How to exploit the potential of EMS training in gyms most effectively

EMS training has been a successful model for many years. “Key data for the German fitness industry” shows disproportionate growth year after year for micro-studies with the EMS offer. And more and more classic fitness and health providers are also integrating EMS into their offerings. But does this kind of education have the status it deserves in our industry? Is the full potential already exploited? How much more can EMS do? fitness MANAGEMENT international has investigated these issues and is conducting a practice check.

Modern, efficient, time-saving – many positive features apply to EMS training. EMS is i.a. with relatively short application times very effective and fills a little. So it offers a lot of benefits.

Systemic relevance of fitness training

In addition, has EMS has its origins in health therapy and rehabilitation after injuries, accidents or surgeries.

This type of health training should in the light of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the question of the systemic relevance of cardio training will become even more important in the future External presentation and positioning will.

Origin of therapy

To understand the principle of EMS training properly, it is worth taking a look at The story of this training and therapy concept. The use of functional electrical stimulation was developed in the early 1960s for therapeutic rehabilitation to rebuild muscle.

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that functional electrical stimulation of the muscles is usually performed with surface electrodes over the skin both during rehabilitation and in training. By changing the stimulation frequency, different areas of the muscle fiber spectrum can be stressed to varying degrees.

Muscle contraction induced by current leads to structural adjustments of the musculature and to a measurably increased performance of the “treated” musculature.

Differences in objective and control

In therapy and in training want to come along same EMS devices the work. The difference lies in the area of ​​application as well as in the goals and control of the exercises.

Physiotherapists use medical EMS in rehabilitation, or when patients come to them with problems such as pain, reduced mobility or loss of function or strength.

Intensity appropriate to the patient

You choose specific exercises that improve a functional problem or medical condition must and in terms of severity and intensity match the patient’s condition.

Both it local stimulation as well stimulation of the whole body used in therapy.

High demands on EMS providers

EMS devices meet the high demands of medical technology and is classified as medical devices, regardless of the application. The definitions of the Medical Devices Act (MPG) in para. 2 and 3 are ready. The same applies to the explanations of the executive order issued for this purpose together with the appendices.

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that Allocation of EMS devices for medical devices has far-reaching consequences. These were also taken into account in Part 5 (EMS training) of DIN 33961, the DIN standard for fitness facilities, and in the current version of the Radiation Protection Regulation (NiSV).

The requirements for EMS providers are therefore high: The devices must comply with MPG and the implementation of the fitness and health-oriented training – including the necessary specialist knowledge of the individual trainer – must be performed and also documented in accordance with the Radiation Protection. Regulation. All EMS providers must implement this Regulation from 1 January 2023 (Stilke, 2021).

How effective is EMS training?

To determine the effectiveness of a form of exercise, a Comparison with another form of exercise. Kemmler et al. (2015) have used whole body electrical stimulation (WB-EMS) for this purpose compared to high-intensity strength training (HIT-RT).to ensure a comparison between time-efficient WB-EMS and strength training relevant to everyday life.

HIT-RT vs. WB-EMS

HIT-RT, defined as “operational training using intensification techniques” (Giessing, 2008; Steele, Fisher, Giessing & Gentil, 2017), is similar to WB-EMS Prototype of a time-efficient training for people with a small time budget.

Educated as part of this study 23 men randomized each over 16 weeks in a HIT-RT or a WB-EMS group. The HIT-RT group trained two (rarely) to three times a week and completed whole body training with increasingly demanding intensification techniques (including super and drop sets).


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Muscle mass, maximal strength, metabolic syndrome

In summary both training methods led to a significant and highly relevant increase in muscle mass and an approximately equal reduction in body fat mass (≈1.0 kg). The development in the HIT-RT group was somewhat more favorable for both sizes.

Similar results were also found for Improvement of maximum strengthwhere the HIT-RT group showed slightly higher strength values ​​for leg strength and slightly lower strength values ​​for back strength.

Reduction of the waist circumference

Both groups also had one significant reduction in the risk of metabolic syndrome up, but here the results for the WB-EMS group were significantly more favorable. This difference was i.a. attributed to the significant reduction in waist circumference.

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Kemmler et al. (2015) conclude that in fact both training methods largely comparable Health and performance metric improvements to lead.

Compared to conventional strength training

If one observes the contraindications and guidelines for safe and effective WB-EMS training, this training technology can from a metabolic point of view as well as from an orthopedic point of view as better load tolerance compared to intensive conventional strength training.

WB-EMS post one enrichment of the health-oriented fitness marketthe researchers conclude.

Full body EMS as an option for seniors

In addition, researchers have found that the training method Whole-body EMS and the senior target group fit together perfectly (2018).

In the case of seniors, they show up in addition to positive effects on cardiometabolic variables Heart rate, metabolic syndrome, blood pressure and total and abdominal body fat – especially in terms of muscle mass and function Results in intensive strength training (Kemmler et al., 2015).

Tension area sarcopenia

Especially in the field of tension in sarcopenia, recent studies show this clearly high potential of WB-EMS training (Kemmler et al., 2016; Kemmler et al., 2017). Increasing functional capacity older (70 years +).

Also muscle masswhich in addition to muscle function also plays an important role in thermoregulation and the problem of obesity, is treated via a WB-EMS application markedly positively affected.

Side effects: none

In addition available studies with older people no significant “undesirable” side effects (Kemmler et al., 2018).

With more consistent Review and consideration of exclusion criteria and medical contraindications, as well as a care, support of well-educated, WB-EMS licensed coaches is full body EMS training ideal “tool” for health-oriented training for older people (Kemmler et al., 2018).


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Opportunities and perspectives in the EMS market

For the past two years, people have had to adapt many of their habits and behavior patterns to the respective corona situation. In addition to many health-related causes, there is definitely one raise awareness and relevant safety and hygiene factors played an important role.

Above all, this allows EMS facilities to position themselves as ideal small space concept must be placed in the “post-corona phase”.

Agreements and high hygiene standards

Many initiatives that seem more important than in the past because of Corona are already established standard in EMS facilities. During EMS training, there is usually a maximum of two to three people (1: 1 or 1: 2 support) in the training area.

Even though cows or crowds in premises due to agreements almost impossible. High standards of hygiene such as disinfection of the equipment after each use are a matter of course (Tetzlaff, 2021).

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Only benefits? EMS in practice check

that Form of training EMS offers many benefits. We have checked if and how this “horsepower can also be brought out on the road”. Which one factors make EMS training successful? Which one Target groups ask about the form of exercise? How do the study operators look at Perspectives of EMS?

There are answers to these and other questions Natalie Hutschwho runs two EMS studios in Bornheim as a franchisee of body shapes, in the interview.

For the EMS interview


Excerpts from the bibliography

Stilke, E. (2021). expertise and safety standards. medical fitness and health care, 01/2021, 66-67.
Kemmler, W., Teschler, M., Weissenfels, A., Fröhlich, M., Kohl, M. & von Stengel, S. (2015). Whole body electromyostimulation versus HIT resistance training – effects on body composition. German Journal of Sports Medicine, 66 (12), 321-327.
Tetzlaff, S. (2021). Despite Corona strengthened for the future. fitness MANAGEMENT international, 2 (154), 62-64.

For a complete bibliography, please contact [email protected]

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