How long has EMS technology been around?

research fittec

Research studies from the Bayreuth University in Germany report the following results after a six-week training program with EMS:

  • EMS training effectiveness is 18 times higher than conventional workouts.
  • 20 minutes of EMS training is as effective as a 90 minutes of traditional strength training. 
  • Over 30% of participants reported their recurring back problems had disappeared.
  • 75% showed improvement with incontinence problems, while 33% of these participants were cured of it altogether.
  • Maximum strength ability increased by 12%, while endurance/fitness levels improved by 69%.
  • 85% of people tested felt an improvement of their body shape and 90% ranked the EMS training method as positive.
  • Training with higher intensity produced effective results, especially with participants who suffered from recurring pain and other ailments.

What does research say about EMS training?

  • EMS can decrease subcantaneous body fat while increasing muscle mass

    The study clearly shows that after 16-18 electro muscle stimulation sessions the muscle mass and the subcutaneous body fat have significantly changed. The average reduction in Body Part Circumferences was 4-6%, an equivalent to a 3.8 cm (1.5 inch). More surprising were the results of the Skin Fold Measurements. The average reduction in skin fold was 30-50 %, an equivalent to 9-11 mm (6/16 inch). Given the fact that skin fold measurements are the most accurate way to measure subcutaneous body fat, we can conclude that with the Electro Muscle Stimulation one is able to reduce overall body fat.

    Based on research done by István Koczka, University College of Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. Supervised by Leonel Calderón, M.D. Louisiana State University Medical School, Shreveport, LA.

  • EMS can give professional sportspeople the edge

    German professional soccer players who incorporated EMS training into their workouts improved significantly in maximum strength, speed, jumping and running performance. 

    Based on EMS research done by Andre Filipovic and Dr Heinz Kleinoeder (2013)

  • EMS training is very effective at healing back pain

    EMS research findings showed that EMS not only activates the major back muscle groups but also the deeper muscle groups which are difficult to activate through conventional training methods. 

    Based on EMS research done by W.-U. Boeckh-Behrens, N. Grützmacher and J. Sebelefsky (University of Bayreuth, 2002).

  • The effectiveness of EMS training is much higher than conventional weight training

    EMS training increased maximum strength of the tested muscle groups by and improved the maximum power output by an average of 29% in only 4 weeks. 

    Based on research done by J. Mester, S. Nowak, J. Schmithuesen, H. Kleinoeder and U. Speicher (2008/2009)

  • EMS training offers an attractive alternative method of training for people 60 years and older

    Significant positive effects were observed in terms of body fat reduction and increased strength and power for both elderly men and women. 

    Based on EMS research done by Wolfgang Kemmler and Simon von Stengel (2010 – 2012)

  • EMS training is better than conventional aerobic training for cardiac patients

    Cardiac patients who were tested after 6 months of EMS training showed improvements in performance, muscle strength, physiology and metabolic rates far in excess of the the results of conventional aerobic training. 

    Based on Will EMS training become important for secondary prevention? by FRITZSCHE, D. / FRUEND, A. / SCHENK, S. / MELLWIG, K.-P. / KLEINÖDER, H. / GUMMERT, J. / HORSTKOTTE, D., Cardiology Clinic Bad Oeynhausen, Herz 2010; 35 (1): 34–40

  • EMS training improves both strength and endurance

    The maximum body strength of the participants in 6 week test increased by 12% and their endurance by 69%. 

    Based on research conducted by VATTER, J, Universität Bayreuth, 2003; Publication AVM-Verlag München 2010.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does EMS training work?

FITtec®’s EMS training is a full-body workout that activates up to 90% of muscles simultaneously. With our technology, and the guidance of our certified trainers, muscle contractions are more intense and of higher quality than traditional body exertion alone. As opposed to conventional weight training, EMS training activates deeper muscle groups, which leads to better balance among the body’s muscles and increased core stability. The FITtec.®EMS device stimulates multiple muscle groups simultaneously, allowing for repeated activation throughout the body. Clients always do their EMS training under the guidance of a personal trainer who can activate eight muscle groups individually—the lower back, stomach, biceps and glutes, for example—depending on your goals and needs.

How is FITtec.® different from other EMS providers?

FITtec.® studios specialize in EMS training. We don’t offer other forms of training. We provide full-time personal training services, a major factor in enabling you to reach your training goals in less time. After consulting clients, our trainers use the most intense and effective EMS program that is suitable for each individual. A personal trainer guides every step of your training, ensuring you get the full benefit of every workout. Our EMS training expertise also allows us to work with a simple price and membership system, without any hidden or additional costs for extra services.

Why should I only train once a week?

Your body needs to recover from workouts to achieve effective muscular adaptation and physical functioning. In other words, more training does not translate to better results. Research shows that recovery and adaptation periods after whole-body FITtec.® EMS training sessions are significantly longer than for weight and resistance training. FITtec.® EMS training is so intense and effective that you only need one or two sessions per week depending on your fitness goals.

How soon will I see results?

You’ll feel a difference after your first EMS training session. As your body releases endorphins, and as most major muscle groups in your body are activated, you will experience increased physical awareness, resulting in improved posture. After a day or two, you’ll feel some muscle stiffness. This is normal and indicative of your body’s recovery process. You will feel stronger within about four weeks. And different muscles will improve to coordinate movements more effectively. After roughly six to eight sessions (or 6 to 8 weeks), you will see and feel a difference from the EMS training in the form of gradually increased muscle formation and a possible reduction in body fat (depending on your diet). As with conventional training, EMS training should be done regularly to ensure optimal results.

