Monika Sch­narre tries a stim­u­lat­ing new work­out with the lat­est fit­ness craze to hit Toronto, the X body vest

New work­out zaps Monika into shape

Richmond Hill Post - - Table of Contents -

This is the most ef­fi­cient and unique 20-minute work­out you will ever try. I walk into the Yorkville gym in my new out­fit only to be given a cot­ton one to re­place it. The owner of Lu­cid Fit­ness and my trainer for the day, Aman Hasebenebi, hands it to me with in­struc­tions not to wear any un­der­gar­ments. Noth­ing???

Out of the change room I emerge feel­ing a lit­tle self-con­scious. The Xbody vest is lightly sprayed with wa­ter then fit­ted to me. The vest is made out of mi­crofi­bre and is cov­ered with elec­trodes. I feel like I’m in a sci-fi movie and ready to shoot my green-screen se­quence.

What is elec­tric mus­cle stim­u­la­tion train­ing? EMS is a con­di­tion­ing and strength­en­ing tool for your mus­cles that en­hances your work­out.

The elec­tronic im­pulses are gen­er­ated by a de­vice and de­liv­ered through elec­trodes di­rectly above the mus­cles to be stim­u­lated. The im­pulses cause the mus­cles to con­tract, so the re­sult is sim­i­lar to the ac­tual move­ment of the mus­cles. The work­out is ad­justable ac­cord­ing to your own fit­ness level.

I’m a bit skep­ti­cal. How can you only work out for 20 to 25 min­utes and have a full-body work­out? Hasebenebi says the work­out is short be­cause the whole mus­cu­lar sys­tem is ac­ti­vated at the same time through the vest, there­fore the work­out is more ef­fec­tive at burn­ing calo­ries.

Af­ter I’m hooked up to the com­puter, we start with some sim­ple jump­ing jacks. It is com­pletely shock­ing at first (pun in­tended) when you feel the first im­pulses. They are not painful at all, but it is an odd sen­sa­tion. The jump­ing jacks (in four-sec­ond in­ter­vals) are in­cred­i­bly hard be­cause the vest is in car­dio­vas­cu­lar mode, which pro­vides a lot of re­sis­tance. This non-sweater is al­ready glow­ing with per­spi­ra­tion.

We move on to bi­cep curls, and if you miss a beat, the elec­trodes re­mind you to curl or you get zapped. This was fol­lowed by squats, mil­i­tary presses, stand­ing crunches, planks, push-ups and some ab­dom­i­nal work.

Hasebenebi trav­elled to Mon­treal to un­dergo ex­ten­sive train­ing and the­ory to be­come a cer­ti­fied EMS trainer. She is able to ad­just ev­ery­thing — the in­ten­sity and the length of the breaks as well as which mus­cles are stim­u­lated.

“The work­out ap­peals to ev­ery­one look­ing for a highly ef­fec­tive, fast and con­ve­nient work­out. By no means is this a lazy per­son’s work­out, but it will get that lazy per­son into top shape,” she says.

Hasebenebi says EMS train­ing also eases back and joint pain and strength­ens bones through the pulling ef­fect en­su­ing from the work of the mus­cles.

At the end of our ses­sion, Hasebenebi treats me to a “mas­sage.” I lie down on the floor, and the vest is put on “mas­sage mode” (this was my favourite part).

I leave the ses­sion feel­ing a bit shaky, and days later I still feel sore in my abs. So it’s safe to say my post-baby tummy got a great work­out. I will def­i­nitely be back.

Monika in her Xbody vest try­ing out elec­tronic mus­cle stim­u­la­tion XBODY STU­DIO: Lu­cid Fit­ness AD­DRESS: 99 Yorkville Ave., Unit B15 PRICE: $70 for one ses­sion


Monika Sch­narre is a model, ac­tress, en­tre­pre­neur and tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity. She has ap­peared in over 50 tele­vi­sion shows and films and on over 100 mag­a­zine cov­ers.

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