At the start of a new year we all clink glasses and embrace the next 364 days, which hold new beginnings and challenges. It has also become rather traditional to whip out your pen and paper and jot down a few resolutions. You, like many others, may have taken the vow to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly – now a month later after the start of a new working year, you might find yourself conjuring up the same excuses - I don’t have enough time. I’m too tired. I don’t like exercising in a public space such as the gym or I don’t see any immediate results - rest assure BODYTEC’s EMS technology will have you working up a sweat in one 20 minute session.
As a regular ‘gym-bunny’, I jumped at the opportunity to put BODYTEC’s ‘all you need is 20 minutes per week’ motto to the test. Expecting the rather crowded interior of a gym I was pleasantly surprised to be welcomed into a modern and spacious studio situated in the Kildare Centre on the corner of Kildare Road and Main Street by owner Boris Leyck and personal trainer Jessica Solomons.
With only two machines, it was soon explained to me that personal attention is of great importance to all BODYTEC trainers.
“We like to ensure that all of our clients feel comfortable in the exercising environment. In most gyms the body hardly ever receives thorough muscle stimulation and exercise often becomes monotonous. At BODYTEC we focus on all areas of the body and especially target problem areas. Research has shown that a single weekly EMS session is as effective as a 3x90 minutes workout in a gym! And with only two machines in our studio - clients are guaranteed the necessary attention,” says Boris Leyck.
Rather dubious about what to expect and sceptical about the intensity of a 20 minute workout I quickly slipped into the BODYTEC training gear. It is time for preparation; a jacket, sporting electrodes is fastened around my upper body followed by straps around my upper thighs, butt and arms. Although it sounds horrific, I can assure you that it is extremely comfortable and exciting. One cable is connected to the machine, while the EMS electrodes are applied to the skin directly above the muscle.
So what exactly is this ‘EMS’ scientists and trainers are raving about?
“EMS stands for Electro Muscular Stimulation,” explains Boris. “It is a full body workout that exercises muscles by using electrical impulses. The intense process of EMS, an electrical stimulus from the outside, makes it easier to reach deeper muscle layers which are hard to activate through conventional training. The impulses are combined with low-impact exercises that last for four seconds each while the individual’s muscles are stimulated by the electrodes,” says Boris.
Strapped in and nervous, I await the first impact - expecting something punch-like. As Jessica adjusts the various controls, I am aware of a light tingling sensation that occurs beneath the strapped and padded areas. Jessica and I begin the low-impact exercises; the action of bicep curling or crouching down immediately becomes more of a challenge. I am instructed to breathe in during every 4 second interval and to breathe out when I feel the impulses. Most importantly I am instructed to resist the impulses.
After 16 minutes, I am soaked and even the cooling air of the air-conditioner seems to have no effect on my increasing body temperature. The intensity of the electrical impulses is increased making it difficult to perform the basic movement of raising my arm.
“10 More seconds, push your leg out, bring it up. You can do it,” says my enthusiastic trainer Jessica.
Finally it is over - I am drenched, but relaxed. The electrical impulses have reduced all the deadline-tension from my shoulders and lower back; I am able to move without any difficulty.
As an avid exerciser, I need to know how it is possible that a 20 minute session could leave me gasping for breath.
“The low impulse frequency activates 90% of muscles simultaneously. Each contraction is stronger and more intense. Hence, even though you might think you aren’t doing much your muscles are being stimulated 18 times more effectively than your average workout, ensuring that you see almost immediate results. A day or two after your first work-out you will feel some muscle stiffness which is completely normal. Another three to four sessions guarantee visible results from the training,” states Boris.
And according to research the results are endless from; supporting your general mental and physical well-being, back pain reduction, rebuilding a specific muscle or muscle group, muscle definition, stronger and more responsive muscles; to being suited for any sports man or woman who aims to increase their strength and endurance and if you are just trying to shed some extra padding, reduce the horrible orange-peel effects of cellulite and improve your overall circulation - EMS is the best choice. This combination of technology and professional instructors makes it possible to keep fit,lose weight and live a balanced lifestyle. Sure you will experience some pain but for a 20 minute session once a week - I think it’s worth it.