FAQ

Electrofitness has years of experience and expertise to answer your most frequently asked questions.
These answers will address questions about electro stimulation and the use of your device and accessory products.
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1 Questions about electro stimulation sessions

  • How long does an electro stimulation session last?
    Each stimulation session can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 1-2 hours, including heat therapy and muscle recovery sessions.
    Electrofitness recommends that you always adhere to the duration of the program indicated by your electro simulator (particularly for “endorphinic” programs).
     
  • How many sessions should be carried out per week?
    We recommend 2 to 6 sessions per week and per muscle, depending on the type of program used, and the user’s level of training and experience with electro stimulation.
    For more information, see the Personal Trainer delivered with your electro simulator. We do recommend alternating sessions between muscle groups.
    You should not stimulate the same muscle for more than 80 minutes per day (particularly if you are using a stimulation program).
     
  • How long will it take to see results?
    Scientific tests have demonstrated measurable improvements in muscle tone and physique after 3 to 4 weeks of regular use.
    For lipolysis programs and other treatments targeting adipose tissue, results can be seen after approximately 25 sessions.
     
  • Will an electro stimulation session make me tired?
    Electro stimulation, sometimes called passive gymnastics, does not engage the voluntary muscle activation system and requires no particular effort.
    According to the power of the device and the program used, you may feel a little fatigue. This indicates that the muscles are being worked.
     
  • Is electro stimulation traumatic to muscles and joints?
    The muscle contractions always develop gradually with no sudden pull on the tendons or joints. This means that it is not possible to cause muscle or tendon trauma.
    However, as the muscle work is intense, muscle soreness is frequent at the start of training, just like when starting muscle training with weights.
    ElectroFitness Tip: Make sure you are in the correct position when using your electro simulator. For example, we recommend stimulating your abdominal muscles in a semi-reclined position to prevent contractions in the lumbar area the next day.
     
  • How should I be positioned during an electro stimulation session?
    The position you adopt will depend on the muscle group you intend to target.
    All of the products we sell come with manuals that describe the specific positions recommended for treatment sessions.
    For programs that trigger significant contractions (tetanic contractions), isometric work is recommended. The extremities of the limbs should be fixed so that there is no significant movement.
    For example, when stimulating the quadriceps (front of the thighs), the user should be in a seated position with the ankles fixed with straps to prevent extension of the knees.
    Working in this way has a dual purpose. On the one hand, to ensure greater safety and, on the other, to limit shortening of the muscle during the contraction, with the risk of sharp cramps under stimulation. As the contraction is particularly strong at the calf when the foot is extended, make sure that you have a sufficiently large load on your shoulders (or using some other means) so that the contraction remains static. Unless specific indications for a particular program, dynamic work should not be done without resistance. For the other types of programs that do not generate powerful muscular contractions (Vascular, Massage, Pain relief and Active recovery ), position yourself as comfortably as possible.
    ElectroFitness Tip: Always stimulate isometrically, or in other words, make sure that the extremities of the limb that you are stimulating is securely positioned to block any movement resulting from the muscle contraction.
     
  • Can the use of excessively high intensity levels cause injury?
    No.
    It is not possible to cause injury, because the intensity level is increased progressively during the contraction period to ensure that there is no risk of muscle tears.
    Nevertheless, you should only stimulate healthy, uninjured muscle tissue.
     
  • To what intensity should I set my electro stimulator?
    The following information will help you to use your electro stimulator efficiently, but Electrofitness recommends an adaptation period of 3 to 7 days to get used to the sensation of electro stimulation and understand how your muscles will react.
    - For muscle strengthening, the general rule is to work with maximum intensity, or the maximum intensity that your muscles will tolerate.
    You will see improved progress when a larger percentage of muscle fibres act in response to the stimulator. This percentage depends directly on the electrical intensity you select.
    For this reason, it is imperative to use the highest possible intensity. You will reach the highest level progressively by regularly increasing the intensity during your session.
    Note from Electrofitness: Please note that the more your muscles are stimulated, the more receptive they will be to stimulation. Accordingly, after several uses, the same intensity of stimulation becomes more effective.
    - For Relaxation, Recovery, Spasms, and Capillarisation programs, simply set the intensity to obtain visible, vigorous muscular twitches.
    - For TENS programs, the intensities must be sufficient for the user to perceive a clear tingling sensation under the electrodes.
     
