Product Review: Bob and Brad Air 2 Mini Massage Gun

This post contains a review of the compact Air 2 Mini Massage Gun sent to me by Bob and Brad. In addition to my feedback, I have included thoughts provided by a licensed massage therapist.

Introduction

As older athletes, we know that recovery can be slower than when we were younger. Yet we want to train consistently. Tools and techniques that help us prevent injury and recover faster are especially important as we age.

Even though the days of ‘No Pain, No Gain’ are behind us, we may still occasionally experience pain, stiffness, or sore muscles after a workout. Massage guns have become a popular and effective tool for relieving pain and tight muscles.

About Bob and Brad

Bob and Brad is a brand built around two “physical therapists trusted by millions of followers.”

Almost one year ago, I reviewed the C2 Massage Gun from Bob and Brad. Both my wife, Joy, and I found the C2 to be effective in treating a painful area we were dealing with during that time.

In the earlier review, I wrote, “I am confident in their products because I trust these guys.” I trust them even more today, having since watched more videos on the Bob and Brad website.

picture comparing the shape and size of the Air 2 Mini and C2 massage guns.
Air 2 Mini (left) and C2 (right) massage guns from Bob and Brad.

What You Get With the Air 2 Mini Massage Gun

Here is what you will find inside the Air 2 Mini massage gun box:

  • Zippered carrying case with an insert for organizing the massager and its five heads.
  • Air 2 Mini massage gun.
  • Five quick change heads for different applications.
  • USB-C to USB charging cable
  • Extra grommets for quick change heads (2)
  • Manual in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish languages.

Specifications

The table below shows the main specifications for the Air 2 Mini Massage Gun.

SpecificationWhy It’s ImportantValue for Bob and Brad Air 2 Mini Massage Gun
SpeedAlong with amplitude, speed determines the power of the massage gun. Lower speed is for a lighter duty massage, while higher speed is for a faster or more aggressive one.1750 – 2050 – 2400 rpm (3 speeds)
AmplitudeDetermines the depth of the penetration of the head. The higher this value, the deeper the massaging tool can press into the muscle.12 mm
Stall ForceThis measures the amount of force at which the gun stops vibrating. Stalling is a way the unit protects itself.28 pounds
WeightThe weight of the gun affects how easy it is to hold during use.1.25 pounds with air cushion head
Noise levelThe sound produced by the gun during operation determines if you can use it while talking or listening to others or while listening to TV or other audio or video recordings. The value for this gun is within the normal range of human conversation.not specified, though listed as their quietest massage gun

Why Five Different Heads?

The User Manual included with the Air 2 Mini Massage Gun pictures the five heads and their typical uses. These range from activating muscles before a workout to recovering after exercise and managing chronic pain from injury.

uses of different heads for the Bob and Brad Air 2 Mini massage gun
Page from the Air 2 Mini massage gun User Manual showing uses for different heads.

Our Experience

After opening the Air 2 Mini box earlier in the day, Joy and I took it to a dance where we met friends. One friend, Sheri C., a licensed massage therapist, had not heard of this massage gun. While talking at our table on the dance floor, Sheri started to use it. She seemed to like it. The next day after Joy and I finished golfing with Sheri and her husband, I left the Air 2 Mini with her for more testing.

Following is Sheri’s and my comments on the Air 2 Mini.

A Licensed Massage Therapist’s Review

As a Licensed Massage Therapist, I had the opportunity to try out the Bob & Brad Air 2 Mini Massage Gun, and I must say, it exceeded my expectations. From the moment I picked it up, I found it incredibly easy to hold and maneuver, allowing me to target specific muscle groups with precision.

The pulsing percussive movements offer three levels of strength, but what stood out to me was the versatility. Despite having the option of higher intensities, I personally found the lowest setting to be perfect for my needs. It provided just the right amount of pressure without causing any discomfort.

I primarily used the massage gun on my upper traps and hips, areas that tend to hold a lot of tension, especially after long days of giving massages. As I do not always find time to get a professional massage for myself, I found this to be a great utensil to help with those nagging areas of tight muscles that develop from my work as a Licensed Massage Therapist. The results were truly impressive. My muscles felt relaxed, rejuvenated, and most importantly, not overworked or sore. It’s clear that the device effectively alleviated tension and helped promote recovery.

