by EMS Preacher
How long do I have to wait to see the first results? How can I integrate EMS into the workout routine of mine while still going to the gym? I don’t have too much time. Should I still workout five times a week? This is what most people say when they come to an EMS Studio for the very first time.
Most of our clients intend to see the results immediately when comparing EMS to the conventional training. Lot of people look at EMS as a treatment and not as a training.
So what is the truth? Is EMS a real training?
To answer those questions we need to realise that EMS can be used in three different fields:
All of the aforementioned fields have different clients with diverse needs and expectations.
Why is it beneficial to integrate EMS to the workout routine?
- EMS is time effective – a training takes approximately 20-27 minutes per training.
- It’s easy on joints, one doesn’t have to lift weights to stimulate the muscles.
- It’s good for lower back pain because of the TENS impulse.
- It helps to fight osteoporosis since it thickens the bones.
- It’s a great way to prevent or overcome cellulite issues.
- Depending on the brand of the EMS equipment we can stimulate up to 12 muscle groups at once.
That’s not everything. In my opinion the most important benefit and advantage of EMS is connected to the Hannemann’s size principal.
“I hope all of you know what the size principal is!”
For those to whom EMS is still new, I will do a little bit of explanation.
Henneman’s size principle describes relationships between properties of motor neurons and the muscle fibers which they innervate and thus control, all together they are called motor units. Motor neurons with large cell bodies tend to innervate fast-twitch, high-force, less fatigue-resistant muscle fibers, whereas motor neurons with small cell bodies tend to innervate slow-twitch, low-force, fatigue-resistant muscle fibres. In order to contract a particular muscle, motor neurons with small cell bodies are recruited (i.e. begin to fire action potentials) before motor neurons with large cell bodies. This theory was proposed by Elwood Hennemann in 1965.
What does it mean in practice?
EMS technology causes the contraction of fast twitch muscle fiber in addition to slow twitch muscle fiber. It has been shown that the use of electrical stimulation of the muscle, stimulates large, fatiguable motor units first. So knowing all this, we have to build the trading system and use proper frequencies that will help to get to that goal as soon as possible.
The really important fact is that the different muscle fibers need different regeneration time.
How much time do I need to rest?
Our bodies produce a lot of enzymes during intensive trainings especially an enormous amount when training is combined with EMS.
It was borne out by studies that the levels of human growth hormone (HGH) as well as creatine kinase levels (an enzyme that is involved in the production of energy which mediates energy where demand is highest, namely in the muscle) have significantly rose. It was also shown that our muscles need approximately 48 hours in order to be completely regenerated.
What’s more the number of studies about EMS is proliferating!
“It is more time efficient to integrate EMS trainings to the workout routines than it is with conventional trainings!”
One of the most interesting studies compares EMS training to High intensity interval training (HIIT).
The purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of both trainings in terms of improving body composition and muscle strength. (Kemmler, W., Teschler, M., Weißenfels, A., Bebenek, M., Fröhlich, M., Kohl, M., & Von Stengel, S. (2016). Effects of whole-body electro stimulation versus high-intensity resistance exercise on body composition and strength: A randomized controlled study. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016.)
It has been shown that in both groups lean body mass and the maximum leg extensor strength increased significantly. So knowing all that, it’s safe to say that EMS training is a time efficient alternative to conventional training.
After pointing out all the aforementioned facts, I would like to go on with the original topic: How to integrate EMS to the workout routine in a regular case?
How can we integrate EMS to the workout routine?
Knowing that EMS is a great workout tool and depending on range of frequencies, we can just achieve different results and provoke different muscle fibers, it has became much easier to build trainings.
The main rule is regeneration in order to integrate EMS to the workout of yours. If the core of our training is strength training then we should not do more than two trainings per week. Why? Because we are mostly working with fast twitch muscle fibers which need about 48 hours to regenerate. In this case I would recommend cardio training, bike riding, swimming or jogging as an EMS training.
If our goal is to build up cardio and stamina, then it’s better to train with lower frequencies. In this case we will be working with slow twitch muscle fibers which can handle a longer training and less recovery time.
On top of that, I would like to emphasize that balance is an essential factor regarding trainings. I truly believe that after tensing and contracting our muscles during EMS sessions, it is good to do a little yoga, pilates or to do a little stretch afterwards.
In conclusion, please remember that even though EMS is a training with simple exercises, it tend to be very demanding for our muscles. Don’t overtrain! Eat well! Sleep a lot and remember that regeneration is a part of your training as well.