The countdown to my #BigFatItalianWedding is on. With only 10 or so weeks to go, I want to ensure I’m in tact both physically and mentally come the big day. Usually this would mean running – running to work, from work, races, with friends, along trails, at weekends, on the track – put simply, running anywhere and everywhere I could. Unfortunately, I’m still not at the stage where I can go out for a run AT ALL so I’m finding other ways of whipping my body into shape.
So a few months ago, I was flicking through ClassPass trying to organise the next few days of classes and came across Exerceo Training – a class that says they offer the equivalent of 90-minutes exercise in a 25-minute session. How? Well, essentially you are dressed in a Storm Trooper-style suit that is wired up to a machine that sends electronic pulses to your muscles. This can help improve mobility, strength, speed and endurance as well as tone you up. Sounds great huh? Especially for those who want results in double-quick time.
As well as offering aesthetic benefits, the Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Training (offered through Exerceo) claims to be beneficial to those in rehab because it has the ability to work muscle groups independently without putting extra strain on muscles and joints.
Apparently, if you do Exerceo Training once or optimally twice alongside other moderate activity, you can expect to see results in 12 weeks.
With claims like this, I simply had to book myself in for a session after work.
Prep before workout
When I arrived at the studio, I was given a cotton suit that I was told to change into so that the machine could work properly and really target my muscles. Next came the body armour which consisted of a waistcoat, shorts and arm bands – all of which were attached by wires to a machine in the middle of the room where the trainer could adjust the levels of EMS sent through to our bodies. The “armour” is sprayed with water to encourage the electricity to target the right areas.
The machine is then switched on and the levels of electricity are adjusted to suit particular parts of your body – glutes, legs, abs, back and back. It can be an odd sensation at first, as your muscles get used to being stimulated to tense and relax during each cycle.
Once you’re at the right level, you’re ready for the workout.
Working out those muscles
Now squats can be relatively easy but try doing one with electrical pulses stimulating your muscles. The same can be said for the wood chopper, plank, lunges etc…In fact, every single exercise cycle (they’re around 20 seconds each) is incredibly challenging. It’s surprising how much of a sweat you build up and also how effective the Storm Trooper outfit is. You can feel every muscle targeted working, stimulated by the electrical pulses. The session is well curated focusing on those key areas such as your glutes, thighs, abs and arms. I have been to a couple now and no session is the same. The time also goes quickly. One minute you’re at the first exercise, the next you’re almost coming to a close, Every class ends with a light muscle stimulation so you leave the class feeling good and challenged by this intense and effective workout.
The days after
Now I’m someone who does relatively a lot of exercise. If you were to look at my week, you wouldn’t be surprised to see that I’m doing some form of activity at least once if not twice a day. My muscles are therefore used to being pushed and challenged. A few days after my first session of Exerceo though, I definitely felt it in my glutes and abs. That “hello” muscles “I haven’t felt you in a long time” kind of sensation. And if I could feel that after one session, it meant that Exerceo was worth attending again.
A few weeks later
And so a month later, I am making sure I max out my three monthly sessions of Exerceo with ClassPass. It may not be exactly what they recommend – they suggest at least one session a week – but with everything else I do, I’m sure it is making a difference already. And the best part of all is that it means I can be back home in time to spend at least part of my evening with my long-suffering fitness widower.