It’s important that you’ve completed a medical pre-screening questionnaire and consent form and that you have spoken about this with your Trainer before your first EMS training session. EMS is very safe, however, it’s not for everyone. The Trainer needs to ensure that you aren’t pregnant, nor have a medical condition like seizures, a heart condition, neural disease, or any implanted medical device like a pacemaker.
You won’t need to bring any sports clothes or equipment with you. You may just need to bring a towel and some sports shoes for some studios, however, many Studios and participants prefer training barefoot (I know I do).
Make sure you are really well hydrated and haven’t had a heavy meal 2 hours prior to EMS training. Studies show that consuming water before your EMS training session, facilitates flushing toxins, like lactic acid, out of your body. Being well-hydrated also allows you to work out more intensely and get the most of your workout.
It is also beneficial if you don’t apply body lotion before the session, as this acts as an extra barrier for the stimulation.
The Trainer should explain how the session is going to work and what it is going to feel like. For example, they will generally use intervals of 4 seconds of stimulation and 4 seconds of rest for your first few sessions. The Trainer will gradually increase your stimulation to a level that feels good for you. The stimulation should feel strong but manageable and comfortable. Many describe it as an intense vibration or buzzing sensation.
The Trainer will provide you with a special EMS undergarments (shirt and pants) that are designed to help you get the best stimulation. There will be a range of sizes to fit all body shapes and sizes. When you get changed it’s best (but not compulsory), if you just wear the undergarments with nothing else underneath (no bra, no underwear). As soon as you come from the changing room, we’ll put the EMS suit on you straight away. The EMS suit needs to be tightly fitted for the stimulation to work well.
The EMS suit is sprayed down with water before each session. This allows the stimulation to conduct better. We do use warm water, particularly in the colder months of the year so you feel comfortable when you put it on. XBODY has recently launched our special DryWear Suits and undergarments, which do not require wetting down. Some of our new EMS Studios have this DryTech system.
You will then begin your EMS training session, where you be led through a series of movements and exercises, based on your ability and health goals. As mentioned, The Trainer will gradually increase your stimulation to a level that feels good for you. On your first session, they may do this by increasing one muscle group at a time. In subsequent sessions, your settings are generally saved and they may increase all muscle groups at once. The trainer will always increase stimulation carefully and moderately for the first few minutes of each session. This allows your body to adapt to the stimulation.
You should always be in control of your movement and EMS training should never be painful. The stimulation should feel strong but manageable and comfortable. During the training, the trainer will regularly be asking you how you feel, how hard the movements are, and whether you can handle more (or would like less) resistance. Each and every EMS training session is customisable to meet your goals.
The number one tip to get the most out of EMS training is to ensure you pre-contract (or brace) before the stimulation comes in. This is so that you can control your movement and tolerate more stimulation.
After your session, it’s important to allow time for rest and recovery. EMS training can be intense and you may feel muscle soreness after the session. Make sure you hydrate properly (drink more water than usual) to help the body recover. You may also want to replenish and feed your muscles with protein after the session. It is recommended that you allow 48 hours of recovery after EMS training. You can do light cardio (running or swimming) but no heavy resistance training for 48 hours after the session. This will allow time for your muscles to recover and grow back stronger than before.