NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Looking for a workout that doesn’t involve much time or energy, but still burns hundreds of calories?
CBS2’s Emily Smith tried out a technique that uses electric pulses to do the work for you.
It took her about five minutes to put on a special black body suit, with straps tightly wrapped around her legs, glutes and arms. It’s all connected to an electric muscle stimulation machine, or EMS.
“For every second you are connected to this machine, you’re getting 85 muscle contractions everywhere,” personal trainer Mohamed Elzomor said.
As he turned up the machine, it started to pulse, but Smith said it did not hurt.
Elzomor said 20 minutes amount to a four-hour total body workout and burn about 500 calories. He said you should only need one session a week.
“Here you are getting reps and sets to the entire body, even if you are just doing a squat, you’re still going to get your arms stronger, your back and chest,” he said.
Elzomer suggested 20 minutes of easy squats followed by some lunges and a few planks.
The machines have been in Manhattan for about three months and go by the name “My 30 Minutes.”
“It’s way more efficient than the hour workout you were doing prior,” Elzomer said.
The technology has been used in the physical therapy arena for ages, but it recently became mainstream in Dubai and Germany.
Personal trainer Isaac Lee said he doesn’t like the idea of it replacing hardcore exercise.
“You eat a hamburger or fries, or whatever type of foods you want, then you say ‘oh you know what, I can just go to the gym again and just go into an EMS 20 minute session,’” Lee said.
One woman, Jessica Hodkinson, said she is skeptical but would try it.
“Any kind of progress has to come from hard work,” she said. “There are no short cuts, but you never know — technology is an incredible thing.”
“Didn’t they used to have something like that in a belt? I think that came out already,” one man said.
If it sounds too good to be true, it costs $150 a session.
There are two EMS machines at The Plaza Hotel, which are open to the public. Your first try is discounted at $75.