But is it exercise?

October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

When I was invited to try out a new fitness regime I was quite excited – until I found out that it included electro muscular stimulation. That made me nervous. And a little intrigued as to how to would work. So I agreed to go along for a session to see what it was all about. Don’t say I don’t ever do anything in the name of fitness…

What is it? According to the FutureFitness peeps it’s a machine manufactured in Germany which:

  • Trains 90% of the muscles simultaneously
  • Muscle contraction is 150 times more intense
  • It also makes deeper lying muscles work
  • It is gentle on the joints
  • 1 x 20 minutes session a week is enough to achieve the required results
And they say the benefits include:
  • Maximum strength development
  • Increased endurance
  • Muscle growth
  • Settling muscular imbalance
  • Improved efficiency
  • Cellulite treatment
  • Weight and fat loss
  • Improved metabolism

Sounds good right? And for only two 20 minute sessions a week with all those benefits how could I NOT try it out?

When I arrived at FutureFitness at the V&A Waterfront to try out the Miha Bodytec I was told I had to get completely naked and put on an outfit that was basically a skin-tight top and shorts. The good news is that they opened the packed in front of me so they were brand new.

However, that’s not all that I had to wear. After I had changed, I was measured and fitted with what looks like a bulky waistcoat with wires popping out of it. I was then strapped up with some straps on my upper arms, around my bum and on my thighs. Not your usual workout gear I know… I was starting to feel a bit restricted and more than a little apprehensive as I was plugged into a machine that would send electrodes into my muscles.

Check it out: It’s the Ginja Ninja in her Lara Croft outfit… :)


Before we started the trainer went through everywhere I would be zapped by the machine and checked how intense a current I could withstand. My legs and back seemed to take the stronger current without too much trouble, my abs not so much and I actually had to ask him to turn it down because I felt a little breathless like someone was punching me in the stomach.

Once he had my ‘stats’ the workout began. How it works is that the machine delivers the set current to your muscles for 4 seconds and then stops for 4 seconds. This goes on for 20 minutes. During that time you do a variety of exercises ranging from squats to bicep curls and lunges. You only hold the position for the 4 seconds the current is delivered.

So what was it like? To be honest, not very nice. I am usually more than happy to try out any form of fitness regime, no matter how extreme it may seem. But this one is not for me. I felt very shaky during it and the sensation was really unpleasant. My muscles were also INCREDIBLY sore the next day and even worse the day after to the point where I couldn’t sit down properly.

Again, if I had perhaps done a particularly hard session at the gym I would have welcome the pain as a sign I had done some good work. But this was different, I don’t really see how it can be classed as exercise. You don’t work up a sweat and as reassuring as the people are about it’s safety, I can’t see how electro muscular stimulation can do your muscles any good.

Can it make you stronger? Fitter? I don’t think so. I could be wrong of course, and I’m sure for people who are recovering from an injury and still want to do some form of exercise it would probably be quite nice for them. But for someone who enjoys exercise in all it’s sweaty red-faced glory, its just not for me.

Have you tried it out? Let me know what you think at community@health24.com 

 Check out FutureFitness for more information here

2 responses to But is it exercise?

  1. Sounds like a lot of hard work to do this! But you do look fantastic in the Lara Croft gear.

  2. The electrical impulse from an electric muscle stimulator causes the targeted muscle to contract and increases the muscle temperature and circulation of blood.

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