Technology has grown to some intense heights in the past few decades. As a result, we’ve learned to grow with it and use technology to our advantage on a daily basis. It has become man’s best friend — especially when used properly.
One of the ways technology is being used today is within the fitness industry. Today, we see athletes utilizing everything from wearable technology like Motiv Ring, to fitness trackers like Moov Now. There are even mobile applications such as Aaptiv and obé Fitness, home workout systems like Treadly 2, smart scales such as Withings Body+ Scale, and so much more.
Recently, we’ve seen a new piece of technology gain credibility with athletes and fitness enthusiasts, though — electrical muscle stimulation. It sounds and looks super high-tech when being used, but these stimulators can help you with so much when putting your body through the test often.
With how popular this tech has grown in the past few years, finding the one that works best for you can be difficult. There are a lot of competitors out there, and not all of them are FDA approved, so it’s essential you do your research before purchasing.
Don’t worry; we’re here to ensure you make the right decision when shopping for an electrical muscle stimulator. That’s why we’re going to take a look at one of the most popular EMS devices on the market today — PowerDot 2.0. We’ll see what this product is all about, how EMS technology works, and whether or not it is worth the cost in this PowerDot 2.0 review.
What Is The PowerDot 2.0?
PowerDot 2.0 is a revolutionary EMS device that markets itself as the “world’s smartest muscle performance & recovery tool.” It has been featured on Runner’s World, Gear Patrol, Men’s Health, WIRED, and PopSugar.
EMS, which stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation, is a type of technology that sends electrical impulses from your brain throughout your body to make your muscles contract. This helps strengthen muscles that are weak and recover muscles that are injured.
This type of technology is heavily used in medical practice and physical therapy. The difference is they’re generally using extremely expensive equipment designed for professionals. PowerDot 2.0, on the other hand, is much easier to use and portable.
An EMS device can be an amazing addition to your existing fitness routine by helping you get more out of your workouts, achieve better results, and improve your performance on a daily basis. You’ll also have the ability to recover more quickly; that way, you can get right back to it the next day.
As beneficial as EMS devices can be, it’s important you understand what it’s doing to your body and how it works — that way, you know, it’s right for you. Like we mentioned above, PowerDot 2.0 isn’t the only EMS device designed for portable use. It is, however, one of the best.
With that being said, let’s learn a little bit more about this device and what makes it so helpful to athletes.
Are there different types of EMS technology?
First thing’s first, it’s important to understand that the term ‘EMS technology’ is more of a blanket term than anything else. It includes a wide range of technology that serves different functions, but not every EMS device makes use of each type of technology.
Let’s take a brief look at the different types of EMS technology and what they do:
- FES – also known as Functional Electrical Stimulation, this type of technology is largely used on patients with a loss of function in a specific area, such as paralyzation.
- ETS – also known as EMG-Triggered Stimulation, this type of technology is largely used when the target area is still receiving a partial signal from the nervous system.
- NMES – also known as NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation, this type of technology mimics the signal sent from the brain to the muscle when being used, helping it contract.
- TENS – also known as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, this type of technology is used for pain relief and helps prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.
- RETS – also known as Reciprocal EMG-Triggered Stimulation, this type of technology is used to relax hypertonic muscles, especially in patients with an increased tone.
Those are just some of the most popular types of EMS technology, but there is so much more, and researchers will continue to unveil new technologies as we advance with it.
Now, you might be asking yourself what technology PowerDot 2.0 utilizes. It actually utilizes two of them — NMES technology and TENS technology — which is rare among EMS devices today. The NMES is used to help contract muscles and strengthen them, while the TENS is used to relieve pain and stimulate recovery.
It makes for a powerful duo, but they don’t stop there. PowerDot 2.0 utilizes Smart TENS technology, which involves the use of a mobile application to help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the product. Everything you need is controlled through the app.
Are there any claims or guarantees made with PowerDot 2.0?
Researchers have learned a lot about how EMS devices work, and they’ve discovered a lot of ways to make them work better — it’s something they continue to improve on today.
