December 3, 2022
[00:01:02] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:57] Podcast and Guest Intro
[00:10:48] The basic overview of the Katalyst training system
[00:21:23] The electrical modality used for cardio vs strength
[00:30:19] The latest scientific researches on Katalyst's efficiency
[00:36:16] Podcast Sponsors
[00:43:03] cont. The latest scientific researches on Katalyst’s efficiency
[00:46:06] Surprising positive impacts of Katalyst
[00:58:38] App updates, future improvements, buying options
[01:09:34] Closing the Podcast
[01:10:34] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Bjoern: We normally use about 10% of our muscle mass every decade. At the age of 85, we're left as men, we're 60% or something like this. That has impacted our hormonal balances to our activity levels. It has an impact for how we burn calories. It has an impact on how we recover if we're tripping. Are we falling? Are we not? Are we breaking bones? Are we not? We can solve this. It's a bold statement which have a lot of customers in their 70s and even some in their 80s. They say it's rejuvenating and they're becoming more active. And, females in their 60s say, “I can play with my kids again.” It's beautiful.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
I'm going to tell you a quick story. One of my friends took this fringe weight and blood sugar control supplement called Semaglutide. It's a peptide. This was three days after he took it and I was sitting with him at dinner and he couldn't eat. He literally just couldn't eat. He was staring at the food, no appetite. And, obviously, that's why Semaglutide is used for things like diabetes and obesity and significant appetite control. I'm personally a foodie, so I probably wouldn't go near the stuff because I like to eat. What my friend was doing this whole time, he was tracking his blood glucose, he would hold his phone up by his armpit and then take his phone away. And, he could see his blood glucose just dropping over three days in real-time at any point. One of my other friends who's at dinner, he's like, “What are you doing? Why do you keep holding your phone to your armpit?” He's like, “Because look, I can see my blood glucose whenever I want.” Well, he was using a blood glucose monitor rather than those annoying things that you test your blood with on your fingertip from the drugstore. And, he was using this monitor supported by this company called Levels.
So, levels is basically a company that has partnered with these blood glucose monitors where they send it out to your house, you put it on, and then you track your blood glucose in real-time anywhere you are, like how did green beans affect my blood sugar, how does steak affect my blood sugar, how does sledding in the snow affect my blood sugar, how does this stressful e-mail affect my blood sugar, what lifestyle changes, diet changes, exercise changes can I make for better blood glucose because that's highly correlated to health and overall longevity. So, Levels is at the cutting edge of this stuff. And, if you want to get in on Levels and better understand how food affects your health and try a continuous blood glucose monitor for yourself, you can go to levels.link/Ben. That's levels.L-I-N-K/Ben. Levels.link/Ben. They got a bunch of all the information you need over there about how to get started with blood glucose monitoring. Levels.link/Ben.
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Now, what I have at my house is a Clearlight Sanctuary Sauna because I can get a whole bunch of my friends in there. We can sit around, we can chat, we can burn incense, and sprinkle essential oils like little hippies all over the place. But, we're also guilt free because all the Clearlight Sauna is unlike many of the saunas out there that basically microwave you while you're inside of them. These ones have EMF and ELF shielding, so you're not exposing your body to harmful dirty electricity and they come with a lifetime warranty, which is the ultimate guarantee of a quality product. And, these things are high quality. So, you get their complete line that you can check out at Clearlight Sauna's when you go to HealwithHeat.com, HealwithHeat.com. Mention code BEN for extra discount and free shipping. That's HealwithHeat.com. Mention my name BEN for a smoking hot deal and free shipping.
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So, a few months ago, I released a podcast episode about what I titled as “The World's Most Efficient Biohacked Workout.” It was a whole episode where me and my guest went deep into the science behind what's called full-body electro-muscle stimulation and we talked about this suit. You may have seen it before. It's kind of become this big thing amongst celebrities and biohackers and fitness enthusiasts. It's a suit they actually pull on that's an electrical muscle stimulation suit. And, unlike many of the former EMS suits that have existed up until that point, there are no long cables and wires and things sticking out of it. So, it's just like all wireless. You pull it on and then you basically link it to an iPad and a trainer is right there walking you through an entire workout with moves like squats and lunges and presses. It'll literally simulate you feeling as though you've lifted hundreds of pounds, but it's just this suit that you pull on. So, I kind of predicted when we recorded that episode that this technology was going to take the fitness world by storm and it has. I mean, pro athletes are using this to build muscles that they've never been able to build before, to train muscles they've never used before, to retrain injured muscles. And, people all over the world now are using this thing as a way to basically get all the benefits of heavy lifting, rehab, injury recovery, cardio, blood flow, et cetera simply by pulling on a pair of shorts and a shirt that are lined with electrical muscle stimulation and then just basically going to town with a very, very small footprint and an easy-to-use device that'll travel everywhere.
I interviewed the guy who founded this company and actually brought full-body EMS to the United States. And, his name is Bjoern Woltermann. And, there's been a lot going on in terms of electrical muscle stimulation technology. Some of the news, some of the science on it, even things like bone density and sarcopenia and congestive heart failure. I thought it'd be cool to get Bjoern back on to revisit this whole idea behind EMS and how it works for those of you who didn't get a chance to listen to the first episode and also to delve into some of the burning questions that I've gotten from my audience about this Katalyst EMS suit and also some of the questions that I have.
So, if you're listening in and you want a link to the previous podcast for an even more thorough explanation of what the technology is and how it works, then you can go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Katalyst2. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/katalyst the number 2, and I'll link to my original podcast with Bjoern, some other articles that have written about electrical muscle stimulation and then, of course, all the shownotes for what we're about to talk about today.
So, Bjoern, welcome back to the show, man.
Bjoern: Thank you for having me, Ben.
Ben: I appreciate you doing this from a hotel down in Mexico. We've been trying to make this episode work just to give folks the full update. So, here we go.
