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Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
09-29-2017, 04:59 AM
Post: #1
Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
I think this is the appropriate category of the forums for this, but I was curious if anyone had any feedback on EMS for performance or hypertrophy.
(see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993042 for study supporting application)

I've been reading more and more about it after hearing about uses on podcasts and Vlogs and wound up treating myself to a COMPEX Wireless EMS System. I tried it for the last night after leg training of a MR day and DAAAAAANG my quads are feeling it. I know soreness isn't the indication of hypertrophy, but it was my first go around and am trying figure out the best means of utilization (probably going to follow Ben Greeenfield's split from his website: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article...formance/)

Everything I've seen shows it to be useful for cycling, but there's definitely some disagreements on what is optimal for application. Additionally the intensity of application can be kind of vague for desired out comes. I'm hoping to see if anyone here has any experience with using EMS for strength, power, and/or hypertrophy, and what their experience were. Right now I'm just going with what provides a visible contraction for the pulsing, and what is at the verge of tolerable for the heavy contractile longer phases.
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09-29-2017, 03:04 PM
Post: #2
Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
I would be interested in feedback on this question. My wife just purchased one of these units for herself on advice from her physiotherapist due to a calf tear she sustained. I might jump in and use it myself if there are some positive muscle building/recovery abilities.


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10-03-2017, 02:26 AM
Post: #3
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
I'm just wrapping up my first week of doing these protocols, so the experience is pretty limited. HOWEVER, I can definitely say that after having done my first Lower Loading day after starting these protocols, I felt pain STRONG contractions much further up my Vastus Medialis than I ever had prior. I'll definitely report back more on the personal experiment as I get my noteworthy data, but I was surprised, and honestly a little unnerved(awful pun intended) at the immediate soreness so far up my thigh from just leg pressing. I was afraid I might have injured myself because that was the first time I ever felt anything in that area, let alone anything so intense, but it was gone about 24 hours later. My suspicion is the forced/involuntary contraction from the EMS is helping improve greater motor neuron recruitment in the cell itself, so the contraction is more thorough in my voluntary movement patterns. Very exciting to think of, but only conjecture at this point. I'll need this to be repeatable before I can say anything with even a smidgen of certainty.
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11-17-2017, 05:37 AM
Post: #4
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
Well I finished my first 4 week cycle of using the protocols listed above, and while my legs didn't turn into big beautiful balloons of muscle there were some definitely noted benefits:
-My recovery improved significantly
-I was able to increase my working weights for most of my leg exercise despite being on the low end of iso-caloric most days at a MUCH greater rate of progressive overloading than I had before.
-MUCH greater definition in my legs as well, especially my quads (where I did the most of the EMS).
-There was a small increase in thigh circumference (1/4") but this could be attributed to just the progressive overlading, though my legs have been stalled for actual size increase for a good year or so--they only get learner/more defined but at the same size.

Cons of all this would be:
-It's not cheap. The machine itself is price, but also the pads only last so long before you have to replace them.
-It is NOT a comfortable process... there was lots of cussing at points when I would push the EMS further and further up on the intensity of the protocols.
-Its EXTREMELY Time consuming. This was the hardest part for me and why I only did it on my quads most days.

I definitely see it being useful for individuals who live and die by their recovery/performance, but for the regular working man who has tighter time and financial budgets, it's likely not worth it.

I can see how this would be beneficial for rehab purposes and for the more advanced lifters who are always looking for ways to push deeper and deeper into the mind-muscle/motor neuron recruitment development--I have never had such quality contractions in my life for when I do train legs. This may be worth considering for these circumstances as well, but make sure you can afford the time demand if you do decide to pursue this supplemental regimen. I'm going to experiment on arms next for 4 weeks.

All in all I'm glad I did it, if for no other reason to have quad feathering into my Rectus Femoris on the right side and Vastus Lateralis on both sides for the first times ever.
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11-18-2017, 01:19 AM
Post: #5
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
RX,

Could you explain you protocol?...

-S

-Scott

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11-21-2017, 02:08 AM
Post: #6
Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
I was thinking whilst listening to the podcast the other day that maybe using a compex could be the answer to how we could work a muscle more often as it removes the cns fatigue element.
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11-21-2017, 02:44 AM
Post: #7
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
(11-21-2017 02:08 AM)Robbie Wrote:
 
I was thinking whilst listening to the podcast the other day that maybe using a compex could be the answer to how we could work a muscle more often as it removes the cns fatigue element.

This is a great deal to using EMS actually.

It also overrides neurological inhibition so, given the right loading circumstances, you can (well, the muscle does) produce more force in the activated motoneurons than one can voluntarily (during eccentric contractions).

Smile

-S

-Scott

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11-21-2017, 04:17 AM
Post: #8
Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
I bought a very expensive compex machine a few years ago and the strength of the contractions they can give are incredible. It’s making me want to invest in one again now I think about it!
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11-21-2017, 06:40 AM
Post: #9
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
From: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article...rformance/

Quote:A Training Plan For Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Follow the 3 block training plan below, and you will notice significant improvements. Those around you will notice the difference too:

block1compex

block2compex

Block3Compex

You’ll notice a significant difference in how well you perform your sport after following the above plan for even just three weeks. The benefits will continue to accumulate as you extend the training time with the Compex.

——————————————–

Sorry this pics I need to add for the block but it is in the link above.

The compex units have settings for "strength", "explosive strength", "endurance" and "Recovery"

Each setting starts at 26 minutes for strength, 24 minutes for endurance, and 18 minutes on recovery, and then you can increase your levels to increase duration. The intensity is manually adjusted in real time by the user. The instructions say to keep the intensity as high as tolerable during the active contraction period (varies depending on setting chosen), and to keep at an intensity that creates a visible muscle contraction during the alternating recovery interval. The machine cycles through these intervals over the course of the setting option chosen. I did all three settings in order for quads 3x per week, and hamstrings 1x per week (a lot of time to commit to very limited mobility, IMO). When I started my max intensity was in the 50s but by the end was in the 140's. The watts and hertz I believe they keep proprietary by having their own scale of intensity on the machine itself.
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11-22-2017, 01:09 AM
Post: #10
RE: Electric Muscle Stimulation(EMS) supplementation
(11-21-2017 06:40 AM)RXLovesFitness Wrote:
 
From: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article...rformance/


Sorry this pics I need to add for the block but it is in the link above.

The compex units have settings for "strength", "explosive strength", "endurance" and "Recovery"

Each setting starts at 26 minutes for strength, 24 minutes for endurance, and 18 minutes on recovery, and then you can increase your levels to increase duration. The intensity is manually adjusted in real time by the user. The instructions say to keep the intensity as high as tolerable during the active contraction period (varies depending on setting chosen), and to keep at an intensity that creates a visible muscle contraction during the alternating recovery interval. The machine cycles through these intervals over the course of the setting option chosen. I did all three settings in order for quads 3x per week, and hamstrings 1x per week (a lot of time to commit to very limited mobility, IMO). When I started my max intensity was in the 50s but by the end was in the 140's. The watts and hertz I believe they keep proprietary by having their own scale of intensity on the machine itself.

Thanks, Rx - I'll check it out ASAP.

-S

-Scott

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