*Reprinted from Hardcore Body Building Magazine*
Electrical stimulation machines have been around for over 20 years. You may have even used one in your high school science class to get a reflex in a dead frog’s leg.
Electrical stimulation is a proven aid to strengthening, rehabilitating and actually building muscles. In fact Dr. Charles Godfrey, head of the rehabilitation department at Toronto’s Wellesley Hospital, made a formal study which concluded that “there is a greater average improvement with electrostimulation than with exercise, and it’s faster and easier.”
Both bodybuilders and weightlifters have used stimulators with good results. Mike Mentzer has used them extensively. Canadian bodybuilder John Cardillo, an authority on using these machines, has often used them in his training.
Basically, tetanizing muscle stimulation involves applying two electrode pads (which are dampened with a wet cloth first) near either end of the muscle, and conducting a current through it until the muscle contracts and knots up into a cramp. All skeletal muscles are compatible with electric stimulator machines. The heart is not.
Mild electrostimulation is of very little value. As in weight training, the muscles must be fully loaded on a progressive basis.
Underloading a muscle, minimal exercise, is useless. Loading the muscle to full capacity leads to maximum strength.There could possibly be a degree of danger if excessive stimulation is used on a muscle in that you could sustain a tear of strain. Accordingly, these machines are usually only available through a doctor’s, chiropractor’s or physiotherapist’s direct recommendation or prescription.