And, what part of Mexico are you in again?
Bjoern: In Playa del Carmen.
Bjoern: It's my wife's birthday, and this is our fixed week a year where [00:09:22] _____ like, “Hey, we got to take a week off.”
Bjoern: And yeah, it works. The internet is okay, good enough for this. So, here we go.
Ben: Yeah. You're coming through okay. I was just telling you before we start recording, my wife and I just got back from San Miguel de Allende, which is a fantastic little city in Mexico. It's not in the water, so you don't have a lot of the annoying tourists walking around in swimsuits, but it's just all cobblestone streets and art galleries and amazing mom-and-pop shops and we were celebrating the Day of the Dead, the Dia De Los Muertos down there. It literally feels like you're almost like in Europe or northern Spain and not in Mexico. So, if you ever get a chance, you have to visit that spot too.
Bjoern: I definitely want to. I mean, the Day of the Dead is very high on the list for wife and me. And yeah, maybe next year.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. We got all dressed up for it and painted up. And actually, the conference that I was speaking at or private group that I was speaking with, the entire thing was based around pondering your own death, working on your tombstone, writing your obituary, learning about deathbed moments, and essentially how you live your life in terms of purpose and motivation and adventure and bucket list items. And so, it was actually pretty powerful event, of course, surrounded by a bunch of kids out in the streets celebrating the Day of the Dead festival. So, it's an interesting experience.
Bjoern: Very interesting setting, yes.
Ben: But, of course, we're not going to talk about dying today hopefully, we're going to talk about living with electrical muscle stimulation. So, I think before we delve into some of the questions I've gotten about this whole Katalyst device and some of the things have been changing in terms of the research and the science that you wanted to hop on and talk with me about, can you give people the basic overview of the Katalyst, what it is and what it does?
Bjoern: The Katalyst training system is, as you said, full body electro muscle stimulation device. It comes in a form of a suit. And, the suit is modular. It has three components. It has a vest, a shorts piece, and then two arm straps. And, with this format, we are capable of serving basically individuals of any shape or size and form and level of activity and fitness and age, gender, all the dimensions because what we wanted to build is we wanted to build a training system that can literally help people get in shape or achieve their fitness goals, whoever they are and wherever they are on their fitness journey.
It's controlled by an iPad, it's all the smarts and all the softwares within an iPad app which takes training content like think Netflix, training content out of the cloud and it communicates with what we call the Impulse Pack. It's like a small device. It's an iPhone size, a little bit thicker than this, and it gets attached to the suit. And, there's a Bluetooth connection between the Impulse Pack and the iPad. The impulse pack sits on your hip or technically on your hamstrings where it doesn't get in the way. Basically, that device then sends small electrical currents through your body to each muscle group that is targeted in a very specific form. So, each impulse for each muscle group is different. And, what it does is it simulates or basically superimposes the same signal that you would send from your brain to your muscle to tell the muscle to contract. I mean, tell.
Bjoern: So basically, there's a nervous signal that gets through your motor nerve to motor neurons and basically elicits a contraction within fibers within the muscle. And, this signal, we know exactly how it looks like and what to do. And, we can go into different ways of how to do it like this when you wanted to have fast twitch muscle development with type 2 muscle fibers. There's a different signal if you want to have a general strength training, which elicits power growth on slow twitch muscle fibers, or if you want a cardiovascular just increase on load from a taxation of your cardiovascular system, or if you just want to pumping sensation which helps with nutrient distribution and flush out of lactic acid.
So, basically, we can exactly tell each muscle in your body what to do, how much to do it. And, the muscle cannot differentiate between the signal that comes from your brain and the signal that comes from the training system. What that allows us to do is it allows us to help individuals that either already have maxed out their capabilities because they're athletes and they're on a plateau to give the muscle even more to do in a different stimulus. And I mean, you have used it now for quite some time. And, every time you use it, it's like you did a totally different set of training as if you would normally lift because it actually activates the muscle in a very, very complete way.
Ben: Well, it activates the muscle in a very complete way or activates little tiny stabilizing muscles that have been detrained or that you haven't been using because, again, it's bypassing your brain so your brain doesn't get to select which muscles it's going to use because that's what it's comfortable grabbing.
Bjoern: Yeah, you cannot cheat. Exactly. That's really what it is. And, for example, for me when I first found it, I had a very weak lower back. I'm 6'4 tall, skinny guy, and I had massive back problems and didn't know how to literally train my lower back. And, a lot of machines that you also find in the gym, these rotation machines are actually not good for you. But, with EMS training, you can literally trigger and target each muscle in exact way how you want it to achieve the goals that you intend to do.
Ben: Yeah. And, one thing you mentioned there was how it could be used for recovery. This is probably one way I haven't been using it. But for example, when I interviewed the folks who designed this automated blood flow restriction cuff system called the KAATSU, which is kind of a popular training system in Japan. And, by the way, I feel like I get a little bit of a KAATSU-like training effect wearing the Katalyst just because there's a little bit of blood flow restriction to the arms and the legs just by having the suit on. But nonetheless, these guys said, well, you could get a lot of the pumping effect from the KAATSU, the benefits of it from a recovery and a blood flow standpoint by simply wearing it while you are say at the office while you're at your workstation, preferably your standing workstation and just have it running passively. They also recommended that you could do the same if you were just say out in a long walk.
The Katalyst is that something that you've had users just literally just pull on and have on during a day of work, say underneath their normal work clothes to occasionally do a little bit of electrical muscle simulation?
Bjoern: We haven't had that yet. At least I'm not aware of it. I mean, there's many users out there and they tell us stories like what they achieved with their Katalyst suit, I mean months after. So, I don't know if anybody used it during regular days or in combination with a KAATSU.
