EMS Research

Our EMS training methodology at BODYTEC is based on extensive scientific research. The past two decades has seen an increasing amount of research done showing the benefits of the technology beyond medical usage, and this has contributed to its popularity. However, the first research on EMS training dates back to the 1800s.

Here are some interesting facts about EMS training that you may not be aware of.

What does research say about EMS training?

Frequently Asked Questions about EMS

EMS training from BODYTEC is a full body workout that doesn’t only target one specific muscle group. During EMS training, up to 90% of muscles are activated simultaneously and the muscle contractions are of higher quality and more intense than a voluntary exertion can do alone. Compared to conventional weight training, EMS training activates deeper muscle groups which leads to better balance amongst the muscles in the body and increased core stability.

The BODYTEC EMS device is able to stimulate multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing for a repeated activation of the whole body. You’ll always do your EMS training under the guidance of a personal trainer who can activate your muscles through eight channels on the EMS device (such as the lower back, stomach, biceps and glutes) according to your goals and needs.

BODYTEC EMS amplifies our muscle contractions beyond what we can do naturally and fills in the gaps to achieve the maximum amount of muscle fibres being activated in our muscles.

BODYTEC studios specialise in weight free EMS training ensuring that we primarily work with the more powerful EMS involuntary contractions – we offer strength based training only with no other forms of training that EMS cannot amplify. This allows us to provide a full-time personal training service, which we consider to be the major factor in enabling you to reach your training goals and save time. Our trainers use the most intense, effective and most established programme of the EMS device suitable for each individual.

A personal trainer guides and coaches you through your training session ensuring you get the full benefit of each and every workout.

Our specialisation in EMS training also allows us to work with a simple price and membership system, without any hidden or additional costs for extra services.

In order to achieve the most effective results for muscular adaptation and physical functioning, your body needs time to rest and recover. Research shows that,due to EMS training being a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT), recovery and adaptation periods are significantly longer after whole-body BODYTEC EMS training sessions than for weight and resistance training. The amount of muscles being contracted throughout the 20 minute training session must be considered. This is the reason behind additional recovery days when training at BODYTEC. It is not beneficial to train more often to gain better results because BODYTEC EMS training is so intense and effective, you only need one session per week.

You’ll feel a difference after your first EMS training session. As your body releases endorphins and as most major muscle groups in your body have been activated, you will experience increased physical awareness, resulting in an improved posture. After a day or two, you’ll feel some muscle stiffness, which is normal and is indicative of your body’s recovery process. Within a period of about 4 weeks, you’ll feel stronger and different muscles will improve to coordinate movements more effectively.

After roughly 6 to 8 sessions (6 to 8 weeks) you will not only feel, but also see a visible difference from the EMS training in the form of gradually increased muscle formation and a possible reduction in body fat (depending on your diet). As with conventional training, EMS training should be done regularly to ensure and maintain optimal results.

No, any type of physical training is an activity that requires you to get out of your comfort zone, but never to hurt you!

Yes, EMS training imitates the natural principle of muscle contraction, which is a result of the interaction between the brain, the central nervous system and muscle tissue. BODYTEC uses a low frequency stimulus to activate intense muscle contractions and your personal trainer will ensure your individual training levels are an optimum fit for you. In comparison to other strength training, EMS training is known to be particularly gentle on joints.

However, certain medical conditions are known to be contraindications and EMS training with BODYTEC is not recommended for the following conditions: (1) pregnancy; (2) pacemaker or other electrical implants; (3) acute illness, such as fever, viral infections or acute inflammatory processes. Medical consent might be necessary for some physical conditions and these should be discussed with your personal trainer before any training commences. Please see further details outlined in our answer to: Can anyone do EMS training?

EMS training with BODYTEC has been scientifically proven to be effective for people of different age groups and different fitness levels. This means a performance athlete with many years of training experience can train next to a person who has been physically inactive for many years. However, certain medical conditions are known to be contraindications and EMS training with BODYTEC is not recommended in certain cases (see Is EMS Training Safe?).

For some medical conditions, a doctor’s consent might be needed and suitability for the training needs to be assessed on an individual case-to-case basis. Medical conditions* requiring assessment include the following:

Circulatory disorders, acute stroke, stent, thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases (i.e. arteriosclerosis)
Bleeding, bleeding tendency or hemophilia
Diabetes mellitus
Abdominal wall hernia or inguinal hernia
Severe neurological disorders (i.e. epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc.)
Acute operation (within 8 weeks, depending on individual case)
*Please note: the above list is not exhaustive and if you have any medical condition which could be affected by EMS training, it is your responsibility to inform your trainer and doctor so an appropriate assessment can be made.

