EMS for Powerlifter

We have a compex sport 400 EMS unit at work, that is sitting there collecting dust.

I have though about using it in my powerlifting training.

I had a few questions though:

  1. Will it affect my training volume? (If I am supposed to perform x amount of pounds a week, Can I do EMS on top of that without affecting the loading)

  2. Can usage with normal training lead to overtraining?

3)Will it be useful to build up strength in weak areas (my glutes are weaker than I would like…can I use the EMS ontop of normal training).

  1. is there a guideline to how long, and how much time I should be working each muscle group?

  2. has anyone noted any strength increase in their barbell lifts?


Answers based on my experience. Giovanni might want to chime in based on his perspective:

  1. You should be able to incorporate it into your regular training load, as there is no CNS fatigue from EMS. I would order your EMS sessions on the same day as your high intensity lift sessions, but simply perform EMS later in the day to “top up” your workout.

  2. On the overtraining question, yes. Everyone’s tolerances are different. Optimal results will be effected by your experience in choosing the optimal number of sessions. You may want to start with 2-3 sessions per week using the protocol Kots and Charlie recommended.

  3. Absolutely yes. This is a perfect application of EMS. I would start on those muscles initially, and then see how your training progresses.

  4. Again, start with Charlie’s recommendation of 10 contractions (10 sec on, 50 sec off) per muscle group at maximum tolerance. Always perform a warm-up of pulsing for at least 5-10 minutes to increase circulation in the working muscle group. This will optimize the max strength session when you are ready to go.

  5. I’ve noticed general improvements in strength with my athletes. These are not controlled experiments, but anecdotal findings.

I encourage you to try this out with your lifts and report back to us after 6 weeks of work. You may not realize the full effect of EMS until weeks after your training period with EMS. This has been noted in a number of studies.

Sorry, you said you had a Compex Sport 400. So, the programs are pre-set. Use the maximum strength program in their menu. I think it is roughly 4-5 seconds on, 25-30 seconds off. You will be limited to the unit’s pre-set programs, but you should still notice an improvement.

Thank you so much.

with number 4, is that a total of 10 contractions for that muscle, for the whole session?