Finding the motivation to get up at 5am so I can slog it out at the gym for an hour before work is a real mission sometimes. Like most people out there, I just wish staying fit and healthy could be as easy and painless as it is to go and get a buttery croissant from my local every morning.
So, when SpeedFit's EMS training was brought to my attention, I was all over it. This progressive style of exercise can get staggering results without any of the usual risk of injury that comes with strength training and the best part? The sessions are only 20 minutes long—yes please.
What Is EMS Training
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 start toning up, shedding fat and building strength. It works by sending low-frequency electric pulses to contract your muscles while you’re working out.
Long story short, it’s basically triple the workout in half the time—amazing, right? It’s actually what astronauts use to workout in space, and it’s used by sporting legends like Usain Bolt and Tiger Woods—if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
What To Expect At Your First EMS Training Session
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 electrical pulses shooting into my body was a little intimidating. But fear not, the trainers will put you at ease pretty quickly—taking a good half an hour to walk through your workout history, current goals and introduce you to the world of EMS training before you get started.
When you're ready to go, you'll be given a pre-workout to help fuel your session before getting changed into your SpeedFit gear—a tight-fitting pair of shorts and a top. The training actually doesn’t require any of your own workout gear—not even a pair of shoes. How handy is that for sessions straight from the office?
Then you’ll get put into a vest with cords hooked to it, with a strap around your glutes, arms and legs, which will all get hooked up to the machine by a cord, with the final look akin to Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Be warned, you will get a little wet as the suits are hosed down beforehand to help conduct the electric current, but don't worry, there are showers on site as well as hair dryers, straighteners and pretty much everything you could ever need to freshen up. Not that anyone will really get to see you—SpeedFit sessions are one-on-one or two-on-one.
After your quick sweat sesh (we’ll get into what that was like in a sec), they'll even mix you up a protein shake to help your muscles on their way to recovery. Love that!
Does EMS Training Hurt
I know the question you really want answered—does EMS training hurt? Well, kinda, but not really. When they first turned it on, I’ll admit it was a little overwhelming—like intense, all over pins and needles. Kinda like a sustained electrical zap you get from static, but across a whole muscle group, not just your finger.
The good thing is though, you do get used to it pretty quickly, and the pulses are all fully adjustable. Your trainer will turn them up when he thinks you’re ready to boost the intensity, but only to a point where you still feel comfortable, and at different levels for different muscle groups. Want to carve out your abs but keep the resistance light on the arms? Totally doable.
What Happens In An EMS Training Session
The first thing to know is that the movements you’ll do aren’t overly difficult. The trainer took me through basic movements like bodyweight squats, lunges and bicep curls, with the machine doing most of the work.
For example, you’ll hold a squat while the machine pulses for six seconds, causing your muscles to contract, then the pulses will stop for four seconds while you release and relax. Pop a squat again and the pulses are back—sounds easy, but you’ll start to feel it after a few rounds, let me tell you.
Does EMS Training Work
By the end I was feeling it but wasn’t absolutely smashed like I would be after an hour-long gym session, so I left thinking it hadn’t really done much… oh how wrong I was.
The real fun started over the next few days, and by fun I mean DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It became pretty darn clear my muscles were working way harder than I thought when the familiar aches kicked in and reminded me I had actually worked out.
I only did one session (though I’d go back in a heartbeat), but one of our Kiwi team members who does it regularly, swears by it: “Can confirm that at around the five week mark I was seeing ‘wow hi’ results from EMS” (Jaiden Bhaga, 2021).
How To Get Started With EMS Training
There are SpeedFit studios all over Perth and five more on the way, so you're bound to find one handy to you—as if 20 minute work outs didn't make it easy enough to slot into your week. Just head to the website to figure out which location works best for you and book in for a complimentary consult.
Or if you're already convinced, why not go right ahead and sign up for their 8-week challenge? It kicks off 26 July and includes all your personal training sessions, plus body scans and nutrition support to get you feeling all sorts of fit 'n strong come spring time.
Chasing more sweaty good stuff? Check out this cool nightclub-style gym in Perth's CBD.
Image credit: SpeedFit