What exactly is EMS?

EMS stands for Electro – Myo (muscle) – Stimulation. The muscles get an external electronic impulse and by this, they get stimulated and flexed in a very intense way. Electrical muscle stimulation has been well-known in the field of science, but as a training method, it has only started flourishing a few years ago. Let us give you an insight into the background of EMS training by explaining how it is possible to achieve the results of an hour-and-a-half gym session within 20 minutes. One of the biggest problems of today’s society is the insufficient amount of physical activity and the numerous health problems and risk factors arising from this. In today’s fast-paced society, people give up on sports activities to make up for their lack of time. Going to the gym, jogging, cycling or swimming can take up hours of our quality time and many of us think of this as a setback rather than relaxation, fun, or a way of preserving our health. Some of us obviously have less time due to long working hours, but even those should spend some time exercising. The essence and success of the EMS training lie within its brevity, offering solutions to those who can only spend half an hour a day on physical exercise.

Our aim was to create comprehensive literature on EMS technology. We would also like to demonstrate how EMS training can be an alternative solution in the daily lives of people.

History of electricity

The knowledge of electricity dates back to ancient times. The first recorded experiment was associated with the Greek mathematician, Thales of Miletus. In 600 BC he noted that when rubbing amber with fur, the stone starts to attract light objects, such as bird feathers and specks of dust. Even the word electricity comes from the Greek language. Amber, which is fossilized resin, is called electron in Greek and it is where its present name derives from.

Over 2000 years later electricity has appeared at the forefront of scientific research again. In the 17th century William Gilbert based on the previous discoveries of Thales – found that many objects behave in a similar way to amber when rubbed.

One new discovery appeared after another. Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning rod and draws up the law of charge conservation. Stephen Gray’s experiments in 1729 prove that there are materials that can retain their charge, while others are not capable of doing the same. The latter was named electrical conductors. Further developing Gray’s assumptions; in 1733 Charles Dufay discovered the existence of two types of electricity: positive and negative charge electricity. He announced that electricity consisted of “vitreous”, or positive, and “resinous”, or negative fluids. In 1791, Luigi Galvani’s observations determined future activities related to electrical stimulation. Galvani was interested in the anatomy of frogs and during the autopsy, he noticed that when a copper hook and an iron scalpel simultaneously touched the animal tissue, they activated the muscles. He believed this to be “animal electricity” controlled by the brain.

Alessandro Volta, who studied Galvani’s experiments with the frog’s legs, has come to a different conclusion. He believed that the contact of two dissimilar metals and the wet material in between them was the source of electricity. In this case, the two metals were copper and iron, and the wet material was the frog’s muscle. In the 1800s he created the so-called Voltaic pile made of zinc and copper cells connected by wet cardboard pieces, which was weaker than the rubbing electricity but lasted longer.

Approximately 20 years later Andre Marie Ampere developed a theory on the impact of electric currents. He provided a physical understanding of the electromagnetic relationship of currents, and created the first electromagnetic device and the first ammeter.

Heinrich Hertz was the first person ever to create resonant circuits transmitting electromagnetic waves. The 51 unit for frequency, Hertz, was named after him in his honor. His discovery laid the foundations for radio electronics products, such as radio, television, and microwave. Nikola Tesla w as an inventor, physicist, and philosopher, obtained around 146 patents. Without a doubt, he was one of the greatest inventors of all time. He worked for the Budapest Telephone Exchange with Tivadar Puskas as a chief electrician, after which, in 1884, he relocated to the United States to experiment with direct and alternating currents working for Edison. His alternating current transition systems later became popular. A few of his greatest inventions include the three-phase generator, the alternating current induction motor, and the principle of radio frequency.

The use of electricity in medicine

The benefits of electric current for the human body were discovered in ancient times. Patients in Egypt and Rome were treated with electric fish. Electric fish, rays, and eels were put in bathing pools. The electric discharges produced by these species are different; therefore, they could be used to treat a diverse range of diseases. Paralytic patients were placed in a pool full of higher-frequency electric eels that are capable of discharging 300-400V of electricity. Patients with arthritis or headaches were put together with lower frequency electric fish, such as rays discharging only 10-17V of electricity. In the 1800s, the rise of electricity-related discoveries led to experiments on its application in medicine. Electrical treatments can be classified by low, mid-, and high-frequency treatments.

Low-frequency treatments {0-1,000 Hz)

Galvanic baths: several different types exist. This pain-killing procedure improves circulation. Some of the better-known types are the four-chambered galvanic baths, which combine hydrotherapy and electro energy. Iontophoresis: a technique using an electric charge to deliver medicine through the skin. This is an effective way for transdermal medication delivery, but the amount of intake is difficult to control. Treatments by electrical stimulation: there are two known types: applying lower frequency results in muscle contraction; with higher frequency symptomatic treatment can be achieved. This type of treatment can be used for pain management, circulation boost, and the stimulation of metabolic processes. Selective stimulation works the paralyzed and/or withered muscles to prevent them from further atrophy.

Mid-frequency treatments (1,000-100,000 Hz)

This treatment has no effect when applied by itself; it is only used as a carrier current. Interferential current occurs within the tissues underneath the body surface area. A value between two carrier frequencies will be felt – such as 100 Hz at 2400-2500 Hz. The penetration of impulses depends on the pulse width. The advantages of this type of therapy are the stimulations within the deep muscles, where the electrical stimulation occurs. The treatment is suitable for neurologically stimulated areas (nerves, muscles, and connective tissues) or for the stimulation of areas that are located deeper. It can improve the operation of cell functions, and it can also be used for muscle relaxation and pain mitigation. The treatment has no unpleasant side effects.

