History of EMS

Europeans have been using electrical muscle stimulation to train elite athletes since the 1970s. EMS technology gained widespread acceptance among the general public in Europe in the early 2000s. Today there are more than 1,700 EMS studios in Germany and Austria alone. To date, more than 50 million EMS sessions have been logged in Europe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cleared EMS training for use in non-medical exercise settings, paving the way for Manduu.

Electricity aside, EMS is one of the safest strength-building options available. Some gyms have injury rates that range from 20-75%. [2, 3] But, because we do not use heavy weights—and our sessions are led by certified personal trainers—Bodybuzz is a safe fitness solution for all ages and fitness levels.


EMS technology was first developed in the 1960s. Full-Body EMS developed in Europe in the early 2000s, with the Klitschko brothers (boxing) and players from FC Bayern Munich and the German National Soccer using the technology to gain a competitive advantage in athletic competition. Soon, teams like Real Madrid were following and Full-Body EMS became a staple training method for soccer players. Usain Bolt famously incorporated Full-Body EMS into his training regime while recovering from an injury ahead of setting multiple world records at the 2008 Olympic Games. Around 2010, Full-Body EMS went mainstream in Europe and quickly expanded across the globe.

Today there are >13,000 personal training studios globally specializing in Full-Body EMS. It is loved by countless athletes (Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Mike Tyson), celebrities (MadonnaTom Holland), and models (Elsa HoskLindsay EllingsonAlessandra AmbrosioAshley GrahamHeidi KlumRomee Strijd).

In 1999, the U.S. FDA began regulating EMS devices (a category they refer to as powered muscle stimulators) to ensure quality and user safety. The U.S.-specific clearance process is quite involved and complicated, and the major manufacturers of Full-Body EMS equipment were so busy expanding in the rest of the world that they only began gaining FDA clearance recently.

Traditional Full-Body EMS equipment is expensive ($15k-20k) and complicated to operate. As a result, it has historically been limited to personal trainers, celebrities and professional athletes. The general public only had access to Full-Body EMS through very specialized personal trainers and studios. Katalyst set out to change this. Seeing a hunger for premium, at-home fitness products, we reinvented Full-Body EMS from the ground up and created the first FDA cleared, dynamic, immersive and content-driven platform accessible directly to consumers in the United States.