If you are one of the many thousands of South Africans who have attended a conventional gym in the hope that the abdominal crunches and weight training would transform you into an Adonis or an Aphrodite, only to drop out, you can be forgiven any cynicism regarding a possible quicker alternative. It is quite possible that you found that the main obstacle to your success was finding the necessary time to keep up the lengthy and frequent sessions that soon proved to be necessary, if you were ever going to realise your goal.
Alternatively, you may have found the programme to be too taxing, based on your age or your fitness level. An experienced trainer will normally make every effort to design a programme that matches one’s abilities, but given our typically sedentary modern lifestyles, even this can prove to be too challenging for many of us. How is it possible, then, that Body20 studios are able to provide a top fitness training programme that actually saves you time? Furthermore, how is it possible to build the body you want, without the need to engage in the punishing routines that have so long been an essential feature of a conventional resistance training programme?
The answer to both of these questions is to be found in the innovative fitness technology known as electro-muscular stimulation (most often abbreviated to EMS). While its introduction into the public domain is relatively recent, the technology first emerged in the ‘60s, when sports doctors in the Soviet Union used it as a form of strength training for its elite athletes, some 10 years prior to its adoption by western nations. Although less sophisticated than the equipment used for this purpose today, many of those subjected to EMS experienced up to 40% of an increase in muscular power. Another use of EMS that emerged during the same period was to help injured sportsmen to regain their former mobility and strength.
Today, advances in this technology have broadened its scope. Electro-muscular stimulation is now widely used by top fitness studios, such as Body20, who provide effective, personalised training programmes that can save up to 80% of the time normally required to achieve the same results when following a conventional exercise programme. These programmes may be used either with or without weights, and are adapted to suit subjects of all ages and fitness levels.
Electrodes positioned above the targeted muscle groups deliver a pulsed electrical charge that causes an involuntary contraction identical to that required to perform physical exercise, such as lifting weights. However, because the current produces multiple contractions, a 20-minute EMS session is the equivalent of around four hours spent pumping iron.