We will cover the current NormaTec MVP PRO system as well as planned updates and new products that are coming in a multi-day review.
Part 1: What you get?
Part 2: Using the NormaTec
Our legs-in approach to testing.
Part 3: What we think
Does it give you a leg up on the competition? plus What's on tap?... We've got the low down on some exciting new developments.
In part 2 of our 3 part review we will focus on using the NormaTec MVP PRO. We'll give you a quick overview of the options and features of the system.
Using the MVP is simple, the NormTec folks have done a good job of idiot proofing this device. There are basically only four connections to make. The air hoses that connect to the pump and supply the boots are a "one click" type of connection that will only attach in the correct position.
A close up of the hose connector from the boots and the connector on the box. It's a nice color coded setup, so even NFL players can figure it out.
A view of the hose that exits the pump into a "Y" allowing air to each boot.
After you have made all the air supply line connections you're ready to slip the boots on. It's just that simple, like putting on a pair of giant boots, you slide your legs in and pull the boots up into position.
Once you have the boots in position you can fire up the NormaTec pump and let the compression session begin.
A nice touch with the MVP is the LCD display. The display of the NormaTec is straightforward and easy to navigate. Once you power on the device you can choose from several pre-programmed "sessions".
As you can see there's a whole host of options to choose from. These specifically targeted programs would be used ideally to treat injured or problem areas.
Uh, the boots didn't fit very well on our arms, so we are guessing there are special upper extremity sleeves that could be used for these programs.
The Recovery Flush program was the TriBomb favorite. We used it after training sessions to help flush the legs of unwanted waste.
As you would expect the compression settings on the NormaTec are customizable. You choose a desired level of compression from 1-10 (each level represents 10mmHg of compression) by pressing the arrows up or down. And believe us, in most normal circumstances, 7 or 8 is all you want.
Next, you choose the amount of time for your session in 10 minute blocks.
All that's left to do is just kick back and relax (literally, because you are trapped in a giant pair of inflated boots) and watch the time tick away.
After you setup your program and hit the start button, the boots begin to inflate. The boots inflate in a pre-fill stage which insures that each user gets a custom fit. The pre-fill stage allows the system to "map" the legs, so whether you have bird legs, kankles, thunder thighs, or something in between you can get a completely one-off type of fit with these boots. This feature is something we haven't seen on other devices, granted you are paying for these features, but it seems like a great idea. The system has what we would call a "smart pump" that allows each user to get a completely custom recovery session.
After the pre-fill stage the boots begin the cycle up your legs, depending on the program you have selected. The most common and useable program for endurance athletes is the Recovery Flush. What you will notice is the way that the boots do cycle up your legs. This is the patented Peristaltic Pulse pneumatic waveform compression that is specific to NormaTec. It doesn't just start at the bottom and work it's way up your leg. When it begins compressing the next chamber, it is slowly releasing the chamber below. This pulsing compression ensures that blood flow isn't allowed to "backflow" or be trapped at the bottom of the leg. This action is designed to closely mimic the natural action of the body, just as when the muscles expand and contract. This makes for an odd feeling (pins and needles), but NormaTec has found this pattern to be better than simply compressing all the way up and releasing.
If you are really bored, you can watch the blue florescent lights that illuminate as each zone of the boot is being processed. And if that isn't enough fun, you can try to find the "hidden" spot somewhere on the machine that will display motivational and funny messages. We found it, but we won't spoil the fun on where it's at.
And when you are done, if you didn't hit start again, you will see this message.
If at any point you must end the cycle early, you can simply press the deflation button which is located next to where the hose connects to the pump. Best seen in the picture below. You can also use this button to completely deflate the boots for travel. You will have to run the deflation process several times in order to get all of the air out of the boots.
With the boot inflated, you can see where the hidden hoses are channeled into each chamber which allows for NormaTec's patented compression pattern to work.
This pulsing compression is designed to mimic the body's natural physiology improving circulation and helping to remove lactic acid and waste from the legs. You can somewhat see the chambers of the boots below.
A close up of the "hoop" at the top of the boots that will become your best friend. As the cycle runs it course, the boots tend to work their way down, so these help to pull the boots up as much as possible.
NormaTec has added a protective cup at the end of the feet due to feedback from current users so it doesn't crush the hell out of your toes.
Next Up. Part 3:
What we think? Does it give you a leg up on the competition? plus What's on tap?... We've got the low down on some exciting new developments.