High-frequency treatments (above 100,000 Hz)

During these types of treatments, the electrodes are not in direct contact with the skin, only heat sensation can be felt. They are also called ultrasound procedures and are usually applied in the cosmetic industry for lipolysis or for the purpose of cream absorption. The following values can be set: • Contraction time: This button sets the length of muscle contraction (impulse) periods: between 0.1 and 60 seconds. • Relax time: this button sets the length of time between contractions (impulses): values can be set between 0.1 and 60 seconds. • Hz: regulates the density of the contractile stimuli. The value for the recommended workout is between 5-150 Hz. Above SO Hz impulses are no longer felt as a single stimulus, but as continuous contraction pulses emitted by the device. • Pulse width: this determines how deep the impulses penetrate into the muscles. This value can be set between 100 and 500 l..lS, depending on the exercise program, the individual’s build, and stamina.

Technical clothing

EMS Training Suit

EMS workouts require special clothing. The function of these technical clothes is the transmission of electrical impulses to the muscles with the help of the electrodes placed inside them. The vest and the shorts can be customized for all body types perfectly with the help of adjustable straps. They are available in four sizes, between XXS-XXL

Vest and shorts

Both the vest and shorts ar e made of an antibacterial, breathable material, which can be easily cleaned; therefore the highest hygienic standards can be maintained. After cleaning, electrodes have to be separated from the clothing, in order to facilitate proper drying.


There is a pair of electrodes inside the technical clothing covering all major muscle groups. The pads evenly conduct the electricity; therefore the impulse strength is well-balanced all over the body and without any unpleasant feeling. The electrodes are made of flexible carbon-silicon fibers, making them durable and easy to clean (with a Mild detergent.

The EMS workout

EMS training is a special form of personal training. Specific skills are required to operate the machine, so EMS training can be only done in the presence of qualified instructors. To achieve the optimal result the personal trainer should highlight the importance of keeping a healthy diet. Two-three hours before the training food rich in carbohydrates should be consumed, but avoiding heavy food is recommended. Customers are advised to drink about 0.5-1 liter of water approximately 30-40 minutes before the start of the workout to be properly hydrated, which improves the conductance of the body for the electric impulses.


Before starting the workout session customers must be advised of the contraindications at which the device cannot be used. This health and safety declaration must be signed by each new client in order to avoid any future liability disagreement. This statement shall include all cases in which the use of device 217 is not recommended and/or prohibited. The most important element of this declaration is the cases in which the training is prohibited. These are as follows:

For the adequate functioning of our heart perfect contractility and heart, valves are required. When there is a block in the heart’s electrical and mechanical conduction system, so the heart rate is either too fast or too slow, an arrhythmia occurs. This may result from congenital disorders, metabolic disorders, hormonal disturbances, or could be a side effect of medicines, but is usually developed after infarction as a consequence of blood supply disruption. In modern medicine, such problems could be treated. the implant of a pacemaker. The small device consists of a generator and an electrode. If such a device is used during EMS training, the impulse of the EMS machine could generate disturbances in the pacemaker which also issues electric pulses. This could be a life hazard for the patient, therefore it is prohibited to use EMS in such cases.

Electrocardiography is a non-invasive (painless and non-invasive) procedure to record the electrical activity of the heart. This device diagnoses the conductive tissue that carries electrical signals. The ECG is a unique waveform, which could be altered by the electrical impulses of the EMS device, and therefore false information could be recorded.

During menstruation, training ability is dependent on the individual. When experiencing severe abdominal cramps the impulses coming from the machine can contract these muscles even more so, worsening the symptoms. When only mild pain is felt, these can become stronger during the workout, however, this does not necessarily happen. Some women do not experience any sort of side effects, and some complaint about the ones mentioned above. Therefore, training is not recommended and can only be used at the customer’s own risk. During pregnancy, EMS training is strictly prohibited, as the impulses may result in contractions in the uterus, and thus parturition may start or could result in harmful effects on the fetus. Workout is only recommended three months after postpartum.

Epilepsy is a set of neurological disorders characterized by seizures that are the results of the brain’s electronic hyper-reaction. The electric impulses penetrating the body can ignite a potential attack; therefore EMS training is highly contraindicated.

In the following cases EMS training is not recommended:

In case of any illness, it is certain that our immune system is less active than normal. Therefore, exercising should be avoided, especially high-intensity EMS training, until full recovery. A weakened defense system reacts to exercising differently, and the illness can worsen or complications can occur.

EMS training is not recommended for people suffering from tumors. The intensity of the exercises can offset the natural balance of the body and might 219 cause further multiplication of the cancerous cells. It is not even recommended to anyone who has been asymptomatic for 5 years as the cancerous lesions might redevelop.

People with infectious diseases – by the nature of the illness – should stay away from public places. As mentioned above exercise should be avoided until full recovery.

Although, the frequency of the EMS device does not affect the stimuli created by the coronary sinus, medical examination, and approval are required to be fore the E MS training in such cases, as the high physical stress can potentially adversely affect the patient’s unhealthy, labile heart functions.

The body’s internal temperature is around 36,5 c. Due to illness, the body temperature rises to defend against bacteria and pathogens. The body requires enormous amounts of energy to sustain its biological balance within these changed circumstances. During workouts, our body generates extra heat which leads to an even higher temperature and energy consumption. Since EMS training is very intensive, full body training, the extra stress caused by the extra heat, as well as the increased energy consumption to the body in a fever should be avoided.

Those who suffer from high blood pressure are not recommended to do any sort of workout including compression and exercises requiring large effort. large effort increases the pressure on the wall of the vessels; therefore patients with this 220 type of illness should practice cardio and stamina-strengthening sports as these help circulation and are beneficial for heart function. Studies show that long-term cardiovascular training lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Even in these cases, EMS training is only allowed under doctor supervision.

