Scientists are always looking for ways to enhance sports performance. Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a method of improving muscle tone, size and strength and has contributed to some successes in the sporting world. Here at Keep Fit Kingdom, we had the recent opportunity to try out some uber modern-looking tech from Japan, MTG’s Sixpad products: Abs Fit and Body Fit, which are based on this technology. So, how did it fare, read the full review below to find out!
Looking into the history and basics of EMS you can track back and see that it’s been around for centuries, even as far back as the Egyptian era. Its emergence as applied to sport occurred in the mid-twentieth century and by the end of this century, it had become an increasingly popular technology for home use. Legendary athletes such as Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali were advocates of EMS.
The marketing for Sixpad is professionally done. Endorsed by world-class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, his honed physique will certainly make you curious about these products. Extensive scientific studies by Professor Toshio Moritani have shown that waveforms with a frequency of 20Hz are optimum for EMS technology as this stimulates muscles without excessive fatigue. Most importantly, size and strength building fast-twitch muscle fibers are selectively targeted.
Before trying the Sixpad, I read the provided booklet. It’s packed full of information that is easy to digest with useful diagrams to back up the explanations of how to use the products. Safety precautions are emphasised and clear warnings are given to avoid using the products near the heart and spine.
I’ve been training for many years in several strength sports but I’d never tried any EMS products before. Would the Sixpad devices prove to be valuable for training? Read on to find out!
Design: Both Sixpad EMS products are made largely of silicon rubber and PET materials for flexibility. The Abs Fit is composed of six small pads whereas the Body Fit has two large pads. The centre of each device has a power button with integrated controls allowing you to increase or decrease intensity level.
Each product is provided with a storage sheet and a clear zip case to protect it. The packages include a support belt to secure the devices to your body and a battery compartment opener.
Build: The Abs Fit dimensions are 173mm long by 198mm wide. It’s very light and only weighs 84g. The Body Fit is 112mm long by 244mm wide and weighs 49g. Viewed sideways on, the height of the devices are a remarkable 3mm. Attaching the gel pads to each product barely adds any extra weight. The gel pads for the Ab Fit weigh a total of 21g and the Body Fit’s two pads weigh 6g each.
Each Sixpad product requires an easily available single CR2032 battery to operate them and the battery should last approximately 30 programs at level 8. Sixpad also comes with a two-year warranty.
Performance: I chose to try the Abs Fit first. It was simple to apply, sat comfortably on my abdominal area and its gel pads adhered well to my skin. Starting on level 3, I sat and enjoyed the pulsing of the Abs Fit while reading a book. Naturally curious to see what the higher levels felt like, I adjusted the power level up to 6. This is where I got my first taste of how deceptively powerful this slimline device is. The sensation of the electrical stimulus was strong!
Now I may not have the abs and lean body of Mr Ronaldo but the Abs Fit’s electrical current had no problem in penetrating a layer of fat and stimulating my abs. After a full 23 minute session, my abs felt rock hard. This was a new but strangely fulfilling sensation to me, like having a workout without actually working out. The higher levels are more effective but it’s wise to build up to these gradually. It took me 5 or 6 days to get comfortable with level 15.
Experiencing what the Abs Fit could do raised my expectations for the Body Fit. Trying the biceps first, the product fit snugly onto my upper arm whilst electrical currents stimulated it, increasing in number and strength as the program went on. Only a low level is necessary for small muscle groups like the arms and level 6 was sufficient. The result gave a very satisfying hard bicep that actually looked pumped-up.
The Body Fit can be used on several areas of your body: quadriceps, adductors and obliques are recommended spots. We questioned the manufacturers as to whether we could use the Body Fit on the calves and forearms and they informed us that it could. When I tried these, I felt an excellent response, particularly in the calves. The Body Fit could be great for making new gains on these often stubborn-to-respond thus neglected body parts.
I tested the Abs Fit and Body Fit pre and post workout.Trying them after a workout gave a satisfying feeling that the muscle had been thoroughly worked. The full advantages of these devices, in my opinion, is realised when they’re used pre-workout. They prepared my muscles well for training, activating and firing them up. I found the Abs Fit brilliant before deadlift sessions; my core felt strong, sturdy and ready to tackle some heavy weights.
During the period that we tested the Sixpad items, there was little deterioration of the gel pads. Naturally, their stickiness lessened and the support belts proved to be very useful here. I followed the recommendation of peeling off the Sixpad using both hands and this helped to prolong the life of the pads.
Value: Sixpad’s website sells the EMS units and their essential gel pads. Individually, the Abs Fit costs £149.99 and the Body Fit £109.99. A box of Abs Fit gel sheets can be bought for £23.99 and Body Fit gel sheets for £14.99 per box. Sixpad offer some different combination packages which will save you money. For example, an Abs Fit with five boxes of gel sheets costs £249.94 which will save you £20. All the items are delivered free.
Summary: I can’t argue that the results I got from the Sixpad items were really pleasing. The more I used them, the more I could see the many situations that they could be used for. Gaining strength and preventing muscle loss are the first things that spring to mind. The Abs Fit could be a great piece of kit for MMA (or other martial arts) fighters needing a solid six pack before a bout. Veteran weightlifters may find the devices useful for breaking through a training plateau. Even bodybuilders could make use of the Sixpad for some extra confidence before a photo shoot. I can wholeheartedly recommend these products and suggest you give them a try in your muscle and strength-building quest.
If you’d like to find out more about Sixpad, body revolution training gear feel free to check out their main website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Have you used Sixpad or any other type of EMS device before, how was your experience and what kind of results did you achieve? If you found this review helpful let us know in the comments below, share on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Looking for something to help you accelerate your fitness results? Then, check out our other training and exercise equipment reviews!