Explore the world of electro-muscle stimulation training with Nick Urban & Bjoern Woltermann, the founder of Katalyst. Together, they dive into topics such as the effectiveness of EMS training, its accessibility through Katalyst, muscle reeducation, full body workouts, and the benefits for new mothers. Tune in to discover how EMS technology can revolutionize your fitness journey.
Episode HighlightsKatalyst EMS triggers 30 – 40% more muscle fibers than your body would voluntarily so that really amplifies your workout in a short amount of time. – Bjoern Woltermann Click To TweetUnlike traditional training methods, EMS training focuses on functional movements that engage multiple muscle groups. Whether you're an athlete, fitness enthusiast, or even a new mother, Katalyst tailors workouts to your specific… Click To TweetSay goodbye to injuries! Katalyst's training system is low-impact and safe. It's very hard to injure yourself using EMS, even with bad form. Click To Tweet
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About Bjoern Woltermann
Bjoern Woltermann is the CEO and Founder of Katalyst, a company using Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology to revolutionize workouts. With a master’s degree in international economics, he discovered EMS training after battling chronic back pain during frequent flights. Six weeks of weekly EMS sessions made him pain-free and in better shape, prompting him to introduce EMS to the US.
Top Things You’ll Learn From Bjoern Woltermann
- Katalyst was developed with Electro-Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology
- EMS saves time and increases the effectiveness of workouts
- EMS can prevent muscle atrophy and reeducate muscles
- EMS for the public has previously been inaccessible but is now available through Katalyst
- How this technology can replace the role of a trainer in determining the intensity and timing of movements, allowing users to focus on their own body and movement
- How Katalyst can be used to participate in any exercise routine
- It can be combined with devices like the Assault bike or Pelaton for more intense workouts
- Recommended for new mothers to enhance their journey of motherhood
- How it is safe for individuals of all fitness levels, including professional athletes, MMA fighters, and overweight individuals considering joint replacement surgery
- Benefits of EMS through the Katalyst training suit
- It activates more muscle fibers than workouts alone
- Helps wake up dormant muscles and rebuild muscle tissue
- It’s considered the safest way to train and educate muscles
- It’s portable, so allows for functional movements and full-body engagement
- It supports weight loss and joint health, even for those considering joint replacement
- Product: Katalyst EMS Suit (link unlocks your exclusive VIP deal)
- Article: Katalyst Suit Review: The Best Full Body EMS System for Muscle, Strength, Power, Cardio, Recovery, & Injury Rehab?
- Video: Katalyst EMS Suit Review
- Athlete: Usain Bolt
- Book: Bible
- Film: Ad Astra
- Teacher: Niccolo Machiavelli
- Teacher: Immanuel Kant
Nick Urban [00:00:05]:
Imagine a world where you’re no longer spending an hour commuting to and from the gym each day only to spend another hour working out, or for the runners out there, being able to condense that entire workout into a much shorter block and to get a bigger post training effect out of it. That’s just a small portion of the promise behind electro muscle stimulation training where we’re basically marrying the very best of fitness with cutting edge technology. I first heard about this form of training years ago, and it was a bit inaccessible for reasons we will get into later in the show. I liked what I saw in the science papers, but the actual application was a whole another story until I came across 1 company doing things differently. That company was founded by a man named Biern Waltermann. He’s the founder and CEO of Katalyst, which is a full body suit that uses electro muscle stimulation, EMS technology to make exercise easier, faster, safer, and more effective than ever. As a start up and tech veteran with a master’s degree in international economics. Became acutely aware of the challenges with traditional fitness when he took a 150 flights per year, all while suffering from chronic back pain.
Nick Urban [00:01:34]:
Biern’s physician introduced him to EMS training. And after training just once per week For 6 weeks, he was pain free and in noticeably better shape. This began his 10 year journey to introduce full body EMS to the US market and help all people live longer, healthier, and happier lives. You can find everything we discuss, all the resources in the show notes for this episode, which will be at mindbodypeak.com slash the number 124. And if you’re at all like me, you’re probably skeptical wondering how can electricity actually Simulate and exert the same effects or very similar effects as a traditional full body workout. And if you wanna check out my own personal experience. You can see a video review on YouTube. I’ll pop that on the screen and put a link in the show notes.
Nick Urban [00:02:32]:
And you can also read an article I wrote, both showing my actual experience using the system. And if this sounds interesting to you, you can go ahead and click the link to the Katalyst system in the description below, and that will unlock you a special VIP offer. And even if this technology isn’t accessible for you to flat out purchase right now. A lot of studios, boutique studios, and clinics are opening up that offer this type of EMS training. So you can check out your local area and figure out who, if anyone’s carrying these systems, and you can drop in for a workout or 3 or 4 and see if this is as game changing for you as it is for our guests this week and as it has been for me, especially when I’m traveling. Alright. Now let’s bring in Bjorn. Bjorn, welcome to MINDBODY Peak
Bjoern Woltermann [00:03:25]:
Performance. Thank you for having me.
Nick Urban [00:03:28]:
It’s an honor to host you today. And for those tuning in to the YouTube version of this podcast, they will see that I’m wearing some black spandex, and this is a creation of yours. And to be a good investigative journalist, I just finished a katalyst workout about 30 minutes ago. Still sweating. I got my towel next to me just in case I need it. But why don’t you go ahead and let’s warm up With what you’ve done so far today for your health, your performance, and your bioharmony.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:03:59]:
So first of all, I I tried to get at least 7 hours of sleep. So I woke up at 6:30, 7 o’clock in the morning. I have my coffee, outside at the balcony, which, I mean, I live in a sunny place. I live in Las Vegas. So you have very good, brown blue contrast, in the sky, and we Have 330 plus days of blue sky, so that’s it’s a good hack. So get your circadian rhythm right. I, then went to the gym. I did a non katalyst workout, because, As much as I like it and I do it very regularly, when I get into my own product, I’m in work mode Because I find small things.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:04:50]:
I have ideas. Like, what do I wanna optimize and whatsoever? So it’s more work than it is for me. Physically, it’s definitely for me because it’s a really good workout. But just mentally, it’s not for me. So, what I do is, generally go to the, on a on a treadmill. I take, like, a 10, 15 minute, like, warm up run, brisk, little bit of elevation, listen to a news podcast, here and there. And then I have a, calisthenics routine where I do, like, push ups, pull ups, air squats. I can’t lift weights because I have a disc issue.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:05:28]:
This is how I actually got introduced to this technology in the 1st place. And I do this. It’s like it’s very brisk, very intense. It’s kind of like, like, a a mini merv, so to say, that that I do, and, and then I start my day. Take a cold shower to start the day.
Nick Urban [00:05:47]:
Well, let’s foreshadow this episode with a controversial or eye opening stat about EMS and this whole style of training. For those who have never heard of it, maybe just something that can lead into this topic that we’re gonna discuss for most of the podcast today.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:06:04]:
So 2 things that Really amazed me around finding electromoster stimulation training, not just as a rehab, but as a actual training methodology was the approachability of the workout, the accessibility of the workout. So, Like I said, like, I can’t lift, and, I was very successful with it. I’m stronger than ever before. I I would totally my 20 35, 25 year old’s versions rear every day today. And the other stat that I found very interesting is from an audience perspective. So my training partner was a 60 year old female, back in Germany when I started this. And the amount of women and the amount of people that are basically outside of the traditional fitness audience that are successful with this type of training is is absolutely mind blowing to me.
