Whether you’re a seasoned professional in fitness or are just looking to elevate your routine, EMS training can be intriguing. What do those high-tech suits do? Can they really boost your training? All that and more, right here. Plus, we took EMS training for a spin with the brand new BodyTec SYMBIONT system, which offers deeper insights from your workout in real-time.
First, let’s look at the basics of EMS training.
What is EMS training?
EMS, or Electro Muscle Stimulation, is a novel way to get your muscles working. As you’re doing basic exercise moves, you’re plugged into a suit with low-level electrical impulses that are sent directly to your muscles for deeper activation than you’d get with weights. “EMS technology allows for up to 90% of muscles to be activated simultaneously with the contractions reaching a much higher intensity than those done voluntarily,” says Sandra Leyck, Co-Founder and spokesperson for BodyTec.
Is EMS training a tough workout?
You’ll find yourself sweating while doing something really basic, like bending down into a squat. That’s because your muscles are working that much harder than when you’re using just your bodyweight or even with weights added, per some studies.
Does EMS training burn fat?
As with any exercise, EMS training targets your muscles. Muscles don’t burn fat directly, but they require energy to maintain. By growing muscle groups, you allow them to burn more calories. Since BodyTec’s EMS training suit targets all the major muscle areas, including the back, arms, legs, butt and abs, you’re working all the major muscle groups, allowing them to grow and fire up their fat-burning potential.
Why just one session a week?
Your muscles, which are heavily activated during the workout (reportedly more than in traditional workouts) need rest to recover. For this reason, it’s recommended to only do EMS training once a week.
What’s the new BodyTec SYMBIONT System?
“With BodyTec’s shift to the SYMBIONT Smart Training System, they are changing the way people track, train, and transform their bodies,” says Leyck. “This state-of-the-art technology combines advanced symbiont technology with personalised training programs, offering an unparalleled workout experience.”
The new system means a new suit for the experience – completely wireless and loadshedding friendly. With each move, electronic impulses are sent to your muscles via vibrations that penetrate deeply for more muscle activation as you move. You also get live feedback on your reps from a screen that tracks your workout. The best part? You’re in and out in under 30 minutes, with just 20 minutes of work.
We tried EMS training with BodyTec
WH Features Editor Michelle October took the brand-new SYMBIONT system for a spin.
“The new suit looks like something from Ironman. Outside, it’s all fabric and stretchy, while the inside contains electro pads and high-tech wireless plug-ins that activate the suit. My trainer helped me prepare the suit, which should be rubbed down with lotion so the conduction pads can deeply penetrate the muscle for better activation.
“Notably, the suit is completely wireless, so you have much higher range of motion. You are not plugged in, like other EMS suits. The entire setup is loadshedding friendly, too, but still allows for real-time monitoring, allowing you to track your work.
After getting suited up, I was taken through a brief test run of the equipment. Electrical impulses are sent through the suit wirelessly and I could feel my muscles being contracted while doing basic squats. On the screen in front of me, I could monitor the intensity of the electronic pulses while working out and see how much longer the pulses would last – about 20 seconds of work, with a few seconds break in between moves.
The entire workout lasted just 20 minutes, but I was panting towards the end. That’s because my muscles were working so hard to contract with the EMS suit. Overall, I still felt my arm muscles a few days after the workout, even though I had just been lifting them over my head with no weights. I’d say it’s an interesting way to work out and an eye-opening experience.” More