid of soreness right away? Not really—but it will make you feel looser and more limber in the areas that you use it to target, if that makes sense.

Can I use this for muscle building? There are sprint and muscle building programs on other stim machines (like the Globus EMS machine, for instance). The Marc Pro is strictly for recovery.

How’s customer support? One of the wires on my Marc Pro started to fall apart after a year—they sent me a new one within a few business days. (I had to get it shipped while on the road—they didn’t ship to Canada at the time. Hopefully that’s changed now!)

Where to Buy the Marco Pro

Both editions of the Marc Pro are available on Amazon.

The baseline model:

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

The Marc Pro Plus:

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes

MarcPro Review: The Ultimate Recovery Tool for Athletes


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