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Jun 26, 2021

In a recent weekly roundup, I reported on what I called "Possibly The World's Most Efficient (New) Workout: The "Katalyst", and told you to get ready for the next frontier of electrical muscle stimulation.

In my Boundless book, on my podcast, and elsewhere, I've talked in the past about how I use electrical muscle stimulation, also known as “EMS,”

...but with all other forms of EMS I've used in the past, although getting great results for injury rehab, muscle growth, targeted muscle "re-training" and more, I've also had to deal with all sorts of wires, time-consuming electrode attachment, confusing user interfaces, and a pretty clunky experience that takes up a lot of time.

But this brand new electrical muscle stimulation suit called the “Katalyst” is a total game-changer. You literally just pull on the suit and select from any of the workouts on the app and a personal trainer not only walks you through the entire workout, which involves functional fitness moves like squats, side lunges, presses, cardiovascular and power movements, and a whole lot more…

…but the intensity is automatically adjusted by your trainer as you go, and so it also creates a highly customized workout. This is one of the coolest time hacks for exercise that I've discovered in a long time and—coming from a guy who has done a lot of different workouts—I can tell you that this thing is not some gimmicky “As Seen On TV” technology that you use to get a six-pack while you're sitting on the couch eating Twinkies.

Instead, I think this technology is going to take the fitness world by storm. Pro athletes can train muscles they've never used before and retrain injured muscles while complete exercise beginners or those in rehab can lift weights without excess stress on the joints.

Again, the Katalyst suit is a total game-changer, and this thing is flying off the shelves now as folks discover the magic of EMS. Here's where you can get the Katalyst suit today (that link gives you "early access" to getting a unit for yourself).

But I also wanted to get the Founder and CEO of Katalyst - Bjoern Woltermann - on the show to take a deep dive into exactly how this new technology works.

 Bjoern is the Founder and CEO of Katalyst, a revolutionary home fitness product that can actually improve your fitness through every phase of life. Using proven Full-Body EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) technology, Katalyst removes common barriers to fitness like time, ability and motivation, and replaces them with a 20-minute, full-body workout that works with your body rather than against it.

Because there are no weights and no joint impact, Katalyst empowers all people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. A startup veteran and economist by trade, Bjoern was introduced to Full-Body EMS as a way to fit strength training into his busy travel schedule and to rehabilitate a back injury.

After training every Monday for six weeks, Bjoern was amazed to find himself both pain-free and in better physical shape than he had been in years. He soon realized that this technology had the potential to significantly improve millions of lives.

Driven by an innate desire to serve people, Bjoern founded Katalyst in 2015 to bring Full-Body EMS to the United States. Aside from Katalyst, Bjoern is a devoted husband and uncle who loves to travel the world and is committed to a healthy lifestyle.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-How Bjoern got interested in EMS...8:54

  • 2012, had a corporate job flying all over the world
  • This resulted in chronic back pain
  • Advised to strengthen core and lower back, otherwise serious injury would be incurred
  • Introduced to an EMS clinic (20 minute treatment is too good to be true)
  • Two different reactions: horribly uncomfortable or relatively manageable
  • Breathwork is important for the comfort level
  • After 6 weeks, he was pain free, no pain meds, etc.
  • Body Street studio EMS
  • EMS is far more popular in Germany than the U.S.

-Brief history of EMS training...15:10

  • BGF podcast w/ Jay Schroeder (old, may not be available)
  • Science discovered by Russians in the 60's
  • TENS treatment is a different treatment than EMS
  • Early 2000's, body transformer was a more efficient means of delivering EMS
  • First commercial device was around 2007
  • Used by elite soccer teams (athletes signed NDA's because of it worked so well)

-The science that backs up the efficacy of EMS...19:10

  • FDA-regulated category
  • Hurdles too high for manufacturer's to expand in the U.S.
  • Some European universities carry out 2-3 full-blown studies on EMS per year
  • Hockey players 1.5% faster after EMS
  • New way to activate muscles; easier to target specific muscle fibers

-Why EMS induces a high amount of soreness...23:20

  • Previously unused and dormant muscles
  • "No muscle left behind"
  • Much more complete muscle activation
  • Increasing the recruitment of muscle fibers in each rep
  • Get to exhaustive state of the muscle faster
  • Activate more muscle fibers at the same time - subconsciously this is how it's supposed to feel
  • Need extreme loads to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers or very quick movements w/ conventional weight training
  • Cardio mode causes the muscle to be active, transform energy into motion
  • Aerodyne bike is the ultimate EMS workout

-Why does the body get so hot in an EMS suit?...34:05

  • How much muscle activation is going on at a given time
  • A workout that takes over one hour is condensed into 20 minutes
  • Body simply needs to cool off
  • Water provides adequate conductivity

-Why different ranges of motion are used in EMS...37:00

  • No shortened muscle
  • No tension
  • One of Ben's training clients had knee pain disappear after using the Catalyst for a couple of sessiosn
  • Unused muscles are in a tight state, protective measure
  • Previously injured areas become loosened
  • Relax the muscle, get back to a natural function

-About the recovery setting on the Katalyst...40:45

  • Promotes blood flow
  • Very low frequency
  • Pumping effect to the muscles

-How EMS may affect longevity and anti-aging...42:20

  • Study of 100 women over age of 75
  • Two of the women dropped out, not because it was too stringent
  • Gained muscle mass, reversed atrophy
  • Increased walking speed 10-20%
    • Walking speed, grip strength and ability to get off the floor are good metrics for longevity
  • Gained bone density

-How to mix the regimens to get the most out of EMS...45:20

  • Do strength/power one day; followed by 10 minutes of cardio
  • Day 2, cardio only
  • Day 3-4, do strength again

-Topicals or cold packs that can improve the efficacy of EMS...47:30

  • BGF podcast w/ Jeff Spencer
  • Vasper machine

-How the EMS routines are conducted in real time...50:20

  • Things are in the works to do EMS detached from the current system
  • Trainers are actually getting the treatment while the user does
  • Roles of customer and trainer are very different
  • Immersive experience for the customer
  • The system learns over time
  • Levels are always individual to a person

-How to access the Katalyst and skip the waitlist...58:30

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-The Katalyst Full Body EMS Suit (click here for early access)

Episode sponsors:

-The Boundless Cookbook

-Kion Refer a Friend

-Organifi Green Juice


-Butcher Box