Workout results at Whole Body 20 EMS, a new Ashburn fitness studio, are nothing short of shocking. Seriously—you’ll feel a literal buzz as you do reps.
WB20 EMS offers customized 20-minute programs designed for all fitness levels. What’s unique about them is that they require you to wear an EMS suit with electrodes that mimic the same electrical impulses the body uses to contract muscles. Proponents say the workout is so efficient, it can deliver the equivalent of 90 minutes of traditional strength training in a fraction of the time.
The studio is owned by Bernard and Daphne Mustafa. Daphne, who has a degree in health administration, cofounded the wellness company BE FIT Technologies which developed the Whole Body EMS technology. Bernard, a Vietnam War veteran, has also always been a self-proclaimed “gym rat”; he first used WB EMS to regain strength in his right shoulder after a rotator cuff injury and operation.
First-timers to WB20 EMS are greeted by a personal trainer, who provides a brief explanation of the technology and introduces them to the equipment while discussing fitness goals and answering questions. Next up is changing into the base layer suit, similar to a compression top and shorts, followed by the electro suit, whose strategically placed electrodes stimulate the large muscle groups.
Stimulation for the first workout is set at a very low level, and the experience lasts only 10 to 12 minutes to allow the body to become acclimated to this very different way of exercising, with the personal trainer constantly checking in and adjusting as needed. It’s not unusual for newbies to get the giggles when it’s first turned on, Daphne says. “As you do reps of various exercises with light weights you feel the buzz,” she says. “It looks easy, but it is an intense workout.” A relaxation phase follows each workout to help the body flush lactic acid to reduce soreness.
In general, it takes around eight sessions to see results, including increased strength and muscle tone; Daphne says one client added 30 yards to his golf swing after weeks of WB20 training. While WB EMS is suitable for all levels of fitness including newbies, weekend warriors, athletes, active older adults, and those recovering from injuries, it’s not intended for those with serious medical conditions or cardiac implants. It’s best to consult with your medical provider before engaging in WB EMS.
Photo courtesy Emma Royce
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