What I can tell you is because we have a very complete muscle activation, which means there's a very high use of ADP, glycogen, or whatsoever in the muscle and relation to the normal use, there could be an effect where just the general replenishing of nutrients is not fast enough to basically replenish the nutrients within the muscle. When the KAATSU, that's exactly what you're doing, you're reducing the supply of nutrients and oxygen. And, it could be that because the increase in the Katalyst training, the increase of basically usage and depletion of nutrients and ADP could be a similar effect basically where supply and demand gets out of whack. So, in KAATSU, you restrict the supply and in Katalyst, you increase the demand. So yes, there could be. If you would just strap on your arms, like even more than it should be, you probably also have a blood flow restriction that you don't recommend that.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, you don't recommend combining blood flow restriction with electrical muscle stimulation?
Bjoern: I just don't know, right?
Bjoern: So, it's something that we haven't really tested yet. And, before I recommend something, we have thoroughly tested everything. So, maybe I should get one and we should run a small study, but I haven't tested it yet.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. The other thing that someone recommended to me was I do some training on this super slow resistance training device called the ARX. I forget who it was, but they said they'd actually worn the EMS suit while doing super slow training and that it was just an absolute game-changer in terms of the demand. Obviously, the Katalyst is designed originally to use no weights or occasionally very light weights and that that's kind of the idea is you don't need weights when you use it. But, have you ever combined it with something like a super slow training protocol or some type of very slow and controlled lifting protocol that would allow you to do electrical muscle stimulation and lifting simultaneously?
Bjoern: Yeah. What I've done is I just sometimes use very small weights in my hands just as additional resistance or these egg weights or small weights like something like this definitely. I know that there are pro sports protocols, like with soccer players and so on and so forth, where they basically combine it with squad jumps or box jumps and so on and so forth. But, I would definitely do this in a very controlled environment because under the stimulation, you know that you don't have 100% control over your motions as much as you're used to. So, as a beginner, I wouldn't do it. As a pro, well, yeah, that is something. I combine it with the TRX, something like this just to mix it up a little bit. We don't have content for that yet, but maybe one day.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, there's obviously a lot of uses that I'm sure people are experimenting with that Katalyst on. But, the one that I think is probably in addition to just your full body strength routine that you have in there is the cardio component on something like the Airdyne bike. That's kind of my go-to modality is most of your strength training workouts last about 20 minutes and that more than enough. Anybody who has not used this device, that might not seem like a long workout but you're not really begging for more of the 20-minute mark.
Bjoern: Yeah. We're joking it's a time machine, but it says after 10 minutes it's half-time, you're like, “No way.”
Ben: Yeah, exactly. I think the workouts go by pretty fast because you're switching from exercise to exercise at a pretty rapid pace. But yeah, I mean, I wouldn't want to go much more than 20 minutes with the strength training. But then, what I do because I like to just get my strength and my cardio done with all at once if I have the option just as a time hack is you keep the suit on. And, after the iPad finishes the strength training session, you can then select a cardio session. And, you can set your cardio for, I think, 10, 20, 30, or I believe there's even a 40-minute option on there. But, it's kind of a lower intensity stimulation that is, again, more cardio-based, but I'll just walk over to the Airdyne bike and do the cardio while on the Airdyne. It is probably one of the more physically demanding cardio workouts that I ever do when I use that one to modality of cardio mode plus the full-body bike. Now, obviously, on the iPad, it'll show you how you can just run in place, two jumping jacks, et cetera. But, man oh man, getting on a bike with that thing is nuts.
And, I actually wanted to ask you, I don't recall if we covered this in detail in the last podcast, but what is the difference in terms of the electrical modality used for the cardio versus strength because it feels remarkably different?
Bjoern: Yeah, it does. So, first of all, I also use that, what I recommend there is a cardio interval training, which is just basically just see the logo but it has timers where you basically do 30 seconds of you go full on and then 30 seconds of just recover. And, I do this on the Airdyne bike or on the AssaultBikes. And, you literally for 30 seconds, you go all out, and then again for 30 seconds or a minute, you just recover a little bit and combine AssaultBike with Katalyst cardio, it's wrecking. It's absolutely wrecking. So, after 10-15 minutes of this, I'm literally sitting there and just catch my breath. But yeah, it's a wonderful workout.
Okay, coming back to the difference in what we do with the muscle. So, I don't know if we covered this last time, but each muscle group in the body has a characteristic about how much of a trigger or how long of a trigger it needs to react, which is the pulse width of an individual pulse. So, in EMS training or in strength training, you basically send between 1 to roughly 100 impulses per second. So, 1 impulse per second is what you feel in the — let's start on the other side, the most common one. So, in the power one, you sent 100 impulses a second. And, what you do is you need to have that many impulses because the fast twitch muscle fibers when they fire, they also deactivate quickly. They don't just fire quickly, they also deactivate quickly. So, to basically build them up to a full tetanus, what we want in power and strength, you need a lot of small nudges to the muscle to keep them in a full tetanus, so in a contraction. That's actually what you want to achieve. If you go below that, what happens is the fast twitch muscle fibers fall off, they don't develop a full tetanus and your main strength development comes from the slow twitch muscle fibers. That's roughly 75 Hertz that we're using. It's 75 we're using, but that's roughly the area.
If you now go further down, what's happening is you have individual twitches and the muscle fibers actually don't develop a full tetanus, so they don't come to a full contraction. So, they basically activate and then fall off again and activate and fall off again. So, you have a use of ADP, you have a use of glycogen. If you have anything left, you should generally do strength first, cardio second because during strength training, you need your glycogen in the muscle. And, if you already did 20 minutes of Katalyst strength and want to go to cardio, you want to go also into fat burning and these aspects. So, do the second. So, if you have anything left, it will then use more of the nutrients that are in your muscle, but will not create a full tetanus. So, you feel these like small twitches. So basically, what we're doing, we're nudging the muscle to work but you still have enough control over your body that you can do complex movements like running or cycling or jumping jacks and so on and so forth.