  • What intensity level should be reached during rest phases?
    During rest phases, the intensity of the twitches is automatically set to 50% of the level set for contractions.
    The aim of the twitches between the contractions is to increase blood flow to improve the recovery rate.
    Typically, an intensity of 25-35 mA is sufficient.
     
  • Why do I also feel twitches during the rest phases?
    The muscle is also stimulated during the rest phases causing muscle twitches.
    These twitches improve recovery between contractions.
     
  • How can I efficiently stimulate a muscle underneath adipose tissue (fat layer)?
    You should position the electrodes according to the photos in the manual and make adjustments to obtain the best possible contractions. Adipose tissue has an “isolating” effect. Sometimes it is necessary to increase the power to efficiently stimulate the muscles. This might cause a localized tingling sensation which can be remedied with gel or larger electrodes.
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2 Questions about electro stimulation goals

  • Will electro stimulation help me to lose weight?
    Unlike the claims you may hear on television, electro stimulation does not cause significant weight loss.
    Only cardiovascular exercise and a controlled diet will support weight loss.
    Lipolysis, toning and draining programs were designed to improve the aesthetic qualities of certain parts of the body where adipose tissue tends to accumulate (abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks).
    Sedentary individuals reported good results in tests of these programs.
    The electro stimulation action firms and tones your silhouette and skin (cellulite, adipose tissue).
    Electro stimulation does not replace a healthy diet but can be a helpful ally in reshaping your body.
     
  • Is electro stimulation effective for pain relief?
    Without a doubt.
    The stimulation of nerve fibres via micro electrical impulses has become the gold standard of pain relief.
    Analgesic electrotherapy is now a commonly used technique that can produce spectacular results, particularly in the fields of occupational therapy and pain management.
    The precision of the current it used to direct the analgesic action to a very specific target area dictated by the pathology (back pain, muscle atrophy, bone or joint trauma).
    Specific precautions are called for when using an electro simulator in certain pathologies or post-operative rehabilitation programs.
    Accordingly, you should always consult your doctor or physiotherapist before using any “Pain relief treatment” programs.
     
  • Electro stimulation and Recovery?
    During recovery programs, the electro stimulation increases blood circulation and promotes faster muscle regeneration after intense effort.
    Recovery is a key factor in any efficient training program, particularly as it ensures faster resumption of training.
     
  • Electro stimulation and Endurance?
    Endurance-type programs improve the oxidative capacity of muscle tissue (mitochondrial development and increase in oxidative enzymes) leading to an increase in the average intensity of effort an individual is capable of sustaining for an extended period.
    An independent study carried out on cross-country skiing showed an improvement in endurance and strength after training with Compex (Leipzig, 1999).
     
  • Electro stimulation and Strength?
    A good example for us to look at is the independent study carried out on professional basketball players.
    This study compared the relaxation of a group of players who trained with Compex alongside their usual training, and a group that trained only in the traditional manner. The group that trained with Compex showed an improvement in explosive strength that clearly exceeded that of the control group (+30%).
     
  • How can electro stimulation improve traditional training methods?
    It will enable you to increase your training hours, enhance training quality and improve recovery.
    No matter what sport you practice, the consistent use of an appropriate electro stimulation program can boost your performance.
    You can train more, better and in less time: save time, and increase effectiveness and performance.
    The use of electro stimulation as a recovery tool helps you to easily string together training sessions by reducing muscle fatigue between workouts.
    ElectroFitness Tip: Use electro stimulation to complement your regular training methods. If you want to train explosive movements (in martial arts, for example) you should not use “Hypertrophy” or “Bodybuilding” programs too frequently as they can limit muscle capacity for explosive movement.
     
  • How should I use my electro simulator to help me train for my particular sport?
    Some electro simulators offer programs specific to certain sports (skiing, running, biking).
    To optimize your performance, you must use your device to target the most critical muscle groups (thighs, biceps, glutes) to the sport, keeping in mind the type of activity involved (endurance sport, resistance training, explosive movements, etc.).
    On the other hand, there are advantages to using electro stimulation to engage muscle groups that are not actively worked in your regular sports practice. You can use electro stimulation prior to your sports activities (to warm up the muscles), after (recovery, massage), or even during a workout to target specific muscle groups.
     
