I worked out like Chrissy Teigen – here's how her 20 minute workout can help you lose weight

MODEL Chrissy Teigen has one of the most enviable figures in the business.

But with two children and a thriving culinary business, how does the 36-year-old stay in shape?



The star has previously spoken about her love for a very nifty 20 minute workout that allows you to burn hundreds of calories per session.

It’s also favoured by the likes of Liz Hurley, Usain Bolt, Rita Ora and Poppy Delevingne.

After trying it out for myself, it’s clear to see why it’s the workout of choice.

Called electro muscle stimulation training (EMS) offers you the same sweat session as a high intensity workout (HIIT) but in half the time.

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It’s perfect for busy people on the go who want to fit in a blast of exercise in under 30 minutes.

And trainers say that it's ideal for people who want to lose weight and slim down.

So what is EMS training?

During the training you’re connected to a machine which sends finely tuned electrical signals to your muscles, which helps them contract.

It aims to target all your major muscle groups – glutes, quads, triceps and biceps – and strengthens and tones them.

When you arrive at the studio you’re suited up into a Lara Croft-esque vest.

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The vest is sprayed with water which helps the electrodes circulate energy properly.

Wires are then attached to the vest and it’s through this that mini electrodes reach you in order to stimulate your muscles.

But it’s not just a vest – to reach the triceps and quads, you’re also strapped up in these areas to make sure the electrodes reach you.

The signal is intended to mimic the natural signal sent by the brain to your muscles when you’re exercising – but is far more powerful.

But don’t be fooled into thinking the machine does all of the work.

While you’re attached to it, you’re doing exercises, such as squats, sparring and lunges.

It can help somebody achieve more generic goals, so people that want to slim down and tone up, people that want to improve the muscle mass inside their body, all the way up to somebody who is coming up to a high level and training for an Olympic event

This combined with the stimulation helps contract 98 per cent of muscle fibres compared to 60 per cent with just the exercises alone.

Studies have found that EMS training is as effective as high intensity workouts across 16 weeks.

It’s also low impact, making it accessible to people of all shapes and sizes and is suitable for people of all fitness levels.

That sounds great, but what’s it really like?

It’s an intense workout – but it has to be for a 20 minute session.

You’re strapped up in a suit, which is then connected to an electric system which gently ‘buzzes’ you during your exercises.

The suit takes a bit getting used to, as it’s not your normal everyday gym get-up, but soon enough you get used to it, it’s almost like playing dress up.

It’s a strange sensation, which I can liken most to being in a massage chair or using a massage gun.

The main difference being that a massage chair is relaxing and usually, you don’t get sweaty.

It’s a strange sensation, especially as at the same time you are trying to fight against it.

I particularly found the sparring challenging as my triceps just didn’t want to play ball and it was almost like wading through water.

What does Chrissy say about EMS training?

It’s clear that Chrissy works out, but what does she think of EMS training?

Speaking on The Kelly Clarkson Show, the mum described the workout as 'crazy'.

She said: "It's 20 minutes, but it's like working out for four hours.

"You're hooked up to this moist wet suit with electronics stuck to your muscles.

"You do little movements through it and we're all just dying."

Chrissy added that it hurt so much that it was uncomfortable to sit down.

At first you’re put through a test with each muscle group you’re going to be working out.

You’re given little buzzes to make sure you can feel them through the suit and to make sure you’re getting the most out of the workout.

For example, if you have strong legs the pulses would be turned up higher, whereas for weaker areas, such as triceps and core, they would likely be at a lower setting, as you build strength.

Trainer and area manager at Surge London, Holly Isaacs explains: “It’s a full body workout.

“It targets eight major muscle groups simultaneously.

“The electrodes send a signal to the muscle and it enables the muscle to go into a full contraction phase.

“You might have had something similar to where your muscles are vibrating in a massage technique.

“Whereas here the signal is sending it into a full contraction phase and that’s done by the electrodes that are built in,” Holly says.

And as you workout, microtears happen in your muscles.

Is EMS for me?

On average, Holly says people spend about 30 minutes at the studio, including their session.

While it might look like a challenge, Holly says it really is a workout that can be tailored to anyone.

“It’s all about optimising the maximum contraction of the muscle everytime they come into a session so over time we can work to various goals.

“If you’ve got somebody that is injured and they don’t want to lift heavy loads in the gym because they are still recovering, we can still achieve a full maximum contraction in the muscle to be able to build it back up again and build them up to where they need to be,” she says.

“It can help somebody achieve more generic goals, so people that want to slim down and tone up, people that want to improve the muscle mass inside their body, all the way up to somebody who is coming up to a high level and training for an Olympic event.

“We’ve got A-list celebrities that are doing this workout to keep up with their busy lifestyle and to keep them in shape,” she continues.

“We have elite athletes that are using this for optimum performance and people that are competing at the Olympics.

“And of course we've got everyone in between. 

“People who just want to stay fit and want to get fitter or maybe they just want to improve their back pain.”

Exercising on a regular basis and being in a calorie deficit – so burning more than you consume will help you lose weight.

The verdict…

As someone who does a lot of strength training and is also training for a half marathon, the session was welcome as it was different to my usual work out.

Afterwards, even though it’s a sweaty workout, I didn’t feel majorly floored and had a boost of endorphins.

Before the session I had a little bit of lower back pain due to an intense training session a couple of days before and it surprisingly alleviated it.

I felt fine the next day, but the day after – around 48 hours later – I felt quite sore. It didn’t really impact my day to day life, but I was pretty achy.

Because this wasn’t something I had ever done before and it had targeted all my muscle groups, I definitely felt more tired than usual.

It’s definitely something I’d be keen to try again though, to see the sort of results it would reap over a long period of time.

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Although the session is accessible to people of all shapes and sizes, it might not be accessible for those with different purse and wallet sizes.

There are a range of studios across the country and prices can start from £20 per session and go all the way up to £49.


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