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Training Question: Can Electrical Muscle Stimulators Build Muscle?

I was wondering if anybody has used an electrical muscle stimulating unit for gaining muscle. I am thinking about purchasing one and would like any positive or negative feedback on the units. This would be greatly appreciated.

Answer #1

I have used an electrical muscle stimulator and I do not believe that they can build muscle. They definately get your muscles moving and you do feel as though you worked out. However, they do not provide the resistance that weights do. When you use electrical muscle stimulators you are not lifting any weight. The electricity forces your muscle to contract and the part of you body attached to the muscle moves. What I have heard is that electrical muscle stimulators can help maintain muscle if you are injured and can not weight train, but they can not build muscle like weight training does.

Answer #2

I have been in the EMS/TENS field since 1980 and EMS does work. If you knew any thing about working out, you would know that it is the stimulation achieved by a muscle from working it out that affects it. The stronger the stimulus, the greater the result. Mr. Olympia winner Lee Haney used EMS to win his victories (one more than Arnold).

Response #1 to Answer #1

While it may be true that EMS does enhance muscle growth and recuperation, there is no clinical or therapeutic evidence that it causes muscle hypertrophy in normal individuals at this time. While the comment in Answer#2 suggests that Lee Haney did well in his Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competitions because of his use of this technique, one should also be aware that Mr. Haney also did weight training along with using this technique, so the results of his muscle growth are inconclusive as to the efficacy of the EMS unit alone. Sorry, but it is more than likely that weight training is the way to go if you want to GAIN muscle and not just MAINTAIN muscle.

Answer #3

As people interested in fitness and body building, you should already be aware that it is not the movement of the muscle that causes growth. As a biochemist, I have a good knowledge of muscle structure and metabolism. I can tell you that it is the damage caused to muscle by exercise, or in this case EMS, that prompts growth in order to strengthen the muscle against further damage. Whilst it is true that even growth is easier to achieve through natural exercise, as the nerves are fired in a more natural pattern, EMS is capable of causing muscle growth by damaging the muscle fibers through over contraction.

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