Let’s take a look at some of the claims and benefits you receive with PowerDot 2.0:
- Helps you perform better, recover faster, and relieve pain
- Improves strength, muscle size, muscle density, and endurance
- Flushes out lactic acid, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and releases knots in the muscle
- Targets specific pains and body parts with the use of Smart TENS
- A mobile application gives you personalized suggestions and sets up custom programs
- Electrical impulses are more powerful than ever before, but still pain-free
- Fast and easy to set up or use; has a rechargeable battery for convenience
- Can use two devices at the same time
- Constant updates to the mobile app for improvements
- Extremely portable and easy to carry around with you
The PowerDot brand has gone through major renovations and changes since they first invented their device. It started in 2014 with the Smart Muscle Stimulation, invented by Smart Missimo Technologies. It quickly gained FDA-clearance and became a hot new product on the market.
In 2016, the brand was purchased by PowerDot, and that’s when the PowerDot 1.0 was introduced at the 2016 CrossFit Games. Two years later, the PowerDot 2.0 was released as a new-and-improved version of their previous masterpiece.
Recently, they even closed a senior seed round of investments with Lance Armstrong and Next Ventures, so you know there’s much more to come.
Unboxing PowerDot 2.0
Now that we understand a little more about the science behind the PowerDot 2.0, let’s take a look at what you get when you purchase it. First off, it’ll arrive in a box about the size of an iPad box. It’ll look a lot like your typical ‘Beats headphones’ packaging.
The box is mostly red with a blue square on the top of the front. There’s a PowerDot Pod pictured on the front as well. The back and sides of the box have a bunch of text and images, further explaining the product.
When you open the box, here’s a look at what’s inside:
- PowerDot Pod – this is the small device that connects to your mobile app. It’s what pumps out all the technology goodness. Don’t worry; there’s no wire that connects to your phone; it’s wireless.
- Electrode Pads – these tiny pads connect to the Pod and are placed near the target muscle for specific relief.
- Lead Cables – these cables are what connect the Pads to the Pod.
- Micro-USB Charger – the battery is rechargeable. As long as you keep it charged when it’s not being used, your PowerDot will always be ready to use.
- Carrying Case – whether you’re traveling with it or taking it to the gym with you, the carrying case ensures you don’t lose or damage your PowerDot.
- Instruction Manual – every piece of technology should come with an instruction manual. While there’s a small learning curve to this device, it becomes easier the more you use it.
- Mobile App – the mobile app doesn’t come in the box, but it’s free to download and easy to connect to your Pod.
The great thing about the PowerDot 2.0 is it holds the capability of being used simultaneously with another PowerDot 2.0. They actually offer two different bundles when purchasing this product — the PowerDot 2.0 Uno and the PowerDot 2.0 Duo.
The Uno comes with everything described up above. The Duo does as well, but it adds an extra Pod, extra Pads, extra cables, and an extra charger. That way, you can use two Pods at once and target two areas at once.
The Uno costs you $199.99, while the Duo costs $349.99. You can also add an extended warranty to your purchase for $29.95.
How Do You Use PowerDot 2.0?
Like we mentioned above, there’s a bit of a learning curve involved when you first purchase your PowerDot 2.0, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it after a couple of uses. There’s also an instruction manual to help you out in the beginning.
To give you a brief idea of what to expect, we’ll go over the basic instructions with you right now.
First, you’ll want to download the mobile app from the app store, either on your Apple or Android phone. There’s a brief sign-up process that needs to be completed, as well as a quick safety briefing — both are required.
Once you have the app ready and your profile is set up, you can start unboxing the PowerDot 2.0. Find the PowerDot Pod and turn it on by holding the middle button for several seconds. Once powered on, you can use the app to scan for your device and connect. This is done via BlueTooth, so make sure that’s enabled on your phone.
To start a session, simply hook the lead cables to the PowerDot Pods and then the Electrode Pads to the lead cables. The pads will then be attached to the target area (thigh, forearm, chest, etc.).
Going through the mobile app, you’ll have plenty of options when selecting a program that fits your needs. Whether you want to stimulate your muscles or relieve pain, it can all be found inside the app. Just hook up your PowerDot and enjoy!
PowerDot 2.0 Pros vs. Cons
For most consumers, the PowerDot 2.0 is a completely new concept — or at least one they thought was only possible with a professional physical therapist. Although it’s a revolutionary device for athletes, it’s not perfect.
Since there are plenty of similar devices on the market today, we’re going to detail the various pros and cons with the PowerDot 2.0, so you can effectively determine whether or not it’s right for you. It’ll also act as a brief summary of everything we’ve learned above.