As the electrodes conduct electricity through our skin, it is essential to have healthy skin. If the customer has wounds or purulent injuries electric stimulation cannot be applied, as irritation may occur around the velocity field or the pus area may spread further. Therefore, it is advised to wait until the injuries are completely healed. Dry skin can cause problems in the transmission of electricity. Even when moist, the amount of dead skin cells can be so high that it could prevent the transmission of the stimulus.

If the customer experiences any unusual symptoms medical examination is recommended. One should not risk the condition getting worse, as it could be caused by the electrical stimulus in case of an unknown disease.

Several different side effects can occur when electrical stimulation is used with patients having metal implants. The metal can receive the vibrations emitted by the device which can lead to periostitis. In addition, the vibration can cause the metal to overheat. If the implant is located in the teeth or near the head persistent headache can develop. This includes the old amalgam fillings which many people still have today.

EMS Workout methods

It is important to be aware of the contraindications mentioned above before starting the workout. To start the workout, we first need to put on the undergarment made of at least 95% cotton. This needs to be as tight as possible, best to have it completely body-fit. For hygienic reasons long sleeves and legged clothing are preferable. It is possible to get this type of undergarment at the studios, but the workout can be performed in your own clothing as well. After getting changed drinking an isotonic drink is recommended, this provides the appropriate energy, pH, and hydration level during exercise. Most studios provide this included with the gym membership. After this, the machine is programmed according to the customer’s fitness level. The impulses on the muscle groups are gradually switched on.. normally from the bottom to the top. After each muscle group has been switched on the intensity can be increased. It is important to properly communicate with the customer, as their reactions can help set the optimal intensity. When the comfort zone has reached the workout of the individual muscle groups can start. The training method is effective by itself without exercising the muscle groups specifically, but with systematic training, the results are more visible and can be seen a lot quicker. These are simple gymnastic exercises, such as lunges or squats for the strengthening of the thighs, or curls for the biceps. Any movement allowed by the clothing can be performed. The training can be varied with a wide range of equipment, such as hand-held dumbbells, swiss balls, step benches, skipping ropes, rubber strips, small balls, or anything that can be complied with the operation of the machine. A workout normally lasts 15-20 minutes followed by a relaxation session of 3-5 minutes to stretch the overloaded muscles. After relaxation, the personal trainer helps to remove the technical clothing and asks the customer to perform a few stretching exercises.

It is advised to drink a protein shake within half an hour after exercising. In case of wishing to lose weight low calorie food or drink offered by the gym should be consumed. A 20-minute session with the EMS device equals a 90-minute conventional training. The supercompensation period (when the muscles get to the fully rest stage) is 2.5-3 days, which is about 2 times longer than that of the normal workouts. Therefore, only 2-3 EMS workouts per week are recommended, as this type of training tires the muscles significantly

Effect of the EMS workout on muscles

The motor system

Our motor system is composed of two types of organ systems. One of them is called the passive system, such as bones, joints, and ligaments attached to and moved by the active system, the muscle group. Normally, 40-45% of our body weight consists of muscles, which are made up of over 400 muscles. There are three distinct types of muscles: Smooth muscles: are found within the walls of internal visceral organs, controlled directly by the autonomic nervous system, and are involuntarily controlled. They are capable of only light efforts but tireless. Skeletal muscles: are attached to the bones by bundles of collagen fibers and capable of voluntarily controlled movements, and heavy efforts, but characterized by fatigue. Cardiac or heart muscles: voluntarily controlled, tireless Hereinafter we shall introduce the striated muscles, also known as skeletal muscles that are important from the motion’s point of view.

The structure of muscles

The striated muscle is made of individual components known as myocytes, or “muscle cells”, also known as “muscle fibres”. These long, cylindrical, multinucleated cells are surrounded by cell membranes (sarcolemma). Its sarcoplasm contains mitochondria, other cell organs and myofibrils. Z-line: separates the sarcomeres from each other A-band: contains both thin and thick filaments 1-band: contains only thick filaments (actin) H-band: contains only thick filaments (myosin) 224 M-line: located in the middle of the H-band, its function is to stabilise the filaments in the middle of the sarcomere. The individual muscle fibres can include a few thousand myofibrils. To break this further down, these are composed of sarcomeres. Muscle fibres build up the muscle fascicles”

Connection with the nervous system

Each movement creates innervations. Without innervations, the human muscles are paralysed. The Innervations ratio depends on the number of motor units, which consist of motor neurons located within the grey matter that forms the ventral horn and all the muscle fibres it innervates. Within a nerve several muscle fibres can be found; however, the more subtle a movement is the fewer fibres the nerve has (e.g. for the movement of facial muscles a motor unit contains 15-20 muscle fibres, while for rougher movements a motor, unit can contain several hundred muscle fibres). There are several different types of muscle fibres within the human body, but within a motor unit, only one type of fibre can be found.

Fibre types

Fundamentally two types of fibres can be differentiated: fast and slow fibres. The third type is a mixture of the two and can act as a slow or a fast fibre depending on the workout session. The number of the fast and slow fibres is genetically encoded, by the time we reach the age of two their final composition is formed and no longer changes. The slow fibres are located in the deeper muscle layers and they are responsible for body posture. Thefastfibresarelocatedintheupper layers; their role is in locomotion. The distribution of fibre types also determines what sports the individual will be suitable for. If a person has more slow fibres in their body, they will be more successful as endurance athletes; if they have more fast fibres, they will be better suited for speed sports.

