“To break down the finer details of Electro Muscular Stimulation (EMS) in words would be to try to explain what a contraction is to someone who’s never given birth before,” I thought to myself as I reflected post-training. I know, not the cutest analogy [chuckles].
Days leading up to my first-ever EMS training at Body20 Kyalami, I fought the urge to read up too much on what the session would entail. I wanted to arrive with no expectations, and leave enough room to be surprised.
Three things immediately stood out about Body20. The studio is intimate — perfect if, just like me, you find conventional gym settings intimidating. A personal trainer comes standard with every package, meaning there’ll be someone on hand to ‘gently’ nudge you when your body begs you to drop the ball. Lastly, each session takes up to 20 minutes — YAY to a full body workout in minimal time!
Following a quick tour of the cosy premises, and some standard paperwork, I changed out of my regular gym ’fit then stepped onto the InBody Assessment scale. It’s basically a biometric analysis of your weight, body composition, height and BMI that gives valuable insights into your health and wellness before each session. The results also help your trainer map out a workout plan that aligns perfectly with your fitness goals.
What To Expect
Then came time to be strapped into a thoroughly sanitised, and wet EMS suit. The damper the skin, the stronger the connection to your muscles, shared my trainer. “Is this your first time? Don’t worry, you won’t get electrocuted,” offers a Body20 client who’d just wrapped up their session, perhaps reading the uncertainty on my face. Still, I proceeded with an open mind.
After the suit and straps had been connected to my body, then came time to plug into the booster machine and run a quick test. The impulse moves through whatever targeted muscles with an intensity that can be likened to being woken up with cold water on your face! Another silly analogy [chuckles]. As I carefully followed the trainer’s instructions, pushing against the strong impulse with each move, I couldn’t help but think: “I would still choose EMS training over treadmills and lifting weights.”
So, it’s no lie when they say: one EMS workout is the equivalent of four hours at the gym. Though the training is intense, it’s certainly not unbearable — even for someone with an inconsistent fitness regimen like myself. Lastly, a session of thorough stretching at home afterwards won’t leave you with week-long aches and pains.
More On Body20
Below are some FAQs that will help make your Body20 experience easy-peasy!
Does EMS training hurt?
In short, no. A certain level of intensity needs to be applied for conventional gym training to be effective, right? EMS is pretty much the same. While the 20-minute sessions can be described as gruelling or intense, they are by no means unbearable. Remember this: To reach your body goals, you have to push past that point of comfort!
Is it a legitimate workout?
Absolutely! EMS is by far the most time-efficient and effective workout out there. No other form of training (running, weightlifting, swimming, CrossFit etc.) can achieve the same results within, just, 20 to 40 minutes weekly. Whether you’re a time-strapped professional looking to save yourself some hours or a recreational/professional athlete looking to enhance your performance, Body20’s Progressive EMS training programmes are tailored to your fitness aspirations.
Should I supplement EMS with conventional exercise?
It all depends on your fitness goals. It’s totally realistic to see good results from it. Many people sign up with Body20 because they are overwhelmed by conventional gym environments, or their lifestyle is just not conducive, time wise, for much exercise — hence the recommended one to two 20-minute sessions a week are ideal.
When can I expect to see results?
Generally speaking, you will notice the effects within the first month. A Body20 trainer will track your body composition — muscle, fat, water and minerals — using state-of-the-art Inbody Assessments. Regular fitness tests are implemented to highlight physical performance improvements, and all this info is kept in your personal file. As part of the membership perks, Body20 offers a Nutrition Doctor service run by registered dieticians, to help clients introduce the necessary nutritional changes to their lifestyles.
Is EMS safe?
Totally! EMS has been used in therapy for decades, and as a training method in Germany since 2007. There are over 3000 operational EMS studios in Germany alone, which has some of the strictest health and safety regulations in the world. There are no long-term identified side effects other than improved physical health and well-being, and all regulations are adhered to. Clients are required to complete a mandatory health and fitness profile at the start of their memberships. This helps Body20 trainers identify any possible contraindications and acquire medical approval if necessary.
Is EMS expensive?
All memberships are inclusive of the EMS technology-driven training, tailored one-on-one personal training in each session, Nutrition Doctor services, Inbody body composition assessments, and ongoing results tracking and regular feedback.
For sign up details and more info, visit www.body20.co.za