I recently decided to add an EMS unit to my training program and have since been reading up on application, incorporation etc of EMS as much as I can.
This is what I got so far:
-Take a hot shower to clean and warm-up. Start EMS machine on pulsing for 5min get muscles ready.
-“rise-time” should be between 0.5-0.75 of a second.
-1rep = 10 seconds stimulation, 50 seconds rest
-Do 10reps per muscle group
-apply EMS 3-4 times per week
-3 week blocks followed by 3 weeks off
-do at the end of the day
-“crank it up”
I am still left with some questions though:
-Does this guide provide good information on pad placement? http://www.shopcompex.com/user-guide/?SID=cd3541a77ba9d59aafbbb2ae027ab74a
If you can’t see it right away, click on “Electrode Placement”. I am asking specifically for Glutes, Hamstrings and Feet.
-Technically speaking, what regulates the intensity of the session? Volt or ampere or what?
-Have any of the above mentioned guidelines changed? I have most of them from CFTS.
-Does anyone have some anecdote how EMS worked for them? (I am just curious)
GREAT with recovery…I’ve always had problems with shin splints, and using EMS on the calves (active recovery) has caused me never to miss a training session due to shin splints, since.
It’s also helping me with a a groin issue.
[Jamirok, regarding the groin problem, I put the EMS on my abs the other day, and there was INTENSE pain in the upper left abs (right groin pain) - I understand these are cross-connected, and after EMS’ing the abs and 'breaking down " the pain there, the groin was significantly better. ]
Regarding strength, I ‘pumped up’ my hamstrings quite easily with it, after a period of small hamstring tearing :o
Further to your list above, rise time only serves to make the contraction more acceptable, and in that sense it helps you increase intensity. Make it longer, and it would add fatigue without results. Make it shorter, and the sudden jolt may keep you form increasing intensity. Number of reps, on/off times, depend very much on the type of training, and the goal. Charlie’s protocols are the best around for sprint training.
I see from your guidelines a notable absence frequency, and pulsewidth duration. Unless you’re using an old-school machine offering only Russian stim, which is fixed at 50 Hz 200 microseconds, with the modern generation of e-stim machines, you also have these two parameters to set. Frequency basically determines what type of fibers you are targeting; pulsewidth has to do with the muscle group, because larger muscles work best with larger pulsewidths.
There are machines that regulate based on voltage (constant voltage machines), and machines that regulate on current (constant current). The best machine in the market (Compex, Globus) are constant current. That means that once you crank up the current to the desired value, the machine has a microprocessor that continuously monitors the conductivity of your muscle and increases or decreases the voltage to keep the current constant. As the session progresses and your muscles warm up with more blood, the conductivity increases, and you will find you tolerate the session better and comfort will increase.
The frequency depends on the goal. The pulsewidth for glutes and hamstrings needs to be around 400 to have a strong contraction. Feet have smaller muscles and would require less, around 200-250 microseconds. I suggest you take a look at the meaning and values of these parameters in an EMS Digest I have on-line. After you read the section on chronaxie, which determines pulsewidth, go on to the next section for the role of frequency in EMS.