If you’re anything like me, finding the motivation to bust your butt at the gym is not high on the priority list. Between working, studying and being a mum, I simply don’t have time to dedicate several hours to working out each week.
And, if I’m being completely honest, after many New Year’s resolutions of promising, “Right, I’m going to get fit this year. I’m going to eat well and train hard to look hot AF!”, my momentum wears off and I’m back to the ol’ CBF attitude (sound familiar?).
So, when I was asked if I wanted to give EMS training a go for five weeks, I was all over it. This progressive style of exercise can get results in a matter of weeks and the best part? The sessions are only 20 minutes long—GTFO!
EMS (that’s Electro Muscle Stimulation) is a new way to workout without having to spend hours in the gym. Just one or two 20-minute sessions a week is all it takes for you to have a bangin’ beach bod. It works by sending low-frequency electric impulses to contract your muscles while you’re working out. Long story short, it’s basically triple the workout in half the time—amazing, right?
Here’s what happened when I headed along to fu/nis—Auckland’s very first boutique EMS training studio.
Weeks One And Two
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous walking into my first appointment. The thought of being hooked up to a machine that sends impulses to my body was a little intimidating. What was it going to feel like? Was it going to hurt?
I was greeted by the lovely Catrina (owner of fu/nis) and Kathryn (my trainer) and given my training gear—a tight-fitting pair of shorts and a top that reminded me of Lara Croft. They explained that the training doesn’t require any workout gear—not even a pair of shoes. How handy is that for sessions straight from the office?
I was then taken through a list of standard questions about my health, any injuries I had and they took my measurements. I was starting to regret that burrito and six-pack of churros I’d demolished the night before…
I was put into a vest with cords hooked to it, a strap around my glutes, arms and legs and hooked up to the machine by a cord—there was no backing out now.
I felt like a bit of a dork for asking, “is this going to hurt?”. My trainer laughed and said, “no. You’ll start to feel some faint impulses coming through each part of your body and I want you to tell me when to stop turning them up. I want you to be able to feel them but still feel comfortable.”
The buzzes started up and they first felt like pins and needles to me. The ones in my abdomen and back felt like I was being massaged from the inside—kind of like those massage chairs at the mall. It was a very strange sensation but not painful at all. Phew.
We went through the reps: squats, lunges, crunches, bicep curls… the works! And, as my body started warming up, the impulses weren’t coming through as strong. Time to dial them up. Wow, I was actually starting to sweat.
And just like that, my workout was over. I couldn’t believe how fast the session went. And for someone who isn’t the biggest fan of working out, I could have easily kept going.
After my first session, I felt the muscle burn straight away and continued to ache for the rest of the week—particularly in my bum and my legs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. After having a kid, I could use some toning and tightening and, at this rate, I’ll be rocking a Kim K derriere in no time. Bring on the next session!
Back into the studio once more that week and twice the next week—rinse and repeat.
Weeks Three And Four
In sessions five to eight, we really amped the workouts up. As well as doing the regular toning and strengthening exercises I had done in the first couple of weeks, we added metabolic training to the last five minutes of each session—much like a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout.
Targeting weight loss, I did more cardio-based exercises—while hooked up to the EMS machine, of course. Think lots of mountain climbers, squat jumps, kettlebell swings and shadow boxing. The lying-down bicycles were my fave—I could really feel the burn in my abs.
There were also 30-second intervals between each exercise where I ran on the spot. And, to reeeaally push me, they got me doing high-knee lifts. To say the least, my blood was absolutely pumping.
The goal was to keep moving for the whole five minutes. It was definitely more fast-paced than the strengthening and toning workout… and I loved it. The pulse frequency is different to the strengthening frequency, as well. Instead of feeling like a deep-tissue massage, it feels like a tapping or vibration on your muscles and you can actually see your body shaking with the currents—crazy.
In my final week, I really pushed myself in the sessions. I was determined to get results and y’know what? I was actually starting to see some! I have gained some definition in my stomach. When I look in the mirror, I can actually see a set of baby abs peeking through and my muffin top is slightly less muffiny—woo hoo!
And my back is thanking me too. Due to old sporting injuries, I suffer from lower back pain. Time and time again, I’ve been told, “working out will strengthen your core muscles that, in turn, helps to relieve back pain”. In the past, I’ve been too lazy to test this method out but guess what? It works! Five weeks of EMS training and my back pain is seemingly non-existent—hallelujah.
Well, after five weeks of dedication to EMS training, it’s safe to say I’m hooked. It’s fast, effective AND fun. It fits perfectly into my super busy schedule and the proof is in the pudding. After 10 sessions, I can see a visible change in my body—two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me. So, what are you waiting for? Experience the hype for yourself and get your booty down to fu/nis quick-smart. Due to popular demand fu/nis is now at two locations in Auckland, one in the CBD and one in Takapuna.
Image credit: Kellie Blizard, fu/nis.