  • Red
  • Tonal
  • 20-80% presence (occurrence)
  • Small size, a cross-section of motor neuron
  • Very high mitochondrial density
  • Large amounts of myoglobin
  • High capillary density
  • Slow oxidative metabolism
  • High aerobic capacity
  • Split ATP at a slow rate
  • Low lactic acid production
  • High resistance to fatigue
  • Used for long-term aerobic activity
  • Slow contraction velocity
  • Brownish-pink
  • Phasic-tonal
  • 20-40% presence
  • Medium size,
  • cross-section of motor neuron
  • Medium mitochondrial density
  • Medium myoglobin content
  • Intermediate capillary density
  • Fast oxidative metabolism
  • Split ATP at a very rapid rate
  • Medium lactic acid production
  • Intermediate resistance to fatigue
  • Used for medium-term anaerobic activity
  • Intermediate contraction velocity
  • White
  • Phasic
  • Large muscle fibers
  • Greater and quicker force
  • Fatigue quickly
  • Short-term contractions
  • Supports power activities
  • Are more anaerobic with less blood supply

Stimulation and rising phases:

  • Phase I- latency stage: Stimulus reaches the cell, but no visible signs are shown.
  • Phase II – local potential: the phase where stimulus starts.
  • Phase Ill – Peak potential: The rising phase of the action potential is depolarisation; the falling phase is repolarisation. In case of an efficient stimulus impact the sodium transport is terminated, allowing the entry of the sodium ions into the cell, causing the cell into to become positively charged. This is followed by the opening of the potassium ion channels that permit the exit of potassium ions from the cell eliminating the negative charge. The efflux of potassium ions decreases the membrane potential, the negative voltage disappears, and the voltage returns to its normal resting value, restoring equilibrium.
  • Phase IV – Negative after-potential: this is the refractory period, during which it is impossible to evoke another action potential within the cell
  • Phase V – Positive after-potential: the short-term rise of the resting potential

The muscle cells are characterized by the “all or none” principle. This means that if the intensity of the stimulus exceeds the threshold, the muscle cell immediately and fully responds. As shown below, muscle function is characterized by various phenomena. Low-frequency stimulation creates incomplete tetanus, where convulsions are still separable. However, above 50 Hz (SO stimuli/sec) they blend together creating full tetanus. Energy generation of the muscles

There are several ways to generate energy in the body.

Muscle function is generated by the electrical stimulation of the central nervous system, which requires a constant supply of energy. The key compound of energy generation is ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Energy is released in the form of ATP, transforming into ADP (adenosine diphosphate), when the high energy 228 content macroregion bond is deleted and neo the three phosphate groups is detached. With the further breakdown of the phosphoric acid, AMP (adenosine monophosphate) is formed. After contraction this process is restored regenerating ATP, therefore ATP also has the role of storing energy in the muscle tissue.

This process occurs without the use of oxygen, lactic acid is not formed. In addition to ATP, creatine can also be found in muscle tissue. When the two are connected creatine transforms into creatine phosphate. This is the fastest possible way to generate energy without oxidation taking place. However, this only lasts for a short period of time of about 40 seconds (depending on one’s fitness level it may last longer).

When the creatine-phosphate runs out a new way of energy generation is needed. At this stage, the body mainly uses carbohydrates to create lactic acid. The anaerobic breakdown of glucose is called glycolysis. This is not very efficient as during fermentation only 2 ATP is produced out of one mole of glucose. The 229 process starts at 40 seconds and it can be maintained for about 150 seconds without loss of performance.

This is the most efficient way of generating energy. Cells are able to oxidise protein and fat on top of the carbohydrates, thus the further oxidation of pyruvate produced during metabolism creates carbon dioxide and water through the citric acid cycle. In chemistry, this is called terminal oxidation. During aerobic exercise, 38 ATP is created out of 1 mole of glucose. If the movement is started at maximum speed the aerobic system predominantly appears at 110 seconds.

The process of muscle contraction

The muscle fibers are composed of thick and thick filaments. When relaxed the A (thin) and I (thick) lines are well separated. The thin filaments are composed of actin, and the thick ones are made up of myosin protein. During contraction, the thin filaments slip in between the thick ones and the two elements overlap. This process starts with an electrical stimulus mediated by the nervous system that runs through the spinal cord and motor neurons of the muscles until reaching the muscle fibers. The level of calcium is increased by activating the actin filaments, which switch on the magnesium ion of the myosin. The process requires energy that the cell covers from ATP, and then the activated myosin binds to the actin creating actomyosin. The actomyosin connects to an ATP, the actin detaches and the remaining myosin reacts with a new actin creating a recurring cycle.


Reflexes are the body’s reactions to changes in the external and internal environment. The path of the reflex can be divided into several stages. Receptor cell perceives the stimulus, i.e. action potential is detected The signal reaches the central nervous system through the afferent leg of the spinal cord The central n ervous system issues a command The response returns through the efferent leg Finally, the effector organ carries out the task There are a variety of reflexes which can be classified after diverse criteria.

Reflexes classified after the receptor type are:

  • Exteroceptive reflexes {are brought by the stimulation of exteroceptors)
  • Interoceptive reflexes (are brought by the stimulation of interoceptors)
  • Proprioceptive reflexes (are brought by the stimulation of proprioceptors, sensory receptors found in muscles, tendon,s and joints)

In regards to muscle function, the understanding of proprioceptive reflexes has the utmost importance. Two types are distinguished, one is called the myotatic reflex ( stretch reflex), which is a muscle contraction in response to stretching within the muscle. The receptor cell is located in the muscle spindle, from which the alpha afferent fibers transmit information to the spinal cord. It is a monosynaptic reflex that provides automatic regulation of skeletal muscle length. The other is its inverse, the inverse myotatic reflex (Golgi tendon reflex). The receptors are found in the tendons. The stimulus causes the muscles to relax and to become sensitive to stronger stretch, thus defending the muscle from injury and overstretching.

Reflexes classified by the number of synapsis:

  • Monosynaptic: fast
  • Polysynaptic: slow

Reflexes classified by their center:

  • Spinal cord: proprioceptive, exteroceptive reflexes
  • Cortex: conditional and unconditional (innate) reflex

Nervous system control

Motor coordination takes place at multiple levels: spinal cord, medulla oblongata, pons., midbrain, cerebellum, diencephalon, hypothalamus, thalamus, and in the subcortical grey matter neurons. The motor movement itself is created in the rear of the cortex frontal lobe.