Ben: Yeah, because with the strength, it sometimes feels as though the muscle is almost in a state of pure tetanus to where when you're doing an overhead press, I mean, you almost have to go inch by inch which obviously isn't conducive to walking or running or being on a bike.
Bjoern: Exactly. So, the training goal that we have is we want to tax the cardiovascular system. So, you need to deliver more oxygen because we want to get off. To max up, you have to deliver more nutrients. The blood has to be pumped through the body so the heart rate goes up. These are the goals in the cardio training. So, what we're doing is we are taxing the cardiovascular system all over the body by activating muscle fibers just partially. So, your body basically does the running or does the AssaultBike and then we put an additional tax on it, which is this incredible training because now your cardiovascular system really, really has to work. And, that even works with individuals that, for example, have issues like knee replacements or hip replacements. So, we have customers that literally just walk on a treadmill. They don't run, they just walk on a treadmill, but then they increase the load from the Katalyst system and can get their heart rate exactly where they want it to be. Maybe they wanted 120, maybe they wanted 130. But, you can do this without running, you can do this without the impact on your bones and joints and so on and so forth.
Or, you are, let's say, an MMA fighter and you already do these cardio interval sessions on AssaultBikes because you're simulating real exhaustion, like very, very strong exhaustions over 30 seconds or a minute and then you need to learn how to get your heart rate down again and so on and so forth. If we now put the Katalyst system on top of it, you literally get wrecked in this one minute, which is a very realistic training because we tax your system on top of what you're doing from the traditional workout.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, there's some about it that's just absolutely crazy when it comes to the cardiovascular component. I mean, you can literally, and this is kind of my thing with the Katalyst is I don't use it any more often. You may not want to hear this as the owner of the company, but any more often about once per week just because honestly when I do a workout, I do the workout pretty seriously and go all in. And, for me, there's enough little muscles that get recruited and enough of an impetus that I don't get from other strength training workouts that I'm sore enough from using that to where I don't really want to come back for a good week. And, I actually have a lot of clients now who own the Katalyst and we program in either one cardio and one strength workout per week or one strength cardio combo per week. And then, on the other days, they drill a bit of kettlebell, they're lifting weights. Now, when people travel, I have them using it more frequently.
The other thing that I do in addition to using it on an average of once per week is if I know I'm not going to be able to workout for a few days or if I have a long-haul flight or if I just know that I'm not going to be able to move much, I'll do a pretty tough Katalyst workout. Because honestly, I just don't feel working out or I feel as though I'm sore enough from that thing to where I don't need to. So, if I've got a big long-haul flight or something coming up, I'll do a big workout just because, I mean, you literally feel as though you only have to work out once a week when you wear this thing. Maybe I've got the intensity turned up too high though because I do really, really like to feel as though I'm pushing against the thing.
Bjoern: Everyone is different. So, you, for example, you already have your training regimen. And, if you want to supplement it with a Katalyst and you do this and it gives you the results you want, perfect. My wife is the same. She's working out all the time and she uses it for especially lower body training like glutes activation, lower back activation, abs. These are really areas that are sometimes hard to train and absolutely loves it.
And, the same as you said, when we were traveling, she always has a suit with her. That's absolutely the way to do it. I see this with quite some people that are very, very regular gym goers or doing other types of trainings. It's a perfect supplement. And then, if you are not working out at all and starting with just once a week, that already has life-changing effect. So, as long as you use it in your regular use, I don't care how much you use it, I want it to fit into your life and I want it to be something that you can consistent with. Because if you can't be consistent with it, you're not going to be successful. You know that, right?
Bjoern: If people overdo something and you say you have to do this three times a week, and then after six weeks, they fall off the regimen, that doesn't help anybody. Use it as much as you want and as you like it and then supplement it with other things. We see roughly an average use of 1.8 a week. That's what we see amongst our customers. Some use it more, some use it less. Do it how it fits into your life. That's how we designed it. You shouldn't be scheduling your trainer because the trainer only has time at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning or whatsoever. You should take on your suit, do it whenever it fits into your life and then do it as often as you like. By the way, I also do it before I'm traveling. It's the best thing because then I also don't cramp up that much when I'm sitting on a plane for long periods of time and I did Katalyst before, the muscles are just so exhausted, they just really relax, I love it.
Ben: Yeah, it's perfect for a long-haul flight where you want to sleep and your body just, “Hey, I'm ready for recovery.”
Now, we could go on to a blue in the face about the science behind the Katalyst but we covered a lot of that in our initial episode. And again, I'll link to that and the Katalyst and everything else we talk about BenGreenfieldLife.com/Katalyst2. And, Katalyst is spelled with K, so Katalyst2.
The reason that we kind of originally decided to pop on and do this episode in the first place, this follow-up episode, Bjoern, was there's been a lot that you guys have been finding in terms of research and science for other indications for this that go beyond just fitness or getting ready for a long plane flight. Can you go into some of the things that you guys have been finding as far as the latest science and news on this form of electrical muscle stimulation?
Bjoern: So, some of this is like very nascent, but what we are seeing is there's more and more studies coming up that indicate that the full body muscle stimulation does not only benefit your muscle mass but also your bone calcification, so bone density in general. The traditional science headed to a point or like wisdom headed to a point that if you don't lift heavy weights, you don't have any positive impact on your bones. Katalyst is becoming more and more besides the young, healthy, fit people who supplemented like you, it's becoming more and more longevity topic.
And, in longevity, we have two big problems. We have sarcopenia and we have osteoporosis on a physical perspective. Sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass as we age, is basically solved at this point in time. I know it's a big word, but if you do Katalyst once a week, you're basically maintaining your muscle mass, if not gaining as long as you want. We normally use about 10% on muscle mass every decade. So, at the age of 85, we're left as men with 60% or something like this. And, that has impacted our hormonal balances to our activity levels. It has an impact for how we burn calories. It has an impact on how we recover if we're tripping. Are we falling? Are we not? Are we breaking bones? Are we not? Yeah, we can solve this. It's a bold statement. But, people that really use this and have a lot of customers in their 70s and even some in their 80s, they say it's rejuvenating and they're becoming more active and females in their 60s say, “I can play with my kids again.” It's beautiful.
