What is EMS

How does EMS Fitness work?

Muscles are essential for movement and function in the human body. They are responsible for everything from lifting your cup of coffee to running a marathon. But how do muscles actually contract and produce force? 

Muscle physiology:

Muscles are made up of long, thin cells called muscle fibers. These fibers are made up of smaller units called myofibrils, which are made up of even smaller units called myofilaments. The myofilaments are made up of proteins called actin and myosin, which are responsible for muscle contraction.

Actin and myosin are arranged in a specific pattern within the muscle fiber, forming what are known as sarcomeres. Sarcomeres are the basic unit of muscle contraction. When a muscle contracts, the sarcomeres shorten and produce force.

The strength of muscle contraction is determined by the number of sarcomeres that are contracting at any given time. This is known as the recruitment of muscle fibers. When you’re lifting that cup of coffee, only a small number of sarcomeres are active. As the force needed to produce movement increases, as during a heavy lift or marathon, more sarcomeres are recruited to produce the necessary force.

What’s your favorite (muscle fiber) type?

Slow-twitch muscle fibers are responsible for endurance activities and have a high resistance to fatigue. They use oxygen to produce energy and have a slower contraction time. These are the fibers that will do most of the running during a marathon.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers, on the other hand, are responsible for short bursts of high-intensity activity and have a faster contraction time. They can produce more force, but they also fatigue more quickly. These are the fibers that will be literally doing the heavy lifting.

Nervous system: “and…..Action!”

Muscle contraction is controlled by the nervous system. When a nerve impulse reaches a muscle, it triggers the release of a chemical called acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction. Acetylcholine binds to receptors on the surface of the muscle fiber and causes a change in the muscle fiber’s membrane potential. This change in membrane potential is known as the action potential, and it travels along the muscle fiber, causing the release of calcium ions from the sarcoplasmic reticulum.

The release of calcium ions triggers the interaction between actin and myosin. Myosin has a head that can bind to actin and “slide” along the actin filaments, pulling them toward the center of the sarcomere. This process is called the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction. As the actin filaments are pulled toward the center, the sarcomere shortens, and the muscle contracts.

EMS fitness

Electrical muscle stimulation is a technology that uses electrical current to stimulate muscle contractions. EMS fitness works by sending electrical impulses through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the muscle group being targeted. The electrical current passes through the skin and into the muscle fibers, causing them to contract.

The electrical impulses used in EMS are similar to the impulses that are naturally produced by the body’s nervous system to control muscle contractions. When an EMS device is used, the electrical impulses can bypass the nervous system and stimulate the muscles directly which is why this technology is often used in physical therapy settings.

Tetanic contraction

Remember the James Cameron movie from 1997 about the big ship that set sail and hit an iceberg? Spoiler alert, the ship sinks, Rose is on a slant of wood where she will survive, and Jack, holds on until he dies of hyperthermia. While holding on, Jack was using a tetanic contraction.

When the action potential is triggered frequently enough, it will produce a tetanic contraction that is characterized by a sustained, high-force contraction that does not relax until the stimulus is removed or the muscle fatigues. Tetanic contractions can be produced by voluntary contraction, lifting something heavy, or electrical muscle stimulation. 

The frequency of the stimulation determines if the muscle reaches tetanic contraction. Tetanic contractions can damage muscle tissue which then, with enough recovery time, will grow stronger. 

If you are interested in learning if EMS fitness would be a good option for you, 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. It is a full-body workout that 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.