Friday 6 November 2015

Face Up Fitness: Hate the Gym? Hate Classes? Want to Get Fit? Read On…

In all my years of fitness training, I’ve never experienced anything quite like E-Fit.

I love training at a gym with a passion. The gym is my second home! I’d train everyday if it was good for me – it’s not (it’s just as important to rest muscles as it is to work them).

I’ve tried many different forms of exercise over the years – from competitive sports like badminton and squash, to classes including pilates, yoga, Zumba and spin. In the end nothing gets my enthusiasm up or my heart pumping quite like lifting weights and hitting the cardio kit.

Having said that, I’m always open to new ideas and forms of fitness, hence E-Fit.

E-Fit is nothing like any fitness programme I’ve ever undertaken. In a nutshell, it combines traditional personal training with Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS). Yep, you heard me right! 

Now, if you’ve ever stepped inside a gym you’ll be familiar with personal training – even if you don’t use a PT you’ll have seen one in action with a client. And if you’ve ever used a TENS machine for pain relief before, or a slimming gadget like Slendertone, then you’ll have some grasp of EMS.

I entered the world of E-fit having had experience of both PT and EMS. But doing them in isolation is one thing; mixing them up together is really quite another!

According to E-fit, the blend of personal training with EMS makes for a highly effective and safe form of exercise as it enables particular muscle groups to be targeted and worked without the need for heavy weights. They say clients can burn up to 700 calories in one 20 minute session!

I arrived at E-Fit’s West London studio (they operate a mobile service, so clients can arrange for sessions at home or place of work), in my gym kit. As it turns out, home clothes would have been just as good – one of the first things you get given is special undergarments to wear (all included in the price) made of 90% cotton (necessary for the EMS to work).

You’re also required to wear padded over garments, again to aid the EMS. On the body the clothing feels quite restrictive – the jacket looks like a bullet-proof vest and though I’ve never worn one probably feels like one to wear too. You do quickly get used to wearing the gear, though, especially once the exercise programme gets into swing!

The first thing the trainer will do is assess your fitness level and design a programme to suit. Next you are hooked up to the EMS machine and away you go.

I was put through a cardio programme, which began with four minutes of warm-up before moving on to strength exercises that had me running and jogging on the spot, as well as doing jumps, side steps, bicep curls, squats, lunges, planks and more. I worked 350 muscles in total!

You can feel a firm squeeze on your muscles from the EMS. My PT constantly asked if the strength was comfortable, or if I’d prefer the current to be weaker or stronger. He was extremely reassuring and encouraging throughout.

As someone who willingly embraces every aspect of going to the gym, from the exercising itself to the social side of training with others around me, I won’t be hanging up my gym kit for E-Fit anytime soon. But if all of that fills you with dread and you’re desperate to get fitter, then E-Fit could be just the solution you’re looking for – especially if you are time poor and don’t mind throwing a bit of money about!

E-Fit costs from £45 per session for eight, 20 minute sessions taken in any one month. It is currently operating its mobile service in London Zones 1, 2 and 3 only, but plans to expand are afoot. More info here.
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