Knowing in detail the usefulness of each adjustable parameter can make the difference between a trainer and a professional electrofitness coach. This lesson is slightly more technical so you should pay more attention to assimilate as much knowledge as possible.
The parameters used in any electrostimulation machine are as follows:
Wave type, pulse width, frequency, contraction time and relaxation time.
The effects obtained are not only due to the parameter characteristics, but also to the intrinsic properties of the different types of tissues of each individual. Therefore, we will be able to influence a significant part but not the whole effect of the training. The correct use of the parameters will allow us to achieve specific goals for our athlete.
1. Training session duration
The time parameter represents the total duration in minutes of the scheduled training session.
2. Type of pulse or wave
It is the shape of the electric wave. A more comfortable type of pulse has not been proven because as we have seen, there is an intrinsic factor in the different tissues of each one of us. The wave type used in electrofitness should be: biphasic, symmetrical and compensated. Let us remember the meaning of each attribute:
- Biphasic: Each stimulation is composed of a positive and a negative pulse.
- Symmetrical: Positive and negative pulses have the same shape.
- Compensated: The power delivered to the muscle by the positive and negative pulses is the same. Thus, we avoid possible burns.
3. Pulse width
It is the duration of each current pulse or the width of each hemicycle, usually expressed in microseconds (μs). In the electrofitness’ jargon, it is also often referred to as wave depth because for practical purposes it influences the depth of the muscle.
- High pulses have a deeper influence on the stimulation of the muscle layer.
- Low pulses will work the most superficial layers of the muscle.
The frequency represents the number of electrostimulation pulses per second in Hertz (Hz) and is responsible for selecting the type of fibers to be trained (fast and slow).
A user used to practicing strength sports will work the fast fibers. On the contrary, a user used to practicing endurance sports will opt to work on slow fibers. Therefore, the frequency used will determine the type of fiber (white or red) to work with.
- Low frequencies make the slow fibers work.
- High frequencies make the fast fibers work.
You should also remember that the higher the frequency of stimulation, the greater the muscle fatigue produced and muscle damage generated
5. Contraction time
Contraction time is the time period in seconds during which the device delivers electrostimulation signals at a given frequency and thus causes the user’s muscles to contract.
Once this period is over, the user moves on to the relaxation time. Afterwards, he/she returns to the contraction period in a cyclical manner, during the 20-minute electrofitness training session.
6. Relaxation or rest time
Relaxation time is the time period in seconds when the device does not deliver electrostimulation signals and therefore the muscles are relaxed.
Once this period is over, you go back to the contraction time. After that, you return to the relaxation period in a cyclical manner throughout the training session.
Therefore, the key parameter is the relation between the contraction time and the duration of a contraction-rest cycle, called useful cycle, which reduces the fatigue effects. The life cycle should be 20% and should increase gradually as fatigue decreases.
7. Electric pulse intensity or amplitude
Intensity is identified by the wave width expressed in either millivolts (mV) or milliamps (mA). The difference between the two measures is the resistance offered by the muscle tissue when an electric current passes through.
We can define 4 kinds of thresholds:
- Sensory threshold: when we feel the stimulation.
- Soft motor threshold: when we notice the contraction.
- Intense motor threshold: when we experience a total contraction.
- Pain threshold: when we feel uncomfortable stimulation.
Thanks to the studies conducted, we can state that during a training session the higher the intensity of the current applied to the muscles, the greater the resulting force will be.
SmartBodyFit®️ promotes the responsible use of electrostimulation as a tool to improve physical condition, recommending the study and in-depth analysis of the characteristics and properties of the device before its acquisition. It requires quality certificates and offers a responsible and professional service.
SmartbodyFit®️ offers you personalized technical support aimed at solving all possible doubts that may arise during the entire process, from the comparative study of the best options available to the integration of the service and operation of the device.
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