This is the primary center that · transmits information to the secondary centers to organize. Periphery is reached throughout the pyramidal and extrapyramidal pathways. During learning movement coordination dynamic stereotypes are formed, which are conditional, collated reflex strings containing the individual movement pattern.

Delayed onset muscle soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness or muscle fever is the painful inflammation of the muscle caused by eccentric exercise which lasts for about 2-3 days. This can be caused by learning a new range of motions, but could also be the product of anaerobic metabolism (lactic acid) or by the overload of aerobic metabolic products (free radicals). Recent studies suggest that muscle fever could be felt when micro muscles are ruptured. During eccentric exercise, minor ruptures can develop within the muscle fibers which cause pain and inflammation when healing. Once the muscle ruptures, it will never fully recover; therefore it is advised to avoid high-impact exercise.

It is important to gradually increase the intensity of the exercises, according to the individual’s fitness level. Warm-up and stretching after exercising are essential to prevent the development of muscle soreness. It can be avoided with the help of various antioxidants (vitamins C and E), but once it has developed, the symptoms can be suppressed by continued exercise, as the intense circulation discharges the waste products. However, it has to be done with care, as muscles are more vulnerable at this stage. Massage and resting can be also proposed as a way to ease soreness.

Effort methods

Two types of muscle contractions are classified: isotonic (or anisometric) and isometric contractions.

During isotonic contraction, the length of the muscle changes, shortened or prolonged, but the tension is constant (no movement results). Contraction always involves movement. The isotonic effort can be divided into further two types: Concentric contraction: the muscle’s force of contraction exceeds the external load on the muscle, it is sufficient to overcome the resistance, therefore voluntary movement is created (i.e. lifting a dumbbell).

Eccentric contraction: the force generated is insufficient to overcome the external load on the muscle (the external load exceeds the internal force). Despite the varied tension, the muscle fibers lengthen as they contract and decelerating movement is created {i.e. training with heavier weights than one can handle). During the isometric effort, the muscle remains the same length, only the tension changes. No movement results and effort is created in fixed positions. Measurements prove that during isometric contractions 8-10% more force is generated than during isotonic contractions.

The effect of strength training

Conditional abilities include strength, speed, and stamina. From the EMS point of view, we will primarily focus on strength training. We can distinguish between static and dynamic strength. Static strength is the absolute muscle strength, measured by the isometric method. Dynamic strength transforms muscle strength into energy. The faster the movement and with the more weight, the more dynamic the movement becomes.

Other classifications:

  • Absolute force: strength record irrelevant to the individual’s body weight Relative force: maximum strength related to one s body weight
  • Maximum force: maximum strength that can be produced by a certain muscle group in a given situation
  • Velocity force: indicates the speed of muscle contraction Explosive force: maximum strength released within the shortest period of time (sprints, jumps, etc.)
  • Stamina strength: resistance without a decrease in performance. The stronger the individual, the longer he can hold weights.

During strength, training hypertrophy occurs in response to muscle tension. This represents a certain increase in the cross-section of the muscles, which depends on the resistance and the length of the stretched condition. Also, the extent of effort depends on age and gender, the type of muscle contraction, the type and number of motor units, and the original cross-section of the muscle.


In order to achieve the desired training effect, it is essential to determine the necessary intervals between workouts. After training the body needs to readjust itself, this is when the sympathetic control changes into parasympathetic control. The depleted energy supply is reproduced; breathing and pulse are restored to normal. The nervous system always surpasses the initial fitness level, meaning that during the next workout session, the intensity could be increased as the body is protected by a higher level of the defense system. This process is called super-compensation, which allows development as the result of optimal training intensity. When the intensity is too low super-compensation does not occur, when it is too high overtraining may occur.

General concepts of training theory used during EMS workout

Recruitment principle

During conventional strength training first the slow, and then the fast muscle fibres are activated. During EMS training this order is reversed, involving the fast fibres in the movement first. The threshold of the fast fibres is higher; therefore they are difficult to activate during a normal workout. With the help of muscle stimulation, it is possible to trigger these parts of the muscles resulting in a much more intense muscular effort. By adjusting the pulse depth (i.e. how deep the impulses shall penetrate into the tissues), it is possible to reach such deep body muscle groups that otherwise would be very difficult to set in motion – one of the most prominent is the deep back. Separate electrodes are placed in the technical clothing for the strengthening of these specific muscle groups.

Muscles can be categorised into three groups by their function: agonist, antagonist and synergist. The agonist and antagonist muscles act in counter-movement: when one of them is contracting the other one is relaxed. An example of such pairing is the biceps and triceps on the upper arm. When bending the arm the biceps are contracted to cause the triceps to relax and vice versa. The pairs are complementary to each other, while the agonist is working the antagonist is resting (also fixes the joint position in many cases).

The third group is the synergist. It is the kind of muscle that performs the same set of motion as the agonist, i.e. during squat the synergist of the gluteus is the leg extension muscle. Therefore, it is important to know which of the muscle groups can be switched on simultaneously for a given exercise, to further improve the efficiency of EMS training. Although the stimulation affects the entire body continuously, working on a particular muscle group specifically, the result on that muscle group can be significantly improved further.

It is important that movements are synchronised with the impulses, not only to avoid possible temporary lock of the joints by the activated antagonist muscles but also as it can greatly improve conscious muscle control too.

