When I was offered a training session where a coach would send electrical currents through my body while I worked out to increase the overall effectiveness, I agreed immediately. This method of electric muscle stimulation using a suit with strategically placed electrodes — and the promise to give you a workout that’s as effective as an hour-long session in just 30 minutes — is the reason there’s so much buzz behind Nova Fitness, a boutique fitness studio in New York City. To say I value efficiency is an understatement. I arrived at Nova Fitness’ Upper West Side location at 9 a.m. sharp on a chilly Friday morning ready to get my butt promptly and swiftly kicked.
I’ve been a triathlete for just over two years, which means I work out more than most, averaging about six or seven hours of cardiovascular exercise in the form of swimming, biking, or running per week. However, I am about as patient as your average 3-year-old, and so something that promises to have the same impact as a traditional training session in half the time really gets my heart rate going — wink, wink.
From the studio’s website: “NOVA is a network of boutique fitness studios that push the bar forward in fitness technology. The company combines cutting-edge fitness technologies, including Electrical Muscle Stimulation (‘EMS’), with customized one-on-one personal training. Founded by professional trainer Jackie Wilson, NOVA’s EMS technology allows clients to reach up to 98% muscle activation by targeting the entire body simultaneously.”
The website doesn’t really tell you what this “stimulation” feels like, so I decided to find out for myself.