  • When should I use my electro simulator? Before, during or after training?
    The stimulation sessions can be done outside or during voluntary training.
    When voluntary training and stimulation are done during the same session, it is generally recommended that the voluntary training be done first followed by the stimulation. This means that the voluntary training is not done on muscle fibres which are already tired. This is particularly important for strength and explosive strength training.
    However, in resistance training, it can be very useful to proceed in the reverse order. Before the voluntary training, by means of stimulation for resistance, a “specific pre-fatigue session” is carried out on the muscle fibres without general or cardio-vascular fatigue.
    In this way, the voluntary effort on the “prepared” fibres will push the glycolytic metabolism faster and further.
     
  • What intensity level must a training program reach? (power, resistance, endurance)?
    The highest level possible (but it must remain bearable) in order to reach the highest possible number of muscle fibres.
    The most effective way of deciding on the level is your own judgement: Contractions must be powerful without ever becoming unbearable.
     
  • What intensity level must complementary programs reach (recovery, capillarisation)?
    The Active Recovery and Capillarisation programmes do not require the use of maximum intensities.
    However, it is essential that the intensities are high enough to produce vigorous muscular twitches (typically between 20-40 mA).
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3 Questions about electro stimulators

  • What is the difference between 2-channel and 4-channel devices?
    A cable is connected to each channel to distribute power from the electro simulator.
    The advantage of a 4-channel device is that you can engage several parts of the body at once, for incredible time savings (ex.: 4 electrodes on the abdominal muscles and 4 electrodes on the pectoral muscles).
    The 2-channel devices have 2 outputs to distribute power with 2 electrodes per output for a total of 4 ELECTRODES (please also read the next question about Y cables).
    Electrofitness Note: Devices offering 2 + 2 stimulation allow you to apply 2 different programs to two regions simultaneously (ex.: recovery program for quadriceps and sculpt program for abdominals).
     
  • What is the advantage of a device powered by a storage battery rather than standard Alkaline batteries?
    Batteries:
    Typically, 2 or 3 standard Alkaline AA or AAA batteries can power an electro stimulator for several sessions. This type of power supply is usually reserved for 2-channel devices.
    At higher intensity, battery life may drop (under 10 sessions for certain devices).
    But, over one year of heavy use, the cost of battery replacements is frequently higher than the price difference of a device running off of a rechargeable storage battery.
    Storage batteries and accumulator batteries:
    This type of power supply ensure optimal autonomy of between 3-20 hours of use, depending on the type of program and intensity.
    Electrofitness recommends charging the device for several hours upon receipt and then three to five more times to optimize battery performance.
    “Quick charge” or “sector” batteries:
    This type of power supply is used in so-called “professional” grade equipment and enables the operation of the electro simulator while it is charging. This means that the device can be used for several consecutive hours without having to recharge the device in between patients.
     
  • How long does the battery need to charge?
    Battery charging time varies between 2 and 10 hours, according to the specific model. Consult the user manual for your device for exact charging times.
    It is important to fully charge and fully drain the battery for longer battery life.
     
  • What are “SPLITTERS” or “Y cables” and what do they do?
    A splitter is a Y cable that doubles the number of electrodes. This means that they allow you to use twice as many electrodes.
    For example, if you use splitters on a 2-channel device, the total number of electrodes that you can use simultaneously doubles from 4 to 8.
    Note from Electrofitness: When you “split” the output of a 2-channel device, you end up with as many electrodes as with a 4-channel unit. But the power per channel is halved. So, before using a splitter, think about adjusting the stimulation intensity to the level that you need. Remember: A 4-channel device has 4 independent channels to deliver full power to each cable.
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4 Questions about electrodes and gel

  • How long do electrodes last?
    Electrodes typically last between 20 and 40 uses, according to the zone they are used to treat: hair density, hygiene, skin condition.
    ElectroFitness Tip: If you use electro stimulation frequently, we advise you to use your electrodes on clean, hairless skin.
     
