Travelling or not, a good massage gun is a great weapon to have in your arsenal. (Pun somewhat intended.) When I decided I wanted a massage gun I must admit it was difficult knowing where to start. If you look on Amazon, there’s literally hundreds of them. How would I find one that would do the job as advertised, was well built, from a reputable company, had a decent warranty, preferably travelled well and wasn’t too expensive?
The first mission was to narrow down to my criteria. Customer reviews are important, so I looked for 4 stars and up. Then I wanted to narrow it down to something that was around $200 or less. There are plenty of pretty well-rated guns for even less than that but I wanted to stick with a company that had some credibility and there are so many I’ve never heard of.
I researched quite a bit and tried several at stores. The TheraGun is very nice but a lot more than I wanted to pay. My chiropractor uses the Hypervolt and it works really well but that was a little out of my desired price range as well at around $300. There’s also many products that maybe aren’t as well rated but cost closer to $100. However, I wanted something that I was confident would hold up.
I decided on the Sonic X from LifePro Fitness. It lists for $299 but I always see it marked down to $215 on their site. It’s regularly $215 on Amazon as well and I’ve always seen it with a $15 coupon. When I purchased it (in March, 2020) I happened to catch it on sale for just under $180. This seemed like the good value I was looking for.
It was rated well on Amazon. Over 700 reviews, 98% of which was 4 stars or better. 90% was 5 stars. LifePro has a large selection of products so, it’s not an overnight company. There’s lots of models and options beyond massage guns. They’ve got a vibrating foam roller, a vibrating massage ball and several other products.
What It Comes With:
The Sonic X comes with a case, the gun itself, a charging chord and 4 heads; flat, ball, bullet and spinal. I see other guns come with several more but, to date, I haven’t had a need for anything this doesn’t have.
Effectiveness and Functionality:
Does it do the job? It certainly does. I’ve been able to use it on my quads, traps, lower back, arms and hamstrings. It’s definitely helped. One of the other reasons I selected this particular gun is because of it’s RPM range. It has 5 speeds and goes up to 3200 RPM.
At first, I was a little concerned that this particular gun didn’t have a digital display. It’s got little LEDs to indicate power level and battery life. It’s a one-button unit so, it’s very simple. After some use I found a display isn’t really necessary. I don’t miss it.
One of the big selling points is the lifetime warranty. The language on their web site and in their videos is pretty clear that if you have a problem with one of their products, they’ll stand behind it.
Ergonomics and Build
The Sonic X feels well-constructed. It doesn’t have a cheap plastic or toy-ish feel. Another positive of this gun is the shape. It’s got a long handle, which allows me to reach my back on my own. I can also move my hand higher up on the unit for easier to reach areas. It’s easy for my wife to grip with her smaller hands. It’s also pretty quiet. At 2.2 lbs, it does have a little heft but not enough to really tire your hand.
It’s been more than 2 months since I’ve received it and we only charged it when it originally arrived. My wife and I use it on average about every other day. I’m sure I can take it on the road on a full charge without the charging chord and not have to worry about the battery running out.
Although it has a nice little case, it’s shape will allow you to wrap it in some clothes without the case and not be too obtrusive. However, that 2.2 lbs will add a little weight to your travel bag.
Overall, the LifePro Sonic X was a good choice for me. It’s well constructed and very easy to operate. It works great on sore muscles and the lifetime warranty is excellent piece of mind. I would love it if it were maybe just a little smaller and lighter but I would rather have quality over size and weight in this equation. There’s several other options from LifePro if you like the warranty but want something a little different. I’m quite happy with my purchase and hope this helps you with your decision-making process.
As a bonus, a card came with this gun offering a free vibrating massage ball (lists for $49) for filling out an online form. A staple of my travel is a lacrosse ball. If this is a good cross between a lacrosse ball and a massage gun, it will be a fantastic addition. It has the advantage of being light and portable. I just received it so look for my feedback soon. BTW - I can’t guarantee this isn’t a temporary offer so look at it as a nice-to-have if you receive the offer when you order this massage gun.
