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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Better get out your wallet to suit up for the electric slide, y’all. Now you can torch 500 calories in just a 20-minute workout without pouring sweat. Shocking, isn’t it? 

Electric Muscle Stimulation or EMS has been around for years in rehab settings to help repair spinal cord injuries and address paralysis, as well as in physical therapy to strengthen weakened muscles and correct imbalances.

Now, a few companies in the fitness industry are applying EMS theory to gym workouts.


The Claim

Put on one of their weighty and wired wetsuits. Administering an electric current to major muscle groups will help burn more calories and build more muscle with basic movements, minimal effort, and minimal time. Basically, the suit does the work and you no longer dread the sweaty gym sessions. But hold your fire.


[caption id="attachment_58140" align="alignleft" width="300"]Electricity enhanced workout Photo via[/caption]

Is it really Good for us?

EMS Workouts are Expensive

This “workout” will bring tears to your bank account at an electrifying cost of $55 - $145 per session. The price further perpetuates elitist conceptions of exclusivity, that fitness and wellness are the privileges of those who have substantial financial means.

Messing With Our Central Nervous System

Many physiology experts fear that interfering with the brain’s natural way of firing muscle fibers might be detrimental to overall function. We create neural-pathways in our brain through consistent athletic training. These pathways activate the central nervous system that sends electrical signals to engage muscles groups into a specific action. With EMS, our central nervous system is not telling muscles to engage, a machine is doing the work. From a bodybuilding standpoint, you might get a bigger muscle but athletically, our performance will be otherwise. Experts explain that if you get on a football field or a basketball court, you may not move faster or more powerfully, because you still need that central nervous system to turn muscles on.

No Real Gain

Additionally, EMS are light “workouts” consisting of isometric bodyweight movements. As a result, endorphin release is minimal, in other words, there is not really an experience of a “workout high”. EMS workout lack a sense of accomplishment because it can feel like you have done nothing. Your “workout” is passive because you allowed a machine to do the work for you. This is the embodied of the term “autopilot”.

A sweat-drenched workout helps to clear your mind of the day's chatter, giving way to emotional clarity plus a sharpened ability to concentrate. Additionally, time spent in gym sessions can strengthen our connections with others, whether it is offering to help spot or to give encouragement to push through one more burning rep. A suit, no matter how high-tech, cannot do those things.

Wellness is active living. It not a one-time purchased nor can it be reached on cruise-control. True wellness is beyond the ratio of maximum calorie burn to time expenditure. Wellness is how and what choices we consistently make to better our entire selves as well as our interactions with each other. Wellness does not lie within the expensive electrical pulses of a Terminator suit. Wellness is an ongoing, interactive relationship; it is the way we treat our bodies, how we feed our minds and nourish our souls, and it is the building of healthy, meaningful interactions with those whom we are around.

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