Effects of Whole-Body Electromyostimulation on Resting Metabolic Rate, Body Composition, and Maximum Strength in Postmenopausal Women: the Training and ElectroStimulation Trial


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Abstract

Kemmler, W, Schliffka, R, Mayhew, JL, and von Stengel, S. Effects of whole-body electromyostimulation on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and maximum strength in postmenopausal women: the Training and ElectroStimulation Trial. J Strength Cond Res 24(7): 1880-1887, 2010-We evaluated the effect of whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) during dynamic exercises over 14 weeks on anthropometric, physiological, and muscular parameters in postmenopausal women. Thirty women (64.5 ± 5.5 years) with experience in physical training (>3 years) were randomly assigned either to a control group (CON, n = 15) that maintained their general training program (2 × 60 min·wk−1 of endurance and dynamic strength exercise) or to an electromyostimulation group (WB-EMS, n = 15) that additionally performed a 20-minute WB-EMS training (2 × 20 min·10 d−1). Resting metabolic rate (RMR) determined from spirometry was selected to indicate muscle mass. In addition, body circumferences, subcutaneous skinfolds, strength, power, and dropout and adherence values. Resting metabolic rate was maintained in WB-EMS (−0.1 ± 4.8 kcal·h−1) and decreased in CON (−3.2±5.2 kcal·h−1, p = 0.038); although group differences were not significant (p = 0.095), there was a moderately strong effect size (ES = 0.62). Sum of skinfolds (28.6%) and waist circumference (22.3%) significantly decreased in WB-EMS whereas both parameters (1.4 and 0.1%, respectively) increased in CON (p = 0.001, ES = 1.37 and 1.64, respectively), whereas both parameters increased in CON (1.4 and 0.1%, respectively). Isometric strength changes of the trunk extensors and leg extensors differed significantly (p ≤ 0.006) between WB-EMS and CON (9.9% vs. −6.4%, ES = 1.53; 9.6% vs. −4.5%, ES = 1.43, respectively). In summary, adjunct WB-EMS training significantly exceeds the effect of isolated endurance and resistance type exercise on fitness and fatness parameters. Further, we conclude that for elderly subjects unable or unwilling to perform dynamic strength exercises, electromyostimulation may be a smooth alternative to maintain lean body mass, strength, and power.

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