The intensity of the EMS workout

During a 15-minute EMS training such an intense muscle, the workout is realized which is equivalent to 1.5-hour gym training. Each second about 40 micro-con tractions are created in the muscles, resulting in 36,000 contractions during 15 minutes. This is precisely the reason why the risk of micro-injury is high; therefore it is important to tailor the training to the individual and also to choose an expert trainer. The fact is that during EMS training the production of the stress hormones is higher (catecholamine, adrenalin) as well as the enzyme function, thus it is not recommended to train for more than 15 minutes with this type Of method.

a) Supercompensation. In case of the high-intensity EMS training, the recovery period is 2-3 days. It is important to keep the necessary interval between workouts, as otherwise, the symptoms of overtraining can appear. When too much recovery time is left between the workouts the increase in the level of performance can stop.

b) The process of overcompensation: Within the first 6 hours after a workout the regeneration of intracellular phosphates located within the muscle cells (ATP, creatine, and phosphate), restoration of the pH level, normalization of the nerve-muscle connection, and substrate regeneration occur. Within 6-36 hours after the training session replenishment of the muscle and liver glycogen supply and the regeneration of the mitochondria take place. After 36 hours the period of super re-compensation begins. The body surfaces the original fitness level to defend itself against the increased load, resulting in additional compensation of proteins, hormones, and electrolytes.

c ) Adaptation. The series of various physical and mental adjustments influenced by the training stimulus result in improved performance capabilities, called fitness. Adaptation to training, thus fitness, is the result of optimal load. Adaptation to EMS training can be studied at different levels.

Short-term adaptation: certain changes in the body are triggered even after a few training sessions. During the training quick regeneration of the depleted plastic (able to change) organs can be observed. Mobilizing progresses that are able to rebuild these weakened·systems are created within the muscle cells, nervous system, and vascular network. These compensatory processes represent the ability to adapt to extreme circumstances. The changes are temporary; the results quickly disappear as the training sessions are discontinued.

Long-term adaptation: when looking at greater intervals the extent degree of adaptation shows a gradually increasing curve. For the short term, adaptation processes take weeks or months to stabilize, and quality progress occurs. To maintain high-quality workouts monotonic routine sessions should be avoided. Pulse strength, the diversity of exercises, and training frequency should be varied every4weeks.

individual workout

The EMS training is conducted in the form of personal training. The personal trainer sets the desired program by communicating with the customer. The settings are determined by the customer’s fitness level, age, gender, and current mood. As opposed to conventional strengthening workouts EMS training lays emphasis on the observation of body reactions, thereby avoiding overtraining. The individual’s body and muscle awareness is increased by the sensation of separate muscle contractions in each muscle group.

Heart condition and circulation during EMS

Depending on the setting, impulses can be anywhere between 3 and 20 seconds, making the majority of the contractions isometric. In this case, the load level of patients with blood pressure problems should be considered the same way, as the result of effort the pressure on the walls of blood vessels increases. The agonist-antagonist muscles work simultaneously, creating increased blood circulation in the muscles.

Passive motor system

Being effective on the muscles, the EMS training method is also easy on the joints. Exercises are carried out without heavy weights. As opposed to conventional weight training, the extent of the load is defined by the intensity of the stimulation, which is a virtual weight (i.e. dumbbells feel much heavier). Since the passive motor system (bones, tendons, joints) does have reduced stress, it may not develop as well as the muscles, so it is advised to do additional cardio-type exercises (running, swimming, cycling, etc.). This is not only reinforces the passive motor system but also helps keep the heart and lungs fit and healthy.

Muscular asymmetry

The EMS technology provides the opportunity to train each muscle group separately. Misbalanced muscle development can be caused by certain sports or working habits or even genetic abnormalities. Muscle groups that are either misbalanced or just difficult to build up can be also developed by EMS training. Due to inactive lifestyle muscle groups can become shortened or deformed, particularly the skeletal muscles. Muscle stimulation is an excellent solution to these types of problems, as specific muscle groups can be developed.

The benefits of EMS training

By summarising the previous chapters we are now able to conclude the advantages and disadvantages of electrical stimulation. Let me put the benefits associated with this type of training into a different perspective:


People in today’s society lack the time to exercise due to work and family activities. After a busy day not many of us have the time and will to go to the gym or train outside for an hour and a half. EMS training, however, only requires half an hour including changing and the workout session itself, which is why this method is so popular. During the 15-minute workout session, a workout equalling a 90-minute conventional training is performed, thus shortening the time spent on getting in shape.

Targeted muscle building

Due to the electrodes placed on the main muscle groups, it is possible to stimulate the body simultaneously. There are muscles, however, that are difficult to develop, but by choosing the appropriate training program these muscles can also be targeted during the workout. Asymmetrical muscle development can be caused by the nature of work, generic abnormalities, and the nature of the sport played, however, bodybuilders can also experience this problem. The EMS device comes with an extra electrode to be placed on the problematic parts of the body.

Simultaneous muscle training

During training, the entire body is stimulated simultaneously. Inside the technical clothing, there are pairs of electrodes located by each major muscle group: chest muscles (pectoralis ) , back muscles (latissimus), biceps and triceps (biceps brachii and triceps brachii), lower abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis), buttocks (gluteus muscles), thigh flexor and extensor muscles, and calf muscles (gastrocnemius). The impulses occur virtually at the same time within each muscle group. Depending on the body part the intensity could be separately adjusted, while the original pulse intensity is maintained in the other areas of the body. This is one of the keys to the effectiveness of this technology, as even when we focus on training the arm our thighs are also being developed. Compared with conventional strength training EMS technology is 150 times more effective. About 40 micro contractions are created per second, which is equal to 36,000 contractions during the 15-minute workout session. This corresponds to about 15 series of workouts per muscle group, which is hardly feasible in the gym. On average, approximately 10 minutes worth of training are spent on each individual muscle group, but thanks to the EMS technology this can be reduced significantly, by about 80-85%.

