I had been curious for a long time on what it would be to connect yourself to a bunch of cables and get electric muscle stimulation (EMS). This week I finally got around to taking a class. It was a very demanding 20-minute session, with all kinds of exercises involving the arms, core, legs and glutes. It was fun, demanding and weird! Getting all those impulses through the body does not feel very natural.
Although I am not against EMS, I believe that a healthy and strong body should be achieved through constant exercise and proper nutrition. But it seems that people are now turning to “easier” and faster solutions to get into the shape they dream of, and EMS is advertised as the answer to obtain great results in short periods of time.
What is EMS?
EMS stands for Electric Muscle Stimulation. It claims to be a total body workout that employs external electric impulses that are usually mixed up with some cardio and weights to tone the body and lose fat. In some cases, it is used for muscle recovery.
- Maximum efficiency= Maximum results: Normal workouts activate 30% of muscle fibres. When EMS is used, muscular effort is maximised up to 100%. (Read more here)
- Toned body + Fat loss: Over time you lose fat, and that is replaced by muscle. You will supposedly burn more calories during the day because there is an increased muscle activity. (Read more here)
- Quick results: Supposedly training 1-2 times a week during 6 weeks will give you visible results.
- Couch potatoes: It is recommended for people who are not very physically active to help them get back into shape.
Makes me wonder…
- Deep muscles: Are our muscles working in depth? The body needs real foundations for our workouts to give us long term benefits such as in pilates, yoga or running.
- Muscle response: How are our muscles responding to the electrical stimulation? Are they being hurt from the stimuli? Or does it help to recover them?
- Over time: What can be the harm that people will experience in a few years’ time if they abuse this training method?
I would be happy to get some insight from people who are knowledgeable on the subject. Any comments will be deeply appreciated!