THE SCIENCE BEHIND EMS

MUSCLE FIBERS EXPLAINED

Our muscles are made up of 3 different types of fibers:

Slow twitch (red)

These fibers are used by the body in lower-intensity exercises where endurance is needed rather than power, such as long-duration aerobic activities.

Slow twitch fibers characteristically have slow contraction times and a high resistance to fatigue.

Intermediate twitch (red)

Also known as Fast Twitch 1 fibers, your body uses these during more sustained power activities such as lifting weights below your maximum (but not light weights either), sprinting intermediate distances where some explosive power is required.

They are quite resistant to fatigue and display a fast contraction velocity.

Fast twitch (white)

Also known as Fast Twitch 2, these are recruited for very short-duration high-intensity bursts of power such as maximal and near-maximal lifts and short sprints.

They fatigue easily and have a fast contraction velocity.

“THE HOLY GRAIL OF BUILDING MUSCLE IS ACTIVATING YOUR WHITE, FAST TWITCH MUSCLE FIBERS…”

MUSCLE RECRUITMENT ORDER

The first such system is the Muscle Recruitment Order. During regular so called “voluntary contractions” of the muscle, your brain (through the central nervous system) instructs your muscles to contract in order to perform a certain task such as lifting.

Conventional Training

Muscle recruitment order:

⊗ Slow Twitch

⊗ Intermediate Twitch

⊗ Fast Twitch

Voluntary muscle contractions roll through the muscle in a wave to generate a coordinated, directed force. Slow twitch fiber is activated first, as it is the most energy efficient, though not very powerful. Only once red fiber is fully

or almost fully recruited, do our bodies add

fast twitch fiber to handle the load if necessary. The consequence of this firing order is that white fibers are used much less than red fibers.

EMS Training

Muscle recruitment order:

⊗ Fast Twitch

⊗ Intermediate Twitch

⊗ Slow Twitch

EMS training reverses the muscle fiber recruitment ladder, activating the fast twitch fibers first, then the intermediate and lastly the slow twitch. This forces slow and intermediate twitch fibers into shorter recruitment times as priority is given to the fast twitch fibers. This is achieved because the current from the electrical impulses flows more easily through white muscle fibers than through red ones.

OVERCOMING THE BODY’S ENERGY CONSERVATION SYSTEMS

Individual muscle fibers can be completely exhausted in just a few seconds. Our bodies have therefore adopted several energy conservation systems in order to prolong endurance.

MUSCLE FIBER RELAYS

The second system relates to the Muscle Fiber Relays. Muscles work their individual fibers in relays, always holding some back from even the most demanding load to maintain a reserve.

Conventional Training

During conventional training, your muscle contractions are voluntary. They are consciously initiated by your central nervous system when you command your muscles to fire for a certain task such as lifting a weight. Your body’s energy conservation system will always hold back certain muscle relays as a reserve, making it impossible to voluntarily contract all fibers simultaneously. The order of recruitment makes it likely that most of the fibers held in reserve will be white.

EMS Training

During EMS training, your muscle contractions are involuntary. Our EMS training device stimulates your muscles directly with electrical impulses, bypassing the body’s energy conservation system. Therefore, there’s no limit to the percentage of fiber that can be activated. The EMS impulse “spills over” from fully contracted fiber to activate remaining fibers, allowing your body to experience a training stimulus that’s unattainable by any other means.