Photo by ŞULE MAKAROĞLU on Unsplash
You may have seen these new trendy training methods all over your Instagram feed promising to get leaner and more fit in the same time that it usually takes you to warm up. With claims of being the future of fitness and to be 150 times more intense than regular workouts, EMS training is really starting to get some exposure.
What on earth is EMS training?
Having carried out some research, our brain sends electrical signals to the muscles telling it to contract. So, the idea is that by being attached to these pads, the contractions make you use more of the muscle when you are working out allowing you to burn more fat and build more muscle. Essentially you are making your muscles work harder than it already is.
One of the biggest benefits of this training is that it can be used literally anywhere including your sofa or the comfort of your kitchen. You can even wear it under your work clothes and switch it on while you are going through your emails in the morning.
Obviously, we are not sure if you can wear it while you are bench pressing 200kg, however, you can combine this with your normal workout routine to increase effectiveness and intensity.
What are the benefits of EMS training?
There have been a wide range of studies done to see whether there are genuine benefits to using this form of training and the results so far suggest the following:
- Effectively build muscle and strength
- Reducing body fat
- Rehabilitation such as reduction in back pain
Tests have shown that results among women showed significant reduction and tightening in the waist and thigh region while for men, a common result were noticeable gains in the glutes and arms.
What does it feel like?
Now, the thought of being buzzed at high intensities may not be many peoples cup of tea. However, one thing we noticed straightaway is that it is not all that painful and after just 20 minutes of not moving at all, you feel like your muscles have had a good workout. The TitanTone EMS muscle stimulator states that a short workout with its equipment is the equivalent of doing 30 minutes of swimming or 300 sit-ups. Not bad considering you can do this while sitting on the sofa.
Is EMS safe?
Again, a common thought among the average user when first coming across EMS is whether being shocked is safe for your body. The equipment uses low electric impulses which are completely safe. What people do not realise is that our bodies already produce an electrical stimulus through our central nervous system which goes to the fibres of your muscles.
Therefore, the EMS technology just reinforces this and makes the workouts way more efficient by contracting more of the muscle fibres. You will have seen videos of professional athletes uses those for wide range of purposes like for building strength but also for rehabilitation and recovery.
One thing we do recommend though is that people who are thinking of using this form of training to have a basic background in sports or working out. If you are not at all an active person then it has been recommended that you first begin conventional workouts and get your body accustomed to physical stimulus. This is to not only prepare for the external electrical impulses but also because the EMS workouts are short and intense.
Can everyone use EMS?
Now, although the idea of working out without lifting a weight sounds amazing, as with any form of training, you should always listen to your body. There are certain cases where EMS training is not recommended for an individual.
Any women who are pregnant should not undertake any ems training. This is probably quite an obvious one, however, this is a fantastic form of training for post childbirth when it comes to regression and body firming.
People with existing conditions or heart problems should consult a doctor before undertaking any form of EMS training. Typically, the technology allows you to select different intensities for your program so you should be fine on lower intensities, however, we recommend to speak with someone first as you may set the intensities to too high.
There have been reports about problems with kidneys and the importance of staying hydrated as this form of training produces increased amount of creatine kinase. This is what gives your muscles energy and is produced 10x more than with conventional training. The increased production of this enzyme can sometimes lead to kidney damage and that is why it is usually recommended that this form of training is completed only one or twice a week.
With the growing interest in EMS training and the wide range of ads claiming that you can get the body you want in just 20 minutes and while at home on the sofa, it is no surprise that this form of training is gaining popularity. The fact that this has been endorsed by the like of Usain Bolt and Cristiano Ronaldo means that major sporting superstars are using this for high performance.
But also remember that it is not a secret sauce! If you are a couch potato and have been for many years, this is not going to turn you into a fitness model or football superstar in just a month. It still requires dedication and a good diet to see results.