What improvements can I expect from training with FITtec.®?

Extensive research spanning three decades proves the effectiveness and scientific validation of EMS training. Areas of improvement include:

  • Maximum strength
  • Strength endurance
  • Hypertrophy (muscle growth)
  • Speed, responsiveness and agility
  • Perceived physical well-being
  • Balancing of muscular imbalances (i.e. reduction of back pain)

Does EMS training hurt?

No. Any type of physical training requires you to leave your comfort zone, but never to hurt you!

Is EMS training safe?

Yes. EMS training imitates the natural principle of muscle contraction, in which the brain, the central nervous system, and muscle tissue interact. FITtec.® uses a low frequency stimulus to activate intense muscle contractions. Additionally, your personal trainer ensures your training levels are an optimum fit. EMS training is known to be particularly gentle on joints, as opposed to other training techniques.

However, certain medical conditions are known to be contraindications, and EMS training with FITtec.® is not recommended for the following conditions: (1) pregnancy; (2) pacemaker or other electrical implants; (3) acute illness, such as fever, viral infections or acute inflammatory processes. Medical consent might be necessary for some physical conditions. These should be discussed with your personal trainer before any training commences. Please see further details outlined in our answer to: Can anyone do EMS training?

Can anyone do EMS training?

EMS training with FITtec.® is scientifically proven as effective for people of different age groups and fitness levels. This means a high performance athlete can train next to someone who has been physically inactive for many years. However, certain medical conditions are known to be contraindications and EMS training with FITtec.® is not recommended in certain cases (see Is EMS Training Safe?).

For some medical conditions, a doctor’s consent might be needed. And suitability for training needs to be assessed on an individual case-to-case basis. Medical conditions* requiring assessment include the following:

  • Circulatory disorders, acute stroke, stent, thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases (i.e. arteriosclerosis)
  • Bleeding, bleeding tendency or hemophilia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Abdominal wall hernia or inguinal hernia
  • Severe neurological disorders (epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis etc.)
  • Acute operation (within eight weeks, depending on individual cases)
    *Please note: the above list is not exhaustive. If you have a medical condition that could be affected by EMS training, it is your responsibility to inform your trainer and doctor so an appropriate assessment can be made.

How does FITtec.® select their trainers?

All FITtec.® trainers are experienced and qualified personal trainers, health professionals or sport scientists who have received FITtec.® training in Germany. FITtec.® also has an in-house Training Academy, where all trainers receive further annual (basic and advanced) EMS-specific training based on scientific sports knowledge. The wide range of experience in our national trainer team is not limited to EMS training. Our personal trainers have professional background knowledge about fitness training and can advise you on training and nutrition-related questions.

Are there long-term side effects to FITtec.® EMS training?

No. FITtec.® EMS training has been extensively researched for decades. See the links above for an extensive review of the research findings.

What does Sport Science say about EMS?

EMS training has been employed in sports medicine and rehabilitation for decades. EMS training has widened its scope of application in the last 10 years to include general fitness and sports performance. A wealth of research exists on EMS training among its areas of application—research that has proven EMS’ scientific effectiveness.

Some of the most significant research findings have shown positive training effects on muscle mass (Kemmler & Von Stengel, 2013).

Research from the German Sport University Cologne (Filipovic et al., 2012; Speicher et al., 2008) found significant improvements in speed and maximum strength after a period of EMS training.

Research into rehabilitation at the University of Bayreuth (Boeck-Behrens et al., 2002) has shown significant levels of pain relief in participants suffering from back pain.

EMS training has also proved an effective training method for the elderly (Kemmler & Von Stengel, 2012) and for cardiologic patients, as research from Bad Oeynhausen has shown (Fritzsche et al., 2010).

What should I eat/ drink before training?

FITtec.®’s training sessions with EMS are intensive. It is important, therefore, to have a sustainable meal (typically carbohydrate- and protein-based) two to three hours before training. We also recommend drinking at least 500ml of water one hour before training to ensure proper hydration. Avoid heavy, starch-based meals and sugary or carbonated drinks before your EMS training session.

What do I wear to a training session?

Come as you are! We provide specially designed FITtec.® shirts and tights for initial EMS training trial sessions. After signing up you can purchase your own set or make use of our laundry service that gives you access to a set of garments and a towel at each session. You can train barefoot or wear trainers.

Can I train with a partner/ friend?

Yes. Training sessions can accommodate two people. It can prove more fun and motivating if you train with someone you know, so we actively encourage it.

What diet or eating program does FITtec.® recommended?

There are many nutrition programs out there for varying circumstances and goals. We offer general nutrition guidelines free of charge, and we partner with qualified nutritionists who can determine the best nutrition program for you. That way you get the best results in the shortest possible time.

What’s the difference between FITtec.® EMS and typical tele-EMS?

EMS training from FITtec.® is full body training technique that targets several muscle groups. A personal trainer guides your training—someone who can activate each muscle depending on your goals. Another difference is that the FITtec.® EMS device can stimulate the agonist and antagonist muscles simultaneously. This helps activate multiple muscle groups at the same time. Deeper muscle tissue, often underused due to the dominance of the bigger muscles, is also activated to a higher degree compared to conventional tele-EMS or weight training.

FITtec.® EMS training is based on a bipolar impulse mode, which allows for the whole muscle to contract. Other EMS training devices, on the other hand, often operate using a unipolar impulse mode. This form of whole body training, combined with our selected exercises and personal trainers, results in effective and quick training results.