Active Integral EMS (I)
Whether you are new to EMS Integral Activa , or if you are a professional who wants more relevant data, this article will interest you. It is not just another article on the benefits of the “vest”, it is a review of the indexed studies that exist today on EMS Integral Activa. At FAST we want to make a difference and for you to make a difference with us, that is why we will give you the tools so that the decision to start a training program with FAST is yours alone.
Active Integral Electrostimulation
The electrostimulation Integral Active , as well called FAST to Whole-Body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) is a relatively recent tool for training. It has been more than a decade since Germany began to commercialize, and some companies carried out their own studies, supported by a university, disclosed until now on EMS’s own pages as a basis for showing its benefits. Among these “studies” stand out, not for their quality but for their quantity, those carried out by Boeckh-Behrens and his colleagues between 2002 and 2006, all supported by the Institute of Sports Sciences of the University of Bayreuth . None of these articles, according to our search, has been published in any journal indexed in theJournal Citation Report (JCR) * , therefore, in this short text we will not take them into account.
These “unpublished” articles open a door to the interest generated by the Active Integral EMS, since its results show improvements in back pain, incontinence, strength, body volume, etc. But their results cannot be the basis of knowledge, since, despite being randomized clinical trials in many cases, a level of evidence cannot be attributed to them, and therefore they could not enter the body of studies to generate a degree of it. The evidence shows us how applicable a study is to its target population.
In any case, in this text we are going to base ourselves on those scientific articles published in journals indexed in the JCR , so we are aware that they have undergone an arduous peer review process.
Kemmler and his colleagues have managed to publish 5 indexed articles from 2010 to now, and it is those results that we can really observe and analyze from a critical perspective.
Critical perspective EMS
In 2010 , the first of the articles was published in which it was submitted to 30 women, randomly divided into two groups in equal numbers. All these women, postmenopausal and with a mean age of 64.5 (5.5) years, had carried out controlled exercise during the last three years. Both groups exercised for 14 weeks, completing a total of 4 sessions, 2 of them supervised with a duration of 60-65 minutes, and another 2 at home for 20-25 minutes. The intervention group also performed 20 minutes of light exercises with Active Integral EMSevery 4-5 days. Finally, the basal metabolic rate was maintained in the EMS group, while it decreased in the control group; The following parameters improved with EMS, while with EMS they significantly worsened or not: the sum of skin folds, waist circumference, and isometric strength of the trunk extensors and leg extensors. There were significant improvements in both groups, being greater in the EMS group, in body weight and hip circumference.
The second of the published studies, the TEST II , of which we have its data through the review carried out by Kemmler and von Stengel in the Journal of Aging Research (the original article is in German published in 2010 in the German Journal of Sports Medicine ), also shows us a randomized clinical trial, but in this case with 28 sedentary men with metabolic syndrome, and with an age range of 65 to 75 years. They also trained for 14 weeks, but in this case the control group performed a “placebo” exercise protocol on a vibrating platform to help adherence. The improvements were plausibly significantimproving in the following variables: total fat mass, abdominal fat mass, waist circumference, isometric strength of the leg extensors, leg power and oxygen consumption. Many of these parameters have an indirect effect on the metabolic syndrome, however, no improvements were observed in terms of blood lipids, blood pressure and glucose.
In 2012 , also to Kemmler and his collaborators, the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published another randomized trial, but in this case with a much lower mean age, young people between 21 and 39 years old. In this study the main variable was energy expenditure during exercise, measured in a training session. The 19 subjects that made up the sample performed the same exercise protocol twice, with a minimum recovery time between sessions of 4 days. On both occasions they wore the Active Integral EMS suit, only that on one occasion it was connected and on the other it did not. The same session involved an energy expenditure of 412 (60) kcal / h. with EMS, and without it 352 (70) kcal / h., with which the difference was significant (p = 0.008) between groups, with energy expenditure being 17% higher with EMS.
Already in 2013 the results of the TEST III by Kemmler and his colleagues were published, but this time divided into two articles, where in one the general results were presented, and in another the analysis with only those sedentary older women with abdominal obesity (circumference of waist greater than 80 cm.). The target population, in addition to being sedentary women, fulfilled the condition of being at risk of sarcopenia. The protocol consisted of two exercise groups, one performed WB-EMS, and another, considered a semi-active group, which served as a “placebo” control group. The duration of the intervention was 54 weeks, a full year. In the first analysis, the improvement was significantly positive for the group that performed WB-EMS in the following variables: lean mass, abdominal fat mass, maximum isometric strength of the extensors of the legs and the trunk. However, in the second analysis only with women who had abdominal obesity, although there was improvement in all parameters for the WB-EMS group, only the positive change in the maximum isometric force of the leg extensors was significant.
Tool with which to complement the training
Much remains to be investigated, other target populations, other parameters, other intensities, another combination of exercises (types of training) with WB-EMS, etc. But it is clear that, as Kemmler indicates in several of his studies, the “vest” is a tool with which to complement the training, as well as a “hook” to start a physical exercise program for those sedentary people who have not yet been determined to take a step forward for his health.
For the latter, when you go to a FAST center you can see the logos of the European University of Madrid and Global Health , because we are committed to research and health.
All those who want more detailed information have below the references of Kemmler’s studies, as well as a table exposing each of the investigations that have been described above.
Essential references of this article:
- Kemmler W, Schliffka R, Mayhew JL, et al. Effects of whole-body-electromyostimulation on resting metabolic rate, anthropometric and neuromuscular parameters in the elderly. The Training and Electro Stimulation Trial (TEST).
- Kemmler W, von Stengel S. Alternative exercise technologies to fight against sarcopenia at old age: a series of studies and review.
- Kemmler W, Birlauf A, von Stengel S. Einfluss von Ganzkörper-Elektromyostimulation auf das Metabolische Syndrom bei älteren Männern mit metabolischem Syndrom. [Effects of whole-body-electromyostimulation on body composition and cardiac risk factors in elderly men with the metabolic syndrome. The TEST-II study]. Dtsch Z Sportmed 2010; 61 (5): 117–123. German.
- Kemmler W, Von Stengel S, Schwarz J, et al. Effect of whole-body electromyostimulation on energy expenditure during exercise.
- Kemmler W, Bebenek M, Engelkevon K, Stengel S. Impact of whole-body electromyostimulation on body composition in elderly women at risk for sarcopenia: the Training and ElectroStimulation Trial (TEST-III). American Aging Association 2013
- Kemmler W, von Stengel S. Whole-body electromyostimulation as a means to impact muscle mass and abdominal body fat in lean, sedentary, older female adults: subanalysis of the TES T-III trial. Clinical Interventions in Aging
Other Kemmler posts on WB-EMS not discussed in this article:
- Kemmler W, Engelke K, Von Stengel S. Ganzkörper-Elektromyostimulation zur Prävention der Sarkopenie bei einem älteren Risikokollektiv. Die TEST-III Studie. [Effects of whole-body-electromyostimulation on Sarcopenia in lean, elderly sedentary women. The TEST-III Study] Dtsch Z Sportmed 2012; 63 (12): 16–23. German.
- Kemmler W, Von Stengel S, Bebenek M. Effekte eines Ganzkörper-Elektromyostimulations-Trainings auf die Knochendichte eines Hochrisikokollektivs für Osteopenie. Eine randomisierte Studie mit schlanken und sportlich inaktiven Frauen. [Effects of whole-body-electromyostimulation on bone mineral density in lean, sedentary elderly women with osteopenia The randomized controlled TEST-III Study].