Nick Urban [00:07:01]:
Well, that’s perfect. So we’re gonna talk a lot about that. And How did you get involved in EMS? Because you did not seek seek out this technology until it would fell in your lap in a certain way.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:07:13]:
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It was it was really it was really by accident. I, about 11 years ago, I had an executive tech job and had teams in 15 countries spend a 150 plus days on a plane, where years before, physicians told me you shouldn’t sit for prolonged period of time on planes. And, now I’m sitting there a 150 days a year. So very unhealthy from my back. I was a runner.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:07:40]:
I was in decent shape. I’m 64. I was a £180, so all good. But, my lower back was hurting all the time. I couldn’t get out of bed, and it was about 20 days a month on painkillers. No opioids. God bless. But, you know, on painkillers, not healthy.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:07:59]:
And then my physician at one point in time said you either quit your job, You massively strengthen your core, or, we’re gonna end up with a herniated disc in about a year or 2. And, I said, I’m not gonna quit my job, and I don’t want this disc thing. So what else can we do? And he said, like, you know, I’m Member of a personal training studio. It’s down the road here in Berlin. Lived in Berlin at the time. And I go there twice a week, And it’s amazing, and it, like, you know, helps with all your body parts, and, like, it’s, like, no impact, and you don’t have to live. And I was like, what are you talking about? Right? You know, it’s like, He was just explaining all this to me. And said and by the way, it’s just like 20 minutes to half an hour.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:08:42]:
You’re in and out. I’m like, okay. Now it’s too good to be true. Now you lost me, like, Totally. He said, no. No. No. Please go.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:08:47]:
Please do me that favor and go. So I went and looked through the window, and there were 2 individuals in black suits, wires everywhere, and, a personal trainer in front, like, operating 2 large devices. And people were with nothing in their hands, moving their hands, like, you know, doing butterflies or, like, biceps curls, and they were sweating. And they had nothing in their hands. So That absolutely made no sense to me whatsoever, like, what I just saw. So I went inside and they explained it to me, and, you know, it uses muscle stim technology as a as training method. And I said, can I try this? And they said, yeah. You come back next week because we’re booked.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:09:26]:
And I was like, k. Interesting. So I tried it, And 2 days later, I could hardly walk. I was so sore, and it really triggered parts of my body that I didn’t know I had muscles in. And I really gave it a shot. 6 weeks later, I woke up on a Sunday morning, and I told my wife, I can get out of bed without passive pain, and I haven’t taken a pill in a week, which for me was an absolute miracle because I was used to this. I had done this for years. And then I showed up once a week for 20 minutes in a suit in a personal training studio, and after 6 weeks, I’m basically a different person.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:10:06]:
I’m in person. I’m like and it’s noninvasive. There’s not a drug in there. I don’t get injections. And, like, I was like, this is amazing. So I kept doing this and became a total fan. I’m a fan ever since. Went further down the rabbit hole, but This is how I first discovered it.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:10:28]:
And, yeah. So a very bad thing led to a very good thing.
Nick Urban [00:10:32]:
Just once per week initially, though?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:10:34]:
Yes. I did it once a week. I was traveling a lot. So Mondays were the days where I was basically home. So I was it was able for me to plan it. I needed a fixed time and date, first of all, to get a slot, but also to fix it into, like, my routine. So it became the 6 o’clock Mondays fixed time slot. I left my office 5:30, drove there, did the workout.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:11:03]:
6:35, I was home.
Nick Urban [00:11:05]:
Yeah. I have been traveling with my Katalyst. I bought it a couple months ago and I’ve been using it pretty often, a couple times a week. And when I travel I would work out with a katalyst on in the front yard of where I’m staying and people would walk by, I’d see them pull out their phone, they’d take a photo, take a video, ask me what on earth that I’m doing that I can be sweating that much and be grunting and grimacing from doing such simple, like, bodyweight exercises. And I have to say, it looks pretty silly to watch someone, like, really struggling to do these bodyweight movements.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:11:37]:
Yeah. At the beginning, it’s it it looks very weird, and people ask. But, well, once they’ve done it once, it makes all the sense in the world.
Nick Urban [00:11:45]:
Yeah, in the way you feel the next day, the soreness, un unparalleled. I felt way more sore from that than I can remember feeling from lifting free weights.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:11:55]:
And there are multiple reasons for that. So first of all, in our traditional workouts, we have our favorite workouts and our favorite exercises. And very often, we don’t use all the muscle, muscle groups that we should be using in an exercise. So for example, because we’re all sitting so much, we’re all glute weak. Our glutes are all weak. We all have hamstring issues. We basically compensate whatever we’re doing with our quads. So for a good deadlift or for a good squat, We should actually use our glutes quite a bit.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:12:27]:
So now with, the Katalyst system or other EMS training systems, They actually trigger the muscles that should be used while you’re doing this, and they’re teaching the people that are using the system and the and the trainee how you should be using your body. So it’s first of all, they’re helping you to use your body and, like, activate more muscle fibers and the right muscle fibres at the right time, but you also feel how it’s supposed to feel. There’s also a learning aspect where you are Learning how to use your body in a better way. So that is why now muscles that are relatively dormant because you haven’t used them that much Now wake up, and therefore, you have breakdown of muscle tissue and then rebuilding of, like, better, cells and and more more potent cells, and that causes soreness in areas and in intensities that you’re not used to.
Nick Urban [00:13:22]:
I think on your site, I read somewhere that when you Do a traditional work workout with free weights. You only are able to recruit, like, about 40% of your muscle fibers. And then when you do EMS, what’s that number?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:13:34]:
Up to 90%. Yes. So it our body so when when a muscle fiber is firing, it can either fire or not fire. Right? Like, If you have, like, a different strength that you are generating, for example, with your grip, it is a question of how many muscle fibers are firing. But a individual fiber, which is a cell, a muscle cell, can only fire or not. And when it does so, it is using its energy, like ATP and, like, you know, other, you know, nutrients that we need to basically have the signal transfer, transmission, and it uses that up. So now it exhausts. And it needs some time for the blood flow to recover all these nutrients to basically charge the cell again and then fire again.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:14:19]:
So if we were using all muscle cells at the same time, after 2 minutes, we basically just would be totally weak. And you have that. And there’s a condition when people panic or they’re under extreme stress and you have high adrenaline output. You have the stories of the mother lifting the car or someone fighting for their life, like the saber tooth tiger is coming around the corner, and I’m fighting for my life. I have a lot of strength in a short amount of time. And this is, for example, why it’s dangerous if a lifeguard is swimming out to the ocean. And no matter how small the person is, Under this extreme life or death situation, they have extreme strengths. This is why always you approach the person that you’re trying to rescue from behind so that they don’t grab you.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:15:06]:
And with all the strength that they have for 2 minutes, they drown both people. So you have a lot of strength under adrenaline, which is basically giving you access to all your muscle fibers in parallel, but after 2 minutes, you fall asleep. So that is not a good way to use our muscles on a regular basis in in normal life. However, To train your body, you want to exhaust all your muscle fibers. Right? You wanna train the body as complete as possible. And this is why we traditionally do 3 sets of something. Because in the 1st set, I just train 40, 50% depending on how well I’m trained. Okay.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:15:40]:
Then I wait a few minutes. Hopefully, not too long because the Instagram story is too long or something like that. Let’s not do Instagram at the gym so much, and do a 2nd set and then do a 3rd set. And if I really don’t wanna do it well, I do supersets where I’m just alternating between 2 different exercises and go back and forth. And only that way in traditional training, I can train, like, the holistic muscle. In EMS training, what we’re doing is we’re taking the signal that you are voluntarily sending to your body, let’s say your biceps, And we’re amplifying it. So now we trigger 30, 40% more muscle fibers that you voluntarily do, and we really exhaust the muscle in a short amount of time. So for the muscle, it is the hardest work it can do, which also means the adaptation process It’s very high because it gets like, oh, I really have to get there.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:16:31]:
I really have to get stronger. And this is how, you know, we are Basically compressing a lot of muscle work in a short amount of time.
