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  • Writer's pictureKath

EMS Training is NOT easy.

Don’t be fooled. Hyper effective, 20 minute EMS sessions still feel like 90 minutes of HIIT. This is not an easy option for lazy people.

EMS Training is NOT easy. Four or five minutes into my first EMS session, I made this realisation. At the time, I was at the peak of my Ballet career at Tivoli Ballet School, Denmark, performing 6 times per week for 6 months at a time. To say I was fit would be a huge understatement.

I’m originally South African and would return in the holidays to visit my family. Upon arrival I was shocked to learn that my Mum, the ultimate gym-hater, had taken up a new active hobby and had become very passionate about it despite her distaste for exercise. She showed me her progress; through just one session per week over a matter of months she’d increased skeletal muscle mass and decreased fat and was feeling good because of it.

I tried EMS for the first time soon after that. The day after session 1, I literally couldn’t walk. It’s easy to look at EMS and think ‘oh, that’s for lazy people’ or ‘oh, that’s too easy for me’ but until you’ve put that suit on and moved a little bit, you have no right to judge. The intensity of contraction that you experience during EMS training is powerful and clearly very effective at building strength. EMS became my holiday tool to maintain my fitness levels between seasons. I fell in love with the practicality and efficiency of it all.

Years previously, I’d suffered a hip injury and knew that eventually, it would cut my dancing career short. EMS helped significantly to build up weaker muscles around the damaged area to reduce my pain and prolong my time at Tivoli. On top of that, I was inspired to explore EMS as a business opportunity for myself upon retiring. The ability to assist people in creating a more active lifestyle whilst healing long-term injuries and improving athletic performance was exciting for me.

At that time, Copenhagen was home to only 2 or 3 EMS studios and the market has since seen exponential growth. In my own studio, Aktiv20, I work with a wide range of people on a daily basis from athletes to those in the older generation and even throughout Lockdowns and restrictions this year, I have leveraged the dynamic ability of the XBody technology to take 1:1 training into clients’ homes and into public spaces.

Today, EMS in the UK is set for similar exponential growth. Even as new studios open every month in different cities across the country, most of the market is still untapped, leaving room for fitness professionals to enhance their services assisted by this wonderful technology. EMS is a tool which can be used to increase fitness and strength in a shorter time frame. It’s the fitness industry's solution to working smarter, not harder and allows clients to train with you in a way that they cannot achieve with anybody else.

Due to my own experience being limited by injury, I focus a lot on rehabilitation work at my studio. In theory, gaining muscular strength can reduce pain yet training with additional weights or using certain muscle groups can be risky with some individuals, depending on their situation. That’s exactly where EMS becomes an unmatchable tool…

I worked and still work with an elderly lady who, when we met, could only shuffle due to arthritis in her hips and knees and was completely unable to bear weight on one of her legs. At that point, she had been inactive for 10 years. During her first EMS session, she undertook seated exercises whilst I applied an electrical current from the control panel to the full body suit that she was wearing. Muscles in her leg were activated and after just one month, she was able to bear weight on that leg. Almost immediately, my client experienced an improvement in her mood, attitude and quality of life.

Often, when hearing about EMS for the first time, people don’t believe that it’s possible to see results in just 20 minute sessions or believe it’s just the newest fitness fad trying to steal money. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Anybody who tries EMS will realise that it’s not cheating when they’re fatigued and sweating after just a few minutes.

EMS Training is expert led, scientifically backed and can be applied to almost any scenario to enhance results. The technology allows PT’s and instructors to get creative and really personalise the training to suit every individual. If somebody has no time, if they're unable to train conventionally, if they’re elderly or if they’re hitting a training plateau, EMS can provide a unique and effective boost.

One of my client's before and after transformation with only 2 x 20 minute EMS sessions a week

I encourage everybody to simply try EMS for themselves, it’s 20 minutes that will really alter your perspective on what an efficient and beneficial workout is. You’ll discover muscles you never knew you had when they’re aching the next day.

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