In the name of experimentation, I decided to try a workout that I’ve heard so much about but was (full disclosure) a little scared of. As you guys know, I am my own guinea pig so I decided to give this a go and see what happened. Here’s the deal:
EMS stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation. It is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electrical impulses.
Basically, it means you get to put on a cool suit where you look like you belong in Spy Kids and do a 20-minute workout that is as effective as a week of strength training.
I will start off by saying that this workout was NOT what I expected. In my mind, I visualized that this suit would just add a ton of resistance to all of your movements making them 10x hard.
This was not what it was like at all. In fact, I felt like the suit and electrical current actually helped my movements. Let’s start from the beginning…
I did my training at Whole Life Balance (the space that I also work at as a Holistic Nutritionist) and I brought my mom along with me because I swear she is as strong as Wonder Woman.
We were given lil matching black outfits and sprayed down with water (this conducts the electrical current). Next, we were suited up. And I mean SUITED up. Like seriously this thing feels like robotic Spanx! Not in an uncomfortable way – just snug and secured.
Next, Stephanie our trainer hooked us up to a machine and started the current.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE?
Contrary to my initial belief that this was going to feel like aggressive resistance, it actually felt like a speedy vibration all through your legs, abs and glutes.
You know that feeling when you’re in a workout and your muscles start to shake (as they turn on and off), well EMS targets specific muscles to do that extremely fast so you are building muscle very quickly and efficiently. The vibration took a little getting used to but after about 2 minutes I was loving it.
We each did a 20-minute workout of squats, kickbacks, some flexion abdominal work and finally – planking. To be honest I didn’t even really feel like I was working out until I looked in the mirror and saw how red my face was! I take that as a measure of fun fitness – when you don’t even think about how hard your working and are just super focused on the movement.
WHAT DOES EMS DO FOR THE BODY?
First and foremost, it builds muscle. But not just any muscle, targeted muscle. For example, anyone who has a hard time activating their glute muscles will find this really useful. It forces your body to do the right muscle to do the job – making this and other workouts you do more effective.
It improves posture. This is because the suit also stimulates all those small stabilizing muscles up and down your spinal cord! (ones that very rarely get stimulated). So, it can help with better postural strength and spinal tension.
Helps with toning. It is super effective for toning your muscles and getting sculpted – fast! There are a couple people I know of who have been doing it 2x a week for 4 weeks (in combination with other exercise) and already see lots of abdominal definition.
Helps to balance out the muscular system. We’re human, we all have muscles that like to take over for the weaker ones to make our lives easier. EMS helps those weaker muscles become stronger (as well as takes pressure off your joints).
WHO SHOULD DO EMS?
If you’re curious about it, I’d say give it a shot! I think EMS is most effective when done in combination with other workouts. This is not a magic pill that you can take and never have to another work out again, it’s just a part of a balanced lifestyle. If you’re a very busy individual and a 20-minute workout sounds appealing to you then awesome go for it. If you’re a mom and you don’t have tons of time to yourself, go for it. If you want faster results in your training, the trainer I worked with said that EMS sessions in combination with cardio will give your body the fastest results.
Was I sore? ohhhh YEAH. Could barely sit down for the next 2 days. Maybe I’m kind of crazy but I love being sore after a workout because it solidifies that I was workin’ hard. Also, it was worth it because I honestly felt so good afterwards. To quote my mother when I texted her the next day saying “I can’t walk” she responded, “my muscles feel ALIVE!” so thanks mom for that positive spin! I told you guys she’s like Wonder Woman.