What is EMS and should I be doing it?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get all the benefits of a two hour workout in just twenty minutes? Well EMS is the shocking new workout trend that promises just that! Read on to find out more and hear of my experience.

What is EMS Training?
EMS stands for electrical muscle stimulation; in training, a machine delivers electrical pulses that stimulate muscle contraction. Our muscles naturally move through electrical impulses in the body but EMS amplifies those contractions making for a significantly more intense contraction, much more intense than the body could do on its own. It makes exercise even more challenging and can help with better calorie burnings and muscle toning.

Why should I do EMS Training?
EMS is particularly good for elite athletes and rehabilitation but it is becoming increasingly more mainstream amongst the health and fitness community with easily accessible and affordable classes for the masses. EMS is so effective because it strongly stimulates a much larger % of muscle fibres with each contraction and deeper muscles are worked. It is claimed to produce strength improvement 3 x faster than traditional strength training, it burns calories 6 x faster than traditional strength training and you’ll see result 4-5 x faster too! Not bad for a convenient 25 minute gym session.

I recently attended an EMS Full Body Workout with Exerceo Training in Aldgate London through my class pass membership so I’ll talk you through my experience.

Getting ready for EMS Training.
So I turned up to the gym in Aldgate (other gyms are available) and was taken down to a private room full of free weights and a lot of wires. I was given a plain black t-shirt and leggings (not the most flattering outfit) to put on as the suits are quite wet and it saved me getting my nice gym outfit wet!

After I was all changed, I was strapped in to the electrical suit. It’s kind of difficult to describe but I’d say it was like a life jacket with wires attached that covered your upper arms and torso and then match shorts that covered down to the knees and up to your hips – including the booty muscles, ideal. The suit was wet and cold so I’m glad I didn’t keep my Lululemon’s on! I was then hooked up to the machine with long wires and then ready to start my workout.

Doing the EMS workout.
What was so great about this session was that it was 1:1 so it was essentially a personal training session. It was about 25 minutes long and we did 4 blocks of exercises, each consisting of 3 sets of 3 exercises at a work rate of about 20s on, 10s off and longer 20 second breaks between exercises and 30 second breaks between blocks. Just in case that sounds confusing, I’ve put my interpretation of it in a table below (also very useful tool for planning your HiiT workouts – you’re welcome!):

The rest was relatively low, the pace was fast and the exercises were made harder with kettlebells, plates, dumbbells and bosu balls…..and the fact that I was being electrocuted throughout the duration of the exercises! It was definitely not an easy workout, I was breathing heavy, I was aching, and I was sweaty and red. It genuinely felt like a long, tough HiiT class!

My instructor was great for encouraging me, keeping my form in check and giving me a much appreciated countdown to when I could rest again! I finished the class with 3 minutes of lying down, no exercise, but a higher intensity of electrical current. It felt a little bit strange, like a very low-level, voluntary torture, but it wasn’t so bad and I could really feel my muscles working.

The Aftermath of EMS Training.
Straight after the class, I got unplugged from the machine, stepped out of my soggy clothes and shakily made my way over to the changing room to get back in to my own clothes. My muscles definitely had that immediate ache that comes with a tough resistance training session but I didn’t quite feel the endorphin high I normally get from a super intense HiiT class. Plus, as I was buy myself, I couldn’t chitchat about the class afterwards haha.

As I write this today, 24h post workout, I can tell you that I really, really feel like it worked. The DOMs have hit me hard! My glutes and triceps are particularly sore – potentially because they’re quite a difficult area to isolate fully/I don’t work my arms enough – and I can definitely feel a good ache through my abs and back too. I’m waiting for the 48h DOMs to kick in because I normally feel much more sore on day 2 post-workout…..I’ll keep you posted!

Would I recommend EMS Training?
From my one experience of EMS Training I would say yes, definitely give it a go! What’ve you got to lose?! The science behind it makes me hopeful of some promising results and it’s such a quick and convenient class to do too. I’ll definitely be going back!

What do you think of EMS training, have you done it, did you enjoy it? Or if you hadn’t heard of it but now read my post, do you think you’ll give it a go? I’m interested to hear your opinions!

Indigo Alice ❤

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