Ramadan is a spiritual month. However, it is essential to take good care of your body during this period. Dessange has the perfect training option to try, as this editor discovered.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning when I headed to Dessange to be pampered and have a great me-moment once again. This time, I was invited to experience their health club. Yes, Dessange is a whole beauty sanctuary where you not only find spa and salon treatments, but your body can also get some necessary attention. You are seen and treated as a whole.
The Dessange Health Club offers dance and yoga classes; it has a gym area full of windows letting the light in for a pleasant training session; a Pilates room with all necessary types of equipment; and a round room in the middle with the perfect vibe for the sought after spinning classes.
But, I went there to try something different, the EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) training. It might sound too technological, but that is the best part, I love technology!
This system of training uses a wearable device that attaches to the body (through a special suit), stimulating your muscles via tiny electrodes that accelerate your workout and enhance your body-toning results. The trick? EMS training is an excellent way to improve your overall fitness, tone your body and strengthen your muscles in less time than regular exercise. I arrived at the health club, and Slavka, my EMS trainer, invited me for a chat before she got me strapped up and started. She had a list of questions, which mean that you shouldn’t be trying this kind of training if you have a severe health condition. But not me; I’m good to move forward.
She further explained that there are three types of programmes, a strength option, used for beginners, a metabolism function that mixes cardio with the strength programme, and body relax, which is perfect for athletes or anyone looking for rehabilitation. She picked the strength programme for me, with a duration of 20 minutes.
We then moved to the gym area where the EMS machine is located. She sprayed some water into the vest and straps/belts that were going to be placed on my thighs, glutes and arms. Water is a good electric conductor, and we wanted the pulses to be delivered at their best. I felt like Lara Croft, ready to go into action!
Slavka connected me to the machine and turned it on, activating each area one by one and asking me if I could feel a tingling sensation. I did, and it didn’t feel as strange as I thought it would. The programme starts with a red light (the period when you should rest), moves to yellow (which means get set) and green (exercise!). My trainer was next to me the entire session, and she guided me in what kind of movement I should be doing in the four seconds of green-light mode. We started with squats and lunges and moved to the upper body with vertical abs and some arm movements.
If you think you won’t be doing much, that’s an easy initial mistake. I had to catch my breath from time to time, which made me feel good, as if I was engaged in an intense type of movement. The exercises are very specific, to tackle the body’s main areas, combined with the electric impulses that mimic the natural reaction your brain sends to the muscles to contract them.
It might sound like a very modern method, but its origins stretch as far back as the 18th century. The use of EMS has improved over the years, and the electrical pulse is low and completely safe. The feeling of the current is gentle and non-invasive and activates deeper muscles that a normal exercise wouldn’t.
I was very curious about this training concept, and I was right to be. So much science combined with simple movements to deliver exciting results. As the session proceeds, you become used to the electric pulses, and they feel quite comfortable. I have to confess that I quite liked them, and it was an enjoyable experience. Slavka told me that you start feeling a change in your body after the fourth session and that you shouldn’t do EMS more than twice a week so as not to stress your body, particularly if you are a beginner like me. I was a bit sore the next day, but the good kind of pain that makes you want more movement in your life!