I’m always happy to share more details on my experience with this or any product. Please feel free to ask me any questions by commenting on this post, on social media or email me at email@example.com.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong in mind, body and spirit.
My family went on a cruise in August, 2019. When we came into port at St. Thomas, did we want to go snorkeling? No. Did we swim with dolphins? Nope. Did we go sight-seeing? Well, yes. But that came later.
That morning, my wife and I were the second and third people off the ship (of about 4,000). We hopped in a cab and it was off to Reebok CrossFit St. Thomas (RCFSTT) for the 8:00am class. Our ship was docked in the Havensight port in the capitol of Charlotte Amalie. It was less than a 10-minute ride to the Antilles School, where Reebok CrossFit St. Thomas was located.
If you’ve read my other write-ups, you know I like to do my homework and for me, as this was a little different than dropping in somewhere in the contiguous 48. So, I wanted to be especially sure things were lined up. We were only in port for part of the day so timing was particularly important.
I reached out to them via email a few weeks before we left for our trip. I got a response from the owner, Gilly. It took several days and she apologized for the delay. Not a big deal. People do get busy and I left plenty of time in advance, which I recommend for a trip like this. Gilly said she’d love to have us. We just brought the basics – wrist wraps and grips. Turns out we needed both.
Here's how our experience went. (As always, all ratings are on a scale of 1-5 barbells)
As this is a little different to get to, I thought an extra section would be helpful. No rating. Just some logistical details for you. I noticed two ports in Charlotte Amalie. One was in Havensight, where we were docked (and it appears most cruise lines dock here). It’s about a 10 minute ride to Reebok CrossFit St. Thomas from there. The other was in Crown Bay, which is a little to the west. Figure an additional 10 minute ride (total of about 20 mins).
There’s loads of cabs on St. Thomas. You shouldn’t have a problem getting one. And, what’s really important and really helpful is if you’re from the US, St. Thomas is a US territory so, your cell phones should work just as they do at home. You’ll want to double check with your cell carrier before you go. I use Verizon and have never had an issue. So, when you’re done your workout, it’s easy enough to call a cab. Our cab driver on the way over gave us his card.
We felt pretty comfortable with cab travel there, which was nice. One less thing to worry about.
It’s worth emphasizing again, because the chances are St. Thomas is not where you reside, do your homework well ahead of time. That will help give you a level of comfort. Look up their address and check out where they are on a map so you can see how far it is from where you’re staying.
As it’s a tourist destination, Gilly and her team is used to drop-ins and do have some details for you in the Visitors section of their web site.
There’s also an online form for questions. I encourage you to let them know when you’re interested in joining them and ask any questions you have. This will likely be a little different for you and I’m sure they get lots of questions so, don’t be shy.
Once I made initial contact, communication flow was thorough and responsive.
Their home page talks about community and if you look and they have lots of great pics to illustrate it. They also have a lot of details on their coaches. The only thing that’s missing that I would have love to have seen is the coaches’ CrossFit certification level.
Overall, with the homework and advanced contact, I felt comfortable going to a place that’s far away from home as well as getting there and back to the ship.
They do use the Triib app where they post their workouts if you want to see it ahead of time.
Reebok CrossFit St. Thomas is clean but well-used. The beauty of a CrossFit is it doesn’t have to be gleaming to be clean. There’s no over abundances of chalk anywhere or chalk buildup on the rig. The floor was clean as well.
RCFSTT isn’t a huge facility but they have three big bay doors that lead out to an area with a couple of rigs, rubber flooring and artificial grass, where we warmed up. Geographically, this is a good area to take advantage of the outdoors so why not?
The equipment was in pretty good shape. None of the plates or barbells appeared to be too weathered. There was plenty of equipment for everyone.
There was a warmup in the outside area that was appropriate in length and movements to get us prepared for the workout.
When on vacation, I’d prefer not to bring my Nanos so, I had running shoes and it was a good thing because running was part of the workout. I realize other workouts will be different.
On this day they had a lift of cleans for 1, followed by a Metcon that included cleans, running and pullups. It was a good mix and helped me to feel I was working off the cruise food, which was much needed.