Ben: Now, have you guys actually run any actual studies on the sarcopenia component?
Bjoern: So, we are currently starting one. We are working with several universities on different specific topics. One is sarcopenia and neurology in aging. And, they want to run it with a group of subjects in their 60s and see how we can basically either stop it or even reverse it. We are having another initiative with the sub-section of the Mayo Clinic. It is a group called We Build Hearts. They work with individuals that have congestive heart failure. We were not cleared for this yet. We're very clear. We're starting the research around. But, they approached us and said, “Hey, we think that full body mass training is a regiment that is easy to be compliant with and that individuals that have heart issues can easily do. They feel safe with it. It is safe. We can see basically life extension.” We have to still run this and prove this, but this is the suggestion that's basically coming out of this.
Ben: Okay. And, by the way, quick interruption there about the safety of using it with the heart. Is there any concern if there are fibrillation issues or electrical abnormalities in the heart because this obviously is an electrical signal.
Bjoern: So, two things. If you have a pacemaker, you must not use it because the pacemaker basically will interpret the EMS signal as something is wrong which just misfire. That's basically what's happening. We don't kill the pacemaker, but it would basically misfire. So, first of all, Katalyst is the only FDA-cleared device for home use. Literally, we're the only device that you can use without supervision. And, in order to get that, what we had to prove is that it is safe and does not affect the heart. If you have AFib or a strong heart disease, you should definitely check in with your physician. But, for a healthy heart, it is not an issue. So, we had to basically prove that. And, how we did this is we worked with a pacemaker company. So, we basically said, “Hey, how does the signal have to look like to actually reach the heart?” And, they said, “Hey, show me your parameters.” And, we showed them their parameters and they said, “Your device would be a very shitty pacemaker.” And, that was literally on the phone.
Ben: You're going to put that on the front page of your website, a very shitty pacemaker?
Bjoern: Yes. No, this was literally the comment that the physician from this pacemaker company gave us when I gave him the parameters. It's basically like the heart is very well protected. There's a sack with water, it's basically a Faraday cage. The human body is phenomenal. You know how it protects itself. So, we cannot reach the heart, otherwise, we also wouldn't have been cleared.
On top of that, our device is physically built in a way. And, you see this when you open the suit. For example, there are two electrodes on the right pectoral muscle and two electrodes on the left pectoral muscle and two on the right biceps and triceps and so on and so forth. So, we have made sure that there's never a current going across the body.
So, for example, if you have a defibrillator or an AED device, you have to basically put one on the left side of your chest and one on top of your right pack. This is basically how you have to put it because the current has to flow from one electrode to the other and basically has to penetrate the heart. So, our device is designed that it stays within the muscle and just superficial. On top of that, we are only sending 1% of the energy that you would have needed to reach the heart. So, that's absolutely not an issue.
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In addition to what you found on sarcopenia and this idea that it might actually be something useful for congestive heart failure, I think another thing you mentioned to me was an impact on bone density which was actually surprising to me because this is something, and I think I even commented on this in the past, I've told people, well, you could do electrical muscle stimulation or blood flow restriction or KAATSU training, but at some point, you have to load the bone along the long axis of the bone to actually increase bone density. But, it seems that you're indicating that might not be the case for something like EMS?
Bjoern: It has to be the case still. However, the way you design the EMS training might have that side effect as well. So, we have first studies that basically suggests if you are not doing passive EMS, so for example, if you recover from a knee surgery and you're lying on the couch and you put a TENS unit on it, that has no bone density impact at all.
Ben: You should clarify, and sorry to interrupt just real quick, you said at TENS unit, this confuses a lot of people because tense is simply the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation where you aren't actually recruiting muscles, right?
Bjoern: Exactly. So, a TENS unit does not have this impact. Even a local EMS unit like, for example, Compacts that you would use just sitting would not have that impact. However, when you're moving, when you are lunging, when you are doing biceps curls and so on and so forth and you're moving your body against the weight, what's happening is two things.
First of all, there is some impact from your body, but there is a stress because your quads and your hamstrings, to use this as an example, are contracting at the same time. The muscles are basically the straight line. They're basically pulling in a straight line and the bones generally have a little bit of an arch to it. So, for example, your femur, it has an arch to it towards the hip and so on and so forth. And, there is some stress and this is currently where science is getting deeper into. They're saying like, “We're seeing DEXA scan measurable bone increases if individuals are training for a year.” It's not something that changes within weeks as the muscles do. The muscles adapt much sooner. But, we are seeing increases in bone minerality in elderly people after a year of training and which is twice interesting. It stopped the decrease and it had even increases.
So, there are initial signals. There's more signs now currently conducted or more studies conducted, but they are in the initial signals. So, if you have active protocols like what Katalyst does, we don't put people on a chair or on the couch or something like this. If you have active protocols with intense muscle work like muscle stimulation, you actually see results also in bone minerality. It's not the same as if you lift 400 pounds, of course. But, for people who cannot lift 400 pounds, this is a good solution.
Ben: Okay, got it.
So, congestive heart failure, sarcopenia, bone density, it all seems to be indicated for that. Anything else that you found out from a research or a science standpoint that surprises you or that's kind of new on the EMS front?
Bjoern: All these aspects are aspects that we didn't design the product for. That's quite interesting. So, people tell us, for example, like I had one individual, he's an MD himself, he had prostate cancer. And, when you have prostate cancer and get basically your prostate removed, your quality of life is basically shit. And, to recover from that, it takes roughly six months. That's what he basically told us. And, he is an MD and he can take things in a way that we as normal individuals wouldn't do that and treat himself. And, he said, he used Katalyst because a friend recommended to him. And, his quality of life was back after two months instead of six because the pelvic floor activation was so significant. It helped him to redevelop his pelvic floor in two months rather than six.
