When extremely enthusiastic people dressed in company-branded tracksuits turn up at the office with products claiming to do everything from reducing pre-workout warm-up times to alleviating carpal tunnel syndrome, it's hard not to feel a little cynical. Especially when what they show you looks like an extremely hardcore sex toy. And extra especially when said product turns out to be called 'Theragun'.
However, although it looks and sounds faintly terrifying, having tried it, I can say that Theragun delivers both in terms of looking like a gun (a bit) and being thoroughly therapeutic.
You can immediately see why the original model – the G3Pro – is popular with the sort of man mountains who play American football. However the brand is now launching the quieter, more consumer-friendly G3 and the much smaller and less threatening-looking Liv.
Theragun has been around for a decade, since founder and chiropractor Dr Jason Wersland invented the prototype in order to alleviate the pain he was suffering after a car crash. The percussive massage the current G3Pro Theragun applies is to a maximum depth of 16mm, at a frequency of 2400 percussions per minute with up to 60 pounds of force.
There are two speed settings and, of course, you can vary the force with which you press it to your aching flesh, but to be honest, if this doesn't sort out your stiff hamstrings, nothing will.
You can also use it to warm up. Theragun suggests just 15 seconds per muscle group will do, which will seem faintly miraculous to those who normally employ a lengthy stretching routine before sport or working out.
After exercise, it really comes into its own, pounding knotted muscles into relaxed submission and reducing spasms and soreness. Theragun also suggests this will 'replenish energy through more hydrated muscles.' Uh-huh.
If you look at Theragun's website you will notice that although many of its users are what is technically known as 'f**king massive', there are also many normal-sized users of their product. To further reduce the average body mass of its clientele, it's launched two new products.
So alongside the NFL-friendly G3Pro (£549), there's now the 'streamlined, premium' G3 (£375) and the 'lightweight, simplified' Liv (£275). Both apply the same percussive therapy as the G3Pro.
The G3 lacks the adjustable arm, choice of two speeds and switchable batteries of the G3Pro but is otherwise pretty much the same device – it's also noticeably quieter. It comes with four 'physician-designed attachments' (the G3PRO comes with six; the heads are interchangeable between the two devices.)
The Liv is a less powerful, more portable version that may not be able to work its magic on those who are built like brick outhouses, but can nonetheless provide instant relaxation and pain relief to a wide range of users. It comes with a choice of two heads, which are not compatible with the G3 duo. It's accompanied by a 'satin travel pouch' rather than the hard cases that the G3 and G3Pro pack into.
“My hope with Theragun is to help people live a fuller, happier, pain-free life, and empower them to take ownership over their own health and body,” says Dr Jason, who we think may be from California. Yes, it's easy to be cynical about this kind of product and the claims made for it, but from what I've seen so far, Theragun might actually live up to them. We'll have a review soon.