Was it humid? Of course. It was August in the tropics. I would have been surprised if it wasn’t. No regrets. I will say, however, it was so humid that when I chalked my hands for pullups it quickly got pretty pasty.
Crystal was our coach. She’s strong and has a strong presence. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t friendly. She definitely was. But you can tell she knows her stuff and was completely comfortable. She introduced us to the class and was clear in her communication.
She helped us get set up, answered questions and offered suggestions for those needing to scale a movement. During the workout, she was attentive and encouraging. Although she was making the rounds to all of the members, I think she wanted to be sure my wife and I were ok. My guess is because they get their fair share of visitors, she wanted to be sure humidity wasn’t an issue. As it turns out, my wife and I aren’t strangers to humidity.
The folks here were quite nice. You could see there was a good amount of camaraderie. Someone had their dog with them, who appeared to be a regular. There was a lot of support and encouragement.
When the workout was over, one of the members offered to give us a lift back to the port, which was super nice. We had a chance to chat with him about living on the island. It was great. That said, I would never ask for a favor like this, nor would I expect it again. It was a very nice one-off.
Drop-in Cost and Swag
Their web site has most of the information I’m looking for in a drop in. It gives drop in rates ($20) under About > Membership Rates. It doesn’t mention it, but you can get a t-shirt with it for an additional $15. My wife and I took advantage of that. You can never have enough CrossFit swag and how often do we get to St Thomas?
As I often post, the inventory was a little picked over. I think they had one shirt in my wife’s size and one in the size and style I preferred. That was all we needed so we were happy.
Vacation is great and I think any coach will support recovery time but I think they’d be more encouraging of a workout to maintain consistency. It made us feel like we were back in touch with our health so our visit to Reebok CrossFit St Thomas was just what we needed. It’s a solid place in all aspects and not only would I go back there but I absolutely plan to when I return. I can go snorkeling some other time.
Wishing you safe, healthy and successful travels.
Reebok CrossFit St Thomas
7280 Frenchman’s Bay #16-1
St Thomas, VI 00802
(Located at Antilles School)
(340) 201 – 2782
Theoretically, it’s easier to drop in than ever before. You don’t even have to leave your house. There’s actually a little more to it than that but many CrossFits are offering live online classes right now. So, maybe you have a special place that you’ve been to and you want to workout with them and feel a little less distant.
I contacted Kayla, the owner of CrossFit For the People because I was aware they were doing live online classes, I really enjoy the folks at CFTP and, of course, dropping in is what I do. They’ve always had good programming. Kayla was as gracious, as always, and let me join in. So, my wife and I jumped in for one of their Saturday morning class.
CFTSP’s workout was consistent with their on-premise workouts. Our coach was Joe, known as “the king of warmups” and he was true to his title. A good long warmup and into an even longer workout of KB swings, jump rope, pushups, sit ups and man-makers. It was a partner WOD but your partner didn’t have to be in the room. Fortunately, I had my partner with me. I imagine the logistics would have been more difficult with an online partner. Even as a partner WOD, this was still a chipper. The workout moved along smoothly until we got to the man-makers. It got a little (or maybe a lot) slower at that point but luckily that was the last movement.
I was really glad we got to do this workout. It was nice to see some familiar faces and have that feeling of dropping in, or close to it. The coach and everyone online was very nice, as always. I’ll try to drop in to another session with them soon.
Conceptually, dropping in online is pretty easy. However, if you’re interested in trying it, there’s some things to keep in mind.
There’s another really good alternative for you. Not all places are live online. However, some still have great programming so if you follow them on Facebook or Instagram, you can get their workout details and do it on your own. Nick at CrossFit OTG in New Jersey has been religiously posting a video each day on his workout and gives you all the details. I’ve also seen really good posts from Reebok CrossFit St Thomas, CrossFit Beacon (Portland, ME), CrossFit Crosscheck (Mississauga, Canada) and Stay Classy CrossFit (San Diego), to name just a few.
There are owners and coaches are still working hard to bring you excellent programming. The important thing is to keep moving and stay consistent.
Please stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong in mind, body and spirit.
Author: Matt C.
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