One of the standout features of the Bob & Brad Air 2 Mini Massage Gun is the inclusion of several adapters, which allows for the targeting of even more specific areas with ease. This level of customization is invaluable in my line of work, as everyone has unique needs.

Additionally, I appreciate the thoughtful design of the device itself. It’s evident that a lot of consideration went into its construction, from the ergonomic design, to the compact carrying case it comes in. The case makes it convenient to transport between clients or while traveling, ensuring that I always have access to relief whenever I need it.

Overall, I believe the Bob & Brad Air 2 Mini Massage Gun is a well-thought-out device that delivers exceptional results. This will definitely become an essential tool for me, to keep me moving when I am not able to obtain a professional massage. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to fellow massage therapists or anyone looking for effective quick relief of tight muscles.

My Thoughts

From its specifications for amplitude and stall force, the Air 2 Mini Massage Gun is a light to medium duty gun. I was able to stall it easily using the air cushion head. Still, I found it to have plenty of power to release tension in stiff muscles.

The Air 2 Mini is compact yet powerful enough to treat stiffness on the go. Since I suffer with stiff upper back muscles while golfing, I took the Air 2 Mini on the golf course. I appreciated the way it relaxed tight muscles while waiting to tee off.

For some cases, like self massaging the upper back muscles, I find the C2 Massage gun easier to hold. But the Air 2 Mini is ideal for carrying in a computer bag, backpack, gym bag, and golf bag.

Want to Order the Air 2 Mini Massage Gun?

If you want to buy the Bob and Brad C2 Massage Gun on Amazon, please use this link: https://amzn.to/3QR6qSn.

If you purchase the Air 2 Mini using this link, I earn a small commission which helps to cover the cost of maintaining this website.

Affiliate Disclosure

How Do You Use a Massage Gun?

What do you use a massage gun for?

What massage gun do you use? How did you choose it? What is the most important specification for you?

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.

A Triathlon Bike’s Tale

Editor’s Note: Ever wonder what your triathlon bike thinks about travel? Dave Conover has. He has teamed up with his triathlon bike to share the good, bad, and the ugly parts of traveling for triathlon.

By Dave’s Quintana Roo PRFive

A Little About Me

I’m a matte red and black, four-plus year old 56 centimeter Quintana Roo (QR) PRfive with numerous triathlon training and racing on my frame and wheelset. I was purchased in Virginia by my rider and good friend, Dave Conover.

Dave takes good care of me. Aside from racing in some rain in Puerto Rico in 2022, I have never been out in stormy or wet weather. We have logged close to 10,000 miles together outside and on a basement trainer with oldies from the 60’s playing. This is my story.

After qualifying for the 2020 World Triathlon Championship at the 2019 Cleveland Olympic Distance USA Triathlon (USAT) Nationals, Dave got the go ahead from his wife of 50 years, Louise, to team up with a new bike. He ordered me through a local triathlon-focused shop after a session with a professional bike fitter.

After arriving at Dave’s house, we quickly became good partners. I also got to literally hang out on the wall with his well-aged and cared-for FUJI Airfoil Pro. We got in some late fall rides, then transitioned to the indoor trainer.

My First Time Traveling

We made plans – truthfully, Dave made most of them – to travel to Edmonton, Canada for Worlds in 2020. These plans included me being transported by Tri Bike Transport (TBT) from Virginia to Edmonton and back. We were ready to start our racing season in 2020, then COVID came along. Long story short, we spent a lot of time on the indoor trainer and on solitary rides outside on less traveled two-lane roads in 2020. We also did a virtual triathlon together.

The Edmonton trip was postponed until 2021, then canceled in 2021. Still, we started racing in 2021 and drove to all our races, where I got to ride inside the SUV. Thankfully, I didn’t need to wear a face mask, though had to keep my distance according to USAT Competitive Rules.

