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Fast Fitness – EMS vs High-Intensity Training (HIT)

Modern life is busy!  A hectic lifestyle is often cited as one of the key reasons that people cannot keep up a regular exercise routine. As a result, people are constantly looking for more efficient ways to get fit quickly or condense an effective workout into a shorter period. That’s one of the reasons why High-Intensity Training (HIT) continues to gain in popularity as one of the fastest, most effective ways to get in shape quickly. The annual report from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) on fitness trends ranked HIT as the second-highest trend for 2020, next to wearable technology. HIT has been in the top five fitness trends between 2014 and 2020.

But what if you could achieve HIT training results even faster and without the potentially dangerous impact on your joints?

Miha Bodytec created their WB-EMS system in 2007 and designed it to stimulate all major muscle groups at the same time, condensing a two-hour gym session into an ultra-efficient 20-minute workout. The kit is designed to be worn while a person performs some basic exercises at the same time as the stimulation. This combination creates 40% increased activation with a voluntary contraction at the same time as the electrical impulse. For some time in the UK, EMS has been associated with portable home devices bought online or on shopping channels. These devices often allow the user to do absolutely nothing while the device stimulates a small muscle group causing a contraction. WB-EMS from BIOWAVES ™ on the other hand is a completely different training method backed by years of scientific research. The products are synonymous with the hallmarks of German manufacturing: build quality, durability, and reliability, making them the market leader in EMS training technology.

HIT Training certainly has its benefits but studies show that whole-body EMS (WB-EMS) workouts, using technology like the Miha body system are just as effective, and they require far less time to reach the same results.

HIT Training in Half the Time

HIT and WB-EMS are both approaches to generate time-efficient, favorable changes in body composition and strength. But can you get the same results as a regular HIT session with WB-EMS?

Most standard HIT classes are 30-45 minutes of short, sharp exercises and people need to do this type of workout at least two times per week to see results. EMS sessions, by contrast, are just 20 minutes and only require one session per week.

Scientifically Proven Training Method

To compare the effects of both EMS and HIT, a randomized, controlled experiment by Wolfgang Kemmler at Friedrich-Alexander’s Institute of Medical Physics in Germany was conducted over 16 weeks. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of WB-EMS compared to HIT for improving body composition and muscle strength in middle-aged men. Forty-eight healthy, untrained men, 30-50 years old, were randomly selected to do either HIT or WB-EMS over the research period. HIT sessions were conducted twice per week and WB-EMS was done three times over two weeks for 20 minutes at a time.

The results spoke for themselves. There were comparable increases in muscle strength after 16 weeks of WB-EMS compared to the HIT group. The study concluded that WB-EMS can be considered an attractive, time-efficient, and effective option compared to HIT-style exercise for people seeking to improve general strength and body composition.

HIT Advantages

People love HIT because it is fast and effective. Sessions vary in length but typically are 30 minutes and most people need only to do two-three sessions per week to see results. HIT can burn a significant number of calories in a short amount of time which can help increase a person’s metabolic rate for hours after exercise. As a result, it can help many people lose fat, gain muscle and improve heart rate function, blood pressure, and overall cardiovascular health.  Most sessions are done in a group environment which can be motivating for people and help drive loyalty.

HIT Disadvantages

Traditional HIT workouts are called “high intensity” for a reason. The exercises are often demanding, high-impact, and can put a lot of strain on the body. Many people experience significant pain in their joints, tendons, and muscles after HIT training, especially if they have an existing injury or medical issue. Although HIT workouts are often designed to appeal to the masses, the demanding nature of HIT often makes this form of exercise inaccessible to older or deconditioned people.

HIT is almost always done in a group environment. As a result, a single trainer is responsible for the technique and motivation of many people. Even the most attentive trainer cannot focus fully on each individual for the full class which contributes to a greater chance of poor form resulting in injury.

Whole-Body EMS: HIT Results in half the time, without any of the disadvantages 

EMS is a scientifically proven training method that uses electrical currents to contract the muscles without putting any strain on the joints. Wearing a specially designed suit, through which the current passes, users perform a series of exercises to voluntarily contract the muscles at the same time as the impulse giving much greater benefits. Users benefit from increased neuro-pathways at the same time as a near-total muscle contraction, activating slow and fast-twitch fibers simultaneously for a massive muscular workout. Each muscle group is controlled individually by adjusting settings on an EMS device making each session completely bespoke to each client. All sessions are just 20 minutes and led by a certified EMS personal trainer in a 1:1 or 1:2 capacity ensuring a safe and efficient session each time.

WB-EMS is low impact. It uses simple bodyweight exercises without the need to jump up and down or make fast movements. This is because the technology does much of the work for you. You can still get an intense, full-body workout without any concern that a session will awaken an old sports injury or cause a client to pull a muscle.

Many EMS trainers are mobile so they can train clients directly in their homes. Because the sessions are low impact, many people sweat very little and can change quickly and get straight back to business after a workout. This gives time back to both the client and the trainer and is especially good for people with hectic lives.