If you’re reading this, you want to get fit, lean, and healthy. That’s awesome!
You’ve heard of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) and how it’s one of the fastest growing technologies being used in fitness, and now you want to know the difference between training with EMS and going to the gym.
Getting fit with a wireless EMS suit has 7 advantages over training at the gym:
- Time Efficiency
- Impact on Joints
- Muscular Imbalance
- Mental Capacity
If you want to know more about these advantages, keep reading!
Before we dive in, let’s just clarify the 3 different ways that EMS can be used
|Wireless EMS Suit||fully wireless and battery powered with up to 20 electrodes giving you a full-body workout|
|EMS Machines||located in fitness centres, you’re hooked up to a machine under the guidance of a personal trainer|
|Portable EMS Devices||1-2 electrodes allowing you to focus on one specific muscle group at a time.|
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on the wireless EMS suit.
With a gym membership, you have to physically be at the gym to workout. That means, for most people, traveling at rush hour either before or after work.
Sometimes you can feel exhausted even before you get to the gym!
A wireless EMS suit gives you the freedom to train anytime, anywhere. From the comfort of your own home, to the park, or even the office!
Simply do a quick 5-minute warm to get loose and you’re ready to rock.
Read our article “The Basics of EMS Training (LINK HERE)” for ideas about using a wireless EMS suit when working out.
Let’s look at 2 “time” aspects of training and the gym and with a wireless EMS suit:
There is no set travel time if you’re using a wireless EMS suit. If you want to workout at home then it’s easy to fit in your schedule. Or simply suiting up during your lunch break means that you’ll get more free time in the mornings or evenings to spend on other things you love…
With a gym membership, you’re always going to need to spend time traveling to the physical location. Think about how many times you’ve wanted to do a workout, but just can’t fit in the travel time.
Although there is no specific duration for a gym workout, you can probably expect it to be around 45 minutes to 1 hour on average.
And because you will usually focus on 1-2 muscle groups per session, you may have to visit the gym 4-5 times a week to get all muscle groups in your body worked.
Also, think about the number of times you’ve had to wait for the treadmill or the weights machine you want to use to become free. Frustrating right?
With an EMS workout, you can combine cardio with strength training at the same time, in just 20 minutes, 3 times a week!
This is because of the way EMS works and the greater number of muscle fibers that are being engaged during EMS training – more on that later!
This has always been an issue at packed gyms but has been highlighted even more with the events of 2020.
At the gym, you need to rely on other people wiping down machines after using them, something that doesn’t always happen. I know it’s happened to me many times and it can be pretty gross!
A wireless EMS suit allows you to train anywhere, meaning you don’t need to worry about using equipment that has just been used by gym-goers. You can enjoy a nice workout in your local park with some lovely fresh air!
Of course, not everyone goes to the gym to end up looking like Arnie! Some people like to go for the social aspect, to catch up with friends and workout together.
All of these things are possible with an EMS suit, and you get the added benefit of being able to meet up with friends anywhere and still workout together. It could be in the park, at home, or even while out on a shopping spree!
Work Muscles More Efficiently
When you train in the gym with free weights or resistance machines, the first muscle fibers which are activated are your type 1, slow-twitch fibers. Because these muscle fibers are smaller, they have less capacity for growth.
When your type 1 muscle fibers become tired, the larger, type 2, fast-twitch muscle fibers are put into action.
With EMS, this order is reversed, so that the larger type 2 muscle fibers are being worked first, and then the slow-twitch fibers.
What this essentially means is that your largest and strongest muscle fibers, which have the biggest potential for growth, are being put into action earlier than usual. This means more muscle growth and less time in the gym. Sounds good eh!?
Let’s take a look at the difference in cost between a traditional gym membership against a wireless EMS suit.
The cost of a wireless EMS suit can range between $1000 – $1500. You also need to charge the battery which powers the suit, but with one full charge lasting 8 hours, you won’t be needing to charge it very often.
|24 Hour Fitness Super Sport||$629|
In LA, the cost of an annual gym membership can range from $300 to over $1000, and that doesn’t even include the cost of fuel to and from the gym.
EMS suits such as the AWI Powersuit cost around $1000, and if used 3 times a week will last you for 2 years.
Impact on Joints
If you’re working out to build muscle and get stronger, you need to be continually increasing the load that you lift.
However, with this additional weight comes the extra pressure being placed on our joints. Continually doing these exercises causes a large amount of impact which can slowly begin to wear down cartilage or cause inflammation
Consider a traditional squat.
The more weight you lift in a squat, the more pressure is being put on your knees. Bad form or overexertion can then lead to injury meaning time spent out of the gym.
With EMS, you can ramp up the intensity with a few presses of the button on the mobile app.
Your muscles will be getting the increased intensity needed to cause muscle fiber damage and encourage muscle hypertrophy, but without the extra impact on your joints.
Compensation of Muscular Imbalance
Have you ever noticed that your right arm is stronger than your left, or vice-versa?
This muscular imbalance can be caused by performing exercises incorrectly.
When we workout in the gym, we rely on using the correct technique (good form) to get the maximum benefit. But lifting more means we get tired quicker and this leads in incorrect technique (bad form).
This can lead to muscular imbalance and even injury.
No such problem with EMS, as the electrical impulses are controlled automatically. All you need to do is control the intensity. All your muscles will be worked equally – ensuring that your muscles also grow equally.
Let’s consider two things:
- Our motivation to get to the gym after a hard day at work
- Our ability to keep pushing our bodies to the limit
I’m sure you’ve been in the position where you plan to go to the gym in the evening after work and start the day all pumped up, but by 6pm you’re tired and can’t really be bothered!
The thought of traveling to the gym, getting changed, and battling with the crowds to use the machines can be enough to input “home” into your GPS!
No such problem with EMS. You can make your way home, get suited up, do a 20-minute workout and then you’re ready to chill and relax.
Even if you do make it to the gym on those types of day, most people will find it difficult to push themselves to the level needed to truly make a difference.
It’s usually a mental barrier that more often than not, prevents us from reaching our full potential. EMS can completely remove that mental barrier, it works the muscles hard whether we push ourselves or not, meaning we get a great, effective workout every time.
I hope this article has been useful in highlighting some of the advantages of training with a wireless EMS suit compared to training at the gym.
|Wireless EMS Suit||The Gym|
|Cost||$1000||$300 – $1200 per year|
|Number of Sessions Per Week||2-3||4-5|
|Length of Workout||20 minutes||60 mins|
|Impact on Joints||Low||High|
|Train All Muscles Equally||Yes – always||Not always|
|Convenience||Train anywhere||At the gym|
|Travel Time||Up to you||Always going to the gym|