Anxious for a challenge, we used a credit from TBT for our pre-paid trip to Edmonton to travel to Puerto Rico for a 70.3 race. I’ll simply say it was a wonderful experience, although a little warm and muggy.

From drop off to pick up in Virginia and at the race site, TBT was wonderful. I had a great time traveling and hanging out with so many other bikes, including a number of QRs from my time at the QR factory. Oh, how great to sit supported from a rack with that wonderful late-March sun on my aerobars.

My First Time in Europe Was Great

Then, in 2022, we raced well in Milwaukee, where we qualified to go to Spain for World’s in September 2023. It excited me to think about another trip arranged by TBT, again traveling with other bikes from the U.S.

I was ready to go in August, and was picked up and shipped to Spain with no incident. During this trip, I got to visit with some old bike buddies and make some new friends.
All 186 of us were stored in a nice warehouse near the race site. We were treated very well.

I was reunited with Dave a few days before the race for a few rides. I also got to stay with him and his wife at their rented apartment. You should have seen the view of the river. Still, it reminded me why I am glad to do the biking. I cannot swim or run.

What fun going up, then down, and up and down again, a big long hill during the race. My new rear cassette made my easy gear just a little easier for the hill. I was also glad to not be going down the hill at over 50 miles per hour like some of the other bikes.

But, The Way Home Was Long

After the race, I was dropped off at the warehouse for my trip back home. I got to compare notes about the race with all the other bikes. Then, when they turned out the lights, we had a great party using some remaining race hydration and CO2 cartridges.

I was packed up and made it back to the U.S. We were happy to be back in the states and almost home. However, we began a bonus tour of the U.S., one which we soon learned was no bonus. Some would say we were stolen.

Right after being offloaded from the trip across the Atlantic, we heard discussion, some heated, about shipping fees and unpaid invoices. Some bikes ridden by lawyers understood there were even threats about legal action.

From what these bikes heard, TBT had contracted with another company to transport us to and from the U.S. and Spain and had not paid this company. It was not just for the 186 of us who went to Spain, but other bikes that had gone on different trips organized by TBT.

Someone went to court to secure our release and got an order for the shipping company to do just that. Unfortunately, we were moved to another state and then another before settling in California.

California? From Spain to Virginia?

Days turned into weeks, then months. It was getting pretty bad. The fluids and goos dropped on us in Spain were getting smelly. Our tires where deflating. Rust was showing up in places. On top of this, we were getting restless from not being able to get out to ride.

We also did not get much sleep because of all the noise associated with the places we were shipped and stored. Some of the bikes snored, while a few released some bad air from their tires.
It also got really cold at times. We knew we had been moved to California when it warmed up. I wish I could have smelled the salt air; by now, the odor inside our containers was really stale and smelly.

After being in California for a while, one of the Cervellos heard the word “auction”. As we discussed what this could mean, we realized the shipping company was going to sell each of us in an attempt to recoup the money they were owed.

We were awestruck. How could TBT allow this to happen? Where would we end up and with whom? Would we ever race again? A few bikes feared the worst, being sold for parts and never riding again. This exerted a significant amount of mental stress on each of us.

A Glimmer of Hope

Then there was a ray of hope. Someone heard that if our owners would each pay $2,000, they could come to California and pick us up. A few bikes left because their owners paid what we considered a ransom. Of course, I hoped Dave would come rescue me.

At the same time, I realized this was not reasonable. He had already paid for my safe return to Virginia. Now, he was looking at the cost and time associated with a trip from Virginia to California on top of the $2,000.

Those of us not rescued by our owners waited as our tires deflated some more. Many of us lost our desire to ride again.

Finally Rescued

Then someone came along to save us and get us back home. Travelers Insurance Company, who had underwritten policies to cover damage and loss, agreed to pay the outstanding fees to the shipping company to secure our release. Even better, they had arranged with a company to pack and ship us to our homes.

We were all thrilled, so much so that we threw another party with what we could scrounge together.

I was packed in a box and found my way back to Dave’s house. This ride was a little rougher than the first one; a plastic box on my seat post, like that on all QR PR bikes, was knocked off and damaged in shipment. But, after this ordeal, a little broken plastic was not a big deal.

