My Most Random Workout Yet: I Got Electrocuted With E-Pulsive
So, you’re going to have to bear with me on this review. I know I’m friends with lots of sceptics, but I tried this new workout and I have to say…It’s amazing! It just looks a little bit…Strange.
E-Pulsive offer personal training with their fancypants machine using the ‘Electric Muscle Stimulation’ concept. The way I understood it as I went to my first class was that I was about to be electrocuted whilst exercising for 20 minutes. I thought it all sounded a bit silly and gimmicky and pretty much against what I’m about as a fitness writer and lover. I like exercise to be holistic, fun and the body aesthetic element to be a pleasing side effect of getting one’s heart rate up, whereas this seemed results-driven and possibly for people with more money than sense.
Upon arrival, I had to get changed out of my clothes and put on their plain black outfit of tight long-sleeved vest and knee-length leggings, the reason for which was about to become very clear. My very friendly trainer Mario (tall, blonde, sculpted) proceeded to spray a black jacket covered in orange wires and plugs with water. So, you know, I could be electrocuted.
I was promptly dressed in the vest, arm bands and leg bands, all of which were tightened around my body and I was plugged into the E-Pulsive machine. Mario then handed me a pair of orange, squeezy balls to, ‘Help deal with the currents as you will feel the electricity through your body.” I smiled and inwardly asked myself what I was doing with my life.
Squeezing Mario’s balls and smiling through the weirdness….
Mario gave me a choice: did I want to do fat burning cardio, toning or a bit of both? I hate HIIT so I was tempted to say just toning, but I thought as a journo I’d better try both so I plumped for 5 minutes of cardio and 15 of toning.
And I’m very glad I made that choice.
We started out with turning the machine on. Each setting corresponded to a different part of my body and I could choose how high I wanted each bit. Mario started with the thighs. It was just like when you’re young and accidentally touch the electric fence when you’re looking at a field of cows…a sort of inward thud that’s over before it begins. It’s a pulse, not an actual electric shock, and it doesn’t actually hurt. It’s more like having metal ants marching all over your body. I told him I could go much higher as the little electric thuds felt more and more intense…But then…Errr…
The electric vibrations started to feel rather…
If you know what I mean?
Me being me, I explained the situationto Mario. “Aaah,” he replied with a smile. “This explains why many of my female clients have the thighs at a very high setting.” We went a bit lower here but the places with more fat (bum, hips, arms) were able to take rather an impressively high setting, whereas areas that I’m not very fleshed out (ribs and upper abs) I found very uncomfortable.
So we began. I did simple aerobic exercises such as star jumps, sprints and squat jumps and I found it all very manageable, but I really didn’t enjoy the tightness around my chest caused by the vest and electric pulses. 5 minutes has never felt so long and I was SOOO out of breath!
We then moved on to toning. The electric currents here are different: instead of a constant jolting, there are 4 or so seconds or a constant pulse which makes the body contract. Your breathing is what makes this bearable: when I breathed out during the ‘contraction’ I found it OK, whereas if I found myself breathing half way through I felt stressed, claustrophobic and uncomfortable. The exercises were very simple: squats, bicep curls, lunges, standing ab curls…BUT crazily difficult when your body is being contracted by this machine! The 15 minutes were over remarkably quickly and I was de-wired and went off to change.
My scepitical self was rather shocked, the next day, to look down and see my abs looking more defined than usual and my skin feeling tight. It turns out that this 20 minute session, which really wasn’t so bad, was the equivalent of doing 90 minutes high intensity exercise at the gym. I had been experiencing 98% muscle engagement rather than the usual 50%. It’s fantastic for skin tightening and if you go regularly, it can reduce cellulite though I didn’t go enough to see those kinds of results (sadly).
Having reported to E-Pulsive that I really enjoyed the session and saw immediate results, they very kindly offered me 4 weeks of 2 sessions. Alas, my life got uber busy with writing and modelling and travelling, and I only managed 1 a week for four but I certainly saw results. All the places I wanted to see results: arms, abs, bum, thighs, didn’t lose inches but improved in appearance for sure as lots of people commented on me looking more defined: the usual word was ‘tight’. The more I went, the more I got used to fighting through the waves of contractions (I sound like it was labour!) and I also started ramping up the thighs and bum and arms (the ‘pleasant’ tingles stopped, luckily) but reducing the upper abs. This made it more bearable and meant I could focus on my problem areas.
Models, this is great. It’s also pricey. I think I’d definitely go back if I had bikini polaroids or a big shoot that I wanted to feel perfectly primed for, but I can’t really afford it as my regular fitness routine if I’m being totally honest. However, if I was doing regular e-com for a big client like ASOS, I know that the 9-6 would make me both tired and less motivated to do early or late exercise classes. Fitting this in twice a week is totally manageable for most people as they are very easy to get to in Knightsbridge (or can come to you: pricier), it feels as though it’s over before it’s begun and and it’s just so effective!
Also great for anyone with a big event such as a wedding or holiday coming up: this would definitely be worth the investment. As you can tell, I’m a convert!
My top tips for getting through this:
1. Breathe through the pulses
Breathe out each time the pulsing starts. Makes it way easier.
2. Bring another set of undies
The wet vest does seep through so take another bra and knickers so you’ve got a nice dry alternative afterwards!
3. Remember it’s only 20 minutes
So give it your all.
4. Try not to dwell on what’s happening
When I focused on any discomfort, I found myself rather stressed. Whereas if I just chatted to lovely Mario, I was fine.
5. Remember you can change the setting at any time
Some exercises, like plank, were much harder and required a lower setting. There’s no shame in asking for it to be lowered, though sometimes half way through I found a new resolve and went higher in certain areas!
You can check out a trial session for free and see how you get on! A single class is £75. And for packages…
Visit e-pulsive.co.uk for more info