Easy on the joints

The training is accomplished without using additional weights, as the toad is produced by the intensity of the impulses. Therefore, the overload and injury of the joints can be avoided and also workouts at appropriate levels can be carried out with recovering and sensitive joints.

Fat burning effect

After a 20-minute EMS training, a 24h fat-burning occurs after each training session. Due to the intensity and efficiency of the EMS Training, fat loss and muscle formation occur quickly.

Cellulite treatment

The EMS devices are equipped with a special program that effectively treats the symptoms of cellulite. Cellulite is developed by the weakening of the connective tissue; and as fat cells accumulate between the skin and the muscle tissues, visiible bulges appear mainly on the thighs, gluteus, and abdomen. These issues can be stimulated with lower pulse depth, which is increasing circulation and stimulating the escape of waste products from the problematic areas. Due to the involuntarily increased muscle work and metabolism, the energy consumption of cells increases and with proper diet weight loss and body shaping can be achieved.

Back pain relief

One of the most important effects of electrical stimulation is the capability to reach and move muscles located deeper within the body. Some of these muscles are the deep back muscles and the muscles located next to the spine. They are responsible for our body posture but have been weakened by the modern sedentary lifestyle, leading to back complaints. Muscle stimulation helps to strengthen these muscles and re-enables them to perform their functions, which is to hold the spine properly. As a result of the reinstated posture, back pains can be eliminated efficiently.

Personal training sessions

The EMS training can be fully tailored with the personal traine r only dealing with one customer at a time. The device can be fully adjusted to the individual’s needs; therefore, results can be faster achieved. Individuals participating in the workout sessions can experience a complete, high-quality service, where their goals can be more easily realized with the help of the personal trainer.

Adaptable regardless of age and fitness level

Depending on the fitness level of the individual very small loads can be induced, which can still effectively lead to exercising. By slowly increasing the load, people of elderly age or with damaged or limp muscles can develop so-called muscle consciousness, which helps to improve muscle condition quickly and efficiently.

Possible injuries

As with any other sports activity, there is a certain level of injury risk with EMS training. This condition may occur if the personal trainer is not well prepared, does not properly estimate the customer’s fitness level, or if the customer holds back information about a condition that is contraindicated with EMS training. If everything is carried out according to the guidelines, there is a significantly smaller chance of injury then it is at conventional training. Possible injuries during EMS training include:

When the pulse strength is not properly set some muscle groups prone to convulsion may painfully sprain. This typically occurs in the triceps muscles, such as the calves or triceps, but the hamstrings can also cramp. When the intensity is increased carefully, paying attention to these muscle groups, unpleasant cramps can be prevented.

This could also be the result of improper machine setup. The personal trainer must take into consideration the customer’s fitness level and adjust the training accordingly. As the workout itself is very intense, the customer should only carry out exercises he/she is able to perform correctly. This is to avoid muscle strain in weaker muscles (especially those in the hamstrings).

Overtraining can result in excessive muscle soreness, which can occur due to micro-muscle rupture. This happens when the setup is not adjusted to the customer’s fitness level and he/she persistently trains at this level. Muscle soreness may not be felt during the session, but a few days after strong pain can occur which can last up to a week. When the soreness lasts this long it is definitely a symptom of a micro-muscle rupture rather than simple lactic acid accumulation. This is why it is very important to customize the sessions, as the same setting can lead to different results for different people. Impulses that are too strong should not be applied. Constant communication with the customer is imperative to find out the level of intensity he/she can perform the exercises correctly.

The electrical impulses reach the skin surface through the electrodes placed in special technical clothing. As the top layer of the skin is insulated, it does not conduct electricity; therefore, surfaces in contact with the electrodes should be dampened. When this is not done sufficiently, an unpleasant, pinching feeling is experienced that can cause skin irritation. Redness may appear on the area where the electrodes are placed, which should disappear within a few hours, but in the meantime significantly reduces the comfort level of the customer. For hygienic reasons, it is very important to keep the workout clothing clean, even when customers wear their own undergarments in order to avoid any infections arising from the use of shared workout clothing.

Frequently asked questions

Because you train all your 650 muscles at one time. At the gym, you split training and train every day with just one single or two groups of muscles! Fit Express trains all your muscles in a single session with higher intensity. So if you make it more than twice or three times per week you will be overtrained. An overtrained body can not burn fat and your results will be none. So dear client please trust us and you will see how it works. Less is more, work smarter, not harder is our slogan!

Very simple to burn fat, you need muscles. Fit Express training activates all your 650 muscles that will burn your fat until your next session. If you are not working your muscles, they won’t be active and won’t burn your fat. The second step to burn fat is by increasing your muscle size, which will burn you even fatter in the future. So, doing this workout will help you to continue burning fat and reaching your goals with less time and effort. Fit Express is based on results.

EMS Training is for everyone, but especially for that person who wants to have results and reach their goals with less effort and less time! People who are very busy are using this well-known method worldwide. Also, sport performance people like using this method, people who have back pain, and people after surgery for faster rehabilitation. Studies from different Universities in Germany approve of the benefits and results compared to other sports. Currently, it is the best method to transform your body on the worldwide market!

The Fit Express workout offers you very good results in the shortest time possible with less effort and saves every week precious time! So you pay for the results and not for the 20 minutes only! The results and the health benefits. Training with a personal trainer cost you a lot in a classic gym, plus the gym membership. Fit Express offers you in membership better results plus saving your time (time is money) at a lower price! Who can give you such a good offer on the market? With professional US & European trainers, the best devices plus a KNOW-HOW TRAINING AND STAFF COACHING from the largest EMS franchise company!

EMS training is so effective because is the only method that trains all your 650 muscles with 92% intensity in just 20 minutes with two sessions per week! These results are not possible with any other solutions. The intensity is much higher than with other sports solutions and with the help of the newest science and technology. It sounds too good but you will be convinced after the first session.