Nick Urban [00:16:41]:
Is the way it works kinda like It’s changing the I forget the exact name for it, but the threshold at which muscles fire so that it is able they’re able to file fire with less stimulus?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:16:51]:
No. It is the way it’s actually working so over time, you’re gonna learn how to access your muscles better. Like, you get a mess best a better muscle mind connection for sure. It is just a stronger signal, which means which leads to a larger, calcium exposure, which actually then triggers more cells in parallel. That’s really what it’s doing at the time. You still in a regular let’s say, you are running or you’re sprinting or you’re, like, fighting in the ring, whatever you’re boxing, whatever you’re doing, You still in a competition and real world scenario don’t wanna get to 90% activation because then the cells don’t have time to recover. You only want that in, an actual stress moment, and you want this in training. Because in training, you wanna push yourself further.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:17:46]:
It’s a little bit like you do a crash test with a car, but you don’t want the car to crash regularly on the, on the
Nick Urban [00:17:54]:
street. There’s a theory I came across when I was researching EMS a long time ago that first piqued my interest. And I forget the exact name for it, but it’s like the central governor theory where if you have an injury, then your brain learns to like it compensates so that you’re no longer able to recruit the muscle fibers that can make it worse, and EMS is able to help you overcome that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:18:18]:
Yes. So let’s let’s use an example, and we actually stumbled across that. We didn’t know we could actually fix that. Stake fold frozen shoulders. Like, frozen shoulders basically are very common problem, very hard to treat. What’s happening is I have an injury, and now your body is trying to protect the body. Right? So you don’t wanna be in pain all the time. So you’re compensating.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:18:40]:
You’re like you’re getting into this, like, weird state where, all your muscles are kind of, like, micro cramped, so to say, and and you’re not really using them properly. That’s exactly what you’re describing. Because the body is trying to protect itself. So now, with, muscle stimulation, and this is where it’s sometimes being used with local sticky pads, what’s happening is you are still treating the muscle like to fire. You’re teaching it to fire. Right? You know, hey. You have to do something. Hey.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:19:08]:
Wake up. Do something. You’re reeducating the muscle, like, you know, how to fire. But what you also do is you’re exhausting the muscle. So now, yeah, now it has to relax. Okay. Now the cramp is going away because it is relaxing. It’s getting stronger and is relaxing at the same time.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:19:24]:
So now your nervous system Is learning like, oh, this doesn’t hurt anymore. Okay. I’m okay to go there. Like, it’s a little bit like long stretches where you’re also teaching your nervous system You don’t have to fire. You don’t have to protect the muscle. You’re not getting you don’t you’re not at risk of getting a torn muscle. It’s like similar mechanism. So We’ve had customers that told us, like, I just use it to get stronger.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:19:48]:
However, as a side effect, I can fix my golf swing now because my frozen shoulder is going away and so on and so forth. And because it’s a full body approach, you’re learning basically to Treat old injuries that you might have had for years. We had Olympic athletes years ago in the studio, and we always asked people in the early days, like, do you have any acute injuries, especially if they are athletes? And they said, no. No. No. It’s all fine. 3 minutes in, there was like, I can feel my right hamstring. It’s like, when was the injury? 3 years ago, I said you never fully healed it, and that’s exactly what you’re talking about is we the body is a brilliant machine, and it is compensating for these injuries.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:20:31]:
But now we have new technologies, that are not relying on external weights. How we can help the body overcome these states that are otherwise becoming
Nick Urban [00:20:42]:
permanent. Yeah. And this technology dates back a long time. And the earlier versions of it, part of what dissuaded me from looking into it more before I found Katalyst was that, like you said earlier, You need a machine with all these cords and electrodes, and you need, like, someone who actually understands how you train with this technology specifically because it differs from free weights. There’s so many different things to work on like gel and electrodes and all that. So where did this begin, and how did you guys take that technology, the base technology, and modernize it?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:21:17]:
I mean, We discovered with, like, electric eels, like, a 150 years ago that, like, basically, the body is an electric computer. You know? It’s like so the brain is just all electricity, like, processors are today, like, you know, all transistors and neurons and so on and so forth. And then the nervous system is basically pathways, and in it all is electricity. It’s like very small electricities, but that’s literally what it does. And starting in the sixties, especially the Russians, like, there’s something called Russian stim, which was very crude. You basically put, like, electricity in a person, which is not what we do today anymore. It’s very inefficient, and you can get burns on the skin. You don’t wanna do that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:21:57]:
So, we we we much have we have much more evolved, aspects today. Like, the the early days were very crude, but it worked. And once of a sudden, what you found is in the early seventies, you had Russian sprinters being very successful at the Olympic Games, which were never Which a year earlier weren’t even in the World Cup. So and, like, you know, people are like, what what are they doing? Like, what’s happening? And then we had a mini glimpse into this. Like, you know, Bruce Lee started, like, experimenting with this. Like, you know, it goes good for speed development. And then, you all have seen, like, probably Rocky 4, like Ivan Drago with all this stuff on himself. Like, So so it’s been around for training for a long period of time, but as you said, it was very cumbersome.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:22:37]:
You needed a trainer. You basically needed someone who put sticky pads on your back because you can’t do this yourself. You need 20 of them. It’s like very, very time consuming. I think the best system was able to do 8 pets at a time, Which is 4 different muscle groups, which is basically just your legs. So it was very, very cumbersome, but very, very effective and efficient. In rehab, we’ve been using this for, I think, also 50 years now. So local stim, like, you had a knee injury, if you had a ankle injury, whatsoever, is very common.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:23:09]:
There are millions of units being sold every year, and it’s basically muscle reeducation after an injury, which is basically the answer to the question, is this safe when the muscle is injured? So in its weakest state, your physician gives you this to get him in better state. Right? So that’s literally what it is. It is the safest way to train and educate your muscle. However, Traditionally, we have waited until we got injured, and then we only used it on the injured state on the injured area of the body. So what happened in the early 2000 is there was a German engineer who said, why are we not putting this in a suit? And it was very crude and was like a spandex thing, and it Still had gel pads on the inside and, like, wires everywhere. It looked like more like a bomb fest. But the Klitschkos and, like, you know, other, like, you know, pro athletes, like, Started using this in, like, boxes and sprints and so on and so forth. And what you were able to do for the very first time is you were able to do full functional movements under this new tension.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:24:06]:
So whole posterior chain at a time, right, not just localized. Full movements, like a boxing punch It’s like a super complex thing there. From your feet to your hip, through your shoulders, through your like, there’s a lot of muscles that are being involved. And and being able to really put the body under resistance and training against that was very, very powerful. And then in the late 2000, it got commercialized also in Germany. And, the the German national soccer team and Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and Parallel, whatsoever, they started using this. And they even put trainers, the the athletes under NDA because it gave them such an edge. Like, they couldn’t even, Like, they had it in a basement and used it then, so on and so forth.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:24:48]:
And then, one of the, moments where it was really an outcome is Usain Bolt posted a selfie of himself, like, in 2010 or something like that in the suit, and then hell broke loose. It became a massively successful personal training mechanism in the rest of the world, outside of the United States, and we can come why why it hasn’t come here, like, earlier. And, Yeah. The the audiences were broad, and and this is really, like, how it how it has been involved evolved. However, to your question, like, what have we done is when I found it, it was still a bomb fest. And it was still like, well, there was a printer cable between the vest And the the device, it had, like, 10, 15 knobs. The trainer played it was more like an instrument. So in, like, a musical instrument, and you always need a musician so they get music out of it so that you can dance.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:25:41]:
So what no one has figured out to date is To create, basically, Spotify so that I have music and I can dance. There are some devices outside of the United States they say, like, oh, you can do this on your own, but basically, they hand you the guitar, and you have to play and dance at the same time, which is not a good experience. Right? That doesn’t really work. So what we did is we said, like, you know, hey. What has to be true that all the roles that the trainer is doing, you know, can be taken by technology? So for example, what’s the right intensity? Like, our system reads from the body, sends the right intensities. How do you time all this? Like, how do you create engaging content? How do I not have to touch the device, basically, and I can just totally focus on my own body? My movement, the execution, my breathing, all these things that really matter and create a really, really immersive experience. And then last but not least, in the United States, heart muscle stimulators, For the good of the customer, are regulated as a medical device, so they have to go through a lot of rigor. So even all these small devices that you buy on Amazon, they are all cleared as a medical device.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:26:49]:
However, in this full body setup, the FDA said, okay. So there’s a lot of stuff going on on the body. How do we make sure this is, like, Safe to use and good to use for the user. So we invested a lot in in software and usability so that people just basically take this, And they can do it on your own, and they’re effective and can be, like, you know, really successful with this. And and this is how We are the only, software software and hardware solution out there as a complete system. That is an over the counter device. So you can act it’s a consumer advice at this point in time. The studios, they all use FDA cleared equipment, but these are spaCy still instruments where you need the trainer to do this.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:27:32]:
They’re as effective. So the output is the same. The parameters are the same. But, traditionally, what happens in studios is you do it once a week or maybe twice a week. And when you’re traveling, you can’t use it. So there’s a lot of stuff that the personal device, which way you also don’t share the soup with anybody else from a hygiene perspective. We brought this all into a consumer product and and put it more into a Peloton price range because the studio systems cost $25,000. I think there’s just a few people who would put this into their houses.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:28:01]:
And and we really wanted to make this, Mass accessible, even through financing and other things because this can really become the electric toothbrush of fitness where People that haven’t seen success in other fitness regimens can really change their lives.
