Electronic Muscle Stimulators: Legitimate or Scam?

Are you trying to lose weight and/or get in shape and are considering buying an Electronic Muscle Stimulator? Do you want to know what to look for before making your purchase?

Manufacturers of Electronic Muscle Stimulators, or EMS’s, claim that their products help you firm and tone your midsection without having to lie on the floor and do sit-ups that hurt your back and supposedly don’t work or buy discountedediet programs that you cannot afford.

They use gorgeous fitness models with 6-pack abs to show you what you can have if you just purchase their merchandise. But, what do you need to know before you buy? And, what considerations should you keep in mind prior to finalizing your purchase?


One of the most basic considerations for the purchase of anything, EMS devices included, is cost. If you’re in the market for an ab belt, be prepared to spend somewhere between $100 and $200 to have the stomach you’ve been dying to have. You can go online and get The Flex Belt for around $199. Sears also sells an AB Transform Belt for $127.99, and you can find The Contour Ab Belt for around $180.

They’re certainly not cheap, but there’s a reason the weight loss industry is a billion dollar a year industry. People are willing to spend a little bit more if it means getting a body that they’re proud of and comfortable in.

Wording of Claims

When you’re excited about the prospect of having abs of steel, it’s easy to gloss over some very important words in manufacturers ads. They’re well aware of this, which is why they design them the way they do so you need to pay attention. For instance, if you look at the ad for The Flex Belt, it says that a “6-week clinical study showed that: 100% of users said their abs felt more toned and firm.” It also states that the same study found “92.3% of users felt the firmness of their abdominal muscles increased.”

Read that quickly and you’ll likely be impressed because the wording leads you to believe that research has proven this product to be effective. However, if you take the time to read it slow and pay attention to what it really says, you’ll discover that all it tells you is that people feel like their stomach is thinner when they use it. They provide no science to back up their claim.

FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the sale of EMS devices on behalf of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. They insure that the devices are properly manufactured and contain a detailed instruction manual so that the user knows how to operate it safely. Some people have been injured while using these weight loss tools in the past. They suffered from bruises, burns and skin irritations; some of which required treatment at a hospital. They’ve also been found to possibly interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators.

Therefore, in order to protect consumers, the FDA has mandated that each device must clear their approval before being offered to the general public. So, when you’re searching for an ab belt that suits your needs, make sure the one you select is one that the FDA has certified as safe to use.


Of course, you want to purchase an ab belt because you want results, right? If not, the whole idea would be moot because it wouldn’t matter. So, are the belts as good as manufacturers claim or are they just blowing smoke? When it comes to health and fitness results, there are two different areas that seem to be the topic of discussion: weight loss and muscle strength.

There are also studies regarding the effectiveness of muscle stimulation for people who’ve suffered from musculoskeletal injuries. In regard to weight loss and muscle strength, some studies suggest that an EMS device can dramatically change your midsection. The University of Wisconsin conducted research and concluded that when a muscle undergoes electrical stimulation, it can result in a 58% increase in abdominal strength and 100% increase in endurance.

They also noted a 3.5 cm loss in the abdominal region. However, other studies, such as one published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, have found just the opposite. They say that use of an electric muscle stimulation device does not significantly increase your muscle strength and size or cause you to lose weight.


Is it possible that the device works for some people and not for others? Perhaps. No weight loss solution is one-size-fits-all. What works for someone else may not work for you. So, this could be the answer to your 6-pack prayers or it could be something that doesn’t help one bit. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing in advance.