ELLE (Australia) - - Contents - For more info visit speed­

How nifty elec­trodes are amp­ing up our work­out.


EX­ER­CIS­ING is lack of time, then sorry — you’ll have to think of some­thing else. The aptly named Speed­fit is solv­ing that prob­lem, one 20-minute, once a week, elec­tronic mus­cle stim­u­la­tion (EMS) ses­sion at a time. “These 20 min­utes are equiv­a­lent to up to four hours of strength train­ing at the gym,” says Speed­fit trainer Ally Vaicekonyte. “The work­out cov­ers all the mus­cle groups – back, chest, abs, legs, bum and arms and is low im­pact so it’s easy on the joints.”

While it sounds a lit­tle too good to be true, there is (lit­er­ally) a shock­ing caveat. The work­out is a se­ries of ex­er­cises (think lunges, squats, bi­cep curls) per­formed while hooked up to elec­trodes that mes­sage the mus­cles to con­tract deeper, ex­haust­ing them much more quickly. It’s not a painful shock, but it’s also not com­fort­able. The trainer can dial up or down the in­ten­sity but the good news is that the whole ses­sion works as an in­ter­val – six sec­onds of con­trac­tion, four sec­onds of re­cov­ery. You can do any­thing for six sec­onds, right?

“The av­er­age work­out en­gages the mus­cle to about 65 per cent of ex­haus­tion, while our ma­chine works to en­gage the mus­cle to 95 per cent — it’s much more ef­fi­cient and cre­ates a deeper burn.”

Yes, the burn. Part of the rea­son Speed­fit only rec­om­mends one work­out a week is that sore­ness peaks be­tween 48 and 72 hours after a ses­sion and mus­cles need time for re­cov­ery. Drop­ping ki­los and ton­ing up are ob­vi­ous side ef­fects of EMS train­ing, but it also im­proves cir­cu­la­tion, mood and qual­ity of sleep. It’s the ideal work­out for the time poor — but not the poor. Pre­pare to dish out at least $55 per 20-minute ses­sion.

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