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This article was guest blogged by Derek M. Hansen of Running Mechanics.com. Derek is also the Head Coach of our Metro Athletic Club.
Having used electronic muscle stimulator (EMS) technology for over 12 years for both personal and professional applications, I am always on the lookout for innovations with this type of technology.
There are many different EMS units for sale out there these days. Some units are quite inexpensive, while others can be cost prohibitive. People are always asking me which units are the best for their purposes. I always ask them what they are willing to pay, because I am a firm believer in the idea that, “You get what you pay for.” While some of the less expensive models may be more accessible to consumers, you almost always have to pay no less than $600-$800 USD for a unit that will offer a combination of quality, durability and flexibility.
Very recently, I tested the Globus Premium Sport Plus EMS unit. Globus is an Italian-based sport and health technology company that has recently been selling their products in the United States. Their products have full FDA approval and are available through a number of distributors. The European manufacturers such as Globus, Compex and Cefar have a significant lead on the rest of the world when it comes to consumer level EMS units. It seems the European consumer has a more advanced knowledge of the benefits of and applications for EMS technology. Accordingly, the European manufacturers have found a way to produce high quality, versatile products that are safe and easy to use. Globus Sport and Health Technologies is a perfect example of a company that has produced innovative EMS products.
The Globus Premium Sport Plus is a well designed four-channel (eight pads) muscle stimulator. Right off the mark it leaves a good impression. It is a sturdy, well-built piece of technology. For those of you who have not used EMS units previously, the build factor is critical. If you want a mobile device that you can take to a training location such as a weight room, you need to know that it can stand up to some punishment. I have athletes using these devices on a regular basis, and they are kicking, dropping and tossing these things around. Some older units I have used in the past have had the casings crack and knobs pop off. If you invest good money into one of these products, you want the assurance that it will last. Clinical models are built tough, but often weigh a ton and are attached to a cart. Globus has managed to combine the best of both worlds: durable and mobile.
Navigating through the menu system of the Globus Premium Sport Plus is very easy and intuitive. Just like any cell phone or MP3 music player, the average person will have no problem finding the settings they need. Until Apple starts producing EMS units, Globus has the edge in interface quality.
The Premium Sport Plus is full of pre-set programs that are categorized by either ‘training objective’ or ‘sport-specific program.’ In both cases, you can target specific body parts (i.e. upper leg, lower leg, back, etc.) when you are creating your training session. The unit also assists you by offering a diagram for pad placement for each program. This is very useful for less experienced EMS users and doesn’t require you to carry around the training manual for this purpose. You can also choose between pre-season and in-season programs in the sport-specific programs.
The Sport Plus’ offering of training objectives are listed below:
- Active recovery
- Maximum strength
- Resistance strength
- Explosive strength
- 2x Preparation (for endurance and sprint)
- Base training
The specific sport directed training programs are as follows:
- Cross-country skiing
- Downhill skiing
The other advantage of the Globus Premium Sport Plus model is that it allows the user to customize existing programs by pressing the ‘function’ button and modifying duration, frequency and/or pulse width. This is a must-have function for individuals who have experience with EMS and want the ability to modify programs to their exact specifications. Individual athletes respond differently to EMS (due to muscle fiber composition, fluid levels and other impedance-related issues) and sometimes you need to ‘tweak’ the settings to get the best result – just like any other training program. Not many consumer level EMS units offer this flexibility. The professional level muscle stimulators have this ability, but can run you well over $2,000 US in price.
Like a web browser, the Premium line of Globus muscle stimulators offer the ability to ‘bookmark’ the programs that you use most often to a ‘favorites’ list. This is very useful if you are using the same programs over and over again. Additionally, if you customized a program to your liking, you can bookmark these settings for future use. These favorites can be saved under specific profiles (up to 10 athlete profiles) that can be programmed into the Premium Sport Plus if it is being used by several different athletes. The unit also saves the last 10 programs that were used in case you wanted to refer back to what you used in a previous session, much like a ‘history’ function in a web browser. There is a function that allows you to automatically return to the intensity levels of your last session, bumping the current up to 80% of the value you used in the same program previously. It then increases the current intensity to 100% in two minutes.
Another feature that provides some versatility is the ‘2+2’ program that allows you to run two different programs at the same time. This can be useful if you are doing a workout session on one part of your body (i.e. quadriceps) while doing a recovery program on another body part (i.e. back).
The Premium Sport Plus also allows you to bring up the intensity of all four channels with one button (Synchro-Stim function), rather than having to manually increase every single channel. This helps in the initial stages of setting intensities, allowing you to bring up a base of intensity, and then customize each channel independently. It also allows you to bring the intensity of every channel down quite easily.
The unit comes with a rechargeable battery pack with an AC adapter included. It charges relatively quickly and holds the charge for a long time. I assume that the heavier weight of this unit is due in large part to the hefty battery.
(Watch this video directly in higher quality by clicking here.)
The Globus Premium Sport Plus lists for a suggested retail price of $1,100 US. While some may find this very expensive, based on my experience with consumer EMS units, you are getting very good value for your dollar with the Globus products. It provides great pre-set programs, with unparalleled flexibility and options at this price-point. If you can afford to invest in a Globus unit, you will not be disappointed.
Right now, I feel Globus is leading the consumer market in EMS units. Compex has some newer products that have come out recently that I have not yet sampled. However, Globus has added some features and options that my previous Compex models did not possess. I will keep my eye closely on the new products that come out and keep you all updated.
Globus Premium Sport Plus
- Broad array of programs
- Customizable settings
- Sturdy construction
- User friendly interface and functions
- Favorites and History functions for multiple users
- Unit is mobile, but a little on the heavy side
- Price is high for a consumer unit at $1,100 US
For more information on Globus products, CLICK HERE.
Globus Premium Sport Electronic Muscle Stimulator
The Globus Premium Sport Electronic Muscle Stimulator programs enhance Maximum Strength, Explosive Strength, Resistance and Reactivity of elite athletes. By stimulating the specific muscles needed for different sports, the Globus Premium Sport can supplement the training of every athlete. Sport programs include:
- Maximum Strength
- Resistance Strength
- Explosive Strength
- Aerobic Resistance
- Active Recovery
- Preparation (similar to Potentiation)
- Basic Training
The Globus Premium Sport Electronic Muscle Stimulator has ten distinct libraries specifically conceived for the following sports: Football, Baseball & Softball, Basketball, Running, Tennis, Cycling, Golf, Sprinting, Cross-Country skiing and Downhill skiing. The training libraries include Conditioning and Maintenance programs. The Conditioning programs help athletes reach peak condition. During competitive periods athletes will then switch to the Maintenance programs to maintain the peak condition without unnecessary fatigue.
Globus Premium Fitness Electronic Muscle Stimulator
The Globus Premium Fitness Electronic Muscle Stimulator model includes fitness programs developed by coaches and personal trainers to improve your physical shape through electro-stimulation: balancing your strength, developing your resistance, preparing for exercise, recovering from exercise, as well as recoving from muscular fatigue.
The Globus Premium Fitness Electronic Muscle Stimulator with its jogging, basic training, aerobic resistance, active recovery and preparation programs, help develop your physique, and charge you full of energy. Total programs include:
- Aerobic Resistance
- Active Recovery
- Preparation (similar to Potentiation)
- Basic Training
The Globus Premium Fitness Electronic Muscle Stimulator will take care of your wellness and will help eliminate daily fatigue and stress.
Globus Replacement Set of Electrode Wires and Replacement Electrodes
Also available are Globus brand accessories such as extra lead wires and replacement sticky pads, in both small and large sizes.