  • Do electrodes come in different sizes?
    Yes, electrodes come in various sizes.
    Typically, electrode dimensions are determined by the size of the muscle you wish to stimulate. Example:
    - Small electrodes allow you to target very specific areas, but may produce a tingling sensation when higher power is applied.
    - Larger electrodes allow you to work on larger areas more comfortably, but may not be capable of precisely targeting smaller muscles.
     
  • Where do I place the electrodes in relation to the muscle?
    The positive (red) electrode should be placed in the area of the motor point of the muscle.
    The negative (black) electrode is placed on the muscle trajectory.
    Each electro simulator comes with an “electrode positioning guide”. We recommend consulting this guide before each use.
     
  • Is there any danger from badly-positioned electrodes?
    No.
    There is no danger if the electrodes are badly positioned. The stimulation will simply become less effective.
     
  • What is gel used for and how do I use it?
    Gel ensures consistent current conduction and improves user comfort. The application of a thin coating of electro conductive gel can diminish uncomfortable tingling sensations.
    In addition, gel can extend the life of electrodes.
    Electrofitness recommends the systematic application of electro conductive gel for personal comfort and efficacy (see accessory section).
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5 Indications and contraindications

  • Are there any absolute contraindications?
    Yes. The device must not be used in the case of epilepsy or on people who wear a pacemaker.
    In addition, stimulation must never be applied around the stomach area in women who are pregnant, or for people suffering from a hernia or eventration.
    Electrodes should never be applied to the head (except for programs designed specifically for the face) and individuals with cardiac problems should not place electrodes near the heart.
     
  • What safety precautions do I need to know before using an electro simulator?
    • Certain electro simulators are not suitable (and even contraindicated) for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. These devices are intended for individuals in perfect health. If you have any health problems, we strongly advise that you consult a doctor or physiotherapist who can recommend a treatment with an appropriate medical-grade stimulator.
    • Do not use the device in humid areas (saunas, hydrotherapy or balneotherapy room).
    • Before applying electrodes, you should wash your skin to remove oils and dry it thoroughly.
    • Ensure that the entire surface of the electrode is in contact with the skin.
    • Do not apply electrodes to or near any skin lesions (wound, inflammation, burns, irritation, eczema, etc.).
    • Do not apply both poles (+ and -) of the same channel contralaterally, or in other words, on either side of the median plane (for example: right and left arms).
    • Do not remove or readjust electrodes during a stimulation session while the device is on.
    • Do not share electrodes with anyone else. For hygienic reasons, it is imperative that each user maintains their own personal electrodes.
    • Do not submerge electrodes in water. Do not apply solvents of any kind to the electrodes.
    • Never carry out an initial stimulation session on a person who is standing. The first five minutes of stimulation must always be performed while seated or reclined. In rare cases, some particularly nervous individuals may have a vasovagal reaction. This reaction is psychological in nature and linked to a fear of stimulation and the surprise of seeing involuntary muscle contractions. This vasovagal reaction causes the heart rate to slow and blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel weak and faint. If this occurs, simply stop the stimulation and lie down with your legs elevated until the weak feeling passes (5 to 10 minutes).
    • Certain individuals with sensitive skin may experience redness under the electrode after a stimulation session. In general, this redness is completely benign and will disappear after 10 to 20 minutes.
    • Certain electro simulators sold by ELECTROFITNESS are labelled “Professional Use Only”. These products are intended for therapists and are not for individual use because the current could cause burns if not used correctly (for example, due to polarization).
     
  • Are there any long-term risks with stimulation?
    No.
    Muscular stimulation and electrotherapy in general has existed for decades and no problems have ever been found.
     
  • Is electro stimulation contraindicated for women with IUDs?
    Certain products distributed by our competitors may be contraindicated in women who use an IUD. Unlike the devices sold by our competitors, the products sold by Electrofitness (CEFAR, COMPEX and GLOBUS) adhere to “medical standards” and use “biphasic, rectangular compensating current”.
    Because of this, there are no contraindications for women using an IUD or other device made of surgical steel (pins, etc.).
     
  • Electro stimulation and pregnancy?
    Never apply stimulation to the stomach area in women who are pregnant. Furthermore, there is no reason to stimulate the abdominals which are distended during pregnancy.
    Electro stimulation is, generally speaking, not advised during pregnancy.
    However, a few months after childbirth, it can be a very useful tool to strengthen lower abdominal muscles and regain your physique.
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