Nick Urban [00:28:18]:
Yeah. It’s funny men mentioned Peloton because I found that the the classes. There’s a bunch of different options for strength, for power, for cardio, for recovery, and each of those I found myself, say, going through level 1 or level 2 and listening to the instructor. And not only were they, like, motivational and, like, helped me get through it, but they had little tips and pointers. As I was going through the movements, I was making the exact mistakes that they were pointing out and saying make sure you’re doing this, make sure you have your back completely straight. Make sure you have some some bend in your knees. And it really felt like if you didn’t have this guidance, unless you have a lot of experience with EMS training. It’s kinda like going back to the beginning of my training days in a way where I was, like, learning how to do proper form with all the different free weight lifts.
Nick Urban [00:29:05]:
And without that, it would have been difficult to do right, and my results would have been lackluster at best.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:29:12]:
Yeah. 2 2 things here. Like, so first of all, In the the the big benefit of, like, full body EMS training or any EMS training in general is even if you had bad form, you can’t get injured. So Let’s say you’re lifting, you’re, like, doing deadlifts, or you’re doing, like, you know, just like weighted squats or something like that. If you had bad form, you get injured. Right? So that’s So good news is you can’t get injured. However, we, with our trainers, we know, as you said, like, really well, like, what really matters for each exercise, for everything that we’re doing. So sometimes people say, like, how how does he know that? Like, you know, how like, how does he How does he know that the third one is getting, like, wobbly? Like, you know, how I’m losing, like, my balance and so on and so forth.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:29:53]:
It’s just we’ve been doing this for a long time, and there’s a lot of experience of the trainers that doing that. And and what we really strive for is we want the absolute fitness newbie to be as successful as the athlete that knows his body or her body absolutely well. And we want them to be as successful really getting from where they currently are. And maybe the goal is, like, I wanna take a flight upstairs. Like, maybe that’s, like, the goal. Like, but really be successful with that and and set them up for success, not just with the technology, but with the whole
Nick Urban [00:30:29]:
experience. One of the other things that I noticed When I was looking at the different devices in the market is that there’s certain ones that are great and they a lot of people use them, but they only have one of the different core modalities. So let’s say no strength, no power, no endurance, only recovery, and it might Sell it like spot targeting certain muscle groups for recovery purposes, but that limited technology is, like, oftentimes around $20.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:30:56]:
There’s a lot of artificial price points in this market, and it is partially a function of They all have to be prescription devices, and they all have to be operated in studios, which also means the market is only so many studios In a country. So for a for a company to basically recoup their r and d cost, they have to recoup them over, let’s say, a 1000 devices or 500 devices or maybe 2,000 devices. I mean, we have more units in the market than all other companies combined, but But at zeros at the end, like, literally. Like, you know? Okay. 500 studios times, I don’t know, maybe 6 devices each or 5 device. Okay. Great. Now we’re talking a thousand, 2,000, what’s yeah.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:31:42]:
That’s a month’s, like, you know, new customers. Right? So, like, stuff like that. So it’s it’s it’s a very different amortization of r and d. That’s the first thing. The other thing for us is we really wanna put all the modalities and and variant variances into 1 device. Because from a physical perspective, it’s the same suit. And from a electronics perspective, it’s the same device. It’s all software.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:32:09]:
And at the end of the day, we are a hardware enabled software and content company. There’s a lot of smarts in there. There’s a lot of, like, IP in there just, like, making this smarter. But you can only do stuff like this if you can amortize it over a larger audience. Everybody should use it the way they want it and how it fits into their lives, and we’re just trying to put as much value into 1 product as we can.
Nick Urban [00:32:35]:
I have some of the some questions about the technical, like, way it works that have come from the outlier audience. So first of all, it’s like, how does this differ from a TENS unit, the thing that we’re all used to putting on to relieve, like, muscle pain or weakness or something like that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:32:52]:
Yeah. So TENS means, like, transcutaneous electron nerve stimulation. That’s like the the abbreviation TENS. And the parameters, the stimulation parameters are targeting the nerve itself. So they’re trying to basically exhaust the nerve So that the, but that’s the sensory nerve, not the motor nerve. So they’re trying to exhaust the sensory nerve so that then you get pain relief because the sensory nerve can’t fire anymore. That’s really what this is trying to do. We are not trying to do any pain management directly.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:33:26]:
What we are doing is we are doing muscle stimulations. We’re making your muscles stronger, and and we are causing, partial or full tetanus contractions. So a full tetanus is like if you have a full contraction of the muscle, to train the muscle. So we are a muscle conditioning Modality. We’re not a pain management modality.
Nick Urban [00:33:47]:
Yeah. I’ve heard TENS called electronic Advil.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:33:51]:
Yes. And to to it is that. And and I would I would argue, in the right dosage, which everything is, I would for a nondrug, treatment versus a drug treatment. Because Advil, which is like Ibuprofen, is actually not bad for your stomach wall. So there’s a side effect on that one. Right? So, and we also know now I think there’s a 2018 French study Where, prolonged Ibuprofen consumption is an absolute testosterone killer. So there there’s new studies coming up. So, basically, like, The less drugs we have to take, I think the better in
Nick Urban [00:34:31]:
general. What about the waveform, and is this using AC or DC current
Bjoern Woltermann [00:34:36]:
So basically, what you wanna do is you wanna create a, a trigger for the motor end neurons, like the end plates so that they release calcium. However, you don’t want a residual charge in the body. So, basically, a charge is like in in a battery. Like, if you have a normal battery, The electrons are wandering from one place to another place, and then they stay on the other place. Like, it’s like a battery. Like, it’s like like a direct current. Right? So like a car battery, for example. We do not want to leave any changes in the body.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:35:07]:
We wanna send you a signal, but we don’t wanna alter the body. There’s 1 company, and I’m not gonna name it here, but there’s 1 company who’s saying, like, oh, we do DC. That’s much better than AC. So an AC alternating current is basically a bipolar waveform. Sorry. So, basically, it is a symmetrical bipolar waveform. So the wave on the top of The 0, 0 graph is the same as on the bottom. So within 1 pulse, and for example, for strength training, we’re pulsing 75 times a second.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:35:39]:
Within 1 pulse, the charge is evening itself out. So even if you do 1 charge, k. The muscle got a signal, but nothing gets left behind. That’s really what this is doing. You have, for example, a therapy called Yontophoraces. It’s like when you take a, a cream on your knee, put it on one side, and then you have a cream electrode on the other side. And there’s a certain, current flow, which is like directed current. It goes from one side of the knee to the other side.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:36:10]:
And the medication that’s in the cream is charged with ions. So now the current is transporting the ions across the knee, and it’s hoping or, like, it’s intended to basically put them through the membrane into the knee where you might have, like, inflammation or something like that. I got this as a as a kid or as a as a young student, when I had knee issues. I have a lot of knee issues in in general, from a lot of running and volleyball playing and so on and so forth and and that. So we are using what 99% of the studies have basically used, which is in bipolar waveform, which would be translated into an alternating current because we go plus and minus in the same time. And the big benefit is this is what, like, 99% of the science is based on, and, also, we’re not leaving a charge in the body. We also have the 2 electrodes that are always talking to each other, so to say, very close to each other So that they are local within the muscle. We, for example, don’t, put something, like, on your on your spine and then put another one on your leg and then Use your whole spine as a like, we’re not doing any of that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:37:23]:
It’s like, this is something for medical usages and, and and Be my guest if you wanna do this. We’re not touching that.