It thrilled me to be reunited with Dave. He cleaned me, and put fresh air in my tires. He even took me to the triathlon shop for a check and tune up. Then, we got to go out for rides again in Virginia.

I’m Looking Forward

Later, I thought about what could have happened. While the additional four or so months it took to get home were very trying, it all worked out in the end. I have some good and not so good memories of my ordeal.

I also learned that TBT is no longer in the business of shipping bikes. Maybe someone will put them in a box and ship them around a while to see how they like it.

I’m still in contact with a few of my hostage mates. We are looking forward to the 2024 racing season. Even better, I have some trips coming up this season, though none outside the U.S. I will very much enjoy being pampered by Dave, driven in the back of his Honda SUV while I lay on my side, being properly cleaned up after each ride, and getting to visit with many friends in transition.

Have You or Your Bike Had An Experience Like Dave’s Bike?

We’d love to hear your or your bike’s story in the Comments below.

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.

Ask Our Coaches: Training For A Sprint Triathlon In The Final Six Weeks

Question

A 69-year old member of our community who had done 13 sprint triathlons in the past three years is seeking Our Coaches’ advice. In particular, he asked for advice on training for a sprint triathlon that is six weeks from now. He indicated he is not fast and often finishes near the end, so I assume his main goal is to finish this triathlon.

Our Coaches’ Replies

Following is the email string with the response from two two coaches.

Coach Kurt Madden

Congratulations on competing in these events, and as you prepare for your next event in approximately six weeks, you might want to consider the following:

  • Maintain your consistency with your training and I would suggest that you train in the range of five days a week. Sessions should be a variety of recovery and higher threshold sessions.
  • Do your best to have two training sessions before the race where you are doing some type of race simulation. Ideally, it would be four weeks and two weeks before your race. During your race rehearsals, focus on your pacing, transitions, and nutrition. Furthermore, do your best to simulate the actual race course during your race simulation.
  • Make sure all of your equipment that you will be using on race day is ready to go within two weeks of the race to make sure you are not rushing or scrambling just before the race.

In closing, as you continue to be active in the sport of triathlons, you should strongly consider using some level of subscription on TriDot. It will provide you will a customized, personalized, and optimized training program to get you race ready as well as help prevent injuries.

You can use this link to learn more about TriDot:

https://www.tridot.com/?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw5v2wBhBrEiwAXDDoJTo4fAnY60xT0pSfBTG4KtoUmFZ-iXaYNl2XG2y3msyEgKZYjzvDPhoCmY0QAvD_BwE

Regards,

Kurt Madden

Email: kurt.madden@tridot.com

Coach Tony Washington

Thanks Terry and Kurt.

It’s always hard to add to Kurt. I’d also consider some mobility and stability workouts. Yoga is great to keep us all ready for the next workout and race. After the 6 week build to this race, add some strength work.

Rest, recovery and great nutrition will keep you training and racing for many years to come.

Cheers,

Tony Washington

Email: tony.washington@tridot.com

Have a Question For Our Coaches?

Send your question to Our Coaches here.

The Sweat Factor: Maximizing Performance in Triathlon Training

Sweat is part of our body’s physiological response to heat from both internal and external sources often experienced in our triathlon training.

In this post, we’ll explore the reason we sweat, compare the benefits of sweating through exercise versus sauna use, look at differences between saunas and steam rooms, discuss strategies for maximizing the benefits of sweating during exercise, and examine the unique considerations for older athletes with sweating.

Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or a novice competitor, understanding the role of sweating in training can help you reach your peak performance on race day.

Sweat: It’s Personal

Learning about sweating is near and dear to me because I sweat a lot during exercise.

The stares of those around me who notice the puddles of sweat on each side of my stationary bike toward the end of a cycling class still intimidate me. Having seen me sweat during an earlier class, one woman changed bikes after I began setting up one next to her. She admitted she did not want my sweat getting on her; I couldn’t blame her.

And, I will always remember the sloshing sound that came from me as a 30-something woman slapped me on the back during the Lake Lanier Triathlon in Georgia.

