Bonnie during a workout
A few weeks back, I was invited to try a new way to work out. Body InVest is a system that has existed in Europe for a while, and those who use it swear by it as the most efficient workout. Here’s what it’s about, as I found out over six electrifying sessions.
With the help of a trainer’in my case, fitness trainer Elise Manolakos’you don a tightly fitted full-body suit that is then connected to a device called the XBody. Elise adjusts the various settings on the XBody so you are getting electric stimulation at the level you feel just comfortable enough with. Then, she leads a 30-minute workout that you do with or without handweights’all the while feeling electricity pulsing through your body. (It’s a crazy feeling but, ‘shockingly,’ I got used to it.)
Basically, the workout harnesses the power of EMS (Electronic Muscular Stimulation). This is something that physiotherapists sometimes use for deep-muscle therapy. Its electrical impulses mimic impulses from the nervous system, ‘causing the muscle to contract in a consistent and simultaneous manner.’ According to the president and founder of Body InVest, Markus Fritzinger’who has just introduced the first such system to Canada from Europe (they’re in Montreal and Toronto now but will soon be expanding to more cities)’EMS technology enhances the impulse, resulting in a more intensive contraction when compared to classic weight or resistance training. It stimulates, sculpts and enhances all major muscle groups simultaneously, safely and effectively. But those with heart disease, pacemakers or other implanted medical devices, or who are prone to seizures, must not try this.
So how did I feel? A little scared at first. But Elise was a calming presence (and she put on great music). As for results, I was very sore indeed after the first workout. It lasted just 30 minutes, and while it didn’t seem all that intense in terms of the moves I did, afterwards it felt as if I’d done a much longer session. According to research the company shared with me, one of the main advantages of using Body InVest is that it saves you time since it’s ’18 times more effective’ than conventional weight training. I’m told you also burn calories long after the workout is over, because the deep muscle stimulation continues despite the fact you are no longer plugged in.
My subsequent workouts got progressively easier, probably because I got less afraid of the shocks I was receiving every time they literally grabbed my muscles, from triceps to abs to quads, to name just a few. I guess after a point, I sort of just went with it. And I did feel more alert overall, and certainly more energized and toned.
It’s worth a try, if for nothing else than the novelty factor of being suited up in a pretty cool, futuristic-looking getup, and having the sensation of being shocked but learning that’in this case, at least’it’s nothing to be scared of. Like me, you will probably end up going back for more.
Trainer Elise Manolakos with the Xbody
-Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief