I've been meaning to write a post about my experience with EMS for some time now because it’s a topic I’ve received many questions about since posting about it on Instagram. The most asked question of course is, does it actually work. Well, as with any fitness program or eating plan, how effective it will be mainly depends on your level of commitment. But assuming that you manage to make the 20 minute a week session, these are the results you can expect.
What is it?
EMS stands for Electro Muscle Stimulation. Basically you're put into a specialised suit which has electrodes on the inside over certain muscle groups and when the training begins these electrodes stimulate your muscles in a way that builds muscle.
When you arrive for the training you're put into a suit which kind of makes you look like you’re about to step into some awesome Call of Duty VR experience but what you might not know is that the suit is actually sprayed wet just before you get into it. The reason for this is the electro pulse cannot be conducted when the suit is dry. So the wetter the suit, the more effective the pulse. This is not so bad during summer time but during winter time I’d say you have to be pretty motivated to get that muscle to put yourself through the cold.
The entire session is 20mins long, that’s usually made up of about 4 or 5 minutes of cardio training, 10 to 12 minutes of working out and then a cool down with some stretching at the end. The cardio pulse feels kind of like a tingling sensation followed by a muscle building pulse which is a more intense feeling of your muscles being contracted then relaxed. The feeling alternates between 2 seconds of the pulse then nothing. Throughout these pulses you have a trainer instructing you through the workout.
Does it work?
For me personally, I lost 1.5 kilograms within the first two weeks. I noticed that by the third session the trainer would show me a movement that I would think I could not do but when I tried it, I could do the exercise easily. It’s as though my muscles were developing at a more rapid rate than I was aware of. Keep in mind that our bodies run on electricity in any case so the way I'd feel after a workout would go from sometimes feeling so alert and awake as I left the building, to sometimes feeling so tired that I would pass out from exhaustion after a session.
The feeling of the muscle stimulation also left me with the sensation of "buzzing" to the extent that I wouldn’t have an appetite for up to six hours after, which for me is quite an accomplishment. For some people they experience the opposite effect where they are starving after their training and want to eat everything in sight. In terms of the danger factor, pregnant women and people who suffer from chronic illnesses or muscle conditions are not allowed to do EMS but for everyone else its totally safe with no side effects.
Give it a try at these ems venues:
Full Circle Body
My 30 minutes
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Have fun Xx