Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work? What the Science Actually Says

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What if shocking your muscles with electricity helped them grow and develop faster?

What if it could reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and help you recover better from your workouts?

What if it could straight up make you stronger?

Well, this is why people buy and use electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) machines.

They believe they’re an easy and safe way to gain muscle and strength faster and boost post-workout recovery.

You might want to believe, too, but you’re skeptical.

On one hand, the whole approach sounds pretty scientific, and haven’t we seen various professional athletes hooked up to these machines?

Then again, some scientific studies aren’t worth the paper they’re published on and some athletes will beat the drum for anything that brings a paycheck.

EMS machines are expensive, too, so there would need to be a considerable payoff to justify the cost.

Well, when you take a cold, hard look at the science, here’s what you learn:

EMS isn’t silly pseudoscience, but it’s also not as great as the machine manufacturers would have you believe.

Yes, it’s safe, but no, it’s not going to dramatically impact muscle growth or recovery.

That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t necessarily give it a go. You should just have the right expectations.

In this podcast, we’re going to break down what EMS is, how it works, and what science has to say about its effectiveness.

Time Stamps:

5:00 – What is EMS? 

5:26 – Does EMS work? 

6:37 – Does EMS increase muscle growth? 

7:59 – Does EMS increase strength?

12:35 – Can EMS improve muscle recovery? 

12:52 – How do I do EMS correctly?  

18:56 – How do I use EMS to build strength? 

Mentioned on The Show:

Books by Mike Matthews

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22067247

http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/82/10/1019

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23629583

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3215840

http://www.vibeerfitness.hu/files/2015-05/electromyostimulation-a-systematic-review-of-the.98578.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21909714

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15903388

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18438210

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21847574

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10994909

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