Is This The World’s Most Efficient, Biohacked Workout? The New Full-Body Electro Muscle Stimulation Science by Katalyst (& How To Build Muscle In 20 Minutes) With Bjoern Woltermann.

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In a recent weekly roundup, I reported on what I called “Possibly The World's Most Efficient (New) Workout: The “Katalyst,” and told you to get ready for the next frontier of electrical muscle stimulation.

In my book Boundless, on my podcast, and elsewhere, I've talked about how I use electrical muscle stimulation, also known as “EMS”…

…but with all other forms of EMS I've used in the past, although getting great results for injury rehab, muscle growth, targeted muscle “re-training,” and more, I've also had to deal with all sorts of wires, time-consuming electrode attachments, confusing user interfaces, and a pretty clunky experience that takes up a lot of time.

This brand-new electrical muscle stimulation suit called the Katalyst is a total game-changer. You literally just pull on the suit and select from any of the workouts on the app and a personal trainer not only walks you through the entire workout, which involves functional fitness moves like squats, side lunges, presses, cardiovascular and power movements, and a whole lot more…

…but the intensity is automatically adjusted by your trainer as you go, and so it also creates a highly customized workout. This is one of the coolest time hacks for exercise that I've discovered in a long time and—coming from a guy who has done a lot of different workouts—I can tell you that this thing is not some gimmicky “As Seen On TV” technology that you use to get a six-pack while you're sitting on the couch eating Twinkies.

Instead, I think this technology is going to take the fitness world by storm. Pro athletes can train muscles they've never used before and retrain injured muscles while complete exercise beginners or those in rehab can lift weights without excess stress on the joints.

Again, the Katalyst suit is a total game-changer, and this thing is flying off the shelves now as folks discover the magic of EMS. Here's where you can get the Katalyst suit today (that link gives you “early access” to getting a unit for yourself).

I wanted to get the founder and CEO of Katalyst—Bjoern Woltermann—on the show to take a deep dive into exactly how this new technology works.

Using proven Full-Body EMS (Electro Muscle Stimulation) technology, Katalyst removes common barriers to fitness like time, ability and motivation, and replaces them with a 20-minute, full-body workout that works with your body rather than against it. Because there are no weights and no joint impact, Katalyst empowers all people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives.

A startup veteran and economist by trade, Bjoern was introduced to Full-Body EMS as a way to fit strength training into his busy travel schedule and to rehabilitate a back injury. After training every Monday for six weeks, Bjoern was amazed to find himself both pain-free and in better physical shape than he had been in years. He soon realized that this technology had the potential to significantly improve millions of lives. Driven by an innate desire to serve people, Bjoern founded Katalyst in 2015 to bring Full-Body EMS to the United States.

Aside from Katalyst, Bjoern is a devoted husband and uncle who loves to travel the world and is committed to a healthy lifestyle.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-How Bjoern got interested in EMS…8:54

  • In 2012, he had a corporate job; flying all over the world
  • This resulted in chronic back pain
  • Advised to strengthen core and lower back, otherwise he would end up with herniated disc
  • Introduced to an EMS clinic (20-minute treatment is too good to be true)
  • Bodystreet studio EMS
  • The format is 2 people with one trainer
  • After 6 weeks, with one session per week, he was pain-free, no pain meds, etc.
  • Two different reactions: horribly uncomfortable or relatively manageable
  • Breathwork is important for comfort level
  • EMS is far more popular in Germany than in the U.S.; pre-COVID, Germany had around 2,500 EMS studios

-A brief history of EMS training…15:10

-The science that backs up the efficacy of EMS…19:10

  • EMS devices are FDA-regulated, treated as a medical device
  • The hurdles were too high for manufacturers to expand in the U.S.
  • Some European universities carry out 2-3 full-blown studies on EMS per year; a mini-knowledge base has been created around the devices, with around 85 medical studies done so far
  • Hockey players 1.5% faster after EMS; jumping height of basketball players
  • New way to activate muscles; easier to target specific muscle fibers

-Why EMS induces a high amount of soreness…23:20


  • Muscle damage induced by electrical stimulation“the magnitude of muscle damage induced by ES-evoked isometric contractions is comparable to that induced by maximal voluntary eccentric contractions”
  • Previously unused and dormant muscles
  • The Katalyst suit hits 13 areas of the body, each muscle group has its own channel
  • No muscles left behind
  • Much more complete muscle activation; increasing the recruitment of muscle fibers in each repetition
  • Get to an exhaustive state of the muscle faster
  • Activate more muscle fibers at the same time, subconsciously this is how it's supposed to feel
  • Need extreme loads to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers or very quick movements with conventional weight training
  • Cardio mode causes the muscle to be active, transform energy into motion, calorie burn effect
  • Airdyne bike is the ultimate EMS workout

