Would You Exercise with Electrodes?


Is spending time at the gym really so bad? It seems that every day a new product, technique, or machine pops up that promises to help you get fit and lose weight immediately without having to do much, if any, work. 

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The newest addition is E-Fit. Originally developed for rehabilitation, the device uses Electrical Muscular Stimulation (EMS) technology to aid in muscle development, toning, body shaping, and weight loss. During the standard 20-minute workout of basic exercises (think squats, lunges and crunches), muscles throughout the body are stimulated with electrodes, causing them to contract ten times more than without the device. That’s right, small electric shocks.

The device is made up of a vest and a pair of shorts that keep the electrodes in the right position on your body. Daniel Nyiri, the owner and founder of 4U Fitness in Florida which offers training with E-Fit, says that it’s popular with athletes because they can tailor the device to their needs and goals. “E-Fit can target specific muscle groups, which can lead to an ingrained pattern that increases the amount and strength of muscle fibers engaged in work during movement.”

Keep in mind, you’re still moving around with E-Fit—this isn’t something you strap on and wear while binge watching Netflix—but the electrodes end up taking on some of the muscle work. 


Photo: Jorg Badura/Trunk Archive

Now, can you really get in a good work out in just 20 minutes? Lauren Williams, a trainer and coach at Tone House in New York, says that you can definitely work up a sweat in 20 minutes. “But just think about how much work you can get done in 40 minutes or 60 minutes. You will burn more calories and fat, and challenge your muscles for a longer period of time, building up strength and endurance.”

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The E-Fit has already gained the seal of approval from numerous athletes and trainers, but is suiting up with some electrodes really better than hitting the gym, going for a run or spending 75 minutes in a yoga class? “Everyone remembers the shake weight, toning shoes and vibrating belts. The truth about working out is it takes effort. Many of us would love to find a short cut to our perfect body, but nothing can substitute putting in the work,” says Williams.

As much as I wouldn’t mind a quick way to get toned, I don’t know if I’m ready to swap it for my Central Park run. Would you try the E-Fit?