When someone from BodyTec contacted me and offered me a trial session at their (light, airy, gorgeous) studio at Newlands, I jumped at the chance. I am not an exerciser; my gym membership has been revoked because I couldn’t get it together to go twice a month. Tragic. So the thought of doing only 20 minutes, once a week (more than that is wasting your time because it doesn’t add any more benefit!) was very appealing. Sport research has shown that BodyTec’s training results are up to 18 times more effective than those achieved by traditional training.
The BodyTec system has been around for more than 30 years, mostly in sports rehab and physio, and works by stimulating the muscles with electrical impulses. These impulses are low but very intense so your muscles are being worked at 80-90% capacity, as opposed to 30-40% capacity at the gym. Also, at the gym, or in other forms of exercise, you are only working certain muscles at any one time, but with BodyTec, ALL of your muscles are being worked at the same time. So a 20-minute session is equivalent to three 90-minute sessions at the gym! What’s not to love about it?
Well. The first clue came when the lovely Jessica (who is a dynamite ad for BodyTec; just look at her body) started spraying the jacket I had to wear with water. Um, water and electricity. That’s bad, right?
Then I got hooked up. The idea is that for 20 minutes you do very gentle movements (with your trainer to take you through each one) as the EMS (electro-muscular stimulation) hits. I am obviously a pathetic weakling because the intensity can be turned up to 10 and I was on three, and it felt as if a thousand angry bees were buzzing through my body every time the pulse ran through me. My body did not enjoy that, I can tell you.
The next day I could definitely feel I had been exercising (well, standing in a flack jacket wired up to electricity); I had that tenderness that follows when you have worked muscles that have been asleep up until now.
I thought my trainer, Jessica, was great: she looked fab, she explained everything carefully to me, she took me through my paces with humour and grace. And I think the idea of doing 20 minutes once a week to tone your muscles is brilliant. Jessica recommended that you combine the sessions at BodyTec with some cardio exercise as this will work your muscles, but doesn’t really work your heart that much (although I was puffing a LOT by the time I had finished).
A 20-minute trial session will set you back R195. There is a branch in the City Bowl, and one in Newlands and plans to launch franchises in Jo’burg in the next few months. www.bodytec.co.za