And, these are things where I'm like, “Whoa.” And, people just reached out after they achieved that. MDs just use it themselves and basically decided to do that. So, there are all these different areas that we are now starting with partners from the medical community to establish the foundation for this so that at one day, this could actually be an additional non-invasive treatment for a lot of different aspects that we hadn't had before.
Another individual that reached out to me, and this is what I meant when I said, I get these random LinkedIn messages. I literally have individuals who seek me out on LinkedIn and just tell me like, “Hey, this is what I did. This is how long I have your Katalyst suit? This is what I achieved. Thank you for building this.” And, this is just the most beautiful piece of my job. So, there's one individual, he's a dentist and I went on his podcast and he said, “You basically fixed my occupational pain.” And, I'm like, “What do you mean?” He said, “As dentists, we are in this very weird position that we constantly have to work in and our career basically ends when we cannot tolerate the pain anymore.” And, it was interesting. I didn't know that. And, he said, “I've been using Katalyst for six weeks and my back pain has gone and my mobility is back.” And, he said, “Please come on my podcast” because he has a podcast that talks about how to be better dentists. And, we just talked about occupational pain as a dentist and he basically said, “Hey, every dentist should have one. It increases your career or extends your career.” And, the ROI of this device is two days or something like that. And, he said, “It's just increasing your quality of life quite a bit.”
So, very, very interesting use cases, frozen shoulder problems of individuals that couldn't finish their golf swings, which people say frozen shoulder is really hard to treat or general like back problems, back pain. Yeah. So, very interesting, very interesting use cases.
Ben: And, by the way, that's interesting that you say that about the prostate and the pelvic floor because we briefly mentioned this the first time I interviewed you, but there are devices out there like a company called INNOVO. They make a pelvic floor trainer that they advertise as pull-on shorts that act as a Kegel exerciser for things like incontinence or prolapse or even just an inability to, let's say, maintain blood flow or erectile quality because of pelvic floor detraining.
There are also devices that I know have become increasingly popular at physical therapy clinics, for example. There's one called an Emsculpts device that you sit on that's like electrical muscle stimulation for the pelvic floor and almost like a chair that you sit on. And, I'd run this by you briefly in our last episode. You can basically, by turning up the leg stimulation component of the Katalyst suit, get that same thing if you're just looking for some of the sexual health pelvic floor training, staving off, incontinence, prolapse, et cetera, again because you're using all these little muscles that, in the average barbell squat, you might not actually be consciously activating those pelvic floor muscles. But, this is another perfect example to where you're using these muscles you haven't used before and up training in this case some very important often neglected muscles in the pelvis is a full body suit, but a big part of is these shorts that pull on that have electrodes very close to those areas. Nothing over the genitals. Don't worry folks. But, it's close enough to the pelvic floor to where you can get some pretty significant benefits from a sexual health pelvic floor standpoint.
Bjoern: Spot on. The nice thing for me is you're generally getting healthier because it's a full-body workout. That's why I originally built it. And then, you have this million of positive side use cases, which is literally sexual health, which is incontinence, especially for women postnatal, postpartum have sometimes urinary problems. And, I went to a hotel room like to a hotel the other day and there was an ad. And, I was like, “This is the solution.” It was basically not a catheter, but an inlay for the bed for women who have incontinence problems. And, I was like, “This is an awful situation if this is your solution.” So, we can solve this literally. I mean, my wife had small incontinence problem when she was jumping like plyos, like very heavy just that, like just a drop here and there, like very small. Since she's doing Katalyst, it's gone. My sister had this problem like gone. It's literally postpartum incontinence and all these aspects, literally gone. And yeah, I can tell you it works. It absolutely works.
Bjoern: And, as her husband, I can also tell you it works. I don't know if this fits into this podcast, but I can literally tell you the self-esteem and the amount of joy that comes from a good health and a good core is just absolutely amazing. And, you don't even have to do anything extra and you don't need a device extra. It's like you're already doing this. And, as you said, if you have very deep squats or Russian squats or so on and so forth with all these electrodes, it literally activates it.
Interestingly for me, women have more awareness of their pelvic floor than men do because I think they are more accustomed to dealing with that. I sometimes have men telling me like, “Oh, it really tickles down here.” And, I'm like, “Yeah, this is what you should also have awareness of, by the way.” So, it's a way of training, but it's also an awareness builder. So, very interesting side effects.
Ben: The other thing related to the idea of, let's say, grabbing little muscles that you normally wouldn't use or training areas that have been detrained like the pelvic floor, it's kind of this interesting concept that there is say via the use of cold thermogenesis, like cold bath soaks or cold-water immersion, or even cryotherapy chambers, this phenomenon where people reports elimination of strange pains and fibromyalgia that they've been trying to fight for years or this full body effect that they're unable to get if they were to just consciously engage in some type of training protocol, and it's almost as though by outsourcing to a device or to cold water or to heat activities that your brain is no longer doing, you affect this interesting change in health that I think dictates the idea of using ancestral mechanisms like cold and heat or modern mechanisms like electrical muscle stimulation allow you to actually have your own medicine cabinet at your disposal when it comes to getting the body to shift in a way that you're just unable to get it to shift consciously because you're outsourcing the work to the brain of cold or the brain of heat or the brain of electricity.
Bjoern: Yeah. I think you're spot on here. I think this whole area of exercise as medicine where we have now multiple partners that we're working with and we're doing small studies or small projects to really, really find out what we can do with this new tool of electro-muscle stimulation. It is almost like an unlock where people have not been successful with what they've tried to do to improve their physical health. But, this is so easy to do and your body starts to feel different very, very quickly. It is almost like, you could say, an entry drug to a healthier lifestyle.
