About Time You Tried: SIXPADBy Sarah Rodrigues
So, how about all of those good intentions that you had for January? If you’re anything like me, then they’ll be like a pair of knickers; ones that you haven’t cast off and thrown out the window of a car (apparently this does happen) but ones on which the elastic has become so loose that they’re almost down at your knees. You get the idea? Those intentions are literally hanging on by a rapidly greying thread.
Still, bright sides and all that: they haven’t been completely abandoned. And now Japanese beauty and wellness tech heroes MTG are making it all okay, with SIXPAD electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) devices, which have recently launched in the UK and do some of the work for you.
First up, let’s talk about expectations. If you head over to the Sixpad website, it’s not your average fitness model you’re confronted with. No, it’s none other than the King of Cut, Mr Cristiano Ronaldo. This sets the bar pretty high and, sadly, I have to talk myself down from visions of me being Ronaldo-esquely ripped at the beach within days of applying the Abs Fit 2. It’s definitely effective, but it’s not a miracle worker.
Nevertheless, you have to take notice when someone with a torso like that endorses a product like this, even if you do have to do the occasional sit up and low carb day to maximise its efficacy. Made in the shape of your abdominals (they’re in there, even if you can’t see them), the Abs Fit 2 is designed to be slim enough to wear discreetly under your clothing. It’s equipped with Bluetooth and can be connected to a SIXPAD training app; you can use your mobile device to increase or decrease the intensity of the settings, which range up to 15.
How does it work? Essentially by sending electrical stimuli to the muscles in the body, causing them to contract and relax, just as they would during exercise. In practice, the feeling you get is something akin to what it feels like to do crunches – and the win is that wearing the device means that you can afford to do fewer of them, because the SIXPAD will work you out even as you sit on the sofa binge-watching Netflix (although for best results, you should maybe pass on the family-sized tub of ice cream…)
Gel pads have to be attached to the electrodes on the skin-side of the SIXPAD, conducting the electrical current into your body; these last for up to 30 uses, but bear in mind that they’re an additional cost to the £230 device, although for convenience there’s a subscription service that delivers them to you monthly. Also included with the SIXPAD is a velcro band, to help hold it in place – especially useful once the gel pads start to lose their stickiness. There’s also a Body Fit 2, which can be used in the same way on waists, arms, legs and obliques, as well as an Arm Belt and Leg Belt. I didn’t attempt wearing them all at the same time but would imagine that it’s not something you’d want to do in public at the risk of jerking around like a deranged marionette puppet.
That’s not to say that I’ve experienced any involuntary convulsions while using the SIXPAD, but trying out the Body Fit 2 at the brand’s flagship Westfield White City store definitely caused a kind of knee-jerk reaction – not unpleasant, but I’d probably stick to using the two bits of kit on alternate days. And for those who shy away from gadgetry, SIXPAD have also applied their knowledge of muscle development and the body to training suits, which are designed to tone and develop muscle by applying moderate resistance. The training tights, which I’ve been wearing for gym and yoga sessions, are said to increase leg muscle activity by about 1.3 times – and there’s some pretty solid scientific evidence to back up those claims.
The range also includes arm sleeves, which personally I’m delighted about: wearing these, a simple bending and straightening of the arm encounters resistance that effectively trains the muscles – and since we have a good few months of long-sleeve weather ahead of us, I’m wearing them daily in the expectation of having strong arms, without having to put in hours on the weights. If you see me gaily dipping into the biscuit tin and then raising my hand to my mouth, you’ll know what I’m up to.
By the same token, the Abs FIT 2 has definitely been effective – and again, as someone who wants to cry with boredom after about 15 crunches, I’m ecstatic. Whether your fitness resolutions have been somewhat derailed, or whether you smashed your January goals and have now hit something of a wall, SIXPAD undoubtedly delivers results to get you on track to your fitness goals.
Available at sixpad.uk or at the flagship store in Westfield White City.