It began with an epiphany ! – BionicGym
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It began with an epiphany !

on January 24, 2019  in BionicGymCardio ExerciseDr Louis CrowenewsThe Science

Dr Louis went for a swim and had an epiphany.

Twenty years ago, Dr Louis Crowe, an Irish Medical Doctor, went for a swim in the cold Irish sea. Getting out, he shivered like he always would, only this time, he noticed something:  His teeth chattered at the same speed his legs shook.

He’d never noticed this before... so he began to pay attention. He realised his shivering was synchronised and had a kind of rhythm.

He reasoned, as his brain sends electrical signals to his muscles when he shivers, it must be possible to induce shivering by copying those signals. In that moment, he had an epiphany that would change the course of his life.

Why shivering is like ''music for muscles''.

Dr Louis knew that shivering burned a lot of calories - as when cold, it is the body’s natural mechanism for heating up through movement. So, he began studying shivering, using himself as a guinea pig.  He noticed, if he let himself get colder, he'd shiver more intensely with more movement, but his muscles moved at the same speed. 

As he measured this phenomenon, he realized that just as dance music, viewed on a spectral analyser, shows a pattern, shiver signals sent from the brain to muscles have a pattern too. When shivering more intensely, the pattern stays approximately the same, but the amplitude increases - like turning up the volume.   

By mimicking these pulse patterns - like playing music to muscles in the form of electrical pulses, Dr Louis found a way to induce intense shivering without coldness, and in doing so, invented a new form of exercise.

Harnessing your bodies biggest muscle group – your legs.


In order to achieve exercise that would have effects on the heart, Dr Louis knew he needed to focus on his body’s largest muscle groups – his legs, this was the final piece of the puzzle.

By stimulating his legs to rapidly contract and relax, with high intensity, using the special shiver signal patterns, Dr Louis was able to achieve real vigorous exercise  – this was obvious by the sweat, rapid breathing and an elevated heart-rate.

Peer Reviewed Science.

Over the twenty years since this observation Dr Louis Crowe has become one of the World's foremost experts in this science of neuro-muscular stimulation. He has completed numerous peer-reviewed studies with leading universities and led innovation teams within medical technology companies. His research has been conducted in associated with leading European Universities and even the European Space Agency.

Through his research, he has proven that from stimulated shivering, applied to legs, via special electrical signals, he could:

  • Burn calories rapidly - at levels equivalent to intense exercise
  • Increase a person’s heart rate - to levels equivalent to intense exercise
  • Enable sustained cardio exercise - once you had trained up with it
  • Increase a person’s VO2 Max levels, i.e. boost aerobic fitness
  • Deliver the benefits of exercise in a way that is gentle on the joints

Ultra-Convenient, Low Will Power Exercise.

Perhaps what is most revolutionary about BionicGym is it requires less willpower.  Or at least a different type of will-power.  At intense levels you still get all the body's signalling that it is intense exercise but you can distract yourself by watching TV, etc.

Many forms of exercise require constant mental-effort to complete. For example, when using an exercise bike or treadmill, a person must choose to keep pushing themselves. If they are mentally fatigued, they often can’t exercise for long.

However, stimulated shivering via BionicGym is different. As electrical impulses trigger the legs to move repeatedly, users can simply put BionicGym on, dial up the intensity, and via a kind of remote-control exercise, watch their legs move. This makes it possible to do passive exercise while engaged in another activity - like watching TV or playing a computer game. This also means that many normal environments, from working at a desk to lying on a couch, can become places where exercise can occur.