Nick Urban [00:37:31]:
Bjorn, will you walk us through some of the different use cases? Like, we’ve all already talked about how you can use it a little bit for strength, for power, for cardio or endurance purposes for recovery. How are you seeing people actually, like, implementing this into their programs?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:37:45]:
So Every workout that you’re choosing from our platform has, like, a focus on one of these 4. And what we do then is we pair the exercises that are, for example, conducive to, like, general strength, which is like slow, long range of motion, like, intense, you know, contractions, with a frequency that is generally targeting slow twitch muscle fibers, which are the majority of our muscle fibers that are we using during the day, which are the more efficient ones. Right? You know? It’s like they’re energy efficient. They don’t lose a lot. So for example, When I’m, like, you know, lifting my water bottle, that’s what I’m using. Like, that’s that’s really what I’m using. In the power mode, we are increasing the frequency of signals so that the fast twitch muscle fibers which kick in very late normally in the contraction. So, like, let’s say, I’m I’m lifting something lightly, and then it’s getting I’m lifting something very, very heavy, Then these inefficient but fast firing muscle fibers come very late into the, game and help me lift either very heavy loads Or move very quickly.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:38:50]:
So we increase the frequency to a 105 hertz where where basically these muscle fibers get triggered, But also don’t have enough time to relax again. So the fast twitch muscle fibers also get into a full tetanus state. The big advantage of doing that is, they’re very hard to train, doing this with EMS trainings. They’re very hard to train. So, generally, what you see, like, football players. They have a parachute behind them and trying to sprint as fast as they can. Right? This is like how you really train fast twitch muscle fibers, or You lift very heavy loads or you move very, very quickly, which has a high injury risk, and you need to be very capable for, as a human being in the 1st place, to even do these things. So if I would ask my mom to do that, no chance.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:39:37]:
So for athletes, it helps them with explosive strength like jumping, sprinting, whatsoever, but also with overall strength at all. This is why the power mode is very interesting for them. As we age, we are especially using the losing the fast food choices. Like, use it or lose it. Right? So we don’t move fast anymore. We don’t lose you’ve have use heavy weights anymore, lift heavy weights anymore. So now, we are losing the fast twitch muscle fibers. And in general, you know, first response would be like, I also don’t need them that much anymore.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:40:07]:
That’s totally fine. And I would say to the contrary, we absolutely need it. Because if I trip And I don’t have them. I can’t react fast enough, catch myself. I fall. I break my hip, and that’s a life changing moment and not to the better. So having the ability to train fast twitch muscle fibers, without injury risk at any age or any state or as an athlete while I’m recovering. I don’t wanna lose my fast twitch muscle fibers, so I still need a way to do this, is what the power mode really does, and we are pairing it with exercises.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:40:43]:
So for example, instead of just, like, 1 extension, we do, like, 3 extensions in the same amount of time So that also the range of motion and the activities promote, the activation of these type of muscle fibers in your body. In the in the cardio mode. What we’re doing is we just send very, few signals. So we only send about 7 signals a second. And what happens is, like, it’s 7 to 10 signals. Roughly 10, I think it is, at the moment. We have optimized that around there. So what’s happening is your muscle is firing, but it has no secondary impulse, so it actually relaxes afterwards.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:41:30]:
So instead of building up to a full tetanus where the full strength of the body is, of the muscle is being used. You just have, like, small tremors, small twitches. So what’s happening now is, ATP is still being burnt, so energy is being consumed, and your cardiovascular system has to replenish the nutrients in the body. It has to also move the heat out because, like, in this is why we’re sweating. Like, you know, An ATP is an exogenic, reaction. So basically, you’re you’re burning energy. Like, you have energy exposure, so the blood needs to, like, Transport that. So okay.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:42:03]:
Your your body is being taxed. However, it is not taxed so much that you can’t have femoral movements anymore. You can walk. You can run. You could do this. Like, you can do different activities. And what we offer, in our training is you either have no equipment. So now we do, like, we walk on the or we we do, like, jumping jacks or, like, you know, small jumps or, like, knee lifts and whatsoever.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:42:29]:
So you’re basically, like, You know, texting your body, and then we superimpose, the cardio signal in the Katalyst suit, which actually makes it quite hard to do it for the body, but but you’re still moving in a in a relatively free way. So it’s not similar to, like, my my full contraction I have. The other aspect is you can combine it with your traditional cardio device. So you can take it from extremes. Like, you take your Assault bike and really go, like, everything out on it and then superimpose this. We’ve done this with, like, a lot of pro athletes and, like, MMA fighters, and they said, like, This is the worst. On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say you are overweight. You are maybe even up for, like, a joint replacement in some shape or form, but you need to lose weight.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:43:16]:
You need to get in shape whatsoever. There’s only so much you can do. Let’s say we put you on a treadmill, with a 1, 2% incline. You just walk. That’s all you do. But we superimpose, the MS signal. And now we can actually you can say, like, more, more, more until your heart rate is where you want it to be. Right? So now without, like, the physical activity or the physical ability to get there.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:43:41]:
Your body can still get there. So you can tax your cardiovascular system, train your cardiovascular system, get in better shape so you could come better out on the other side of your, surgery, or, you just get in shape And that’s your entry drug, so to say. And then last but not least, the, recovery mode is, like, we combine this with, like, yoga exercises, breath work and so on and so forth. It’s very slow twitches. It’s just once a second. And it creates a pumping sensation on the body where you basically, like, flush out lactic acid and replenish nutrients into your body. It’s very beautiful after a workout.
Nick Urban [00:44:17]:
Yeah. I’m imagining if your cardio mode stimulated, and cause a full muscle contraction, how dangerous that would be when you’re in the middle of running or really doing any movement.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:44:27]:
Yeah. No. Like, you can’t. It’s like you just say it was just a trip. Like, you don’t wanna do that. By the way, we generally don’t run outside with this. It’s like it’s a little bit you know, you can, but shoot you, like, I don’t know.
Nick Urban [00:44:39]:
It’s like Are both the power and strength modes, are they both stimulating type 1 a and type 2a and type 2b muscle fibers
Bjoern Woltermann [00:44:48]:
Nick Urban [00:44:48]:
Yes. To both. Yeah. I think power is one of the most neglected forms of training because Strength already is, like, rarely trained in the general population for the reason of injury, like, form, all kinds of different reasons, but then, like, power is, like, a small fraction of that, and I think it’s not recognized as being as important as it should be.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:45:10]:
The whole thing that strength training is actually the holy grail is only now coming up. Like, really, people understand that. We’ve been taught cardio, cardio, cardio for, like, you know, 30, 40 years. I need to get my cardio in. Like, I would always say, like, if you only have half an hour a week, just do strength training. Forget your cardio. Like, literally, that’s that’s what you should be taking care of. That that’s really, really, really what matters.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:45:35]:
Because In in cardiovascular, it’s important. But, like, in cardio training, you’re basically teaching your body to be efficient. So with the same amount of energy. You get further or faster or something like that, which most people that are doing cardio to do weight loss, it doesn’t help them at all because Your body is burning less. It’s like you’re getting less it’s getting worse, basically. Whereas you build muscle mass, muscles burn energy 247, 365. So you wanna get your basal metabolic rate up. You have to do something that is Lasting.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:46:10]:
And this is all what I’m about. And this is why I was so interested in EMS in the 1st place is so with my background as an economist, I look at things in in game theory terms, so I’m game theory masters. And and that’s what I really like. And there are 2 types of games. There are short term games, which is like finite games, known players, known rules, and an outcome. And then there are infinite games, known and unknown rules and players, and you wanna keep playing. Most fitness and health strategies that we do are actually Like, we perceive them as short term, as finite games. I wanna get in shape for Christmas, or I have New Year’s resolution, or I wanna fit into my wedding suit.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:46:54]:
Health is a finer infinite game. You wanna stay in the game. You wanna stay healthy. You wanna do this until the end of your life. So you have to approach it in that way. So you have to find things that you can sustain, that you can do for a long period of time, and and that that become as normal as brushing your teeth.
Nick Urban [00:47:13]:
Are there any subpopulations that this type of technology would be unsafe for, such as pregnant women or those with a pacemaker or young kids.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:47:23]:
Yeah. That’s always tricky ones. So, While you’re pregnant, like, once you know you’re pregnant and until 6 weeks after a natural, birth Or 3 months after a cesarean. You shouldn’t be using it. That’s like the general not, wisdom. However, it is actually a great recovery after you gave birth. So postpartum, it is the ideal workout for two reasons. So first of all, your core, your abs and whatsoever, like, they really have to strengthen again.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:47:55]:
They have to come back together. You don’t have time. You are now holding a baby all the time, which means, like, your shoulders are generally, like, you know, very tight and all these things. So, like, a full body workout in a short amount of time for a new mother is just absolutely fantastic just like from a overall. How much can you enjoy the journey? Because it’s the most beautiful time of your life, and how much can you enjoy this time is is just very, very powerful. The other aspect is postpartum, like, Core and pelvic floor issues with women are very, very common. So, basically, retrain that and really get strong around that is is one of the things where, you know, a full body workout with this complete holistic approach can be really, really powerful. If you have a pacemaker, You can’t use it, because the pacemaker would interpret the signals as, oh, something is going wrong and would just misfire.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:48:50]:
Also, it would void the warranty of the pacemaker. You could probably not die from it, but, like, don’t do it, please. Like, you know, that’s not where you wanna go. If you have, for example, an insulin pump, an automatic one, please take it off, like, stuff like this and also, con consult your physician all the time when you do that because there might be some specialties or intricacies that that you don’t have, that you have, and it’s all for minors. So if you’re not 18 or, like, if you’re minor, in the United States, that’s not cleared, as that. So please don’t use it with your minors.
