WHAT IS ELECTRIC MUSCLE STIMULATION?
Electro-myo-stimulation, otherwise known as electric muscle stimulation or EMS, is a system that uses an electric current, measured in microamps, to directly stimulate and contract the muscle. This method helps to achieve strong and intense muscle contractions which are not possible with conventional strength or endurance training. With EMS training, free weights are not required.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A TRAINING SESSION?
Each 20-minute sessions starts with electrodes being fastened across the bigger muscle groups of the body, to help induce a strong and intense muscle contraction. During training, the participant will experience four-second long impulses which activate the muscles, followed by resting periods of equal length. While training, the participant will perform a set of dynamic exercises and movements which will improve the efficiency of the workout.
A feature of the EMS device is that every electrode can be individually controlled, allowing for specific and isolated targeting of the muscles. This allows for customized workouts to suit the participant.
At the start of the workout, the device will be set to a low level intensity. As the workout proceeds, the device is adjusted by the personal trainer to suit the variety of exercises being performed, therefore allowing flexibility with each participant’s training needs.
HOW DO I PREPARE BEFORE EMS TRAINING?
Before going to your EMS training it is important to take a meal that is rich in proteins and slow-release carbohydrates about 2 or 3 hours before your session. This allows for the body to be prepared and encourages quick recovery. In addition, it is suggested to drink at least 500ml of water 30 to 45 minutes before the start of the session to keep hydration levels where they need to be. Fruit juices should be avoided, in addition to caffeine and alcohol due to their diuretic properties.
WHAT DO I FOCUS ON DURING THE TRAINING?
Your personal trainer is there to guide you through the exercises, so it is recommended you follow their instructions to avoid any joint problems or injury. As each person reacts to the intensity of the impulses differently, it is important that the participant communicates with the trainer if an impulse rate is too weak or too intense. The trainer can then modify the impulse rate for the participant to encourage efficient muscle stimulation.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TRAIN?
Each training session lasts only 20 minutes. It is suggested only one, or maximum two sessions per week, are required to make full use of the EMS system. A two day break is required between sessions, at a minimum, to allow for the body’s recovery. Post workout, the body’s metabolism will be heightened, and will continue to work at this heightened level for the next two days. Results may vary from one participant to the next due to the intensity of stimulation and the exercises suggested by the personal trainer. This training is suitable for muscle gain, toning and weight loss, and rehabilitation.
WILL I LOSE WEIGHT WITH EMS?
Yes, weight loss is a natural result of EMS training due to the increase in metabolic rate during and post exercise. EMS training allows for increased muscle activity which aids in a higher caloric burn and an increase to the basal metabolic rate. Of course, it is recommended to follow a balanced and healthy diet to ensure weight loss occurs in a safe and gradual manner.
DOES EMS TRAINING HURT?
The answer is no. As the electric impulses are distributed across the surface of the electric pads and not located in one single point, there are no sharp pains or kicks to be felt.
IS EMS TRAINING SAFE?
Yes, 100%. The EMS system uses low frequency current to stimulate the muscles, and can be increased or decreased to suit the participant’s needs. The EMS system is safe, efficient, and uses at least 90% of muscle compared to conventional workouts.
WILL THE ELECTRIC CURRENT HARM MY HEART?
No. The electric current does not reach the organs, the heart, or other muscle tissues. It is a low frequency impulse that stimulates the striated skeletal muscles only. It is advised not to use the system if you have heart conditions, including those fitted with a pacemaker.
HOW SOON WILL I SEE RESULTS?
As with all exercise and weight loss, positive results go hand in hand with a healthy diet and lifestyle. If regular training is combined with healthy eating, results can be seen in as little as 5 to 6 sessions. Failure to follow a healthy diet will of course prolong the desired results. It is suggested to follow a protein rich diet which includes four small meals a day. Our team of professional nutritionists and personal trainers will assist you in developing a simple, easy to follow diet which will help you achieve your goals much quicker. Combining the right foods and the right exercise means you are that much closer to success.
CAN ANYONE DO EMS TRAINING?
EMS training has been scientifically proven to be effective for people of different age groups and different physical fitness levels.
This means a performance athlete with many years of training experience can train next to a person who has been physically inactive for many years.
However, certain medical conditions are known to be contraindications and EMS training is not recommended in certain cases.
For some medical conditions, a doctor’s consent may be needed and suitability for the training needs to be assessed on an individual basis. Medical conditions requiring assessment before commencing EMS training include the following*:
Circulatory disorders, acute stroke, stent, thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases (i.e. arteriosclerosis), Bleeding, bleeding tendency or haemophilia, Diabetes mellitus, Abdominal wall hernia or inguinal hernia, Severe neurological disorders (i.e. epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc.), Acute operation (within 8 weeks, depending on individual case)
*NOTE: the above list is not exhaustive. If you have any medical condition which could be affected by EMS training, it is your responsibility to inform your trainer and doctor so an appropriate assessment can be made before commencing with EMS training.