By Lauren Travers
So you’ve heard about this fitness revolution that uses some kind of weird technology to make you fit in only 20 minutes. Sounds too good to be true right? Well, its not. In today’s blog we will be taking a look at EMS and how it works, who it caters for, the benefits you can expect, and some first hand stories of how it has changed people’s lives. One of which is my very own!
Who is SpeedFit?
SpeedFit is an Australian fitness company which utilises EMS technology originating from Germany, to enhance the benefits of bodyweight strength training workouts.
We originated in Perth in 2014, and have since expanded across to Sydney, NSW with more states set to come over the following years. You can now access 11 clubs in the Perth Metro area, and 2 clubs in Sydney.
Our team is made up of a broad variety of individuals with varying qualifications in human movement, Advanced sports and Exercise, Sports Science, Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy. Every one of our trainers is passionate about Human Movement and achieving client results, each with their own sporting and personal achievements in the fitness industry.
Why is SpeedFit so effective?
We all know the benefits of exercise. It strengthens muscles, improves mobility, stabilises posture, strengthens bones and joints, improves cardiovascular fitness and heart health, assists in weight loss and weight maintenance, improves circulation, produces ‘happy hormones’ serotonin and endorphins which create a feeling of Euphoria and Elation. These are barely skimming the surface on the enormous lake which covers the benefits of exercise. We are aware of the benefits, however, it can often be a chore to find a form of exercise that fits into our lifestyles, is enjoyable, AND effectively gets the results or benefits that we specifically desire.
This is where SpeedFit steps in as a niche above the rest. Let’s take a look at exactly why.
Amidst work, kids, family, friends, chores and socialising, finding the time to fit in exercise can be very difficult, particularly around certain times of year (festive season, school holidays etc). Most fitness avenues require a minimum commitment of 1hr, 3 times per week, this is due to load, recovery, adaptations, intensity, consistency and effort. You need to commit to this minimum and ensure that you are putting in maximum effort to each session in order to start seeing changes, and reach towards your goal.
SpeedFit on the other hand, requires a commitment of only 20 minutes, once per week. Now if you cannot set aside half an hour for yourself once per week, then that is definitely something you need to work on! Scheduling your sessions at a recurring time and day allows for a consistency that develops into a habit. It will become a seamless part of your routine, even amidst the busy holiday seasons.
You are provided with your pre and post workout drinks allowing for more effective recovery, and our full in-house facilities mean that you can head straight from your sessions to work or an event.
“Love SpeedFit! I’m so time poor and this is definitely something I can fit into my week. Love the energy it gives me.”
Nicole Yates, SpeedFit CBD
“I’m so time poor with a special needs little dude who has so many appointments each week plus I work part time I noticed an advert for SpeedFit and signed up for a trial after the first session I was hooked and signed up straight away I have completed 5 sessions of speedfit now and loving it the trainers are amazing and are always encouraging to push me that little further each time.”
Rebecca Mitchell, SpeedFit Cockburn
EMS (electro muscle stimulation) is so effective because it creates an ‘all or nothing’ principle. Now what this means in simple terms, is that when we utilise the EMS technology against your skin, your muscle will either contract fully (ALL) in response, or it won’t contract at all (NOTHING). Now, it is very apparent if you are not getting a muscular contraction, at which point we turn up the frequency of the EMS current until a full muscular contraction occurs. Now what this means is that when you perform an exercise such as a squat, lunch or bicep curl, you are utilizing and engaging your entire muscle to its full extent. Hence, it is the most effective strength training workout that you can physically undertake.
It is no longer possible to miss out on the benefits by doing an exercise wrong, or to train only part of your muscle through lack of engagement, or to create an imbalance between the two sides of the body, all of which are very real possibilities when training yourself at the gym.
You can guarantee that every single one of your 20 minutes will be an intense, effective and pointed utilisation of your energy and time.
“I love SpeedFit. I have been going for over 12 months now. I felt results after the first couple of sessions. 17 kilos down since I started and I feel great. I recommend SpeedFit I feel healthier and the trainers keep you on track.”
Tania Orr, SpeedFit CBD
You will have a highly qualified trainer instructing you every single step of the workout. Not only will they ensure that you are executing correct technique and form, but they will train you on how to engage your muscles more effectively outside of the training sessions as well.
We are able to accommodate and work around any physical limitations including injuries, weaknesses, lack of mobility, postural misalignments and balance issues.
Due to the nature of our sessions being very LOW-IMPACT, it means that there is no unnecessary strain placed on joints, ligaments or tendons. All postures and movements are executed in a controlled and safe manner, with your feet always in a stable position on the floor.
Motivation & Support
Sometimes just getting up out of bed can be a challenge in itself, but making your way to a fitness session really tests the will power. Once you are there, you then need to be able to motivate yourself to put in your full effort for the entire duration of that workout in order to get the results you are after…. And this is often our main downfall!
At SpeedFit, your dedicated trainer is not only there to ensure your safety and effectiveness, they are also there to inspire, support and push you beyond your limits. 20 minutes goes by in the blink of an eye, allowing you to truly work hard for the entire duration. Each of our trainers brings their own personality, sass and flare to the role, and you’ll find that you come in more excited to see them than you are for the actual session!
