There’s no question that technology has changed every aspect of our lives — arguably for the better. But, fitness trackers and sweat-wicking fabrics aside, I have always been of the mindset that not much can change the process of achieving fitness. Ultimately, it just comes down to putting in the time and hard work, and there are no shortcuts for that, no magic bullet that can make things easier or faster.
Enter Electro-Muscular Stimulation, or EMS for short. Originally developed in the early 20th century to treat muscle atrophy and paralysis, it was further investigated by Russian scientists in the seventies. With impressive results of 30%-40% increase in muscle strength in a short period of time, it was obvious that this was a tool that could provide advantages to elite athletes.
The GoGo Muscle Training Suit
The newly opened GoGo Muscle Training now brings this technology to Toronto for everyone to try. At their glossy boutique studio in Yorkville, clients get suited-up in their specialized undergarments and very high-tech looking EMS suits, then lightly spritzed down with water (it helps the process work) before embarking on a 20-minute workout that has been programmed for you. Small electrical impulses are sent directly to the muscles, activating 90% of muscle fibres at the same time. The workouts are designed around strength training moves and HIIT principles, so be prepared to work in short bursts alternating with rest.
That’s right, I said be prepared to work. Because, in the end, there is no getting around that. For EMS to work effectively, you need to be working as well.
I will admit that I arrived a skeptic, and left convinced that this is a method of strength training that is a great component of an overall fitness regime. The feeling is of a deeper muscle contraction at all of the stimulation points in the suit. Whatever exercise you are doing, you are feeling greater resistance. The exercises are easy to follow: squats, arm curls, donkey kicks, planks, so this is not something beginners need fear. Cardio-focused sessions are also available. Did I sweat? More than I thought I would.
The biggest benefits to GoGo Muscle Training’s workouts is that clients are able to get an effective strength training workout without risk of putting undue pressure on their joints, because you are working your muscles without lifting heavy. Additionally, it’s tough to argue with a 20-minute workout vs. an hour or so at the gym.
One thing you also need to be prepared for is to feel the work you’ve done in the next few days. Deeply. But in the best way possible.
GoGo Muscle Training is located at 70 Yorkville Avenue, unit MR5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. A single session or assessment costs $99, monthly memberships $499.