Being the case study, part 2

11/03/2017 05:40 pm ET Updated Nov 03, 2017

I recently published a post about being the focus of a fitness and technology-related case study, and in that article I promised a follow up report at the end of the study. While the official ‘research’ period ended weeks ago, my continued experimentation with electro muscle stimulation (EMS) workouts ultimately delayed the writing and publication of said report, which you can now read below. Keep in mind, the final results presented in this report are not truly final and hopefully never will be. I’m down with EMS for the long term. Here’s why:

Encountering Unexpected Results

Yes, I am stronger and easily able to maintain a target weight, a stated goal, but the workouts themselves also provide a surprising sense of mental calm that lingers for hours afterwards. Nothing in the Body by Impulse brochure states this claim, but for me it was real.

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In fact, it is that sense of calm in addition to the associated physical improvements that helped me play through the championship flight undefeated in my country club’s recent match play championship. Prior to each winning match*, I had worked out with my EMS trainer, Michka Mirzanejad. In each case I went into the match worried that I had spent my muscles too much, and as a countermeasure spent those afternoons ‘relaxing’ at the pool with the kids, getting baked by the sun and neglecting to nourish myself properly. To make those matches more interesting the on-course drinking water jugs were typically empty by that time of day and I, of course, would neglect to bring a water bottle. Nor were golf carts available for rent. The clubhouse closed at 4:00.

As a result, my mentality at the start of each of these matches was akin to that of a crouching tiger (another learning moment), calm, but ready to strike. I assumed my big muscles were too fried to handle the strain of carrying my clubs for 18 hilly holes and yes, my legs were stupid tired as I crested each hill, but my smaller, fast twitch muscles were also under control for once. Competition does a funny thing to human beings – it produces adrenaline, which in golf is a horrible thing, especially in respect to those fast-twitch muscles. Quieting them, at least for me, was an unexpected act of brilliance.

I Am Not Alone Anymore

First, there was Bruce Lee...

And now, Geekwire! Sports and technology guru/journalist Taylor Soper recently summed up his experience with electro muscular stimulation workouts performed by Seattle’s Body by Impulse thusly:

“After I completed four sessions, my whole body definitely felt stronger, much like it would after four weight-lifting sessions. But the nice part about EMS is that you don’t put any strain on your joints and it takes just 20 minutes for a full-body workout.”

Soper wrote a great report, and in the process provided excellent validation for not only EMS, but also Body by Impluse’s exclusive wireless set up, and Mirzanejad’s level of thought leadership in the EMS space.

The Expected Data

Summing up the EMS case study from a physical standpoint, here is the data:

Weight: 13 pounds lost, from 183 to 170 pounds. No diet changes implemented during this time and the weight has stayed off by staying consistent with weekly EMS workouts + two or three other workouts, such as running or rowing.

Strength: since I don’t lift weights it is hard to measure. I’m much stronger and more fit as a result of EMS is about all I can offer from a data standpoint, minus the hard golf data.

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Driver Distance: from 235-yard carry (in the air) to 275-yard carry

8-Iron Distance: from 150-yard carry to 165-yard carry

In addition, I can swing as hard as I want without worry of injury. That translates to running, paddling and playing with my kids too. I’m faster, more mobile and don’t experience those ‘old man injuries’ that Soper mentioned in his story anymore, most of which were due to inflammation, according to Mirzanejad. Best of all, I didn’t have to change my diet to get there.

EMS workouts and Body by Impulse are for real, returning results that were more hoped for than expected, and unexpected results that hadn’t even been considered up-front. If you are over 40 and looking for a boost, there is no time like the present to explore the benefits of EMS — something countries like Germany have known for decades. If you can find a wireless set-up like we have in Seattle, even better. It is hard to imagine performing the cross-fit moves I’m doing now while tethered to a wall or machine.

*Lost in the quarterfinals of the match play championship against a much higher handicap player (gave away eight shots), despite playing well, and on a day I did not go through an EMS workout

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