The parameters used in any EMS machine are the following ones: wave type, pulse width, frequency, muscle contraction time and rest time.
The effects achieved are not only due to the characteristics of the parameters but also to the intrinsic properties of the different types of tissues for each individual.
Therefore, we can influence a very important part but not the whole training effect.
The correct use of the parameters will allow to achieve very specific objectives for our athlete.
TYPE OF TRAINING SESSION
The time parameter represents the total duration in minutes of the intended training session.
IMPULSE OR WAVE TYPE
It’s the shape of the electric wave. The existence of a more comfortable type of impulse has not been demonstrated, since as we have seen there is an intrinsic factor in the different tissues of each individual.
The type of wave used by EMS Revolution is biphasic, symmetrical, alternating and compensated.
Biphasic because it has a negative and a positive pole, symmetrical by shape and compensated to avoid burns by the difference between the poles.
It is the duration of each current pulse or width of each hemicycle, usually expressed in microseconds (μs).
In the electrostimulation slang, it’s often called wave depth because for practical effects it influences the depth of the muscle.
- High pulses will affect a greater depth of the stimulus in the muscle layer.
- Low pulses will cause the more superficial layers of the muscle to work.
The frequency represents the number of electrostimulation pulses per second expressed in Hertz (Hz), and it’s in charge of selecting the type of fibres to be trained (fast and slow). A user used to practice strength sports will work the fast fibres. On the other hand, the user used to practice endurance sports will choose to work with slow fibres.
Therefore, the frequency used will determine the type of white or red fibre to work with:
- Low frequencies work with slow fibres.
- High frequencies work with fast fibers.
As well, remember that the greater the stimulation frequency, the greater the muscle fatigue and the muscle damage.
The contraction time represents the period of time in seconds while the device delivers electrostimulation signals at a certain frequency and these consequently cause the user’s muscle contraction.
At the end of this period, the user moves on to the relaxation period. After that, he returns to a cyclic contraction during the 20-minute session of EMS training.
REST OR RELAXATION TIME
The relaxation time represents the period of time in seconds while the device does not deliver electrostimulation signals and therefore the muscles are relaxed. At the end of this period, you return to the contraction period. At the end of this period, you return to the relaxation period cyclically, during the entire training session.
Important note: When using reduced contraction times, the duration of the rest time must be at least twice the contraction time so that the force generated by the current does not decrease in the contractions.
Therefore, the most important parameter is the relationship between the contraction time and the time of a contraction-rest cycle, called the useful cycle, which decreases the effects of fatigue.
The useful cycle should be 20% and should gradually increase with the decrease in fatigue.
INTENSITY OR AMPLITUDE OF THE ELECTRICAL IMPULSE
The intensity would be identified with the wave height expressed in millivolts (mV) or milliamps (mA).
The difference between the two unitary concepts is the resistance of the muscle tissues to the passage of the electric current.
We can define 4 types of thresholds:
- Sensitive threshold: When we perceive the stimulus.
- Soft motor threshold: When we perceive the contraction.
- Intense motor threshold: When we perceive total contraction.
- Pain threshold: When we perceive an uncomfortable stimulus.
As a result, we can affirm with the studies carried out that within a training session the greater the intensity of current administered to the musculature, the greater the resulting force will be.
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