In this commentary, we enter into a very controversial subject because, as it is something that concerns the vast majority of the public, it has been used indiscriminately as a commercial tool in many cases and, it has been criticized indiscriminately by detractors as well. We are also aware of the apparent contradictions that exist even in the scientific context; that is why, with all our prudence, we will try to offer resources to the professional.
How to link muscle electrostimulation and fat loss? Well, in short, we have three ways:
Increased blood supply…
- …to the areas of fat accumulation. Watch out, this does not mean localized fat loss, but we can help/facilitate the consumption of fat from areas such as the abdomen and/or hips. A muscular electrostimulator programmed at a frequency of 8 Hz is capable of multiplying the blood flow in the stimulated area and considering that the “reserve” areas are the areas in which blood supply is minimal and that the areas in which a lot of fat is lost are super-vascularised areas (such as the face and breasts), it seems that we can alter this “resistance” to mobilising fatty tissue from these conflict areas. The body consumes fat in a general but not uniform way, existing a direct relation to the extent to which some areas are vascularized and the facility to consume fat from these areas. Electrostimulation will play a role of help or facilitation, but of course, accompanied by voluntary training which is the one that demands energy (aerobic work between 55 to 60% of maximum heart rate, i.e. gentle).
Greater demand in aerobic work...
- …From 15 to 30 Hz (adapt according to training level), slow fiber is preferentially stimulated. Simultaneous aerobic work with muscle electrostimulation increases the number of muscle fibers recruited in quantity and time. This increases calorie expenditure.
Post-effort basal rate increase…
- …In this case, we recommend to apply it only in very familiarised with muscular electrostimulation subjects. The muscle damage that can occur is very high and therefore requires great individualization and progression of loads. In this case, the training that is applied recruits fast fibers with frequencies above 50 Hz. Normally this system is simultaneous with high-intensity intervalic training (HIIT). The purpose of the EMS, in this case, is to increase motor recruitment and generate a neuromuscular excitation that will bring a greater activation of the basal metabolism after effort, and with it, a considerable increase in caloric consumption.
Sports Sciences DEA
Physical Trainer – Col. 12.739
Physiotherapist – Col. 3.319