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With the plethora of recovery products available on the market, at what point do we agree that we have enough options?
Foam rollers, rubber rollers, lacrosse balls, grips, massage bars, EMS’s (electrical muscle stimulation to the layman) I mean where does it all stop?!
It’s not enough that we torture ourselves day in and day out training, but now some cruel engineers have developed tools for our use that keep the torture at high levels no matter where we are. No longer do we only have to endure the masochism at the gym, but now we can gorge ourselves while we are supposed to be “recovering.”
It may seem that the market is overly saturated with these torture devices, I mean, “recovery tools” but as we understand the recovery process better and how it relates to the physiological responses in the body post-workout, it is inherently clear that they are a necessary evil to combat the effects of training. Understand I am not only referring to seasoned athletes or even the most serious gym rats, but to ALL those that are active.
So now the question remains, with so many options, how do you determine which type of recovery tool is best for you?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that one tool may be the best because as aforementioned, there are many different categories that these tools may fall into. However, recently I have found a new recovery tool added to the market and naturally had to try it out for myself.
The product in question is the Tim Tam Power Massager V1.5.
The Tim Tam Power Massager V1.5 is a percussion massager that is lightweight, cordless, powerful, and compact.
Percussion massagers have been around for ages, well maybe not ages (an age is 2160 years, thanks Google) but they’ve been around a long time. The issue with these type of massagers for athletes and newbies alike is they have often been bulky and heavy, running off of DC power, and produce more of a vibrating motion.
The vibrating motion may be soothing, but to increase blood flow, decrease the buildup of lactic acid and decrease muscle soreness, higher impact is required. The higher amplitude or the distance of travel of the percussion head, produces a higher intensity at each point the head makes contact with the body, and with up to 2500 RPM for the Tim Tam, that’s a lot of points. Percussion massagers of the past have also been very expensive, often costing a few grand and that's not to mention their lack of portability due to being corded and bulky.
At first glance, the TimTam Power Massager looks similar to a cordless jig saw with an articulating head, and to be honest, you wouldn’t be far off. The handheld unit is roughly the same size and weight of a traditional jig saw but by being powered by the 12V lithium-ion battery allows for the tool to be incredibly convenient for use at home or on the road (although we'd suggest not using it while driving.) The applications are endless.
One application that immediately comes to mind is using the Tim Tam for recovering at competitions between heats. The unit can easily be tossed in a gym bag, or kept in the travel bag provided by Tim Tam for superior portability.
The TimTam weighs in at less than 3 lbs, which makes you think the tool may not have the power to be effective. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
Earlier we mentioned the frequency of the unit at 2500 RPM, and the amplitude being greater than 1 inch, but another thing to consider is the torque of the electric motor within the unit. This thing despite its size has some serious power. I was really taken aback with the power of the unit despite its size, but I suppose that's to be expected with the way electric motor technology has progressed.
I found myself using the TimTam for warm-ups to get the blood flowing and attack problem areas as well as after training days. There was one lower body day where I felt destroyed and decided to use the TimTam for around 20 minutes straight and I felt much more refreshed the next day than expected. Call it a placebo effect, but either way, the outcome was positive.
The increased intensity of the TimTam helps decrease the lactic acid build up and although not always enjoyable, especially after a long training session, the effects are worth it.
The unit comes with the Tim Tam Power Massager V1.5 with the single rubber round percussion head, one 12V lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charging station all in a compact travel box. One thing that makes this unit different from others is the patent pending threaded shaft.
Their main competitor Theragun just released their second version, however, the differences between the two units is negligible especially considering the large price discrepancy. My thoughts
Tim Tam uses a threaded shaft to change out massage heads, which is less than ideal due to the time it takes to unscrew and re-screw the head you want to use, but it wasn't a big issue. They currently offers interchangeable percussion tips for varying applications which will be easy to install and remove based on what your goal is with the Tim Tam. This includes hot and cold tips as well as harder, metal tips. I haven't used these yet, so I can't comment on their effectiveness, but if I do, I will be sure to update this review.
Whether you need something for a broader spectrum of the body or if you are targeting some deep tissue, the TimTam provides an effective dose. The last feature of the TimTam that I enjoyed was the inclusion of a two point articulating head. This movement of the head gives the user more options and to hit more angles of the body. It also is helpful for those who work on other people and need different ways to apply pressure.
The TimTam Percussion Massager is a great idea and at the best price of percussion massagers available. We still think all companies selling percussion massagers could lower their prices, but of the ones currently on the market, the TimTam is the one we recommend.
I really enjoy the TimTam and feel that this is only the beginning of future opportunities to improve upon this initial design from Tim Tam. I have come up with some improvements that could only make the TimTam better.
The battery life could be improved beyond 30 the roughly 30 minutes it has now, possibly to a 20v battery. I'd also like to see a battery level indicator on the unit to let the user know when to charge.
The last improvement we'd like to see besides a lower price point is lowering the noise of the unit. Although I'd love to use the unit in the house it's pretty much too loud unless I'm home alone. I'm not sure of the solution to this problem without compromising any of the other positive attributes of the product, but surely there's some way to silence it.
All in all, this is a fantastic product for aiding in recovery. The Tim Tam Power Massager V1.5 combines increased frequency, amplitude and torque into its handheld unit to provide deep tissue massaging to relieve pain/soreness, increase blood flow to the applied area, and decrease the buildup of lactic acid. Despite being pricey, the Tim Tam comes in at a considerably lower price-point than the competition without compromising quality.
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