Flying cars, microwaveable three-course meals, high-tech body fitness suits. Is this the future as we’ve imagined it?
At least one of them is our here and now.
IMPULSE Body Fitness has launched a studio pop-up here in Boston. It offers a group training workout specially designed using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. For Boston, this is the first of its kind.
Luisa Zaragoza founded the fitness regime that implements the forward-thinking technology. She previously lived in Boston for seven years, and she says she is excited to bring IMPULSE to the city.
“I have so many friends here who are always super busy. They don’t have time to go to the gym,” she says. “We accomplish your goals in just 25 minutes. You still have time to grab something to eat, shower and go to work.”
Ready to Fit and Cinch?
Participants wear wireless EMS suits during each small-group IMPULSE session. Certified trainers control the targeted electrical frequency one-on-one.
A 25-minute workout begins with a warm-up, followed by a strength circuit. It ends with five minutes of stretching and lymphatic massage.
According to Zaragoza, each nearly half-hour session is equivalent to two hours of conventional fitness training.
“I fell in love with the results, that’s why I want to bring it everywhere I can,” says Zaragoza.
She has been opening IMPULSE locations around the country and world since 2016. This includes Texas, Mexico and the flagship location in Miami. “I want to share this with Boston,” she says.
The pop-up opens September 9 at 234 Clarendon Street, on the third floor above Drybar.
How It Works
An EMS suit sends tiny pulses of electricity to the muscles, causing them to contract like they do during normal physical exertion.
Zaragoza tells Exhale Lifestyle that the IMPULSE workout and technology moves 80 percent of your muscles at the same time, causes approximately 20,000 supramaximal muscle contractions and can burn 2,000 calories per session.
Other benefits include increasing energy levels and stimulating collagen production throughout the body to target cellulite.
Celebrities like Madonna, Alessandra Ambrosio and Heidi Klum, and athletes like world champion sprinter Usain Bolt, have been spotted trying EMS fitness modalities.
Is EMS Safe?
According to Zaragoza, the IMPULSE workout with EMS technology is FDA approved. Her on-site trainers are certified by the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Professional physical therapists have long used EMS technology as a tool for injury rehabilitation. It has also be used as a way to increase blood flow and preserve muscle movement among patients.
According to Dr. Maureen Watkins, P.T., assistant clinical professor at Northeastern University’s department of physical therapy, movement and rehabilitation sciences, EMS fitness is safe to use, as long as “used correctly in the hands of a trained and licensed health professional such as a doctor of physical therapy.”
Zaragoza cautions that IMPULSE Body Fitness is not a safe workout for pregnant women, individuals with heart pacemakers and individuals with implanted metal devices above the knee.
Watkins adds that individuals with any history of compromised blood flow, decreased skin sensation and skin or lymph cancer should also not participate in EMS workouts.
Another 2013 study observed the effects of EMS on decreasing abdominal fat among elderly, sedentary women. Although it showed positive results, the fact that they were previously inactive does not directly point to EMS as the sole cause.
What It Feels Like
For those who are wondering, EMS does not hurt. It merely feels like a “tingling sensation in the beginning,” Zaragoza tells Exhale. “When your muscles contract, it feels like a compression against your body.”
“After the 25 minutes, you feel that good satisfaction of a workout. You feel a bit drained but still energetic,” she says.
For anyone who would like to try the IMPULSE workout, but is unsure if it’s right for them, the studio offers a complimentary demo session. To continue, fees are $75 per class or $55 per class with a 6-month package.