Still, people have often told me that my sweating is a “good thing”.

Why Do We Sweat?

Sweating is our body’s natural mechanism for cooling during physical exertion or exposure to heat.

As we engage in exercise or face high temperatures, the brain signals the sweat glands to produce sweat, which evaporates from the skin to dissipate heat and maintain a stable internal temperature. This process, known as thermoregulation, is crucial for preventing overheating and ensuring optimal athletic performance during training and competition.

Related post: Pros and Cons of Running in the Heat

However, according to research published in Biology of Sport, “if heat production exceeds the body’s ability to dissipate it, an athlete’s Tc [core body temperature] will increase, often resulting in a reduction in pace or power output”. Science has proven the relationship between the body’s ability to cool itself and athletic performance.

Which is better: Sweating with exercise or sauna?

Sweating can occur during exercise and while sitting in a sauna. Is one better than the other?

Both offer unique benefits for triathlon training, though they serve different purposes. Exercise-induced sweating not only helps regulate body temperature but also provides cardiovascular benefits, improves endurance, and strengthens muscles.

Saunas provide a passive means of inducing sweat by exposing the body to high temperatures, promoting relaxation, stress relief, and potential detoxification. Surprising me are the many research-based benefits to an athlete of sitting in a sauna after a workout.

This table includes a comparison of the most common types of saunas used by endurance athletes.

Dry (also known as “Finnish sauna”)InfraredSteam
Temperature, typical160°F to 200°F
(70°C to 95°C)
120°F to 150°F
(49°C to 66°C)
110°F to 120°F
(43°C to 49°C)
Relative humidityaround 5%5% to 20% at or near 100%
Main applications for endurance athletes-increase circulation
-detoxify
-increase heat tolerance
-faster recovery and reduced muscle soreness through deeper penetration of heat
-increase circulation within the skin
-open up airways, loosen congestion, and alleviate symptoms of some respiratory conditions
-hydrate the skin
-promote physical and mental relaxation

The best sauna to support your triathlon training hinges on preference, training needs and goals, individual health considerations, and facilities you have available to you. Some athletes may prefer the intense heat and dry environment of a traditional dry sauna, while others may favor the gentle, penetrating heat of an infrared sauna or a moist, steamy environment that can be gentler on the respiratory system and may offer hydration benefits for the skin, especially important during cold, dry winters.

Regardless of the type of sauna used, incorporating sauna sessions into a triathlon training regimen can help athletes optimize performance, enhance recovery, and improve overall well-being.

Remember, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating sauna sessions into your training routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns.

Make The Most of Sweat In Triathlon Training

To maximize the benefits of sweating during exercise, triathletes can employ various strategies:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to replenish fluids lost through sweat and maintain optimal hydration. And while you are hydrating, consider your need for electrolytes.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing to help with sweat evaporation to cool your body during workouts.
  • Choose the right environment: Exercise in well-ventilated areas or outdoors during cooler times of the day to prevent overheating and allow you to sweat longer.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to signs of dehydration or overheating. Adjust intensity or duration as appropriate. Take breaks as needed to prevent heat-related injuries.

Age-Specific Risks And Benefits of Sweating

Aging can affect how older athletes experience and benefit from the sweat in their triathlon training.

Certain risks increase with age. Older athletes may have reduced thermoregulatory efficiency, increasing the risk of overheating and heat-related illnesses during training or competition. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are also common concerns among older athletes, requiring careful attention to hydration and nutrition.

On the other hand, the benefits are significant. Despite age-related changes, regular exercise can help older athletes maintain cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and cognitive function. Sweating during exercise may also promote detoxification, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being in older adults.

Embrace The Sweat

Sweating is integral to triathlon training, facilitating thermoregulation, enhancing performance, and promoting overall health and well-being. By understanding the benefits of sweating, we can choose a course to help build strength and endurance and recover faster and more completely. The ideal approach may involve a combination of exercise and sauna induced sweating.

With a balanced approach to sweating in triathlon training, athletes of all ages can unlock their full potential and excel in their athletic pursuits.

What works for you?

Do you have a preference in the type of sauna you use? Why?

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.