The Science

The Science

Behind BionicGym

The Science

Behind BionicGym

How and why it works:

We mimic shivering! A calorie is a unit of heat. When the body wants to warm up / burn calories it shivers. There is this resonant frequency of around 7-8Hz where the muscle fibers contract and relax optimizing energy consumption. The muscles cry out for oxygen and fuel creating a demand for blood – hence the heart rate increases and the lungs work harder. Special electrodes allow us to target concentrated impulses. Of course there is a little bit of magic in the formula. Even though the electrodes are only on the thigh we manage to bring in the calf muscles and the gluteals (bum) muscles.

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Calories burnt versus Intensity

Sitting at rest, you burn 1-2 calories per minute. At each mark (black triangle) there was an increase in the stimulation intensity. Caloric expenditure increased to 15Kcal/min – very vigorous exercise! (The American Heart Association defines ‘vigorous exercise’ as >6 METS or metabolic equivalents. This subject is exercising not just vigorously but 50% above this threshold).

HR and oxygen consumption (VO2)

At rest the subjects heart rate is <60 as the stimulation intensity increases his heart rate increases – reaching his maximal rate of >185 bpm. (Also greater than his age-predicted maximal heart rate and equal to his maximal heart rate with voluntary /’normal’ exercise).

O2 uptake and calories over 4 hours

At self-selected intensities this subject watched a couple of DVDs on a reclining physio-table. Oxygen consumption and cumulative calories are plotted.

Lactate responses -2 mins supra-max

Comparison of blood lactate levels post 2 minutes supra-maximal exercise (voluntary exercise and stimulation). Note for comfort the stimulation intensity should be gradually increased. This could not be done in this 2 minute experiment. The limiting factor is probably due to the subjects’ tolerance of the stimulation intensity within the 2 minute window rather than the physiological limit as maximal stimulation intensity was not reached.

Exercise to fatigue at 125+ bpm

This experiment compares exercise-to-fatigue of stationary cycling and stimulation at a given heart rate (125-130bpm). Pedaling at 80 revolutions/min the resistance was adjusted to keep the HR at 125-130. For stimulation the intensity was adjusted. The subject was fasting overnight each time. The energy expenditure per min was higher for cycling. Near 4 hours, with resistance at zero, the subject was unable to continue pedaling. After 6 hours of stimulation the subject could have continued.

Increases in aerobic fitness - VO2max

Controlled Study over six weeks on healthy subjects showed statistically significant increases in maximum aerobic capacity / VO2max (VO2max is the ‘gold standard’ measurement of aerobic fitness).

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Peer-Reviewed Scientific Research