There are no shortcuts in fitness. It’s all about hard work, sweat, and for the select few, like me, many tears.
Luckily, I got an email from NOVA Fitness Innovation, which uses Electric Muscle Stimulation to trick your body into thinking it did a 90-minute workout after a 30-minute sweat sesh. So, I put my tissues aside and crawled out of my salty pool of tears to try sculpting my booty without spending an hour at the gym.
I arrived at the Tribeca location, unsure of what to expect. All I knew is that I would be trying their new yoga program, developed by long-time yogi, Kendra Thomas. After a seamless check-in, I was led to the co-ed changing room fitted with showers and handed what looked like a wetsuit with padding around significant muscle areas.
Putting on the suit, I couldn’t help but feel a bit badass. I came out of the dressing room, looking like a fitness superhero. It’s definitely one of the more flattering gym outfits. I did question how well these are disinfected between uses seeing as they’re fitted with wires and electrodes inside.
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Did it. Yoga with electrical muscle spasms absolutely done. Beast mode yoga. #beastmode #bestlifeproject #betterforit #findyourstrong #fitfam #fitfluential #alwaysinbeta #iworkout #nopainnogain #workouttime #movementculture #justdoit #fitnessforlife #girlsgonesporty #sweatpink #beatyesterday #fitnessaddict #namaste #yogacommunity #yogaeveryday #yogafam #yogaeverywhere #yogachallenge #thesweatlife #spiritualgangster
After zipping up, I headed upstairs to the main level, where I met Kendra, who explained she tailored the yoga class specifically to activate muscles which will get stimulated with the suit.
The suit activates all the muscles in your body that don’t typically get used, producing up to 40 micro-contractions per second. If you’ve ever done physical therapy, you might’ve had a micro-current machine hooked up to you during a session or two.
The stimulation is meant to strengthen the muscles that aren’t used while you’re rehabilitating. It all comes down to the proper amount of output, and luckily, all the trainers at the gym are well trained in the technology.
Because yoga is much slower in warming up your body and producing sweat for electricity conduction, the gym staff sprayed participants down with water to enhance the effect. I could also tell that Kendra developed the flow with a solid warm-up in mind. We started with quick movements and pushups amid our vinyasa flow. I started sweating within the first 5 minutes!
Despite getting sprayed down, 15 minutes into the session, I still wasn’t feeling any contractions. I was sweating and breathing hard, but my muscles were burning naturally. I turned to the trainer controlling my suit and gave him a signal that nothing is happening. He seamlessly switched out my battery pack mid-movement, and all of a sudden, I started feeling tingling all over my thighs and back. There is was. The contractions aren’t quite what I thought they would feel like. It’s more akin to a low, warm buzzing in your outer muscle layer. Not at all unpleasant, and it had the added benefit of distracting me from all the burning from the tough yoga session.
If you come expecting a relaxing flow, you might be slightly disappointed. This is beast-mode yoga. All the movements make you sweat, and while the core principles of breath with movement guide the session, you’re more likely to feel like you’re doing a gym class. Not to mention, all eyes are on you, literally, as the trainers scrutinize your movements and adjust the EMS settings.
Did I feel the burn the next day? Yes, I did. Was it worth it? I’m craving another session as I write this, so in my eyes, yes.