“So I tried dieting. I tried exercise. I tried starvation. I tried pills. I tried potions. I tried pre-packed meals. I tried low carb, no carb, high carb. I tried Atkins.
But thank my lucky stars for Lauren (The Awesome) and (Tiny Tiny Pulses) Ed at SpeedFit Claremont.Their holistic approach to healthy lifestyle has worked wonders…
“The best thing about Claremont is that you feel part of a family from both a training / coach perspective and clientele to clientele perspective. The serious feeling of belonging inspires you to push that little bit harder whilst exercising in the most super-efficient way possible. It really has been life changing. Bless you all.”
~ John Anderson, Dalkeith WA ~
Benefits of SpeedFit
The basis of our sessions is ‘Strength Training’, so the main outcome is building and developing muscle. The nature of EMS works towards building a longer, leaner and more dense muscle rather than developing size or hypertrophy, which works towards a toned and lean physique.
The more muscle you have, the higher your Basal Metabolic Rate or metabolism. What this means is your body will naturally burn more calories at rest, making it much easier to lose weight as well as keep it off.
Because EMS training is Full Body, it means that we are able to target and work parts of the body that may be weaker from our regular movement patterns, hormones, genetics and training routine. For example, often women find it much harder to build and develop muscles in the arms and upper body due to lack of testosterone. EMS overcomes this, creating strong, toned, lean arms (think of eliminating those bingo wings!).
For many who are seated all day, or those experiencing an anterior pelvic tilt, it can be very very difficult to target and train the Glute muscles. This often results in lower back pain and mobility issues. With EMS, your glutes are forced to contract, which trains them to become strong, and engage more fully in regular movements such as walking, sitting, standing and climbing chairs.
“Having had a chronic back injury for 25 years, I can hands-down say that SpeedFit is the best exercise program for me. It has maintained my strength and reduced my physio visits, and best of all, it only takes 20mins each week. LOVE Speedfit!
Chris Davies, Speedfit Claremont
“My core strength (at 55) is better than it’s ever been. Even managed to show ALL – repeat – ALL of those younger keepers at goalkeeping clinic run by a former hockeyroos keeper.”
~ John Anderson, Dalkeith WA ~
As mentioned above, there are a variety of postural, physical and lifestyle related factors which can influence the way we move, and the types of movements that we undertake. Lack of use of certain muscles or muscle groups can create a severe degeneration in the strength and activation of these areas. In the case of the leg stability muscles (vmo, adductor, abductor), the lower back muscles, the neck and shoulder muscles, this can begin to heavily impact upon an individual’s mobility and range of motion. Some of our clients are unable to twist, turn, stand on one foot, or even tie up their own shoe laces when they begin with us.
Through a combination of muscular engagement, isolation of stability muscles, and controlled mobility based exercises, we are able to work on strengthening and lengthening weakened muscles, building and developing atrophied stabilisers, and increase active range of motion.
“Yesterday i put my shoes on without sitting down on the bed. I cannot even remember the last time that I was able to do that. It must be at least 20 years”.
~ Vasugee, SpeedFit Claremont member ~
3. Toning & Shaping
The ultimate call of exercise, we ALL want to tone or shape at least one area in our body. But what is ‘toning’ really? Well, it is in fact the building of muscle whilst simultaneously stripping away fat. As the muscle builds, we begin to see more shape and definition in the area. The increased muscle mass stimulates both circulation and metabolism which assists in the breakdown of more fat, as well as the elimination of that fat from the body.
EMS builds muscle as we discussed above, BUT it also boosts circulation. In a HUGE way! As the muscular contraction with EMS training is so great, your muscle requires a lot of oxygen. That oxygen comes via the bloodstream, so consequently the heart has to work harder to pump more blood around the body, allowing for oxygenation of all of your hard working muscles. This boosted circulation has the added benefits of providing nutrients to the area and boosting skin regeneration, flushing out stagnant or poor blood flow, and assisting in the reduction of cellulite and dimpled skin caused by circulation issues.
As mentioned above, we can target toning the areas that are quite stubborn or hard to train ourselves, such as the buttocks and thighs, the lower back (love handles), the lower abdominals (pooch) and the backs of the arms (bingo wings).
Strengthening, toning and shaping effectively, ALL in just 20 minutes, once per week. Benefits can be noticed in as little as 3 sessions!
“SpeedFit has started a new adventure for me, I feel more confident and motivated to stay true to my fitness journey. I was able to see and feel results after the first few visits and became addicted after the very first session!”
Hannah Young, SpeedFit Cockburn
Core core core! Balance is all about your core strength. Now i’m not talking about balancing on a tightrope or executing an instagram worthy yoga pose here, i’m talking about balance and stability. As we get older, balance becomes such a vital component to our physicality and our safety. If we are tripped or stumble and fall as an adult, there is a good chance that something is going to break. Unfortunately we have a lot further to go, and a lot more weight behind us than we did as a child! Because of this, our natural balance, and the ‘automatic’ reaction of a stability muscle when we become suddenly ‘imbalanced’ is very very important.