So, I, for example, was plagued with the stress headaches my whole life. They basically came from my neck, I later found out, which was almost cramping. I'm hypermobile around my neck so that didn't help. So, a lot of spinal problems that I generally have like neck and then lower back, but the use of EMS training, especially around crampy muscles, like muscles that are basically in pain and trying not to move because they can't get in a constant state of being tight, gets basically broken as a vicious cycle because they get so exhausted, they literally have to relax. And, that breaks the vicious cycle. So, I haven't had these kind of migraines or headaches for 10 years now since I've been using full-body EMS starting in 2012.
And then, on top of that, you asked me like the other day, why I get so sore? First of all, I'm activating muscles that were basically underdeveloped or dormant but also like I think and this is something that we have to get deeper into, when I'm not using muscle fibers or certain aspects of the body, I don't know what the state of that is. I mean, we have cells in the body that are just in a very bad state and basically toxic for the environment. So, with part muscle stimulators or electro muscle stimulation, when I'm just activating muscles that basically are dormant or broken or not really working and all these get broken up, I basically just flush out bad cellular neighbors, so to say. Dr. Kaufman always calls this like if you have a grumpy neighbor like they make everybody else's life miserable. And, just generally clean up your muscle mass and get rid of your cramps. And, this is why we see customers that report, “My frozen shoulder is gone,” or “My headaches are gone,” or “My mobility increased.”
One very, very interesting case we had is an individual heavily overweight was up for a hip replacement surgery. And, his doctor said, “Hey, you have to increase your strength pre-surgery so that your rehabilitation gets better. So, you need a good prehab.” So, reached out because he heard from a friend that there's Katalyst, you got a Katalyst suit. He did Katalyst for six weeks. And, his physician said, “Hey, keep doing what you're doing. And, you're doing well.” He did another six weeks. And, after six weeks, they held on and said, “Hey, let's, let's pause your schedule for your hip replacement surgery.” Lost weight, got stronger, pain went down, mobility went up. Nine months later, they called off the surgery. They said, “We don't need it anymore. Your muscles are now strong enough to keep your joint in place and to carry your body. Lost weight, increased muscle mass, and just massively increased quality of life.” So now, his surgeon reached out like, “Hey, I want to work with you guys. How we can use this? It's so much better before surgery and for people where we can't even fix it, it will definitely accelerate recovery.”
Yeah. So, there's a lot new stuff coming up by people using our product and other products in the rest of the world. I think this is a very nascent field where we can improve people's quality of life quite a bit and we're learning every day. And, as we learn, we will work then again with the FDA to get clearance for new indications for use. We'll come up with new protocols. We're very excited.
Ben: Yeah, the list of benefits goes on and on but then the delivery mechanism via these small bite-size workouts works really, really well. And, that's actually something I wanted to ask you. As far as the workouts that are on there and the frequency with which they're updated or kind of like another popular train devices is the Tonal, which is a wall-mounted exercise device that allows you to choose from different trainers to different full body workouts to isolated muscle part workouts.
Now, what are you guys doing as far as like updates to the app, new workouts, new modalities, anything like that that has occurred since the last time that we spoke?
Bjoern: Yeah. So, we onboarded I think four new trainers since last time that we spoke. For example, one who I really like a lot for me, for my own trainings, is Matt. He's a MMA coach and he has very good or series of training. So, for example, you can learn how to box but he really not only does a workout with you but he also teaches you technique and it's almost like the buildup of, “Hey, here's this one, here's this one, take care of this.” So, you almost forget that you're working out because you're also getting coached on boxing. And then, he has a series of one, two, three, four different workouts and they all built on top of each other. I really like that.
We added the first few set of workouts that are injury-prevention specific. So, for example, ACL stabilization. So, all the exercises within this workout really go around stabilizing your knee joint and all the adjacent muscles around that.
We're getting into golf very soon. So, we are building specific workouts for golfers. There's a huge community out there and a lot of Katalyst customers are golfing and say, “Hey, do you have something that's specific for this?” We want to get into seasonal things like how do you prepare for skiing, this kind of things. We're onboarding more trainers. We're massively increasing the team at the moment with the initial success that we had. We were able to raise are nice series a round and that allows us to grow the supply chain, grow the team, get more trainers, get more content. We are insourcing our software team at the moment, hiring additional members on the tech side. Yeah, just amazing stuff to come.
What we're also going to build is we're going to recommend more to you what to do next. So, based on what you have been doing, we might build in other data sources like your WHOOP or your Oura or your Apple Watch. And, we understand where you are today when you work out. This is a little bit further out, but we're getting there to really basically become your personal trainer that really says, “Hey, you did this. Okay, today, you should be doing this.” And yeah, so we started with yoga content. I don't know if you tried some of those yet. There's definitely more to come. Yes.
Ben: I just updated the app a few days ago and I haven't delved into any of the yoga or anything. What are some of your favorite workouts that you just have as your go-tos?
Bjoern: Yeah. So, I literally, at the moment, it's Matt's boxing series. I like that a lot. Matt has this, then Max has a few dynamic strength training workouts that are high-intensity, high emotion. I really like those. There's a lower back strength which I use for my lower back. And then, like I said, I combined the cardio interval workout with an Airdyne bike. And yeah, just wrecking.
Ben: If somebody's listening in and they want to try this thing, obviously, it's not a one-size-fits-all, people come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you can't just pull on the suit, how's the sizing actually work? Is it kind of like when you get a wet suit and you submit your arm, your shoulder size, your chest width, et cetera? How exactly do you figure out what size you're supposed to get?
Bjoern: Yeah. So, similar to that, the one other company in our field that I can think of that has a similar personalization is Oura. So, you buy basically a ring, you buy a voucher for a ring, and then you get a ring kit set, and then after a while, you say like, “I want size 10 or something like this,” which what I wear, for example.
