EMS stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation – and it’s a technology that’s behind the effective and efficient training workouts on offer at EMS Fitness Hong Kong in Central. We chatted with Founder and Head Trainer SIMON STOLL to find out more.
What is EMS Training?
When it comes to losing fat, building muscle or just getting fit in general, we all want the best results we can get in the shortest amount of time available. That’s the key feature of newly opened EMS Fitness HK, where a 20-minute workout can replace a much longer gym routine.
How? By utilising the latest Electrical Muscle Stimulation technology manufactured by leading German manufacturer Miha Bodytec.
EMS works by using electrical impulses to amplify the natural contraction of your muscles that occurs during everyday activities. After you’ve strapped on the equipment, the EMS unit’s electrodes emit a low-level current that causes strong muscle contractions. This enables a full-body workout that stimulates over 90 percent of the body’s muscle fibre at once. A 20-minute session can burn as many as 600 calories – and the body will continue to burn calories for 24 hours after.
A welcome fitness discovery
Simon first came across EMS when he returned to Germany in 2014, after a four-year stint in Hong Kong. “I was searching for a way to stay fit for my outdoor sports – mountain biking, kite surfing, running and so on – without committing to long gym sessions. EMS had already taken off there and was well established as a highly effective workout method.”
In the days following his first session, he could really feel the ache in his muscles, and especially in his core. “It felt like I’d discovered new muscles that I’d never activated before!” he says. “From that experience, I understood how effective those 20 minutes really are. After a few sessions, I could already see the increased strength and stability and the balanced full-body toning it would give me for performing outdoor sports.”
Simon’s lightbulb moment would lead him to earn his fitness instructor qualifications and begin working at an EMS gym in Germany.
And he’s not the only one who has seen how beneficial EMS can be. Big-name athletes and sportspeople who’ve used the system include sprint legend Usain Bolt and footballing superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. And now Simon has brought the technology to Hong Kong, for everyone who wants to improve their fitness more quickly than they ever might have expected.
Shortcut to getting in shape
EMS is especially attractive for people with a busy schedule who can’t commit to lengthy gym routines – a situation that plenty of Expat Living readers find themselves in!
“Even with just two 20-minute sessions per week, every member will be able to see visible results such as an increase in strength and body toning within a couple of weeks,” says Simon. “It’s also highly beneficial for people who suffer from back pain or poor posture in general. EMS can reach and activate all important core muscles directly, including those around the spine and torso, which can’t normally be voluntarily contracted.”
Another benefit of EMS, according to Simon, is the low-impact nature of the workout – “it puts very little stress on joints and ligaments”. For this reason, someone who has suffered an injury can more quickly recover muscle growth by restarting their training much earlier; or they can simply prevent future injuries by building a strong core foundation.
Sessions at EMS Fitness are conducted with a personal trainer who tailors the workout to meet each member’s needs. The level of intensity can be adjusted on the EMS machine for each muscle group, and different exercises can be used, depending on the client’s fitness level.
Simon says that it’s best to experience EMS in a trial session first, so you can understand how it works. (“Don’t worry – it’s not painful!” he adds.) If you do the trial and decide you’d like to continue, EMS Fitness offers a range of different packages. “You can go with a flexible 10-session package, or a membership which isn’t prepaid but paid on a monthly basis instead.”
Sessions are private and by appointment only, and held at the EMS facility in Central. All equipment is provided, including the latest i-body vests with anti-bacterial coating and compression pads, along with socks, towels, drinks and showers. Simon says that this “all prepared, bring nothing” setup is perfect for a quick fitness session during lunch or between appointments.
“EMS has been a big fitness trend in Europe for a decade because it can cut down workout time to only 20 minutes,” says Simon, “and I strongly believe that it will take off in Hong Kong in the coming years. For one thing, it’s the fastest, most convenient, and most efficient workout method around, making it extremely suitable for everyone with a tight schedule.”
Five lucky Expat Living readers can enjoy a free EMS training session with a certified personal trainer, worth $670 each. The offer runs until 30 April, and the session must be redeemed by the end of June. Visit our Competitions & Offers page for details.
Sessions at EMS Fitness HK are priced between $490 and $620 depending on the course enrolled, and they always include a certified personal trainer, with no more than two people training in each session. Find out more at ems-fitness.hk.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.