Would you get zapped with electric pulses in an effort to get in shape?
It might sound like a new form of torture, but EMS – electrical muscle stimilation – is fast becoming a major trend in the world of fitness, with more studios popping up all over London.
EMS training targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously through electrical pulses, upping the impact of any movement you make for the ultimate full body workout.
Say a traditional works out just a few of your muscles at a time. With EMS, you’d up the engagement, using more muscles at a time to increase the intensity of your exercise.
All this is why proponents say a 20-minute EMS workout is the equivalent of 90 minutes of intense exercise.
So, a time-saving way to go even harder at the gym. Is it worth trying?
I put EMS training to the test at Kensington-based E-Pulsive studio, one of the first gyms in London to introduce this radical new approach to health and fitness, founded by Eladio de Leon and Mario Kaspers.
Fusing traditional HIIT techniques with hard science and pressed schedules, the integrative approach to fitness makes everything from strength training to spot-toning that little bit easier.
A session at E-Pulsive is around 20 minutes long and uses high intensity, high interval training (HIIT).
I went in apprehensive (getting electric shocked sounds quite painful…) and not knowing what to expect.
And I’ll be honest: the first electrical pulse did feel like a proper shock. It’s jarring, but you do get used to it with surprising speed, and the trainer is there to talk you through the movements and ensure you don’t panic about the sensation.
Each movement is carefully coordinated to the rhythm of the electric pulses, ensuring every move you make is delivering the best possible results.
You hold each pose for around 20 seconds, which might sound easy, but requires a lot of focus – the electricity makes even simple positions feel much tougher.
My first session I moved in between the electrical pulses and my second session I moved during the pulses.
The different style of training targets different things – holding the pose when the electrical pulse is going off is to target strength and weight loss. Moving during the electrical pulses is to tone up also tightens the skin and increases strength.
By my third and fourth session I was really into being electrocuted and tried to increase the electrical pulses to the limit for maximum result.
After each session, I walked away feeling the burn – but the next day I felt strong and energised. I’d strongly suggest following up each session with a trip to the cryotherapy chamber to fully relax the muscles.
E-Pulsive’s founder, Eladio, recommends doing an EMS workout once a week in addition to your regular exercise routine – or two a week if you just don’t have time for normal gym sessions.
He claims that if you combine this with a healthy lifestyle, changes can be seen after four sessions, and over a 12-week period, you can see 9% body fat loss and a 30% increase in strength.
If you fancy trying out an EMS workout for yourself, you can book private and partner sessions starting from £50. Initial consultations last 45 minutes in total where the trainer will discuss lifestyle, goals and potential injuries followed by a fully customised 20-minute EMS workout.
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