Friday, July 20, 2012

Four hours’ training – in 20 minutes!

Look, it’s a LONG 20 minutes

I’m naked. Some of my best experiences begin with me naked, so we’re looking good.
            I’m changing into the black outfit that personal trainer Christina has handed me, with explicit instructions to not wear any underwear underneath it.
It was either this, or become a chin model.

            The visual effect is not unlike a 1920s lifeguard, with knees-to-elbows coverage and a signal lack of package camouflage.
I creep out of the change rooms and submit myself to Christina’s ministrations for my free Bodytec trial training session.
First order of business is strapping several rubber pads to my body – bicep pads, thigh pads, stomach, chest and back ones and a buttpad that is semi-awkward to apply.
            All these pads are squirted with water before application as they’re going to be conducting electricity onto my skin.
            Numerous electrodes are connected to the pads, and finally, I’m plugged into a large VGA cable, like you’d use for a PC, and we’re good to go. I’m hooked up.
            Now, you can talk about Electro Muscular Stimulation all you like, but only he who truly feels it knows it. Bodytec call their offering, “a full body training exercise using impulse current”, but the first time the trainer cranks up the voltage, it feels like you’re being gently electrocuted.
            I had a moment of, “I don’t know if I can handle this”, but that passed within a few seconds and we knuckled down to the business of working out.
            The exercises themselves are pretty simple: squats, lunges, twists and arm waves. But they are made seriously challenging by the electric current coursing through your muscles – and it’s only for four seconds at a time!
            The workout is one-on-one with a trainer – there are only workout stations for two clients in the place. The trainer adjusts the electro stimulation as she deems appropriate.
            Muscles already work on electrical impulses, so EMS boosts these impulses while you do your low-impact exercises on this four-seconds-on, four-seconds-off routine.
            It feels pretty weird the first time, I’m not gonna lie. If you’ve ever used EMS for injury therapy, it’s like that, but more intense.
            The real selling point for the German-developed Bodytec system is this: it’s up to 18 times more effective than traditional weight training! That means a standard 20-minute workout can give the same results as three 90-minute gym sessions.
            Of course it’s muscle training. EMS doesn’t appear to have much effect on one’s cardiovascular fitness.
            Also, it’s not cheap. A single Bodytec session is R650, but if you buy a year’s contract, you can get it down to R845 a month or R195 a session. The studio we checked out recently opened there at the refurbished Grayston Centre, Sandton.
As I type this, my muscles are stiff, sure sign of an effective workout. I could’ve got the same result from hell-sessions at gym. But would I have had the time?
None of us have time to gym as often as it takes to resemble a Greek deity. But everyone can spare 20 minutes a week. In terms of efficient training, EMS is hard to beat.
In terms of cost, though, we gonna to have to look deep inside ourselves and decide…       

For info visit, email or call 079 474 7633

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