EMS and Performance III

OK, so in the past couple posts I’ve introduced electromuscular stimulation (EMS) as an option for rehab, training as well as recovery for runners. The unit I used was manufactured by Globus Internationalhttp://www.globussht.com/home28
and Giovanni Ciriani. Globus Sport & Health Technologies is the exclusive distributor of Globus Italia and of Domino, its manufacturing affiliate. Globus Sport and Health Technologies offices and warehouse are in Connecticut.

The version I use is the Premium Fitness model. It has 4 leads from the device (therefore 4 muscle groups can be stimulated at a time i.e. two groups on each quadriceps).

There are numerous settings and specific programs by muscle emphasis: warm-up, maximum force, resistance force, reactivity, aerobic resistance (endurance – the one I used), active recovery, jogging and fitness. You can set milliamp settings, time durations and tailor anything you like into this.

Once you have it set up (I had Jonathan to help me on this) you can memorize past workouts. This makes it much easier. When you start up the next time it leads you through choosing memorized programs. Four little clicks and you are up and running.

Applying the reusable 2″X2″ electrical stimulation pads is easy. You put them back on the plastic media after using them and seal them in a ziploc baggy. WARNING: If you are hairy, trim it down or you will regret it when you remove these suckers! Also, I tried to get more electrodes through a medical supplies company and they required a prescription. They said it is a federal law and cannot be dispensed without it. So, stick with ordering them online.

The manual that comes with the unit is typical of manuals that come from technical companies. It does not provide all the answers. The wording appears to have been translated from another language (most likely Italian in this case since that is where the parent company is located). Not well articulated – almost like they wanted it so succinct but in the process it loses meaning.

It does make scary reading! The number of contraindications are long numbering 11 – including that you should not hook this up to your genitals. The warnings and precautions are longer A through Q. This all along with two adverse effects and four risk/benefits. There are obviously too many lawyers who have time on their hands. And if you want to apply this to your genitals you should be locked up… not the maker of the device.

Most obviously missing is a parts replacement order form & price list. The guide tells you what you should have when you receive it. One paragraph in the book states to contact Globus for replacement parts and only gives the website which also has no order form or price list. (Or at least not easily found if it is there.)

I do not believe that most athletes could use this unit without the help of a professionally trained individual on the application and use of it. Even with a medical, coaching and athletic background, I was at a loss. As Giovanni mentioned to me (and I quoted in the first post) that if this is not used properly in a structured program the results will be effected. It is this in fact that most practitioners here in the US don’t quite get (my paraphrasing).

These units do not come cheap. There are different levels of models that Globus manufactures: The Premium Fitness model goes for $599, the Premium Sport is $899 and the Premium Sport+ is $1100. Compex is a competitor and has units for $699-999.

Even with that here is a cost analysis for you. I spent over $360 in co-pays for physical therapy and made no improvement. If you don’t have insurance that will easily be four-fold. After six weeks of PT I was not better and could not run. After 3 treatments with EMS I could run. After a couple weeks I was running 20-25 miles per week virtually pain free. Only you can decide what your running is worth to you.

The Globus support and customer service appears to be extensive and of very good quality. They (by “they” I mean Giovanni) are not only passionate about what they do; they also want you to be successful!

If you are not truly motivated to improve your performance or you are not dedicated and disciplined – pass this gadget up. Everyone else – take note; it might be just the thing to get over recurring injuries; gain strength beyond what you imagined; and maybe… just maybe… breakthrough to new performance highs!


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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5 Responses to EMS and Performance III

  1. Electrode Pads Story
    The FDA is full of contradictions. There are two types of EMS devices, and they both come with pads: one type is certified for medical therapy and can be sold only with a medical prescription; the other type is certified for muscle toning (the unit used by coach Dean, which he described in his review), which can be purchased OTC (over the counter, like an Aspirin) without prescription.

    When one buys the latter, the pads are included too, therefore they are implicitly sold in a bundle without prescription. However, since you can use the same pads in a prescription unit, the FDA obliges resellers to the public to sell them only with prescription.

    There was an article in the New York Times last year, which quoted a study on the effectiveness of the FDA. The results were, if I remember, approximately the following. Running the FDA costs something like $3 billion. Of course the FDA is there to protect the consumer from manufacturers without scruples: quantified benefits $2 billion. However, the inefficiency of bureaucracy, slowing unnecessarily approval of new drugs, etc. is detrimental to health and the economy: damage $1billion. If you eliminated the FDA, the net benefit to the USA society would be 3+1-2 = $2 billion.

  2. Pingback: Electromuscular Stimulation Update « The Running World According to Dean

  3. Pingback: EMS – Electrical Muscle Stimulation: A Tool to Complement Training Part I « The Running World According to Dean

  4. Pingback: EMS – Electrical Muscle Stimulation: A Tool to Complement Training Part II « The Running World According to Dean

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