TENS & EMS for Muscle Building & Growth: Know the Facts

Many weightlifters and professional athletes want to know if you can use TENS or EMS for muscle building during athletic training and conditioning, and if it can help you build muscle faster. The answer is yes, you can use EMS to build muscle faster in some cases. However TENS is used only as a pain reliever and for therapeutic effects. So, while EMS can grow your muscles, TENS can only help ease pain after a workout.

How to USE EMS for Muscle Building & growth?

Using EMS during training enhances a workout by delivering additional muscle contractions via an electric impulse. This, in theory, increases the time muscles are contracted—beyond the time an athlete might be able to keep the muscle contraction on their own. This can lead to faster muscle growth, building muscle at a faster rate than would otherwise be possible.

When athletes use EMS for muscle training they typically wear the device while running through their routine workout. The EMS machine sends an impulse to contract the muscle, extending the contraction time.

Athletes use them while performing squats, bench presses, lunges and other moves. They will use the device to send more powerful pulses to contract muscles for longer periods of time. This intensifies their workout because muscles are worked harder than they can—past the point where they would experience mental fatigue. This can enhance the growth of muscle and speed up training. Many weight lifters and serious athletes will buy an EMS unit to use at the gym to get an enhanced work out.

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This does not mean TENS is not used by athletes during training–it is. It has other therapeutic uses. Let’s look a little deeper into the two technologies to find out what they are.

Can you Use TENS for Muscle Building?

The answer is no, you can’t use TENS for muscle building. However, there are combination TENS and EMS machines that will build muscles and stop pain. These devices are useful for athletes and others wishing to recover from surgery, or treat injuries and pain while continuing to train. They give you the option to either treat pain or build muscle by setting different wavelengths and pulses.

What is the Best EMS Machine for Muscle Growth?

There are a variety of EMS machines used for muscle growth and athletic training. It really depends on what you want from your machine and what type of workout you are performing. It also depends on whether you want a combination EMS & TENS unit, or just and EMS machine.

One option is the RS-2500 Russian Muscle Stimulation Device. Russian Muscle Stimulation machines are a better option for serious athletes since they deliver a high frequency pulse of 2500 Hz. This machine offers deeper and stronger muscle contractions for enhanced muscle growth.

The Russian R-2500 has deep muscle stim to help build muscle faster.
The Russian R-2500 has deep muscle stim to help build muscle faster.

The Twin Stim Plus Digital TENS and EMS Unit is another option. It can help build muscle and treat pain for therapy after a workout.

The Quad Stim EMS + TENS device offers muscle stim and pain relief in one unit.
The Quad Stim EMS + TENS device offers muscle stim and pain relief in one unit.

The InTENsity Selection Combo System is an option for those seeking both TENS and EMS together in one machine. It has 14 modes and 4 types of pain treatment. It is also extremely affordable. It’s also portable.

The Omega TENS & EMS Combo is another option that delivers both e-stim and pain relief. The popular model comes with leads and pads and is ready to use.

HOW Does EMS grow & BUild Muscle

EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) is a machine that delivers a stimulating pulse to your muscles. This causes a muscle contraction, the same contraction you would give to your muscles when lifting a weight. So in effect it is mimicking how you would control your muscle.

EMS builds and grows muscles by causing this contraction. When the muscle is tightened it is performing work, and this causes lactic acid to eventually enter the muscle to start the building process–the same process occuring after lifting weights.

Many athletes seeking a competitive advantage use EMS to build muscle faster. Since EMS can contract a muscle far longer than what an athlete could do themselves, it can grow more muscle and enhance training sessions. Athletes can become mentally tired during work outs and therefore can not sustain muscle contractions quite as long.

Athletes and others can use EMS to prevent muscle atrophy during recovery from surgery or when a limb is immobilized. Since EMS contracts the muscle without moving the limb itself, pressure on joints is minimized. The muscle is still “worked” and therefore will be strengthened.Likewise,

EMS can be used to strengthen muscles without moving the limb and aggravating injuries, maintaining muscle fitness during immobilization periods so the athlete can pick back up where they left off, and does not have to rebuild muscle lost to atrophy.

CAN TENS BE USED FOR MUSCLE BUILDING?

TENS is a machine that delivers a different range of pulses to muscles and tissue meant to confuse or negate pain signals. It is also designed to release endorphins. This is specifically for pain reduction. Since it does not cause a full muscle contraction, TENS can’t be used to build muscle. However, the therapy is useful in treating pain, relieving muscle knots and in a therapeutic capacity can help improve atheltic training sessions. This can lead to better performance in the gym and faster muscle growth as a result of enhanced workouts with less pain.

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