Nick Urban [00:49:23]:
There aren’t issues with most wearables though because, at least not that I’ve noticed. I took it off everything initially, and then a couple times, I forgot to take off my smartwatch and Garmin and chest strap and no issues with any of those.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:49:38]:
No. It doesn’t kill any of these. It’s not strong enough. Right? It’s just a signal. It’s not power. Right? It’s just just a signal. The one thing I have to say, though, most chest straps that I tried it with basically lose lose a good heart rate. All optical heart rate monitors like my Oura Ring or my Apple Watch and so, my WHOOP.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:49:58]:
Those optical ones really work well. The electrical ones around the chest. I think there’s just too much signal going on for them to make any sense out of it. So but but they don’t. We don’t fry them also. We’re not strong enough for that. I actually had to prove to the FDA, is it safe for the heart? So we had to prove that. And that was actually quite difficult to prove because it’s a nonissue in literature because it’s a nonissue.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:50:22]:
It’s like it is absolutely, like, not a topic. So we compared it actually to pacemakers and said, like, you know, hey. If I actually wanted to reach the heart, how much would it like, how strong would it be? And we had to be a 100 times stronger and, like, a 1000 times different whatever, like, frequency. So it is absolutely, it it doesn’t get there. So it’s not strong enough at all, but the, the heart rate monitor, like the Polar or the Garmin chest strap was probably wouldn’t know what to do with the signal.
Nick Urban [00:50:51]:
Yeah. I found it was uncomfortable to wear under the vest anyway, so I rely mostly on the watch and the Oura ring, and those seem to do a fine job of picking up the heart rate.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:51:00]:
Absolutely. Yeah. I’m I think I haven’t used a chest strap in 15 years or so. I just always use the things on the wrist.
Nick Urban [00:51:06]:
Yeah. And there’s no issue with, like, safety, like, accidentally, like, electrocuting yourself because it is a medical device and it’s thoroughly tested to not have those types of issues.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:51:16]:
Yeah. I mean, we we really went above and beyond and went through all these use cases. So for example, You’re training and the doorbell rings. Like, you hit pause. You go like, you open through the, I don’t know, Amazon guy or whatever showing up, or your your kid is doing something. You need to take care of it. Okay. Now now you’re coming back.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:51:36]:
So even, like, we’re not immediately going back to the intensity that you were training Before we ease you into that because, like, oh, yeah. You know, you get used to this again. Or for example, you cannot pause and increase And then unpause again and then get hit by something that you weren’t used to before. Because you also wouldn’t let’s say, you would lift weights. You you would always lift the weights from the ground. Someone would not lift your weights up here. Like, like, you know, that’s too much. Like, whatsoever.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:52:03]:
So we really went above and beyond and really thought through all the use cases to really figure out, like, you know, how do we make this the perfect experience for the customer? And that’s what we’ve built.
Nick Urban [00:52:15]:
Can we quickly compare and contrast this to some of the effects and benefits that you would get when training with free weights?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:52:23]:
So hormonal response, yes. You probably have a stronger, z or z line, damage. So you have a because you have negatives all the time. So, let’s say you use a biceps curl. The triceps is always the counter force of the biceps. So if you do a concentric biceps movement. You have a eccentric triceps movement at the same time because they’re both under load. So it’s very efficient around that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:52:46]:
So you always have positive and negative loads, on your body. So from a hormonal response, yes. So you feel the post workout endorphin rush. You have all these things. The 1 homeowner response that you don’t have, which you actually don’t want, is a cortisol response. Right? Because the cortisol response is generally happening after 1 hour of working out. And if you, like, lift weights and you need to go through all the different, stations. After 1 hour, the cortisol response basically protects your body.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:53:13]:
That’s basically what’s happening. However, cortisol is a, testosterone killer. Especially for women, that’s hard because they don’t have anything to start with, very small amounts to start with. So in terms of, the the training gains after a workout, it is actually good to Put it into a short amount of time. This is why all the HIIT trainings are so powerful, and this is why we’re trying to, like, put a lot of muscle work and a lot of, like, exercise in a short amount of time. So that’s definitely there. The one thing that I would say that you don’t get is the coordination. So, for example, if you are doing, bench presses, you can do them in machines.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:53:55]:
So this is why generally a fan of free weights, if you can do it, versus, you know, machines. Machines are generally guided. It’s good at the beginning. But for example, like, balancing the dumbbells, right, is something that you don’t get. You you don’t get that. And I would say the people that really would benefit from that and want that, They would not use Katalyst exclusively. They would use it as an add on, and they would still do their free weights. So the athletes or the active people for my wife and her CrossFit stuff and so on and so forth.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:54:26]:
For them, it’s an add on. For people that cannot lift weights, It it’s not an option anyway. Right? So, like, if you have if I take my mom again, like, you know, for them, it’s not a option anyway. So they get the hormonal, benefits. They get the, range of motion benefits. They get the strength benefits, but they don’t get the coordination benefits. So athletes Would always use it as an add on, and then people who can’t work out, for them, it probably becomes the only thing they do.
Nick Urban [00:54:54]:
Yeah. Before I got my Katalyst and started using it, I was imagining that I’d have my kettlebells, my dumbbells, and be doing both at the same time, and I very quickly, a minute in my 1st session, realized That was not gonna be happening anytime.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:55:08]:
No. No. No. It’s like it’s it’s, yeah. It’s like EMS training done proper is more than enough, like, Absolutely more enough for the body. There’s a little bit of, free weights or, like, combining it with with, like, small weights, like something in your hand. Like so for example, if you do, like, a boxing workout and something like that, and you had a 1 pound I have, like, 1 pound weights, like, all these egg, egg weights. They’re actually quite nice sometimes because you have something in your hands, like, just from a from an intensity perspective, but also have a little bit of, like, gravity resistance, like, while you’re doing this.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:55:41]:
That could make sense. Some personal training studios for differentiation, they put it in there to say, like, hey. We’re better than the other studio because we also use weights. It it’s not really needed. It’s like it doesn’t really make a lot of
Nick Urban [00:55:55]:
sense. What about use for people with conditions that can’t contract their muscles as well as they would want to.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:56:03]:
Now we’re getting into an interesting area. We We are currently in the process of extending our indications for use so that we are actually a method of muscle reeducation. We’re currently not used, not not cleared for that yet, so I cannot claim that we can do this. However, EMS training in general Can absolutely prevent atrophy or reeducate muscles. So even if you’re in a coma, You can train the muscle. So what’s not happening is, like, your brain is not sending something to your muscle, but you can still move your muscle. So for the muscle, The muscle cannot distinguish between is the signal coming from the brain or is it coming from the EMS device? Simply can’t. So it has actually in in some countries being used in coma patients to prevent atrophy and and basically just, like, stimulate them still.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:56:57]:
And even, like, Brad Pitt in Ad Astra, the movie, like, he basically also took deep sleep, put sticky pads on himself, apparently, in 50 years. I mean, we have better stuff today than that, but they didn’t know that. And then when they shot the movie, so they put sticky pads on themselves to basically prevent atrophy and zero gravity, which is actually a big issue, and I think we’re gonna use katalyst on the way to Mars anyway, which is A big issue, like, you know, I think astronauts at the moment would spend 2 to 3 hours a day working out in weird contraptions to not fully atrophy, to, like, slow atrophying down. It’s a it’s a topic.
Nick Urban [00:57:30]:
What about bone density? How does that compare from using katalyst to free weights?
