A new workout style is taking off across the world, and no it’s not a jazzercise resurgence…
Electrical Muscular Stimulation technology or EMS has been used for decades as a medical treatment and diagnosis tool for a variety of disorders. Recently, it’s popularity as a weight loss and toning workout tool has risen dramatically with suppliers of the style popping up everywhere.
What is EMS?
EMS technology is the use of electrodes placed on the skin in order to isolate, contract and stimulate the corresponding muscle. In strength training, EMS can allow muscles to be activated and stressed far beyond the level of traditional workouts.
EMS is commonly used for rehabilitation of patients who are partially or completely immobilised, as well as being an evaluation tool for muscular and neural function. Its use as a complementary strength training tool for athletes is where the idea of commercialising EMS workouts grew from.
With athletes like Usain Bolt publically stating the use of EMS in their workouts, how couldn’t this workout take off! Companies who provide to gyms, trainers and directly to customers claim that their EMS products:
- “Increase strength beyond your natural limits”
- “Increase your strength by 20% in 3 weeks”
- “Break through your training plateaus”
EMS: a Fad or the future?
Now, these claims are all somewhat correct…under the strict supervision of medical practitioners, doctors and specialists in EMS usage. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most orders of EMS online or in personal training studios around the world. Statements like “get ripped while watching TV”, or “train for 30 minutes and see results” are just simply inaccurate.
Furthermore, the FDA rejects all claims that EMS can help with weight loss at all. The calories burned during EMS sessions are minimal, and results in almost no effect on stimulating metabolic condition; a key product of exercise for weight loss. Additionally, the use of EMS alone delivers close to none of the additional benefits exercise provides.
Instead of looking for a quick fix to strength training or weight loss, approach your workouts a long term commitment to your overall health. Remember that you don’t need complicated machines and electric pulses to improve your fitness or quality of life!