All trainers at BODYTEC are experienced and qualified personal trainers, health professionals or sport scientists and have received Miha-Bodytec training to be able to understand and operate the EMS device effectively. Due to the lack of EMS education in most personal training colleges in South Africa, BODYTEC established its own in-house BODYTEC Training Academy, where all trainers receive further annual (basic and advanced) EMS-specific training based on scientific sports knowledge and the latest international developments in the field of EMS. Every BODYTEC trainer must go through extensive EMS learning before they can train clients.

The wide range of experience in our national trainer team is not just limited to EMS training. Our personal trainers have professional background knowledge about fitness training and can advise you on training and nutrition-related questions.

No. BODYTEC EMS training has been extensively researched over the past few decades. See the links above for an extensive review of the research findings.

EMS training has been used for decades in the fields of sports medicine and rehabilitation. Over the last 10 years EMS training has widened its spectrum of application to include general fitness and sports performance. Therefore a wealth of research information exists on EMS training amongst its different areas of application and has proven its scientific effectiveness. Some of the most significant research findings have shown positive training effects on muscle-mass (Kemmler & Von Stengel, 2013).

Research from the German Sports University Cologne (Filipovic et al., 2012; Speicher et al., 2008) found significant improvements in speed and maximum strength after a period of EMS training.

EMS training has been shown to be highly effective for significantly enhancing soccer relevant performance capacities in professional players during competitive season contrary to conventional training of the same nature (Filipovic et al., 2016).

Research in the field of rehabilitation done at the German Sports University of Cologne (Weissenfels A, Teschler M, Willert S, Hettchen M, Fröhlich M, Kleinöder H, Kohl M, von Stengel S, Kemmler W, 2018) has shown significant levels of pain relief in participants suffering from back pain.

EMS training has further shown to be an effective training method for the elderly (Kemmler & Von Stengel, 2012) and for cardiologic patients, as research from Bad Oeynhausen has shown (Fritzsche et al., 2010).

Marathon runners can also improve their performance through EMS training: Whole-Body Electromyostimulation Improves Performance-Related Parameters in Runners. (Amaro-Gahete FJ, Sanchez-Delgado G, Robles-Gonzalez L, Jurado-Fasoli L, Ruiz JR, Gutierrez A, 2018).

EMS training with BODYTEC is a high intensity training session and it is therefore important to have a sustainable meal (carbohydrate and protein-based) 2 to 3 hours before training. We also recommend drinking at least 500ml water an hour before training to ensure proper hydration. Avoid heavy, starch-based meals and sugary or carbonated drinks before your EMS training session.
Come as you are! For your trial we will provide you with the specially designed BODYTEC shirt and tights you need for an EMS training session. When you sign up you can purchase your own set or make use of our laundry service that gives you access to a set of garments and a towel at each session. You can train barefoot or wear trainers.
Yes. Each training session can accommodate two people. It’s often more fun and motivating if you train with someone you know, so we actively encourage it.
There are many nutrition programmes out there and there is no perfect fit for all. We offer general nutritional guidelines free of charge. We also partner with a qualified nutritionist who can work out the best nutrition program for you so you can get the best results in the shortest possible time.

EMS training from BODYTEC is full-body training that doesn’t only target one specific muscle group. You’ll always train under the guidance of a personal trainer who can activate each muscle according to your goals and needs. Another essential difference is that the BODYTEC EMS device is able to stimulate the agonist and antagonist muscles simultaneously. This means you are able to activate multiple muscle groups at the same time. Deeper muscle tissue, which is often underused due to the dominance of the bigger muscles, is also activated to a higher degree in comparison to conventional tele-EMS or weight training in a gym.

The frequency set on the EMS device which is used in every training session predominantly works the more energy hungry and more underused fast twitch muscle fibres during the session.

From a technical perspective, BODYTEC EMS training is based on a bipolar impulse mode, which allows us to achieve 90% of our skeletal muscles to contract, while other EMS training devices often operate using a unipolar impulse mode. This form of whole body training, combined with our selected exercises and the guidance of a personal trainer, leads to effective and quick training results.

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