Bjoern Woltermann [00:57:37]:
So traditional wisdom would say you have to lift weights. We have studies in Germany where they took 75 year old females through 1 year of EMS training. It was about 10 years ago. They did a workout every 4 days. 18 minutes each, I think it was. I don’t know why the regimen was like this, but that was the regimen. The control group did general exercises, little bit of activity, and and so and so forth that they were able to at that age, and they lost, I think, 0.6% femoral, bone density and then same thing about lumbar bone density, which is normal aging at that like, basically, osteoporosis at especially for women who don’t, again, have a lot Testosterone is, like, absolutely normal. So they lost 0.6% of their bone density.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:58:25]:
The EMS group gained 0.6% of bone density. So that’s basically too good to be true. I mean, it is true. But if you think about it, osteoporosis is a massive issue. And now because you have both the agonist and antagonist firing at the same time, You have a minor crushing motion on the muscle because they’re both firing at the same time. And that then activates the muscle cells to work again, Which is literally what is the the challenge. So generally, what’s happening, the muscle cells calcify calcify on the inside. And then on the outside, they basically take old out, old calcium, which is basically used and brittle at this point in time.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:59:08]:
So the condensing or crushing force of both agonists and antagonist firing at the same time was found in the study, in Germany to help Women actually increase their bone density again. Again, we are not we can’t claim this, but there’s There are good indicators, early indicators, for that to be true. We are gonna conduct our own studies, and we’re gonna work with the FDA to to, like, you know, expend the the claims that we can make around
Nick Urban [00:59:42]:
this. Have you seen if EMS has positive impacts on the brain, whether it’s via like BDNF or it’s on neurotransmitters or anything like that.
Bjoern Woltermann [00:59:53]:
I don’t have studies on that. Can’t really I can’t really put that in. What we have anecdotally is people saying, like, I I just and I can tell this myself. It’s like, I just have better access to my body. It’s like, you know, I’m just getting that. One of my favorite parts of my job is, like, getting random LinkedIn messages. Like, people, like, find me out on LinkedIn, and then they send me their DXA scans or, like, naked isn’t which is a bit weird, but because they’re so proud of themselves, what they achieved. But they they literally tell me the story, and It has such a I mean, we know this with all workouts.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:00:24]:
Like, you know, a good physical body can house a Healthy mind. Like, Aristotle said this. Like, the old Greek said this. Like, you know, mensane and koporesane means there’s a healthy body and a healthy mind. A healthy mind can only live in a healthy body.
Nick Urban [01:00:38]:
There’s a surgeon in a community I’m part of, and he was asking if this would have a deleterious impact on his fine motor coordination.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:00:47]:
We have not seen any breakdown in motor coordination. We actually get better access to your body. We are not actively triggering any other hand muscles. Like, you know, the forearm is not part of it, so I would even, like, you know, take that one out. I, Like, we we had one of our early customers was a trauma surgeon in Bellevue. He came, like, 2, 3 times a week, into the studio that we had in Kirkland in the early days, when we still had studio stuff. He was one of our, like, most religious, you know, customers. I would say, like, consult your surgeon.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:01:22]:
I mean, your physician. Like, you already won. We haven’t we haven’t seen anything of that.
Nick Urban [01:01:26]:
Okay. Can we really quickly walk through how exactly this works from a to z? So it comes in the mail. I unbox it. Then How does it go from there? How do I put this into my routine?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:01:38]:
Okay. So first of all, after you make the purchase, you get a link from us. We send you an email, And we ask you of, like, 8 different, I think, 8 different measurements. Like, one is your height, your 8, age, your gender at birth, like, some some circumferences and so on and so forth. And based on that, we have a algorithm that basically puts different elements of the suit together so that you have your perfect suit that actually fits your body size. Directly on that, People ask us like, hey. I wanna lose a lot of weight. What if I, like, shrink out of it? Talk to us.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:02:13]:
We’re gonna figure it out. Like, you know, that’s That that shouldn’t be your issue. You being successful shouldn’t be an issue. Right? So that that shouldn’t be the thing. Okay. So then you get your suit. You basically download the Ios app. You open it on your device, and it has the whole guide.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:02:28]:
Like, you know, first of all, like, you create your account. We actually recommend doing this before the suit arrives. So because when it arrives, you just wanna go keep going. Right? So I have your account gone, and, It basically tells you how to, like, basically unpack the thing, how to connect the suit pieces, like, which is what and and and how to basically use that. And then there is a set of, introduction workouts. So it’s a little bit like, you know, learning a computer game where it’s like, you know, here’s the first thing that we’re doing, and here’s a button for this. And then we introduce you this button for that, and then this for that. And and here’s the base position, how you should be standing, and, like, let’s go sideways.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:03:04]:
Like, you know, Here’s how your back should be, and here’s how that should be and so on and so forth. So we are really taking people step by step through the whole experience, and and you’re really learning that, all the, you know, all the way, through everything, starting easy, and then people can decide, like, how fast they go and how strong they go and and so on and so forth.
Nick Urban [01:03:25]:
Yeah. And then once you go through that, then you have access to a library of, like I don’t even know how many, but it’s a huge library of different workouts.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:03:35]:
Yes. So it’s, like, hundreds of hundreds of workouts, and, we are, like, basically daily, issuing new content. And it is in the 4 modalities like power, strength, cardio, and and recovery. But then also, like, what is the, level of motion that you’re able to do. So we have, like, levels, in terms of, like, very basic stuff that everybody can do down to, like, you’re balancing on 1 foot and trying to do a Superman and, like, you know, whatsoever, like, depending on how much you wanna challenge yourself. And then what we do is we categorize them by, like, what are you trying to achieve? So, do you want lower back, you know, stability, or do you wanna strengthen your core, or do you want, like, something for your knees, or you wanna prevent something, or you wanna gain something, or, we have a whole series that is around, like, boxing, which is, like, very interesting. You’re not just, like, training yourself, but you’re also learning technique, and you’re learning something. Or around Golf.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:04:35]:
It’s like, you know, how do you how do you get more stable? How do you swing better? How do you strengthen your core? How do you get rotational speed and and so on and so forth? And then we have a lot of, like, around yoga, you know, flexibility and all these things. So we’re really trying to make this relevant for basically everybody out there, And it’s growing and growing, and more sports are gonna follow.
Nick Urban [01:04:55]:
Yeah. I was going to ask how well this translates into sports or everyday activities because unlike laying on a flat bench in the gym, lifting a static amount of weight, Katalyst is like actually bringing you through these same movement patterns and providing resistance, and so I’m not gonna be in an unnatural position. And as you’ve mentioned earlier, from working with different athletes who actually have been applying this for a long time. Clearly, there’s more translation than your average free weight movement.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:05:26]:
It’s basically always a functional workout if you think about it. Right? So we, people say, like, you know, can I just do this on my legs and what’s We actually want this in the whole setup because when you’re doing a squat, it’s just not your legs? It’s like it’s like there are so many different muscle groups that you should be firing and that you should be using. So even if you do an upper body workout, like, you’re still, like and if you’re lifting something, you still should have your core tied. You still should have your glutes activated and so on and so forth even if you’re lifting a box and stuff like that. Actually have box lifts, and we’re teaching people how to properly lift a box. You know? Because it’s like stuff like that, there’s even an exercise called a box lift. And, And and it really translates into this. To to many extents, let’s let’s use, like, 3 examples, like baseball, tennis, and golf.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:06:18]:
They are very one-sided, you know, activities. Like, you know, people are always swinging from one side to another, which means they generally have a strong side and a weak side. So 1st, I would say, like, okay. I do golf swings or baseball swings with a katalyst suit. Actually, what you should be doing is you should be Strengthening the other side so that you balance out. And that’s what we really care about here is, like, basically, every workout Will get your body in a better place. And then you can focus on things on top of that. Because what you really want is You wanna plug the holes in the 1st place.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:06:52]:
Like, you wanna have the weak muscle parts in your body and that is unique for each individual catch up with the rest. And the way we do this is we really have a culture and and, and mentality of Your whole body should work. Like, you know, all parts should work. Your neck should work. Your feet should work. Like, everything should work. And when you are stimulating and training your whole body, the weak peep the weak, players in this in this game. So the weak muscles have to catch up to the stronger ones.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:07:24]:
And this is, for example, why we always train the right side the same way as we train the left side. And we always want an agonist and an antagonist being triggered so that they both catch up. And then when you have the weaker side, You’re generally, like, after I don’t know how you felt this, but you you have certain parts of your body that are more so than others, and that is because Your body is telling you, hey. These are the things that I’m really working on to catch
Nick Urban [01:07:47]:
up. Yeah. And imbalances, everyone has them, but certain professions, certain activities. They become a lot more common and rampant, like grocery store clerks, for example, and they’re always scanning the same way. They’re developing huge imbalances and, like, you can see those if you know what you’re looking for pretty
Bjoern Woltermann [01:08:06]:
easily. Yes. And and what I was just thinking is, like, What they should actually do from a design perspective, and and and that’s the way I like to think is, like, really, like, solving a problem, like, really at the root is, They should actually have, like, mirrored lanes, like, right and left lanes, and then they should have shift. Like, every day you get into the right lane or the left lane so that you actually don’t develop that.
