Like millions of women and Mummy’s across Britain, I will stop at virtually nothing if it promises to make me fitter faster, toned, lose weight and eradicate cellulite!
From toning footwear to vibrating dumbbells, Jazzercise and aqua-aerobics, you name it, I’ve tried it. And, as a busy mother-of-two, if it requires no effort on my part, so much the better. So, when I heard about a new, high-tech exercise regime in Surbiton, which simply required me to strap myself into a body suit that looks like something from RoboCop, plug in some electrodes and let science work its magic, it sounded like a dream come true.
Miha Bodytec technology was first designed as a rehabilitation aid for elite athletes — top footballers Frank Lampard and Lionel Messi are fans — but has since garnered a reputation as a fix for weight-loss and improved muscle tone. This, in turn, has led to huge demand from normal women who want to get rid of cellulite and stubborn body fat. Miha Bodytec training uses Electrical Muscular Stimulation (EMS) technology to provide the equivalent of an hour’s workout in 20 minutes, giving your muscles electric shocks as you work out. EMS stimulates upto 95% of your body’s main muscles every time you use it.
The science behind it proves it can help with body-shaping, weight-loss, stamina and endurance, as well as improving posture and reducing back pain. The system also promises to stimulate your mood and sense of wellbeing — even offering you a massage afterwards! During a single session, the device works 350 different muscles, contracting them a total of 36,000 times, meaning they’re working up to ten times harder than during conventional exercise — ideal for busy individuals who don’t have enough time in their week to spend hours pumping away in the gym.
It is true the principles of EMS have been around for a while, but the technology has advanced and new research shows EMS can have a positive effect in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet. Various studies confirm you can get serious results from this approach. In fact, the American Council On Exercise recently tested developments in equipment, and revealed that muscle strength and endurance improved over time in those who had used an EMS device. So, with all this in mind, I headed to The Body Shape Studios in Surbiton to try out a Miha Bodytec EMS work out! I eagerly squeezed myself into the gymwear provided — a skin-tight T-shirt and three-quarter-length gym trousers, specially made from 95 per cent breathable cotton, so that nothing will stand in the way of the electrodes as they power through to your muscles. Then, it was on with the suit that contains the technology!
As my personal trainer jabbed at the buttons on the shiny, silver keyboard attached to the suit by a series of wires, I began to feel a slight tingle through my body.
‘Crank it up!’ I chirruped with a thumbs-up, thinking of all the hours of gym-time I’d save.
I felt brave — this was easy. All I could feel were jabbing, pinprick sensations all over my body. It was rather strange, but by no means painful or uncomfortable. So, at my insistence my personal trainer cranked it up. I couldn’t say aloud what I was thinking — because I was too breathless to do more than gasp!
This ultra-modern system works by contracting the muscles, during which you basically clench your entire body while waiting for the pain to subside. My personal trainer led me through a simple routine of exercises such as squats and lunges etc, each of the exercises accompanied by what felt like constant, static electric shocks.
As he cranked up the intensity, I gritted my teeth as electrodes pulsed on to my skin, triggering my nerves to contract and relax the muscles. As your body is rigid, even the simplest squat or lunge is a real effort. Performing strengthening and toning exercises while wired up to the machine intensifies the way the muscles respond, forcing them to work twice as hard in the same time. The underlying muscle tissue is activated, too, which is what gives such a powerful sensation and makes you even more exhausted. By the end of the session, I collapsed, drenched in sweat, feeling as if I’d been through an hour of circuit training, not a 20-minute workout.
If you can endure just 20 minutes each week in a plush studio with a personal trainer you are guaranteed to see results that you would only get otherwise from spending hours upon hours in a gym 3 or 4 times a week. I am returning next week to sign into a membership and am already excited for the results.
Katie Greaves – Mother of 2 living in Surrey.