Do Massage Guns Work, Fainting, Peaking, and More – Ask a Cycling Coach 393

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  • Do massage guns work?
  • Are cyclists at high risk for fainting?
  • Why is it so hard to maintain fitness after a peak?
  • How to do altitude training right
  • How often should you get a bike fit?
  • Are dates a good energy gel substitute?

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Definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s topics! A few thoughts…

Massage Guns:
Don’t know what the science or consensus is on the massage guns but it works for me. Often when I have those restless legs after a big day of intensity or volume it certainly helps. Not to mention it helps me recover faster. I wish these were around back when I was in my peak competitive days in college.

Don’t know about cycling but the finish line of XC skiing or even a High School cross country race is complete carnage these days. I don’t remember it being like that back in the day. Has something changed?

If you are elite and all in peaking for that ONE race (i.e. Olympic Trials, Olympics, World Champs, etc.)… your are likely threading a fine line between max training (stress) and burnout (result from that stress). Mentally it is tough to keep going, physically there are literally stress hormones that are affecting you physically. Good article on that here.

That thumbnail… (shakes head in disbelief…)

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I tried the Massage Gun thing for a while, it didn’t work for me. No doubt I was doing it wrong. Or perhaps I wasn’t working out hard enough to then feel the full effects from it?

Seems like another one of those popular fads that the fast, hip, and more in shape crowd get results from but it does not work on the doughy, slow, and lazy people like me.

It’s been a Youtube “content creator” weapon of choice for quite some time. Looks like TR is starting to use it now as well.

A few years ago I remember some discussions on forums that showed using faces (on your thumbnails) can possibly lead to more clicks for Youtube videos. It seems like now content creators have moved on to having a shocked face or surprised face to drive clicks and views.

From a marketing standpoint it might result in more traffic for the video. It’s all that Jedi-hand wavey SEO marketing wizardy biz stuff, you know :wink:

My PT used a massage gun on me a few times during my rehab after shoulder surgery. Definitely worked to release this one tight spot that wouldn’t release otherwise. Of course the trick is to know where to use it and how long to use it (longer than I would have expected). And there’s no way you could do your own back.

Shocked / surprised / exaggerated expressions on YT vids tends to have the opposite effect on me to the one intended by the creators. Personally, I think they always come across as a potential warning that the content has been dumbed down or sensationalised in some way, that the content is light-weight and the subject hasn’t been given the seriousness I feel it deserves, so I don’t bother watching them. Not saying that this is the case here but it does have an off-putting effect.


Feel the same. However, I understand that they do work to bring in views, so I give the respectful YouTubers leeway.

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For the question about dates as energy source: I can’t stand gels or chews, but dates work for me. I’ve been very happily using dates for an energy source for at least the last 8 months with great success - even for rides 3.5-4 hrs long. I usually use a combination of dates, a homemade drink mix of maltodextrose and sodium citrate, and maybe some maple sugar. But my drink mix is rarely more than about 80-100g CHO because I just find it just isn’t as palatable for me. My pitted medjool date box says that each date is about 10g CHO, and I’ve been known to eat at least 10 of those during a ride. Works totally fine for me, and they taste really good. No issues with fiber, and my GI system is a bit finicky. So, there’s an n of 1 for you.


Hey there. I came across this thread, and I thought I just had to share my 2 cents. So, sorry for bumping the thread. I especially appreciated the discussion on altitude training - I’ve always been curious about that. Oh, and if you’re looking for a medical spa in CA to help with recovery, I’ve heard great things about this one. Just a rec in case someone is looking for a SPA. Anyway, I’m excited to be a part of this community and learn more from all of you!

Another “massage gun works for me” testimonial. I call it black magic because I don’t fully understand it but the effect is remarkable. I asked chatgpt if the massage guns have proven benefits and it answered yes, FWIW. I use it to supplement my almost daily stretching, so I’m not sure how well would it work without frequent stretching.

Lol, that’s as good as confirmed. Count me sold!

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I find that they feel good while in use, just like Normatech boots, but the benefit goes away almost as soon as I turn it off. I’ve never felt like they help me recover better or make me faster. Do you? If so, what are you doing with it that helps?

My main issue over the past year has been Achilles tightness that causes feet pain. With the massage gun I go pretty hard on the upper inner part of the calves, looking for the most painful spot, and then softer on the lower part of the calves, both sides, getting almost to the heels. If I do this regularly things are good, if I skip it for a week, tightness and feet pain are back. I have not seen benefits applying it directly to the bottom of the feet apart from a temporary feel good sensation.

I also found good success on the quads after a hard run/ride in lowering the burning sensation.

I use it in other ways as well, but these two are my favorites.

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