Running. It’s a simple sport/hobby where you put one foot in front of the other. Many times.
Yet, there is the opportunity to spend any amount of money to enhance the experience. Be it better clothing to wear while you’re doing it, trainers that make you run faster (according to the marketing!), watches to give you data you never knew existed (let alone what to do with the info) whilst you sit back and eat the nutrition that’s been recommended post-run.
So much for simple!
One aspect that most people getting into running don’t know about initially is keeping the body in tip-top shape. It’s perhaps only after tackling a few longer runs and discovering the stiffness in the body 48 hours later that the world of sport massage is opened up. A world where you willingly go to someone to inflict pain on yourself. And pay them for the privelidge!
But a comprehensive massage doens’t come cheaply and you certainly wouldn’t want to be doing that after every heavy session. In between massages many runners are familiar with the self-help tools such as foam-rollers and a tennis-ball applied to a tender glute. These tools can allieviate some of the tension and knotts, but for every one you can get into, there’s always another that you can’t.
Massage guns have been around for a few years and take lots of the effort out of massaging the area so you can focus on actually massaging the area. Built looking a bit like something you’d use for DIY they massage rapidly an area using an electric motor to drive the massage arm.
The marketing team at ‘Bob & Brad‘ reached out to me to see if I would test out one of their branded devices, the C2 Massage Gun and write about it on here. I’ve never used a massage gun before and so I thought it would be very interesting to do. So for full disclosure, they sent me out a product with which to do this.
Who are ‘Bob & Brad’?
I’ve been aware of ‘Bob & Brad’ probably for about 6-7 years, having stumbled across their YouTube channel whilst trying to find some exercises to rehab an injury from my marathon running days. They are two physiotherapists who, via their YouTube channel, provide their expertese on many common physical ailments and especially those experienced by runners. And according to their videos, they are the most famous physiotherapists on the internet (in their opinion)!
Up until receiving the request to review the massage gun, I hadn’t been aware that they sold ‘Bob & Brad’ branded goods.
I thought I’d video the unboxing so you can see what comes when you purchase the C2 massage gun.
The C2 Massage Gun comes in a sturdy case which allows the gun and all the accessories to be safely stored when not in use.
Having previously never tried a massage gun I don’t have anything to compare this one to, in terms of power, effectiveness etc. But it feels solidly built and the five different attachments (ball head, air cushion head, bullet head, U shaped head and flat head) also feel solid and fit into the gun securely.
I decided that reading the instruction manual was a must, as the device looks powerful and I wouldn’t want to do anything with it that was unsafe, intentionally or otherwise.
Before first use, the unit needs charging fully and this is done via the included USB A – USB C cable. There’s no power adapter in the box but any mobile phone plug will work. I’ve actually got a USB socket on my power outlet so I used that.
The instruction manual is pretty brief and although it had a few examples of using the massage gun, there didn’t seem to be as much information as I anticipated. Interestingly, aside from the ‘Bob & Brad’ branding on the paperwork and the massage gun itself, there’s very little else that I found that linked the product back to their website or YouTube channel. Aside from the ‘support’ page.
Which I thought was quite odd as the first thing I did when I couldn’t find more information was to go onto YouTube and search “how to use a massage gun”. And what came up immediately was a playlist from the ‘Bob & Brad’ YouTube channel! Perhaps that’s why they don’t include the actual link in, but it seems to me like an easy win for the company!
I first tried out the massage gun with the ball head. Mostly because the vast majority of the examples shown in the manual were using this head. (It’s for this reason I went searching on YouTube as I wanted to know when I should be using each of the different heads).
The C2 massage gun has five different levels of intensity, but it’s fair to say that even the lowest one is pretty intense. Once the gun is working (you press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds) additional presses of the power button cycle through the five levels. A further long-hold of the power button stops the massage gun.
I started on my legs first. Mostly on the grounds that those muscles have taken quite the beating in the past and are always ouchie when tended to during a sports massage. But also they’re big muscles and I can see what I’m doing whilst delivering a thorough pummeling.
Researching via YouTube
It was useful having watched a few (Bob & Brad) videos as these identified what to look out for as well as highlight things that could be a problem e.g. don’t massage the heck out of bones or soft tissue; things that really ought to be included in the written instructions if I’m honest.
I then watched a few videos about where (and where not) to massage in the shoulder and upper-trap regions as I do get very tight in these areas, mostly due to terrible posture…… Again, several pertinent rules apply in terms of avoiding bones, the neck and arteries. To be honest, the experience of rapidly pummeling anywhere close to these areas isn’t much fun as I found my sight was being vibrated, which is not pleasant. Although the massage gun did get into the muscles well. Essentially whilst there are a number of things to definitely avoid, using a tool like a massage gun is something of an exploration of your body to find what works for you as we all develop knots slightly differently to each other as we’re all built differently.
Massage gun costs
These tools are not cheap, but they have reduced in cost over the last few years as their popularity has increased. The C2 massage gun sent to me for a review currently costs £69.99 on Amazon (RRP is £89.99). There’s a cheaper Q2 model, and more expensive T2 and “professional” models.
The ‘Bob & Brad’ C2 model I’ve been testing feels robust and well made, although obviously I’ve not got any long term data (yet!).
Having a skim around on Amazon, prices vary considerably amongst competing products; many of the cheaper ones are ‘unknown’ brands. These devices all have an electric motor and a rapidly moving massage arm, so long-term durability is something that needs to be considered, regardless of which device you ultimately choose.
The cheaper ones may not have the same quality of parts as the Bob & Brad device I’ve been testing appears to have, so it’s worth doing your research before grabbing what you think is a bargain no-name device.
I’ve enjoyed using the ‘Bob & Brad’ C2 Massage Gun. It’s quick to re-charge, easy to use and seems to pack in plenty of power. Whilst not the cheapest massage gun out there, it is priced competitively with other branded models and appears to offer a range of heads and power settings which are (apparently) available with those branded models.
I’ve have liked to see slightly more information in the instructions, even if it was to highlight the very useful videos that on the ‘Bob & Brad’ YouTube channel to ensure the device is used both safely and effectively.
If you’re thinking about getting hold of this particular massage gun, follow this link (or any of the others I’ve used throughout this write-up).