How nifty electrodes are amping up our workout.
IF YOUR FAVOURITE EXCUSE FOR NOT
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.