Availability: Sandton and Cape Town BODYTEC studios
What they say:
In everyday life our central nervous system constantly sends electrical impulses to control our muscle action. Electro magnetic stimulus (EMS) uses this natural principle and is able to intensify this process to reach deeper muscle layers, which are hard to activate through conventional training. This is achieved by applying EMS electrodes to the skin directly above the muscle. All in all you can call EMS simply a selective intensification of electrical stimuli from the outside.
What we say:
Let me start off by saying, you either love BODYTEC or you hate BODYTEC. When we first covered the electro muscle stimulation (EMS) training technique, Irene wasn’t the biggest of fans. When I went a few weeks ago, I absolutely loved it!
Why? Because in only 20 minutes I could feel my muscles had been exercised, and I had barely moved. I’m usually a fan of high-intensity training, but after one 20-minute session at BODYTEC, the next day I rolled out of bed. The day after, I fell out of bed. Ouch.
The first of its kind in South Africa, the EMS studio imported the all-round training concept from Germany. It produces quick results to that trims fat and reduces weight, while giving your muscles more definition and tone. Used by celebs like Michelle McLean and Jo-Ann Strauss, 20 minutes of being strapped up to BODYTEC is equivalent to three 90-minute sessions in the gym. With numbers like that I had to try it out!
Arriving at the Cape Town studio, I was given my own set of workout gear (don’t worry, all tights and tops are thoroughly cleaned after each session, and you have the option to buy your own too). But it wasn’t until Simone, my trainer for the session, began spraying the electro pads with water that I began to get a little nervous. Electricity and water? Seriously?!
Yes. Seriously. As we all know, water is a good conductor. And it works really well with the low frequency impulses, which are sent to each of your major muscles (and a few harder to reach minor ones) through the pads that are sewn into the gear that’s placed over your muscles.
Once I was strapped in and ready to get started, Simone had to set a baseline for my impulses. And let me tell you, the first time you feel your muscles being stimulated by the current is more than a little weird. You’ll first feel a few pins and needles, then a brief burning sensation. But you have to push through these light sensations to get to good part, where you can feel your muscles flexing. When you’ve hit that sweet spot, your trainer will then take you through the 20-minute, low intensity workout.
At a regular gym, only 60% of your muscles are stimulated. At BODYTEC that number jumps to a whopping 90%! I was very surprised to find myself out of breathe and sweating quite a bit after only 10 minutes of doing what looks like a very passive workout. I couldn’t believe how my muscles were responding to the EMS, but the next morning I definitely believed it. *Cue the rolling. And then falling.
BODYTEC is available from R195 per session (based on an annual subscription), and studios can be found in Sandton, Cape Town, Newlands (Western Cape) and Steenberg (Western Cape).