We head to Clifton in search of the Bodystreet buzz…
In the past, the excuses I have given myself not to exercise have been wide, varied and sometimes, quite frankly, preposterous. However most of the genuine reasons I’ve had for wanting to skip a gym session have centred around not having enough time. Time is the most valuable commodity of all and we all know the feeling of not having enough of it in the day to get round to doing everything we want to do, so when I heard of a fitness studio in Bristol offering a workout that, by utilising EMS technology, takes only 20 minutes to complete, I headed over to find out more.
EMS technology is big news in the fitness world but if, like me, you haven’t heard of it before then you can be forgiven as currently there are only handful of studios in the country that are offering it. Worldwide though, it seems this fitness style is not a craze, but a veritable success.
EMS stands for electric muscle stimulation and sees electrodes placed at various points over the body, meaning a workout involving a variety of familiar strengthening exercises and poses becomes all the more effective due to the electric current stimulating the muscles. If this sounds a little out of your comfort zone, do not fear; the “buzz” starts off as a tingling sensation that can be adjusted to each individual and is increased only gradually with the guidance of your trainer.
While I was intrigued, I felt that in order to get a proper assessment, I needed to take someone who was borderline sceptical and so recruited J, a willing participant. As he went through an initial consultation with his trainer for the session, Kieron, I tried to extract from owners Andrew and Christa who their typical client is – only to find that clients range in age from 18 to 79, all with varying degrees of fitness. A common thread, however, is the desire to condense the time spent working out into a manageable 20-minute block. And these sessions certainly are efficient; with each so effective that they are the equivalent of three or four sessions in a gym, there is only one needed per week.
With the assessment completed, it was time for the workout to begin. J changed into workout clothes provided for him – shorts and a top in a lightweight fabric and a vest containing the electrodes to be placed over the body. During the 20 minutes, a variety of exercises, including lunges and squats among others, were performed, with each movement executed slowly and purposefully while the electrodes buzzed away to intensify the movement of the muscles. This is not a fast-paced workout, although undoubtedly effective, as J commented throughout the workout that his muscles were being worked far more than if the exercises were just carried out conventionally.
The level of intensity can be decided between participant and trainer, who will ease off when needed or work with you to push you to your maximum output. Devotees of EMS fitness technology will tell you that the average session burns up to 500 calories per 20-minute block, with regular sessions working to reduce overall body fat percentage and even helping to speed up the metabolism. While further sessions would be needed to see the long-term benefits, it was clear from the taster session that the workout was enjoyable, effective and, most of all, extremely efficient – making it the perfect lunchtime or after-work exercise for someone who wants to make good use of the time they have.
The studio provides the ultimate in convenience; and with the clothes you use, towel, and water all ready and waiting for you at the start of each session, it may be that we have finally run out of excuses…
Bodystreet is currently offering free trial sessions (usually £19.99). Memberships start from £25 per week with only one session per week needed. For more information, contact or visit Bodystreet Clifton, 98 Whiteladies Rd, Bristol, BS8 2QY; 0117 422 8229; bodystreet.co.uk