- Supports a faster recovery process, improved pain relief, and better performance
- Increases the strength, size, density, and endurance of muscles
- Activates both Type-1 and Type-2 muscle fibers thanks to the NMES technology
- Increases circulation of blood, flushes out lactic acid, reduces inflammation, and releases knots
- Pain relief targets specific areas of the body
- The app is equipped with plenty of different programs to give your muscles the treatment they need
- Powerful and pain-free, allowing you to relax while your body does all the work for you
- Easy to use, easy to set up, and easy to carry around
- Has the same aesthetic as Beats headphones, so it’s an attractive device
- Free shipping
- Clinically proven and FDA-cleared
- PowerDot is always updating the mobile app to give you new and improved features
- You’re allowed to use multiple PowerDots at once to help target more areas in less time
- It’s an expensive device, but you definitely get what you pay for here
- Can’t use more than two PowerDots at once
- There might be a learning curve before getting the full benefit out of it
- Pads need to be replaced after a while
Claims vs. Reality
After taking a long and hard look at the technology behind the PowerDot 2.0, it’s safe to say we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this small — yet powerful — device.
What I like most about PowerDot 2.0 is their dedication to innovation. EMS is already an innovative concept that most people aren’t aware of, but PowerDot is always pushing the limits with their product.
Their app can’t really be compared to many other EMS devices, and their Smart TENS technology is hard to compete with. All you need to do is select the area you’re feeling pain in, and the PowerDot algorithms go to work immediately. Users also have the ability to record and track their pain scores over time — per body part.
This gives you a new way of managing your pain and ensuring you see the progress you need to see. In addition to that, it doesn’t look as ‘dull’ as other devices in this field. It’s got a modern look to it and doesn’t look like a mini calculator or insulin pump.
PowerDot 2.0 Alternatives
Although PowerDot 2.0 is certainly one of the most revolutionary EMS devices available to consumers today, it’s not the only one. There are plenty of devices to choose from, and some of them utilize different technology.
I will, however, say that PowerDot 2.0 is my personal favorite device when utilizing EMS technology. It’s definitely the one I would recommend, but let’s take a look at some of the other major players on the market. If recovery is your main goal, you should check out our Chirp Wheel review and Hypervolt review as well.
BlueTens is a French startup located in Paris. I’m not entirely sure how much their shipping is or if they ship outside of France, but they’re the closest alternative to PowerDot 2.0 when looking at design and function.
It can be purchased as a single device or duo device, just like PowerDot. Instead of a red design to it, BlueTens utilizes black and blue, but also has a white and blue version. It’s sleek and very attractive, as well as being non-invasive and lightweight.
The Duo costs $299 euros, which is roughly $350 American dollars — the same as PowerDot 2.0’s Duo. It holds a 3.7 star rating on the Google Play Store and a 4+ star rating on Apple Store.
Where PowerDot 2.0 and BlueTens Duo have a modern look, the Compex has a traditional look to it. It’s definitely less attractive and has that ‘insulin pump’ look, but it’s still an effective device for anyone looking to take advantage of EMS technology.
The main reason I want to showcase this brand is because they have several options, several price ranges, and intensities to fit any lifestyle — whether you’re a professional-trained athlete or beginner. They cost anywhere from $70-$600, so there’s something for everyone.
The Compex Mini is similar to the PowerDot 2.0 and has an app, but isn’t as powerful or attractive as PowerDot 2.0. They have other designs, like the Wireless USA and Sport Elite, that are much more powerful and come equipped with built-in programs.
I like these devices, but they’re rather expensive and aren’t as modern as PowerDot 2.0.
Final Verdict: PowerDot 2.0
EMS technology might be a new concept to most people, but it’s something that can bring a lot of benefits to your daily life — especially those that work out often and have difficulty recovering. The electrical impulses don’t hurt, and they help strengthen your muscles for future use.
It’s a highly innovative product that’s controlled through an app on your phone. Combined with the portable carrying case, it makes the PowerDot 2.0 easy-to-use no matter where you are. If you’re at the office and start to have pain in your right calf, your PowerDot is there to help.
It might be a steep investment at first glance, but it’s the same as buying an expensive pair of headphones — except you get much more use out of it. Think of it as an investment to your health and fitness because that’s exactly what it is.