-Why the body gets so hot in an EMS suit…34:05

  • How much muscle activation is going on at a given time
  • A two-hour gym workout is squeezed into a 20-minute session
  • Excess heat generated by muscles working is not evaporated over a 2-hour period but in 20 minutes
  • The body needs to cool off from so much work done in so short a time
  • Water provides adequate conductivity

-Why different ranges of motion are used in EMS…37:00

  • Always start with why. Why are you doing this workout? What's the ultimate goal? What's the ultimate outcome?
    • You want to achieve a stronger body, you want to have access to your muscles
    • You want flexibility and have a full range of motion
  • No shortened muscles, no tension like tightness around the neck
  • One of Ben's training clients had knee pain disappear after using the Katalyst for a couple of sessions
  • Usually, unused muscles are in a tight state as a protective mechanism
  • Katalyst training is getting muscles into an exhaustive state; previously injured areas become softened up and loosened
  • Relax the muscle, get back to a natural function

-The recovery setting on the Katalyst…40:45

  • Recovery mode promotes blood flow
  • Very low frequency, 1 twitch a second
  • Pumping effect to the muscles; pumping massaging effect that promotes nutrient and lactic acid movement

-How EMS may affect longevity and anti-aging…42:20

  • EMS is a solution to a lot of different problems in this day and age; people don't have time to work out
  • Study of 100 women over the age of 75
    • Two of the women dropped out, not because it was too stringent
    • Gained muscle mass, reversed atrophy
    • Increased walking speed 10-20%
      • Walking speed, grip strength, and ability to get off the floor are good metrics for longevity
    • Gained bone density

-How to mix regimens to get the most out of EMS…45:20

  • Do strength/power on first day followed by 10 minutes of cardio
  • Day 2, cardio only
  • Day 3-4, do strength again
  • Do two sessions per week
  • Katalyst suit is 3 to 3.5 lbs, depending on the size
  • Strength training should have some intervals in-between while cardio can be done every day

-Topicals or cold packs that can improve the efficacy of EMS…47:30

-How the EMS routines are conducted in real-time…50:20

  • Katalyst has a catalog of exercises, now numbering about 160
  • System is completely wireless
  • Things are in the works to do EMS detached from the current system
  • Trainers are actually getting the treatment while the user does
  • Roles of customer and trainer are very different
  • Immersive experience for the customer
  • The system always remembers what you are doing, so it learns over time
  • The levels are always individual to a person

-How to access the Katalyst and skip the waitlist…58:30

  • There is a limited supply but using the link basically skips the waitlist

-And much more!


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Bjoern Woltermann:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Gear:

– Other Resources:

Upcoming events:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Bjoern or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!


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49 thoughts on “Is This The World’s Most Efficient, Biohacked Workout? The New Full-Body Electro Muscle Stimulation Science by Katalyst (& How To Build Muscle In 20 Minutes) With Bjoern Woltermann.

  1. Charlie says:

    I’m a Bodystreet studio owner and have been following you for the last 5 years. I’m very glad that you covered this topic ,Ben . Great to see EMS is growing , not just in Europe.

  2. Andrew says:

    finally got mine yesterday 8/9. did the beginner workout on a very low setting. It was pretty wild. Going to do a legit strength training workout and up the intensity.

  3. Steve says:

    Looks interesting. How much is your suit? Cant find information on your site.

  4. Dani says:

    Hi There,

    Can someone share her/his experience with the device?

    Thanks,

    Dani

    1. Wendy Meyer says:

      Wish I could tell you. I ordered mine 8 weeks ago and still no suit. Got an email last week saying that you can now get your suit in 2-3 weeks. Will be interesting to see if I get mine before that time frame overlaps . . . I know Ben just posted recently that if you use his link you get special priority, but I have yet to see anything special happen.

      1. Andrew says:

        Mine just shipped

  5. Michael Cohen says:

    You are very into the EMF issues. Does anyone know if there is any potenital long term negative impact of EMF fields from the Katalyist? I contacted their customer support – did not really get an answer. Wondered if Ben konws?

    1. symb says:

      If you are worried, check out https://www.symbiont360.com they are certified medical product in Germany – it’s more advanced (EKG, HRV, EMG is actively being measured and the program is adjusted individually to the user

  6. ad says:

    LINK NOT WORKING

    1. Tony says:

      Hey Ad, do you have any more information for our team? We checked out all the links on the page and they are working. We would be more than happy to assist you if you are unable to access any of Ben’s content on the website. Hope that you are having a fantastic weekend! -Tony

  7. Ken says:

    Intriguing, but why doesn’t the suit cover calves and forearms?

  8. Dani says:

    Hi Ben,

    Do you have evtl. have a discount code for the Katalyst?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Dani! At the moment, there's no code available. But you can use this link to get special priority: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/katalyst

    2. Hi Dani! We don't have any discount codes yet but we're working on getting one for the holiday season :)

      1. Dani says:

        Awesome. Thanks!