No. Official scientific and medical studies show, there are no side effects. On the contrary, there are many positive side effects. The EMS devices have ISO approvals. In the EU nothing dangerous to health will be approved for the market. So, you can be sure that the workouts are safe. Next point is that this device and this type of training are also used for medical problems in Germany. It is recommended by doctors as the kind of sport with the minimum accident risk possible. More healthy and effective than other sports.

Yes. By building muscle and burning fat the connective tissue is tightened and the cellulite gets visibly reduced.

Yes, the method of electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) has been successfully and safely used for decades by doctors, physiotherapists, and chiropractors.

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should better not do EMS training. Nevertheless, you should ask your doctor, because even with some of the medical conditions listed here, EMS might be helpful to support the healing process if it’s applied professionally.

  • Epilepsy
  • Pacemaker
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe circulatory disorders
  • Tuberculosis
  • Tumor diseases
  • Atherosclerosis at an advanced stage
  • Arterial circulation disorders
  • Severe neurological diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diseases with fever, acute bacterial or viral processes bleeding, severe bleeding disorders (hemophilia)

Fit Express offers you the perfect way to reach your individual fitness goals quickly, permanently, and effectively. We offer extensive consultation regarding training, nutrition, health, and lifestyle. Our licensed Personal Trainer is looking forward to creating a training plan that is individualized to you and your needs.

Yes. For a healthy and sportive lifestyle, you should integrate sport into your life in the long term. Regarding this EMS is the same as conventional training. Ensure the full performance of your muscle is only possible with regular practice. If you substitute the training over a longer period of time, the muscle develops back to its original state. As with conventional strength training also.

Yes! After a pregnancy, the connective tissue is often overstretched. EMS can quickly and effectively train the pelvic muscles and find a remedy in case of any incontinence.

The full-body EMS training fights the widespread disease “back pain” in a very effective way. EMS activates especially the deep muscles that are difficult to engage by conventional training methods. By strengthening the back muscles and joint structures, the spinal disks are relieved and the entire back and trunk muscles get strengthened. Thus, tension and muscle imbalances are examined. After a few EMS-Sessions, you will notice an improvement and especially you will feel significant relief in everyday life.

The term “body shaping” or “body toning” means the combination of weight loss and muscle building. With the help of these two components, you can bring your body in almost any shape. And by this, you can fight the so-called “problem areas”. EMS is the perfect method for efficient and controlled muscle build-up. In combination with extensive consultation with our Fit Express Personal Trainers and a healthy diet, you are only a few steps away from your dream body.

With Fit Express we set a high value on having not only the look but also your health in mind. Through intensive observation, we notice imbalances in the body, and with targeted and customized exercises and different intensities and resistances we can adjust any imbalances.

During a full-body workout with EMS, 90% of the muscle fibers are stimulated simultaneously. In order to achieve this with conventional strength training an enormous amount of time is usually necessary and the effect can not be achieved in a single session. In addition, EMS is particularly targeted at the deeper muscle fibers that are difficult to train with conventional methods, but which are important for the increase in strength. Therefore EMS is the intra- as well as the inter-muscular coordination. Especially for strength/endurance sports (such as football), EMS leads to a measurable and tangible increase in individual performance.

Yes. However, there is a difference between women and men. Women can sustainably and effectively improve their problem areas. They achieve a natural, attractive, and sexy body shape. But women are limited by their hormone levels in muscle growth in general. With EMS training, no woman can build unintentionally excessive muscles. The male physique allows faster to build muscles. With EMS even the deep muscle fibers, which can normally not be engaged with conventional strength training are activated. Therefore, a quantitative and qualitative improvement of the structure of all muscle groups can be achieved.

Yes. By EMS all the major muscle groups are stimulated to grow and the metabolism gets activated. More lean muscles burn more calories and an activated metabolism burns fatter. So the logical consequence of EMS training is fat and weight reduction. The first results are seen after a few workouts already. In combination with a balanced diet, EMS is the perfect training method for a fast and healthy way to lose body circumference.

  • Visible and impressive results in the shortest time
  • Full body workout in just 20 minutes
  • Weight loss, tighten connective tissue
  • Significant increase in performance

A 20 minutes workout burns 550 calories! Fit Express training activates your all 650 muscles in the body and stimulates them to consume more calories for the whole week until the next training! The results are guaranteed! In the next 48 hours after the first workout, where you burned 550 calories already, you will burn 3000 calories again!! So we have 3550 extra calories burned, in only the first 48 hours!!!

From this point of view, we are unique, such calorie burning is not possible with any other method besides the unique Fit Express method. Rest of the week until the next training you continue to burn calories because your muscles will remain active, which is the effect of the Fit Express method! Following a food plan rich in protein, you will grow your muscle mass, which helps in the next stage, which is the reduction of body fat. Fit Express method activates all your 650 muscles and turns your body into a fat and calorie-burning machine!


On this page, we tried to gather in-depth background information to understand the background and proper operation of EMS technology. EMS workout is an excellent alternative for everyone. It can be used by people who lack the time to exercise but is also a great opportunity for those who would like to recover from an injury and for those who would like to familiarise themselves with a novel, fast, and highly effective training program. This method very much complements the conventional training methods, increases sports performances and stamina, and also provides healthy muscle functions. Many believe that as they stopped exercising years ago it is difficult to keep up the motivation to get their body back into shape. Time spent on getting into shape can be greatly reduced by the EMS technology, as muscles will be ready to take on larger loads, therefore motivating the individual to exercise. The customers will have a sense of achievement, as their performance greatly increases either in EMS training or in other sports; such as running, gym training, cycling, etc. The effect of the latter is of key importance, as the most important aim of recreation is by spending our free time in a healthy, meaningful way, which is achieved through sports and exercise.