Upon beginning to train with electro-stimulation, we are dealing with new equipment, new instructions, electrodes and cables. None of this was part of our lives before, so it is a good idea to listen to some advice, so that training is as comfortable and efficient as possible. In short:
1.-Firstly, it is very important to develop a weekly training plan. For example, Monday, Wednesday and Friday: legs; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: arms and torso. This is one example; there are many other possibilities, but it is important that you have a weekly plan organised. Sundays could be for rest or for working on areas which need special attention.
Let’s take the leg training session, for an example. We will put the electrodes on the quadriceps if we are going to train this area of the body analytically. We can also choose an agonist/antagonist programme and sequentially work the ischiotibial quadriceps (including the femoral biceps). It is important to correctly place the electrodes first, and then connect the cables. As we are working with a biphasic, rectangular compensating current, it doesn’t matter whether the connectors are red or black. When the session is over we will go on to work on the gastrocnemius muscle. We can either move the electrodes and put them on the gastrocnemius muscle or have already placed electrodes on said muscle and simply unfasten the pin and put it on the new electrodes to start the training.
2.-The most comfortable clothes are sports clothes; it best to wear shorts when working with the legs, and a light t-shirt for the abdominals or back. Either way, the best clothes are those which allow us to quickly access the treated zone and which allow the cables to be organized in a way that still permits movement.
3.-It is good to become accustomed to placing the electrodes following a determined sequence, from top to bottom, or the other way around. Try to always follow the same order so that the placing of the electrodes becomes automatic, which means we save time.
4.-Our aim is to increase the intensity level. If we are working with a very comfortable intensity, the level of muscular fibres stimulated will be less, though at the beginning it is best to work with these intensity levels so as the body becomes accustomed without suffering. Bit by bit you will adapt to the feeling and will find that now you can work with intensity levels which before were unpleasant. This means we can work with a greater number of muscle fibres and our training will be more beneficial. After a certain amount of time doing this training we normally remember at what intensity levels we are working, but at the start it is a good idea to note down the milliamperes at which we’re training.
5.-If we are starting the neuromuscular electro-stimulation training and we are doing it specifically to improve sports performance, it is good to let our trainer know that more training is desirable, and what kind of training. If had been working on speed training for running, it would then be necessary to improve leg strength. However, we can also choose to work both strength and speed. If we do stamina training we will undoubtedly put strength on stamina strength training. Keeping all of this in mind, we can make a generic strength training base, with general stamina, so as to reach sufficiently high intensity levels to begin a programme which is adapted to our type of competition.