With a few pounds of fat added to my body, I lost most of the ab definition I used to have. During our conversation about fat freezing using CoolSculpting (cryolipolysis) which is a completely different topic, my friend mentioned EmSculpt, which she had done at MiracleFace Medspa, as an additional tool she had used to give herself more abdominal definition before her vacation. As a matter of course, I had to try it. Here's what happened!




My background

For most of my life, I've been active, sometimes to the point of being obsessive. As a personal trainer, I worked out all day with clients and trained myself between sessions. I was working out three hours a day almost every day, and running 20 to 25 miles a week. To top it all off, I was weighing everything I ate to stay within my macronutrient range. Eventually, I started feeling extremely fatigued, dizzy, and weak, likely due to malnutrition and excessive energy expenditure. As soon as I was constantly on the verge of passing out, I realized that the lifestyle I was trying to maintain was not sustainable. My reason for pushing myself so hard? Although I wasn't aware of it at the time, looking back I think that part of the reason was due to the fact that I felt like every other aspect of my life outside of work and fitness was out of my control. At the gym I got structure I didn't have anywhere else, and I (thought) I was in excellent shape. I had a six-pack and my body was almost totally fat-free, which, in retrospect, wasn't very healthy.

My workouts have not increased to the extent I used to, but I do still work out almost every day. My routine is now more sustainable and flexible. In addition to going to the gym 5 to 6 days a week for 1-2 hours, I devote two of those days to cardio instead of doubling up and running on top of that. In my diet, I am clean, but I allow myself to eat when I am hungry and no longer count macros or calories. I feel great, but one change I've had to accept is not having a six-pack, which is a good thing. However, but I was curious to see what would happen if I did more ab exercises and how my body would look now that it's a little fattier. I first started thinking about my abs because my friend told me about a tool that she had used before her vacation to add more definition to her abs. EmSculpt is what the tool is called and it claims to contract your muscles for you without having to work out, providing the same results as an actual workout. Though skeptical at first, my friend saw results with it so I decided to give it a shot instead of spending 45 minutes a day doing planks and burpees (no thank you). 


The process

My first EmSculpt appointment was at Skinly Aesthetics with me wearing comfortable clothes without actually knowing what to expect. The EmSculpt applicator was placed on my abdominal muscles as I lay down. It is essentially an imitation of a workout, so I understood that it might take some time to see results. Consistency is crucial when you want to see results from your workouts.

The EmSculpt device uses electromagnetic muscle stimulation to send pulses to your muscles, contracting them for you, and creating the effects of a workout. The machine worked like little electric shocks once it was turned on. Throughout the 30 minute cycle, the pulses became stronger, but they weren't unbearably painful. 

The following day I was slightly sore, which confirmed that it was working. After four to six sessions, they recommended I get all six within two weeks. I did all six.

Findings

In the interest of being clear, I treated this as a test, so I did not alter my usual workout routine or diet for the purposes of controlling for accuracy. During the first week, I did not see any effect, but after the fourth session, I noticed a little more definition than I had had before. I saw some progress within a few days of my last session; granted, it wasn't a six-pack, but in order to get that, I would have to lose fat, meaning I would have to go back to restricting, which is a no-go for me. 

My only option for getting rid of stomach fat would be to undergo CoolSculpting treatments, which use cryolipolysis technology to cool down fat cells to a low temperature and eliminate them from your body. Thanks to CoolSculpting as well, I was able to get back to my normal routine immediately since the procedure is noninvasive. Since I cannot take any time off work, it would be a major benefit for me. 


Final thoughts

All in all, I would say I got better results than I expected, however it would take consistency to retain them. Since stopping the treatment, I've been doing more ab exercises in order to maintain a little more definition. If you have decent abs and want an extra kick to add some more definition, this treatment might be beneficial to you, but but I don't see how those who are overweight or carry a lot of fat around their abdomen would see much improvement as long as if you have a lot of fat covering them, they will not be visible.


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