As you know I’m always looking for ways to lose weight, improve my fitness, tone and strengthen especially with this year’s Great North Run edging closer and closer. So when I found out about KERN fitness, a fitness studio with a difference I just knew I had to try it out for myself.
KERN arrived to ‘The Arches’ behind Central Station in Newcastle in July 2015. Next to the newly built Crowne Plaza Hotel (which is home to Mineral Spa – read about my fabulous spa day here). It is a brain child of Mexican born German Gonzalez who is the first to have brought the EMS training concept to Newcastle. With studios established in his native home town, growing popularity in the USA, Spain and Germany. Newcastle needed to be placed firmly on the EMS map. German launched KERN in Newcastle to help enrich the lives of us Geordies through the 20 minute intense training sessions.
Twenty minutes, that doesn’t sound long enough for an impacting work out right? How wrong you could be. I’ve ran half marathons. I’ve done HIIT, body combat, metafit, body pump, zumba, even military boot camps however nothing quite compares to EMS.
What’s EMS training? EMS stands for Electronic Muscle Stimulation and a 20 minute workout is more effective than four hours in the gym. Experts recommended that you require no more than two sessions weekly as the work out is so intense and you’ll be grateful of the break in-between as it gives your muscles a chance to recover. This can however, be complimented with your existing exercise regime and is used by big name athletes to give them that competitive edge.
The KERN studio is compact but extremely welcoming. After entering the first time I was greeted by German who gave me an induction and talked me through how the studio and concept works. Firstly he went through a medical form to ensure that I was safe to be hooked up to the machine. After I had signed my life away I met Josef, the trainer. Josef is currently studying for his Masters in Sports Marketing and is from just outside of Benidorm. He too was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and passionate, he began to talk me through the machine and the training programme.
I was taken to the scales where I climbed on and gulped. My energy expelling rate was taken as was my body fat %. This is the thing I require to seriously reduce and my target for the end of the Summer. I already know that this will be in the form of a 3 stone fat loss. However this does not include the weight of muscle that I’m converting.
I was given a specially designed jacket in my size. That had wires coming off it left right and centre. Josef then gave me a top and bottom duo (not the most flattering attire) to put on in the changing room before I returned to put the jacket back on. Once I had zipped it up, he then attached a band with electronic sensors in the buttocks which fastened below my hips, of course I joked about having a Kim or Khloe Kardashian booty after my work out. Josef laughed (I’m sure he thinks I’m crazy!). After this a band goes around each arm and around each thigh, he connects them up to the vest and then attaches the vest via a scart lead looking plug to the machine. This was where I realised that the excuse “I don’t have any gym clothing” now becomes void.
OKAY I was getting scared now! It was about to begin. The machine was turned on, and each set of sensors had it’s own dial on the machine. We started firstly with my triceps and biceps, Josef turned the machine up until I began to find the pulsing was beginning to tingle. We did this with each muscle group. He wrote these numbers on the dial down (this would be for further sessions) and we were now ready to begin the session.
We started with squats, one very slow squat in the first four seconds where the electro-sensors are working and then two quicker squats when the pulsing stops. It sounds easy, 4 seconds, no drama you think? The 4 seconds of pulsing where you do the exercise in slow motion are the most difficult four seconds you’ll ever experience. One rep on the pulsing is equivalent to 80 single reps. We then did weighted lunges, tricep extensions, planking and other aerobic exercises whilst the machine was doing it’s thing.
I caught sight of myself in the mirror and couldn’t believe how beetroot my face had gone. 15 minutes into the session whilst I was planking beads of sweat were dripping from my brow. I usually give my everything in the regular gym classes I go to that last between 30 minutes and an hour and I was giving the same into my EMS training at KERN, however I’d never sweated as much in my life!
20 mins of EMS
After the 20 minutes. Which flew by, was up and I tried to catch my breath I was given some vitamin infused water for recovery whilst I chatted with German and Josef. This was undoubtedly the hardest work out I’ve ever endured but it is also the most enjoyable! An ideal way to beating city centre rush hour is to drop into KERN. Complete a work out and then hop in the car and the traffic will have cleared. If that doesn’t suit you you’ve plenty time in your lunch hour to squeeze a session in. This was where I realised that the excuse “I don’t have time” now becomes void.
What I really enjoyed about KERN is the personal touch that German and his team add to the whole experience. They’re friendly yet push you and they genuinely care about their customers by getting to know them. They are extremely knowledgeable about their industry and KERN fitness offers the EMS training on a strictly 1-2-1 basis. As the studio is intimate and private. It operates on a schedule where your session is finished before the next client arrives, this way it remains on a personal level. This was where I realised that the excuse “I don’t like going to the gym where there’s lots of people” now becomes void.
With the average revolutionary training session costing £30. German is offering an introductory offer of 2 sessions for £25 which comes highly recommended. As once you experience EMS training you’ll have wondered why you’ve been missing out on it in your life! There are additional packages such as a Bridal pack for Brides-to-Be. To help fit into that all important dress on their wedding day. This comes with a detox and nutritional plan too to really help you smash your goals as well as offering a post pregnancy package to help loose that Mum-tum.
On my second session a couple of days later. I was raring to go although the day after my last session I had a serious case of DOMs, but I knew that meant my work out had been really efficient. Round two and I thought Josef would be still go easy on me being a newbie. Once I had got my training gear on he inserted my card into the machine. Which then set all of the dials to the previously programmed settings from the first session. As we worked out, this time with kettle bells, medicine balls, dumbbells and even the boxing gloves. Every few minutes Josef would increase the intensity. Again I was beetroot and sweating. Yet again I was absolutely loving this new way to train.
Does it work?
After 6 sessions I’ve noticed a massive improvement in not only my fitness and strength levels but also my posture. I am notorious for having a sore back, however since starting at KERN I’ve been a little more straight backed. Although my weight has not decreased I have lost inches and some fat has been converted into muscle as I feel a little leaner.
I highly recommend everybody to try out EMS Training at KERN. As they not only cater to each individual basis no matter your fitness level or ability. The programme is exceptional for athletes wanting an extra edge in training, rehabilitation of injuries. Or even to compliment your existing training programme or to replace your programme if you’re short on time.
SADLY KERN CLOSED IT’S DOORS IN JULY 2016.
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Disclaimer: These sessions were provided complimentary, all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.