Nick Urban [01:08:28]:
I wanna really quickly finish up on, like, the whole the way things work so people can wrap their minds around exactly the way this whole system is working. But, basically, You get your suit, you use the nice little spray bottle you guys provide, and you wet down the electrodes, you put it on, you tighten it up. There’s a YouTube video that’s very helpful on setting up the 1st time. The 1st time, it took me, like, 30 minutes to set up, and now I can do it in, like, 5 minutes flat because I was, like, rewinding, playing, rewinding. Okay. I Got this part wrong, got this part wrong, and now it’s now it’s quick.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:08:57]:
So since we’ve been doing this, we have actually upgraded that. So, it’s now all within that. It’s not a YouTube video anymore, and it’s really step by step. So you’re doing something, and then it stops. And you can either say, like, you know, hey. I wanna see this again, and I wanna do this. So we really have learned from our customers, and they said, like, you know, I’m not that fast. Of course, you’re not.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:09:18]:
Like, that’s normal. The first time, like, you need to watch, and then you do it, and you watch, and you do it. It’s now, like, all integrated, so we probably shrunk the time quite a bit. But as you said, like, once you’ve done it once or twice, it’s roughly 5 minutes to do that.
Nick Urban [01:09:30]:
So once I have it all suited up, it’s properly wetted down, and I choose a workout, then I adjust the resistance. I call it resistance, the, I don’t know what you call it, but of 13 different, what do they call it,
Bjoern Woltermann [01:09:44]:
channels? We only have 9 because, like, For example, the arms and the the upper chest, like, where the channels are right and left mirrored, they’re just done together. And you just do your base in in intensity adjustment for the very first time. We also have, now, with all the data of our existing customers, we basically created baseline profiles, and they are actually separate by men and female because we also learned that male and female initial customers train at different levels. So you’re gonna start with that. And on your intro workout, like I said, it’s a little bit like the first, you know, level in a game. You’re you’re basically learning that, and you’re adjusting that over time. And then, the system is learning. So you only have to do this in the very first time.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:10:26]:
And then afterwards, Whenever you are working out and you feel like, I want a little bit more on my arms or want a little bit more on my glutes or a little bit less on my back and so on and so forth, The system is taking this information and is adapting that for every workout moving forward. So your profile is being built as you train. So for the very first time, it’s about 20, 25 minutes, and then afterwards, the the adjustments that you wanna do on top of the trainer adjustments because the trainer knows the right, you know, levels for your workout. You can always override that, and you can always say, like, I want a little More here. I wanna focus on that today.
Nick Urban [01:11:04]:
I love having that granular control over each of the different parts of my body. Say I wanna crank up the abs and reduce the chest or reduce the arms. I can do that whenever I want, and right now I am sitting at about, like, a maximum of the number 300. What is the what is that going up to? Like, am I gonna outgrow this suit anytime soon?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:11:24]:
If you end at 300, that’s a really, really good setting. So what I would say, Your 1st workout should end somewhere between a 102100 or a 120 and 200. And that is Any number is good. Like, any workout is good. Right? But it should be roughly there. Because if you train at a 50 or 40, it’s like it’s just not strong enough to get through your skin. It’s not strong enough to do anything, so you’re not really getting the benefits of it. Right? So, I mean, if I had, like, a, let’s say, a a £1 kettlebell.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:11:55]:
It’s like, like so it doesn’t doesn’t really help. Right? So something in the 100 is a good and some people that know their body very well, they end 220, something like that, at the beginning. The system leverages the full bandwidth that the FDA allows us to deliver. So we are within these boundaries. And the highest intensity that you can deliver on an individual muscle Uber is 480. That’s how far it gets. And what we see we don’t see anyone using this across the board. Like, You don’t see this.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:12:31]:
It’s it’s it’s a lot. And what we say is, like, do as as do it as much as you can still do clean movements.
Nick Urban [01:12:40]:
Yeah. We’ve gotta wrap up pretty soon, but is there a way of comparing, like, say, a 300 to a pounds of weight resistance?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:12:50]:
It’s it’s really, really difficult to do that because it also depends on how much muscle mass the 300 are actually triggering. So it’s a little bit like a it’s really hard to find an analogy because it’s your body against your own body. So for example, let’s say you had a very weak triceps in a very strong biceps. It would be very easy for your biceps to overcome your triceps. Right? So it’s really, really individual. And and this is what I actually like about, Katalyst and EMS training so much is it is so individual to the person and it’s not competitive. It’s like you’re really saying, like, I’m getting better than last week, or I’m getting better than last month. And that’s really what matters.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:13:31]:
I’m doing consistently. So if you do it consistent consistently because you only need basically an hour a week to do it twice a twice a week. You’re gonna be successful with it.
Nick Urban [01:13:41]:
Mhmm. Alright, Bjorn. If people are interested interested in connecting with you, trying Katalyst for themselves, how can they find you on the Internet?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:13:51]:
So we are katalyst.com. Katalyst with a k. You can find our website. There’s more and more content coming, you know, all the time. We are KatalystFit on Instagram. Those those are really our main channels, I would say. Learn more about it and, read up on it. And, if you have questions, like, our support team is always there.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:14:16]:
You know, ask questions. And, I think there’s gonna be a link on your site that you’re gonna be publishing anyway where we have a few specials.
Nick Urban [01:14:25]:
Yep. Yeah. That will be in the show notes, and it’s also on the outlier video review I created and the article, so that will all be down below. If there was a worldwide burning of the books and all knowledge on earth is lost, you get to save the works of 3 teachers. Who would you choose and why?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:14:46]:
Kant, probably. Say, Machiavelli, and the bible.
Nick Urban [01:14:50]:
And then finally, if someone just applies katalyst, and they sit there. They don’t go through any range of motion. They’re just, like, on the couch watching TV or something. Would that work?
Bjoern Woltermann [01:15:01]:
It would work, but it would only strengthen the muscle in the position they are in. So this is why range of motion is important. It would work. Well, what I would say, We’re only asking you for half an hour at a time. And if you don’t think you can invest In your personal health and wellness and also mental health, an hour a week. You’re gonna need the time later when you’re in hospital or when you’re in intensive care or when your family has to take care of yourself. So I would say be in the moment And really do this one thing. Just do it for half an hour and and really, really be there.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:15:45]:
What we hear what I hear From our customers is they literally get addicted to it. And it’s probably the healthiest addiction you can get to because you love how your body feels afterwards, and you’re actually proud of it. It’s not a hack. You’re actually proud of what you did, and your friends are gonna tell you what are you doing, and you haven’t told them that you do something new. It’s gonna be very, very good for your for your personal satisfaction for sure.
Nick Urban [01:16:13]:
Yeah. I love that it just takes 1 to 3 sessions per week. The whole unit together weighs about £3, so it’s easy to travel with and it’s also multimodality. You can use it for a bunch of different things all in one system. So thank you for creating it. I’ve been having a blast playing around with it, and I appreciate you taking the time to cover all this with me today.
Bjoern Woltermann [01:16:37]:
Wonderful. Nick, thank you for having me, and, yeah, all the best. Great great show. Great questions. Really excited to be here.
Nick Urban [01:16:45]:
Thanks for joining me. I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. For all the resources and links, meet me on my website at mind body peak .com. I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you.
Connect with Katalyst & Bjoern Woltermann
This Podcast Is Brought to You By
Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, etc), and modern science.
Music by Luke Hall
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