Not only does EMS target all of your core and stability muscles deeply and effectively, but we also have specific, balance based exercises that we work on in a safe and controlled manner.
In my first year at Speedfit, i had a client who could not close their eyes and stay upright. And i’m talking about standing still with 2 feet planted firmly on the ground. Her balance, body awareness and stability in the leg muscles was so bad that just taking steps was a challenge in itself. After 6 months of consistent sessions once per week, it brought tears to her eyes one day when we managed to do a single leg balancing exercise flawlessly. She no longer even needed the assistance of the bar to keep her steady. Now that on it’s own may not seem to be applicable to everyday life, but that improvement in her balance meant that she was now able to go walking with her dog each day without fear of tripping or falling down. She caught the ferry for the first time, which she had always been to wary to do. She no longer needed to avoid escalators in shopping centres and airports for fear of not moving on and off quickly enough. And the thought of crossing the road at a pedestrian light no longer brought about a sense of panic. THOSE are the things that make me so proud of my job, every single day.
5. Stamina & Endurance
Endurance! The ability to exert yourself over an elongated period of time, whilst delaying and or withstanding stress, pain, and fatigue.
I trained a client in the Northbridge who was a cycling enthusiast. The client would cycle upwards of 50km + a week and was looking for EMS as a way to build lower body and core strength for the fast start and harsh hill climbs. Little did we know we were having a significant impact on the client’s stamina and conditioning. After not using EMS for 4 months, the client returned to me and mentioned how they were slower, weaker, less efficient and were not capable of riding the distances as they were whilst training once a week with me. The client had the data from their GPS tracker that showed their speed and we clearly saw that due to maintaining the strength aspect of their training regime, it negatively impacted their endurance and ability to exert themselves at an efficient high intensity across a 2-5hr ride.
Endurance training or (aerobic training) will refer to exercise that requires a continued consumption of oxygen than what you intake eat rest. The goal of our training is to help build the strength and stability in the muscles, which means more oxygenated blood is required, leading towards development and strengthening of the ventricles chambers (heart) to pump more oxygenated blood to the muscles more efficiently and for a prolonged time.
When you feel an exercise become easier and you could continue to perform it longer, this means you are developing your fitness, stamina and endurance.
6. Pain Management
Clients undertaking SpeedFit sessions can generally expect to see an improvement in their lower back pain within 3 sessions. Many of our clients find that it stands as a replacement for regular physio visits due to the continued contraction and release of muscles, assisting in relief of lower back tension. As the stimulus is working to strengthen the muscles in the lower back week by week, as well as strengthening the core, this helps to alleviate unnecessary stress and tension placed on these areas through everyday movement.
A study completed by the University of Bayreuth on the use of EMS resulted in 82.3% of subjects reducing their back pain, 75.8% saw improvements to their incontinence, 83% saw an improvement in body tension and 86.8% saw an improvement in stability. Overall the study showed an improvement of strength and mood compared to experiences with conventional strength training.
SpeedFit has turned my life around. I had an accident in 2003 and fractured my spine. Doctors couldn’t do anything so been living on pain killers until a friend saw an advertisement for SpeedFit. So two friends tried and said I should give it a go. 15 months later no longer taking pain medication. I attend once a week have had different trainers all great. My body shape has changed, I have more energy and to be able to do things that hindered me for such a long time. Thank you SpeedFit for giving me my life back.
Debbie Howe, SpeedFit Northbridge
Why do I choose SpeedFit?
Growing up with chronic asthma, I spent much of my childhood on heavy steroids, which interfered with my ability to build, develop and maintain muscle density, particularly in the upper body. I have always had to work very hard in a functional weights setting to build upper body strength and then it is quite a difficult task to maintain it.
As a Yoga teacher, many of the postures and poses involve significant upper body and core strength, and I always found that I was limited in the execution of these moves. Since finding SpeedFit however, I now have the most muscle density in my arms that I have had in my entire
life. Arm balancing postures are no longer an issue, and my core and upper back strength is far superior to what I have had in the past. Not only does this assist with my frozen shoulder issues and lower back pain, but it allows me much greater freedom and flexibility in my training regime, allowing me to spend more time doing the things that I love, and less time worrying about specific isolation and strengthening exercises.
Personally, exercise is my vice and the key to my mental health, so 20minutes in one week would never be enough for me. SpeedFit allows me to base my exercise around what feels right for my body on that day, and also improves my stamina, endurance and range of motion in my Martial arts training, as well as efficiency in hiking.
For me, SpeedFit really has been life changing, eliminating many of the physical limitations that I had and the associated mental frustrations that these caused. I don’t think I will ever find anything quite as effective, enjoyable and sustainable as SpeedFit. It certainly is something that becomes a part of your life, not just a short term fix.
So, is SpeedFit for everyone? Possibly not, however in my experience as a trainer, as well as a user, I’d be hard pressed to find ANYONE who would not benefit from the use of EMS at their local SpeedFit studio. For a list of our locations click here.