A new style of workout that uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) has landed in the Mid-South. The first of 10 Memphis-area Manduu studios opened recently at 575 S. Perkins, and the second will open around the first of October at 6165 Poplar Ave., Suite 103.
“The whole premise is that we basically replace lifting weights with electricity,” said Wiley Robinson, a registered nurse and chief operating officer of Manduu. “We put you in a specially designed, high-tech suit attached to a device with very advanced software, and we apply electricity to your body, and it makes your muscles work really hard.”
FDA-approved, the total-body EMS workout is safe for adults of all ages. Each 15-minute workout session is the equivalent of about six hours in the gym, Robinson said, so it saves people time.
A type of high-intensity interval training, Manduu has an ultra-low impact on joints, muscles and tendons while enhancing strength and flexibility.
The trainers at Manduu track progress by taking sophisticated measurements.
“When you leave, you’ll have more information about yourself than when you go to the doctor,” Robinson said. “We measure your body composition, fat, where it’s distributed and where the cells are.”
The technology was developed in Europe and has quickly expanded over the past decade; there are 1,700 EMS studios in Germany and Austria alone.
“We like people to start off once a week until they become adapted. After that, clients can come twice per week,” Robinson said.
John Pettey, one of the owners of the seven-county Memphis-area franchise territory, was introduced to Manduu earlier this year in Nashville. After doing the EMS workouts every other week for two months, he noticed significant changes in his body composition.
“I lost 19 pounds of body fat, I gained eight pounds of skeletal muscle and I lost 25% of visceral fat,” Pettey said. “I had been working out and trying to eat right, and these are results I’ve never had before.”
Pettey did research and decided to bring the Nashville-based franchise to Memphis. The first studio opened Aug. 15 and was booked throughout its initial weekend of operations.
Unlike traditional gyms where dozens to hundreds of people may be working out, only two people can do Manduu workouts at the same time.
“You don’t need workout clothes. You can come in your street clothes, pajamas or a tuxedo — it doesn’t matter,” Robinson said.
Pricing packages differ in each market. In Memphis, a package of 15 workouts is $59 per workout, a 30-workout package is $49 per workout and a package of 60 workouts is $39 per workout.