WINDHOEK - I heard about electro muscular stimulation (EMS) for the first time over two months ago when a fitness trainer encouraged me to try it.
“It will be good for you,” he insisted with a smile.
I hesitantly agreed but within the same week, the fitness trainer connected me with the managing director of Body 20 studio, Daphne Sam, for a twenty-minute full body EMS workout session.
Twenty minutes for a full body workout? That’s too good to be true, I thought to myself. So, about two to three weeks later, exactly a month ago on August 10, I walked into the Body 20 studio with my colleague, Lucie Mouillaud, an intern from France.
The fitness instructor immediately directed us to the changing rooms and handed us our training gear – skintight black lycra – and explained that we couldn’t wear them with underwear.
Lucie and I looked at each other without saying a word, before I interrupted our silence with a question just to make sure whether I understood him correctly: “So we must remove our bras?”
The instructor explained that we couldn’t wear underwear with lycra in an EMS workout session because the electrodes need to make full contact with the skin to be effective. In fact, it’s better not to train with a bra to avoid discomfort, especially with the wire bras, Sam expanded on the instructor’s explanation.
Next, it was time for us to get on the body composition analyser which captured data such as weight, body mass index and visceral fat.
The instructor explained that this would help them to advise us on choosing healthier lifestyles based on our individual indicators.
He then gave us a wet jacket with electrodes and straps and assisted us with putting it on.
The electrode jacket we wore targeted the glutes, chest, abdomen, upper back, lower back and hamstrings, the instructor said.
Then it was time for us to work out, but before that he had to connect the straps to the machine.
The electrodes on my skin would send currents through the muscles while working out with basic movements such as squats and lunges to be effective.
Each time I felt the sensation I had to do the basic movements as per the instructor’s direction (instruction).
It is hard for me to describe the sensation I felt each time my muscles contracted but it felt as though someone was tickling me, which caused me to giggle almost every time. Yet it felt relieving each time the contractions stopped.
We concluded our session with relaxation therapy and afterwards put the workout gear in a laundry basket where they would be washed. Sam emphasised that hygiene is essential in the Body 20 studio.
And, after the twenty-minute workout I felt as though I had spent an entire day in a gym and just as Sam had warned me before and after the session, I spent the entire weekend experiencing pain – the aftermath of a twenty-minute workout session.
Sam explained after the session that EMS is a full body training, using impulse current. “In everyday life our central nervous system constantly sends electrical impulses to control our muscle action. EMS mimics this natural principle and is able to intensify this process to reach deeper muscle layers, which can be difficult to activate through conventional training,” said Sam.
This is achieved by applying EMS electrodes to the skin, directly above the muscle. “EMS can simply be explained as an elective external intensification of electrical stimuli,” added Sam.
She said that with EMS one gains the best results if one actively works out while using the EMS device.
“Muscles are additionally stimulated through the electrodes when doing a series of low impact exercises. This combined training method leads to an additional increase of tension thereby producing highly effective training results. Your personal trainer can control each muscle group by adjusting the training intensity to meet your individual goals. A single, Body 20 workout delivers the benefit of four hours of conventional weight training sessions,” Sam explained.
She said depending on a person’s level of fitness and desired goals, training sessions will be either low impact, with basic exercises to awaken muscles, or high impact, with strong contractions and dynamic exercises to activate deep muscle hyperthrophy.
But how safe is EMS, I asked Sam. “EMS has been proven to be completely safe, providing excellent results with minimum impact on joints and ligaments,” she responded. There are no age restrictions but anyone under 18 will need their parents or guardian’s permission, she added. “There are a few contra-indications like pregnancy, pacemaker, neurological disorders and acute injury that will make EMS not safe for you,” she said.
2018-09-10 10:20:09 7 months ago