By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published on 26 October 2017
Staying fit takes a lot of hard work and sweat. It eats up a lot of time too, much to the dismay of busy executives and dedicated parents. But in the age of advancing digital age, this may no longer be the case thanks to Electronic Muscle Stimulation or EMS training.
As the name suggests, this technology uses electric impulses to recreate the natural process of voluntary muscular contractions. Such electric stimulus can also activate deeper inner muscles that are rarely trained through conventional exercises (like the muscles along the spinal column) — relieving back problems and even improving posture.
Dubbed as the new-age fitness, EMS training is not exactly new. It dates as far back as 1761 when Italian physician Luigi Galvani proved that a current can activate muscles. By 1960s, Russian sports scientists applied EMS in training their elite athletes. Today, major sports team in Europe uses EMS to get athletes in their fittest form or the injured ones back in shape while gym buffs and models keep at it to tone their bodies.
In just 20 minutes a day, this constant muscle movement eventually builds up muscles, burning fat in the process. The major advantage? The work out relies solely on body weight, causing zero stress on joints and rendering it the safest fitness exercise for gym-goers nursing gym injuries.
Most of the advanced EMS machines are manufactured in Germany, which are distributed through dealers in other countries. While the technology is used to rehabilitate the injured in the West, it’s mainly used as a dumbbell to lose weight and tone muscles in Asia. And if you’re still not convinced what this type of training can do, we’ve rounded up five EMS fitness training gyms in Kuala Lumpur so you can see for yourself.
From yoga to barre classes and circuit to TRX training, Activ Studio has long been providing workout sessions. It also happened to be the first fitness groups to bring the technology of EMS into Malaysia — as early as 2012. Unlike other gyms that followed, Activ Studio is still the only EMS fitness gym in KL with trainers who are certified to use their machines for corrective exercises. Gym-goers suffering from shoulder pain to neck or knee injuries, even herniated slip discs will surely recover and get back on track when it comes to fitness if they visit Activ Studio.
Personal training (wired to EMS machines) costs RM140 per session while group sessions (using the most advanced EMS machines sans the pads and wet suits) start from RM135 per person with a maximum of 8 people.
Activ Studio, No. 90, First Floor, Lorong Maarof, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 2201 9009
Opening in 2014, Impulse Studio then became the first boutique gym to focus services solely in providing EMS fitness training in Malaysia and the whole of Asia. It currently has four gyms located in Bangsar, KL Sentral, Bukit Bintang, and Damansara Perdana with three more outlets in Singapore and China. As the group looks into expanding in Thailand, Indonesia and India, their KL gyms have incorporated HIIT routines from squats to walking and jumping lounges in order to amp up excitement in their workouts.
A 20-minute session ranges between RM110 and RM150 per session depending on the package a member signed up for.
Impulse Studio, Platinum Sentral, Ground Floor, 08 Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, 50470, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +6016 263 1512
Aside from providing fitness and nutritional guides, FixMe Studio is one of the first gyms that introduced EMS training to clients. Since 2014, the fitness studio has been holding 1-on-1 and group impulse sessions with a training room to exclusively accommodate ladies. With expertise physiology-related field, their instructors combine EMS training with 20 minutes of Zumba dance, circuit training, and explosive movements to push the heart rate to the max.
Membership and sessions cost from RM115 to RM20 per session of 20 minutes.
EMS: FixMe Studio Setiawangsa, 23-3-3, Jalan Setiawangsa 8, Taman Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +603 4266 0677
Fit Orange is one of the fitness studios that joined the EMS fitness trend in 2016, opening their first and only gym in Hartamas in April last year. While some studios will just hook your training suit on the EMS machine, Fit Orange trainers use gym equipment (such as suspension systems, medicine and boss balls, resistant bands, weights, and pedals). Integrating small sets of core, leg, knee, and back exercises into the groundbreaking technology actually compounds the efficiency of the 20-minute workout.
Personal training sessions range from RM85 to RM150 per session depending on the package availed.
Fit Orange, B-0-1, Plaza Damas 3, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +6016 923 0540
Be Urban Wellness is known to offer one of the few EMS fitness trainings in KL since 2016. But just a year later, they immediately upgraded their machines into wireless ones — letting their members move around more freely and incorporating HIIT training. The convenience of sending electric impulses to the body without cords nor pads also allowed Be Urban Wellness to offer group sessions, which makes the 20-minute routine more fun.
Personal training ranges from RM140 to RM280 per session while going for an EMS training with a group of 3 only costs RM80 for one person per session.
Be Urban Wellness, 11F/L Work @ Clearwater, Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3-2095 1999