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Now is the time for whole-body EMS

By Megan Whitby    23 Nov 2021

Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) Training will drive secondary revenue and increase PT penetration. It will accelerate and improve outcomes for users as well as build confidence with people who are struggling to get back to training post lockdown.

EMS is not new technology

EMS has been around for centuries. The earliest known use was by the Egyptians over 2,000 years ago, who discovered the electrical properties in fish and used it to treat certain ailments. It wasn’t until the 1970s that EMS was used in physiotherapy, fitness and muscle strengthening and since then, the industry has evolved dramatically.

Today, modern EMS training equipment uses electrical impulses to stimulate muscles causing them to contract harder for longer. The result is a safe, ultra-efficient 20-minute workout that delivers quick, noticeable results in a fraction of the time.

Why is Germany and mainland Europe so far ahead of the UK and the USA?

With miha bodytec’s roots in Germany, it’s not surprising that EMS is an enormously popular training method there. In fact, pre- and post-lockdown EMS studio stats out of Germany showed huge increases in membership sign up. According to figures published by industry body, DSSV, the EMS market in Germany saw the number of standalone EMS studios increasing by 80 to 1,414 at the end of the year, yielding sales of about €180 million. France is one of the fastest growing markets for EMS with BodyHit and Iron BodyFit operating 230 studios between them. In the Paris region alone there are 50 studios from just one operator.

What about the UK?

Positive results weren’t just confined to Germany. EMS personal training is now being made available across the UK at PT studios and via PT home visits. The UK Bodystreet franchise reported a 25% increase in membership last year in the short time they were able to open.
Personal trainers are also seeing incredible results, as EMS gives them a competitive edge. All compelling evidence not just that resurgence will come to those willing to innovate and diversify, but that EMS training can be the boost operators and personal trainers need in a post-lockdown climate.

While the idea of working out in a specialised suit covered in electrodes is still a new concept for many Brits, awareness is steadily increasing. We’re seeing studios open all over the UK including Feel Electric who opened three in the north this year and Surge who have also just opened their third studio in London. The largest operator in France, Iron BodyFit, has just landed in Battersea and plan to open at least ten in their first year. They opened 100 in five years in France and the market is ripe in the UK right now. It’s an exciting time!

Why should the fitness industry pay attention to EMS training?

EMS Training is a great opportunity to differentiate your offering in a crowded fitness market. The kit requires very little space and the low start-up costs alleviate the financial barriers for many PTs and operators. The business model can also be extremely lucrative. High performing EMS studios operate with just 100 people per machine, which is a very achievable target compared to the 500+ members that most studios require to be profitable.

The retention rate is also remarkably high - over than 80%. Backed by years of scientific research, coupled with irrefutable results, clients are quick to hand over their money when the see the results of this specialised form of training. And with sessions lasting just 20 minutes, you can facilitate more clients per hour increasing your earnings dramatically.

What sort of clients is EMS best for?

EMS training is extremely versatile and low impact, making it a perfect form of fitness for virtually anyone. Ideal for anyone looking to re-integrate fitness into their lives, or to begin a fitness journey for the first time now we have come out of lockdown. Beyond the usual body toning and lean muscle development, EMS training is also highly effective for alleviating back pain as it activates deep seated spinal muscles.

Sessions are always one-on-one, maximum one-on-two, so there’s no intimidating gym floor or group exercise studio for people who don’t like the typical gym environment. Similarly, for people still concerned about COVID-safety, it lends itself naturally to social distancing. And for unconditioned or sedentary clients, EMS is low-impact and low-commitment. One 20-minute session once per week is all that’s required for people to see results. For that reason, it’s also a great option for busy professionals who can’t make time for the gym.

On the flip side, EMS can also be a great tool for recreational or elite athletes looking to gain an extra edge in their training. Athletes see an improvement in strength and power as EMS activates fast twitch fibers on impulse and 90% of the muscle bed, all without over stressing the joints.

It can also be effective for older clientele. Despite the well-established benefits of physical activity for older adults, seniors aged 75+ are among the most sedentary of Brits. Most older adults won’t participate in traditional forms of fitness for several reasons: physical limitations, the intimidating atmosphere, the noise levels and the lack of affordable supervision. EMS training removes all these barriers providing an efficient alternative to increase or maintain muscle mass and function. This low-impact workout is accessible, completely safe and scientifically proven to reduce sarcopenia.

Is EMS really as effective as it sounds?

Yes, EMS is scientifically proven and backed by numerous studies that prove that this type of training effectively targets fast twitch muscle fibres, increasing hypotrophy. Results show improvements in speed performance by 30% over a 3-6-week period for elite athletes, as well as advances in maximal strength and jumping power. Elite athletes are using EMS as a safe, compact strength session and highly effective way to increase performance across strength, speed and endurance.

EMS is a well-researched and established technology. Specially structured sessions are always led by a certified trainer to ensure a safe and effective workout. miha bodytec is the only device fully compliant with the requirements of DIN33961-5, the Germany standard for EMS Training.

What’s next for EMS?

The potential market for this sort of training is vast. As evidenced by the growth of EMS all over Europe, the proven model provides fast ROI which in turn, provides the opportunity for rapid expansion. With new players like Iron BodyFit and Feel Electric coming on board every month, the rise of EMS training is really just beginning.

Have you tried EMS? Get in touch for a free demo session.

miha bodytec  EMS 
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Founded in 2007 in Gersthofen, Germany, miha bodytec is the market-leading supplier of Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) equipment.
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