What is EMS training?
EMS training (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) is the effect on the muscles of a device or simulator that sends weak electrical signals through electrodes attached to the surface of the skin. In fact, an apparatus for electrical muscle stimulation generates impulses similar to real muscle contractions when performing strength exercises.
Advertising simulators and reviews of training studios EMS promises to create strong muscles and a tightened athletic body in only 20 minutes of training three times a week, and home EMS belts for the press “guarantee” relief cubes without grueling twists. It is enough to put on this electric belt while watching TV, while you do not need to download the press with exercises.
Unfortunately, the evidence base for EMS training is highly controversial. Even if the method of myostimulation can increase muscle tone, in most cases, training advertising significantly overestimates the advantages (especially for losing weight and fighting cellulite) - and never speaks of the minuses, possible harm and contraindications. In turn, home EMS exercise machines for the press are rather just a toy.
Who invented EMS?
The history of myostimulants began in the 18th century, when researchers found that a weak electric current can provoke contractions of a certain muscle in the human body. In the 1960s, Soviet scientists announced that they had developed innovative training mechanics for professional athletes, allowing them to increase the strength of their muscles by a substantial 40% (1) .
Later it turned out that it was more about special rehabilitation and rehabilitation therapy, and not at all about the method of increasing strength and muscle mass in healthy athletes. Then, in the 1970s, Germany began to use the technique of electrical muscle stimulation in physiotherapy and accelerated recovery of athletes. The first EMS training studios also appeared in Germany - Bodytec and Miha.
EMS trainer customer reviews
As for the feedback on the direct operation of such equipment and the sensations during EMS training, most people note noticeable readings. Impulse currents seem to compress the body from all sides, forcing the muscles to contract. Resisting them is quite difficult, so even simple physical exercises become a test. During training, the pulse quickens, breathing may be lost.
Note that the cost of a professional EMS simulator can amount to hundreds of thousands of rubles - this pushes sellers to the methods of "black" Internet marketing, which consists in publishing fake reviews. In no other Fitseven material do we observe such a high activity of "joyful customers" who tell in detail how they are pleased with their muscles and lean body.
How do EMS workouts
As a rule, one full-fledged training in the EMS studio lasts about 20-30 minutes. A man wears a special suit with electrodes, and the trainer controls the power of electric pulses for each part of the body, based on the sensations and endurance of the trainee. Then the simplest physical exercises are performed for various parts of the body - squats, bending and unbending arms, swinging to the sides and so on.
The final stage of the training is lymphatic drainage massage, during which you only need to lie down and enjoy pleasant tingling sensations.
Training is carried out 2-3 times a week.
Real reviews about EMS
Below are real reviews about EMS stimulators and simulators left by Fitseven readers. You can also share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Being a physiotherapist, I repeatedly encountered complications from pulsed currents in women of all ages and young girls - life-threatening bleeding from the uterus (rupture of the corpus luteum) arose. It has now been convincingly proved that, even in the absence of contraindications, ladies and girls cannot carry out such procedures.
After 4 workouts, a fluid formed above the patella, and by the evening the knee was completely swollen. I went to the emergency room and the doctor said that because of the heavy load on the body, he generally forbade such training, everyone has a different body and it is not known how he will react to such training.
Firstly, electrical stimulation on an ongoing basis adversely affects the heart; secondly - external stimulation is not a neural impulse, the muscle works without communication with the brain, where is the generation of stereotypes of movement ?; thirdly - they take anybody to the position of trainers in these studios (look at the ads though on a headhunter); fourthly, this trend is for the lazy and who supposedly do not have time for full-fledged training and the desire to splurge with their own body.
EMS Training Pros and Cons
The first commercial EMS individual training devices appeared in the United States in the late 1990s. Manufacturers tried to give their products and the method of myostimulation for the press as much credibility as possible, organizing all kinds of scientific congresses and developing intricate certification methods for the equipment they produced themselves - but without real scientific support.
In one of the attempts of such certifications, the wording “a device for losing weight and losing weight” was used - however, the regulatory authorities categorically rejected it as misleading. As a result, EMS received certification as a method of treating muscle atrophy and relieving cramps in bedridden patients, but not as a technique for muscle growth or improving body contours (2) .
EMS Belt for the press - does it work?
A separate area of EMS technology is home exercise machines and belts for creating a raised press. Intrusive advertising and numerous reviews of "happy customers" promise fat burning, instant drawing of cubes, getting rid of cellulite and other positive effects. It is enough to buy this belt and watch TV in it - and the stomach will go away by itself.
Unfortunately, most homemade EMS press belts are just a low-quality toy from an unnamed manufacturer. Even with careful use, they fail literally in the second week. We also note that such a belt must be “glued” to the skin with the help of replaceable gel pads or even paper tape - which means that the stomach will have to be shaved.
EMS: contraindications and harm
We also note that the EMS training methodology has a serious list of contraindications - from pregnancy to the presence of a number of chronic diseases - including any circulatory disorders, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney failure, cancer, and so on. Among other things, there are risks in the presence of a common cold.
A separate group of contraindications for electrical stimulation includes people who have pacemakers and other devices for correcting heart rhythm, as well as people who have suffered bone fractures, sprains, or any damage to the skin in the recent past. However, when selling a subscription to an EMS training studio, they often “forget” to warn about this.
Despite the fact that EMS training can be effective for bedridden and paralyzed patients, they are not able to affect either muscle growth, or weight loss and noticeable fat burning, or getting rid of stretch marks, cellulite or any other improvement in body contours. In addition, the EMS method has a substantial list of contraindications and is not recommended even for severe colds.
Manufacturers of EMS simulators have repeatedly been fined for false advertising and misleading promises that the myostimulation technique can replace strength training and create an “iron press with absolutely no effort and without a drop of spilled sweat” (3) . At the same time, most of the enthusiastic reviews on the Internet are most likely a fake, commissioned by manufacturers.
EMS training increases muscle tone exclusively in untrained people and in paralyzed patients, without affecting either fat burning or getting rid of cellulite. It is also important that manufacturers of such equipment have been repeatedly fined for misleading advertising that EMS simulators are capable of “building muscle without effort”.
- Russian electrical stimulation: the early experiments, source
- FDA: Import Alert 89-01, source
- FTC Charges Three Top-selling Electronic Abdominal Exercise Belts with Making False Claims, source