  9. betsy says:

    Hi Ben or Bjoern, looking forward to getting our full body workouts. We have our suits but what if one is wearing a continuous glucose monitor on the arm. Do either of you know if either gadget will effect or interrupt the other?

    1. Dan says:

      Betsy,

      Can you share your experience with the device?

      1. Betsy says:

        Hi Dan. Yes, I will post next weekend. We won’t be able to try the suits until then.

        1. Dan says:

          Awesome. Thanks!

          1. betsy says:

            Hey Dan…. OMG, we didn’t try our suits this weekend because the boxes that arrived on 6/3 were not our suits. They were 2 products I purchased for a family member and those boxes were supposed to be shipped to their house. The box is 2 1/2 ft tall x 1 1/2 ft long and 4″ wide and it has 3″ tall words on the box with the company name Keekaroo. In my dyslexic mind I translated it to Katalyst! So the 2 boxes sat by our sauna and when we went to go try our suits I was instead looking at 2 pink Keekaroo Peanut Diaper Changing stations for a baby, LOL. Needless to say it was quite humorous. Anyway, we received an email today saying our 2 KATALYST suits are on their way.

            I emailed the company about the CGM with their suit and they said “that is no problem. One of our investors also has a Levels CGM and is working out with Katalyst for months now.”

        2. Dani says:

          Haha that’s hilarious. Thanks for the update Betsy, appreciate it.

          It would be awesome if you could share your experience once you have the suits.

          Btw, how long was the wait until the suits were ready to be shipped?

          Thanks,
          Dani

          1. betsy says:

            We ordered Katalyst on 6/30. The package I received that wasn’t the Katalyst arrived 7/3 to correct my confusing typo above….Anyway so Fedex tracking says the Katalyst will arrive this Fri end of day 7/23 so approximately 3 weeks.

          2. Dani says:

            Thanks! 3 weeks is not bad :)

        3. Dani says:

          Hi Betsy, have you had a chance to try out the suite? :) Thx Dani

          1. Wendy Meyer says:

            I ordered mine 3 weeks ago and have not received any indication that it is being sent yet. I hope it comes soon.

          2. Wendy Meyer says:

            I contacted the company, they are now saying it will take 6-10 weeks to get your suit

        4. Dani says:

          Hi Betsy, have you had a chance to try out the suite? :) Thx

  10. devin says:

    This book is awesome with great remedies for the human body (https://bit.ly/3h8518C) You guys should try it out !!!!! (https://bit.ly/3h8518C)

  11. Jane says:

    Do they ship o/s. I emailed them weeks ago but got no response.

  12. Beets says:

    Can’t believe Ben has not brought up the techy details, such as kind of current (AC or DC) or what waveform is being used by the Katalyst suit. Sounds like they’ve thought about their product for a while, why miss out on that moment to shine?

  13. Cyril says:

    Getting an error message when I click link and fill out the form to request access to Katalyst.

  14. Brandon says:

    I’m assuming you their are different sizes for the suit. If so, do you have to purchase a unit for each body type (e.g. husband and wife)? I emailed this question to the Katalyst team when Ben mentioned this a while back, but never got a response.

  15. Christopher says:

    I’m getting error message after submitting Katalyst’s “request early access” form.

    1. Kanika says:

      I have been getting the same message. Tried submitting it thrice. Guess its a website issue.

      1. Florian says:

        Same, bummer.

        1. sam says:

          it worked on my phone, just not my laptop

  16. Eric says:

    Hi Ben,
    At 44:03 Bjoern said: “but then what totally was a surprise is they gain bone density again” (explanation interrupted with another question).
    At 52:08 Bjoern said: “can I go and test and try sprints” (story cutoff).
    Q&A 430 @ 1:09:46 “Ben you interrupted your guest too much”. All constructive criticism that will add value to my favorite podcast.

  17. Matthew Lee says:

    Hey Ben, how would you compare this to the Neufit? Would you say the Neufit is still more powerful?

    1. Fran B says:

      I am wondering the same thing, Matthew. Thank you for asking. I know cost is a huge difference as this is around $2400 and Neufit Neubie $27,000, I believe. I’m looking at both. I hope Ben is able to answer this.

  18. john says:

    i realize its not availabel to the general public yet but can you give me an idea of the appoximate cost to buy it?

    1. Corey says:

      It’s ~$2400 according to FAQ on their website

    2. Fabrizia says:

      Can the katalyst be efficient for MS ppl: locally stimulate muscle contraction while doing an active movement since the nerv influx is not at its full potential ?

    3. Matt says:

      $2,385 + iPad required

  19. Simon says:

    Another $20,000 (+monthly$ +wear/tear/replace$) fitness gadget. Great.

    1. Michael Harrison says:

      Is it 20k?

      1. No, it's not 20K. It's around 2K.

  20. James says:

    Ben what is the studio in Nyc that you mentioned in this podcast

    1. Olympio says:

      https://www.systimfit.com/

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