Muscle Training without Effort

I’m not lazy when it comes to sports. I work out in the gym regularly. With a lot of fun, but not excessive. I also do a yoga class every day. For more defined muscles, especially on the stomach, I would have to put in even more effort. Firstly, I don’t have the time and, secondly, not the desire. That’s why I decided to try a new, non-invasive device for building muscle. It promises little expenditure of time and great effect.

A 20-30 minute treatment with the Cynosure “StimSure” machine is said to be as effective as 800 sit-ups. Sounds tempting. It is a muscle stimulation technology in which – unlike EMS – no bioelectrical impulses flow. It is based on an electromagnetic field that keeps the muscles tense. This is called “maximal tetanic contraction”. Means that the muscle can no longer relax, but remains in constant tension. As a result, the frequencies of the individual muscle contractions merge and you don’t feel these individual twitches as with EMS.

Relax while your muscles works

My first appointment at the Haut- und Laserzentrum in Munich: I stay fully dressed, only the stomach area has to be free. A wide, white elastic bandage is put on a little below the waist. Feels tight, but not more uncomfortable than Spanx. The therapist tells me to lie on my back on the massage table. Then she places a paddle on the right and left under the bandage on my stomach, which are supposed to send the electromagnetic field to the muscles. The round devices are about a bit more than the size of a palm and just fit the middle of my body in pairs. You can choose to work with one or both of them. Depending on whether you want more six packs or a more defined center line. “It’s best to make a change in each session,” the practitioner explains to me when I ask her what is better.

Muscle aches included

Then the machine is switched on. It starts at an output of 15 percent and is slowly ramped up. I do not perceive the action potential that is triggered in the motor neurons of the body muscles as unpleasant and will soon be at the maximum power of 100 percent. The noise that the machine makes is unusual: 10 seconds of stapling like shock waves, 10 seconds of the buzzing sound of a sewing machine. When I look down my body, I see the muscles contract without the tension easing. They are contracted up to 24,000 times during one treatment, says the manufacturer. This consistent muscle work is said to result in more efficient growth of muscle fibers. After 30 minutes I get up completely relaxed and realize – or am I just imagining it? – that my upper abdomen already looks a little firmer. Later I can feel that my muscles have actually worked vigorously in depth during my daily sit-ups. My tummy muscles are slightly sore, which has not been the case for a long time.

My treatment plan

It provides six 30-minute sessions. There is a change between one and two paddles. I find the single variant particularly interesting. My practitioner says that this is a particularly good way of shaping the center line of the body, as often seen in extremely trained people without a gram of fat. It is questionable whether this will work for me. I’m slim, but zero grams of fat? Definitely not. I also learn that the device should work just as well on the bottom as it does on the stomach. Many women use it to treat their upper arms to strengthen their triceps. With dumbbells and machines this is rather tedious. Men are also among the customers to help get their six pack perks up and running. Conversing during “training” is not that easy, by the way. Speaking is rather difficult during the strong muscle tension.

Minus three centimeters

After tens of years of daily sit-ups with the same exercises, my abdominal muscles seem to be really happy about the new challenge. I the gym I notice that they have gained power. On the abdominal press and crunches, I can easily double the number. And the look of my center has changed too. The straight abdominal muscles are actually more clearly noticeable and visibly better shaped after the sixth “StimSure” application. And if it weren’t for the little belly pads, a delicate six-pack would appear. And what is going on at the center line? The vertical line at least gives a hint. But the best thing is the three centimeters less waist circumference, which can be read off the measuring tape after the sixth session.

Lead photo: Viktor_Gladkow@iStock

muscle training

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