Exercise Intensity

Intensity: Why it’s important and how WB-EMS makes it accessible

As we age, staying active and maintaining our physical fitness becomes increasingly important. While the benefits of exercise are well-documented, not all forms of exercise are created equal. 

At age 55, is it enough to walk 30 minutes a day? What if it’s a 2-hour hike? Is it enough to lift weights once a week? 

Let’s try to answer these questions knowing that the national recommendations for exercise according to the CDC are to perform two sessions of resistance training and 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week. However, depending on your current fitness level this might be too much to jump into, or too little if you’re already fit.

Whenever we speak about exercise we need to be specific about intensity. Intensity is measured differently depending on the modality. For cardiovascular exercise, intensity is usually expressed in the percentage of maximum heart rate. For resistance training, it is usually expressed as a percentage of your relative one rep max. You can refer to our previous blog to learn more about 1RM

If you want to get stronger, faster, leaner, maintain bone density, and reap other health benefits from exercise, you are going to need to exercise close to the highest intensity you can tolerate. 

This means that at age 55, if you are healthy, and have been working out most of your life, walking 30 minutes is better than nothing, but don’t expect your body to change much.

Definition of HIT: for the purpose of this blog we will refer to high-intensity training (HIT) as resistance training at higher intensity levels, i.e. lifting heavy weights.

Why embrace HIT as we age:

The aging process brings with it several physiological changes, including muscle loss, declining bone density, and a metabolism slowdown. This underscores the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, and HIT stands out as an invaluable tool in this endeavor. Here’s why:

Muscle Mass Preservation and Growth:

Lifting heavy weights places substantial stress on your muscles, prompting them to adapt and grow stronger. As we age, there’s a natural tendency to lose muscle mass, a condition known as sarcopenia. HIT helps counteract this by stimulating muscle preservation and, in some cases, muscle growth. This is crucial for maintaining strength, balance, and overall physical function as we get older.

Enhanced Bone Density:

Heavy weightlifting, a cornerstone of HIT, is a powerful stimulant for bone health. It places stress on the bones, leading to increased bone density over time. Stronger bones reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older individuals.

Functional Strength:

HIT improves not just muscle size but also functional strength. The ability to lift and move heavy objects becomes more important as we age. Lifting heavy weights helps you maintain the strength needed for everyday tasks and reduces the risk of injury.

Hormonal Benefits:

Heavy resistance training, such as HIT, can stimulate the release of hormones like growth hormone and testosterone, which play a role in muscle growth, metabolism, and overall vitality. This hormonal response can be especially beneficial as we age.

Mental Well-Being:

Engaging in challenging, high-intensity workouts like HIT can release endorphins, leading to an improved mood and reduced stress levels. Mental well-being is a critical component of overall health, particularly as we grow older.

Improved Balance and Posture:

HIT enhances core strength and stabilizes muscles, which are essential for maintaining good posture and balance. Better posture can help prevent back pain and reduce the risk of falls, which are common concerns among the elderly.

While HIT offers numerous benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone.

While High-Intensity Training (HIT) and heavy weightlifting can deliver remarkable benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that they might not be suitable for everyone, especially individuals with specific medical conditions or physical limitations. For those seeking an alternative approach to achieve similar outcomes, Whole-Body Electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) can be an ideal solution.

What is WB-EMS?

WB-EMS is a cutting-edge training method that utilizes electrical impulses to stimulate muscle contractions throughout the entire body. Unlike traditional resistance training, which requires lifting weights, WB-EMS can offer a high-intensity workout with minimal external load. Here are some reasons why WB-EMS might be the perfect choice for those who cannot, or prefer not to, engage in heavy weightlifting:

1. Low Impact:

WB-EMS is gentle on the joints and places minimal stress on the skeletal system. This makes it an excellent option for individuals who need to avoid heavy weightlifting due to joint problems, arthritis, or other physical limitations.

2. Time Efficiency:

WB-EMS sessions are typically shorter in duration compared to traditional resistance training, making them well-suited for individuals with busy schedules or limited energy.

3. Customized Workouts:

WB-EMS can be tailored to individual fitness levels and goals. Trainers can adjust the intensity of the electrical impulses to suit the specific needs and capabilities of each participant.

4. Whole-Body Activation:

One of the unique features of WB-EMS is its ability to simultaneously target multiple muscle groups, ensuring a comprehensive workout in a shorter time frame. This can be especially beneficial for individuals looking to improve overall muscle tone and functional strength.

5. Improved Core Strength:

WB-EMS can effectively target the core muscles, helping to enhance posture, balance, and stability. It is a valuable tool for individuals seeking to address back pain or improve their overall core strength.

6. Versatility:

WB-EMS can be adapted to accommodate a wide range of fitness goals, whether it’s weight management, muscle preservation, or general physical conditioning.

7. Accessibility:

While traditional heavy weightlifting often requires access to a gym and specialized equipment, WB-EMS can be done with the guidance of a qualified trainer at a studio or fitness center, or even the client’s home, making it accessible to a broader range of individuals.

EMS fitness offers the unique ability to deliver high-intensity training while circumventing many obstacles and can be adjusted to accommodate any fitness level. 

If you are interested in learning more about EMS book a free consultation with me here: https://calendly.com/conradfitness/30min


Director of Education and Technology



Bodybuzz combines Certified Personal Training with Electrical Muscle Stimulation, giving your body a deeper, safer, and more effective workout. 20 minutes twice a week is all it takes!

Our personal trainers will guide you through a custom EMS workout designed specifically for you. Whether you’re looking to build strength, lose weight, get toned, or recover from an injury or illness, we offer a safe, low-impact solution to help get you there.

EMS has now been FDA-cleared for use in the US and we are proud to be one of the first companies to introduce this technology. This full-body workout uses a special muscle stimulating suit that sends low-level impulses to your major muscle groups to trigger muscle contractions. It’s a unique sensation that is painless and invigorating. EMS workouts are designed to achieve optimal conditioning, burn fat, develop strength, build muscle, tighten skin, combat cellulite, jump-start your metabolism, and restore your body’s natural balance.