So, the way we do it is so you buy your suit and we send you a form. And, in this form, we are asking about five, six different sizes, so circumference, chest, waist, we want your height, your weight, and gender. And, with this, this all goes into an algorithm and it basically picks the right combination of sizes for your base layer, for your vest, for your shorts, and for your arm straps.
Ben: Okay. And, the last time that we talked, there was an issue with a massive waitlist, like people have to wait months and months to get one. What's the status of the wait list component right now?
Bjoern: So, it is still long and there are still people on this waitlist. However, we are able now to ship in much shorter periods of time, so six weeks, something like this should definitely be possible. We had some events where we then once all of a sudden had a lot of inventory where we were able to ship in two weeks, but six weeks or something, that's probably more realistic.
I'm just back from a trip in Asia. We found some amazing very, very scalable production partners in Taiwan. Yeah, it's going to be much better. It's down from six months to weeks. That definitely is coming back. The waitlist is still very, very long but we are shipping. And, yeah. It's also dependent on sizes. So, you can be lucky. So, sometimes one size was out. So, for example, this summer small shorts were out, which means generally like females, a lot of females we weren't able to ship, but males got their shipping. So, we've overcome this. And yeah, now it's like in the six weeks area.
Ben: Okay, got you. Now, we last time had a deal where people could get moved up towards the front of the waitlist if they were to get one as one of my podcast listeners following the link that we have in the shownotes. If somebody goes through something like that, I believe are you guys still doing the expedited delivery and a personal, I think it was that and people also get a personal onboarding via Zoom, right?
Bjoern: Exactly. So, what we do with key partners like you, what we do is we prioritize delivery. So, people who come through your link, that's probably more 2 weeks, but only two weeks after you gave us your sizing. As a customer, you have to give us sizing information after you purchase, because only then we can put it together, ship it out and so on and so forth. So, if you do the purchase, get your sizing in as soon as possible. Two weeks is very reasonable for your customers. We're still moving you guys in front of the line. And yes, you get a personal Zoom onboarding if you wish to.
Ben: Okay, got it. And yeah, I mean, this thing can literally replace an entire gym if you really had to, especially if you live in a small condo or apartment or something like that. Like I mentioned, I also use kettlebells, I still use the ARX, but as far as throwing this in a few times a month to just grab all these new muscles and train stuff you've never trained before, I think it's well worth the investment. You guys also have some kind of a payment plan because I think if someone were to just lay down cash and buy this all at once, how much is it? I forget.
Bjoern: It's $2,385 but we probably have to raise the price as soon as everything else in the economy has to go up. But, at the moment, it's $2,385. So, basically how it works is you do a $500 deposit and I think on your direct checkout. And, if you do a firm, it's 66 bucks a month.
Ben: Okay, that's 66 bucks a month, you got 0 interest for was it like three years, something like that?
Bjoern: Three years, exactly.
Ben: Okay, so 66. That's less than a health club membership, so it's not a bad deal. And, while I see a lot of exercise trends come and go and people send me all sorts of crazy stuff to try, this is definitely one that has stuck. I mean, if people hear me talk about my own workouts, it's the kettlebells or hell yes, blood flow restriction bands, absolutely, some form of super slow training, yes, and then cold, heat. But, this idea of throwing in some technology and using electrical muscle stimulation, I mean it's a no-brainer in this case literally and figuratively because it just allows you to train in an incredibly unique fashion.
So, if you're a fitness enthusiast or if you're somebody who wants to stave off sarcopenia or work on bone density or boxing skills, I guess long story short, there's a significant cardiovascular health effect from this. It's not just strength.
Bjoern: Absolutely. So, we have studies from Europe, and this is again when you said like, “Hey, this stuck.” So, in Europe, it's now a thing for 15 years, maybe even longer.
Bjoern: And, I mean Germany has now about 3,000 studios. It's a quarter of the U.S. population and 1/5 of the economy and it has 3,000 studios. It is a thing and it's staying. It's also in the U.S. It's now coming, so the studios are really coming in. It was late. U.S. is late to the game because there were no legal devices. Also, studio devices are now available. There's a chain out of Florida that has already 35 studios. And, I think they have 180 or so coming on their website. It's definitely booming. A lot of concierge services in California, but as a session starts at I think $110, $120. If you buy a package and they're normally $150. So, yeah, it's definitely coming. I don't want to be unfair because I think if you're not sure if you would like EMS training, do it.
By the way, if you ask like, “Hey, is there a return window?” If people don't like Katalyst and they're using it and don't like it, there's a 30-day return window. We haven't had that yet, but it is something that, though we had one case for different reasons. But, it's literally something you can do.
There's another guarantee that we give you. It's like if you are that successful, people say like, “Hey, it's a size suit. So, I want to lose weight. What if I lose weight?” The suit is very adjustable. So, there's some wiggle room definitely. You don't immediately need a new suit. It's not like a wet suit that basically almost has no give. But, if you need a smaller suit because you were so successful, we give you a new suit, no questions asked.
Bjoern: Because we want you to be successful and we want this investment to be really worth it. And, at that point in time, you probably have to buy entirely new clothes anyway and that's going to be expensive. But, we want you to be successful. So, if you need a smaller suit, we give you a smaller suit.
Ben: Awesome. Well, you guys are making it easy for folks. And again, you get it, you plug it in, you turn on the iPad, and you just go. It gets a Bluetooth signal, doesn't require a bunch of Wi-Fi. As a matter of fact, I just download all the workouts and I do it with the iPad in airplane mode. For any of you who are concerned about EMF, you can simply run the whole thing in airplane mode. No issues there. And, it's slick, it's well-designed. And, I'm just as big a fan of it as I was the first time that I had you on the show, Bjoern.
So folks, it's called a Katalyst. You can go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Katalyst2, that's Katalyst, the number 2. I'll link to the other podcast I did with Bjoern. I put some more information there for you on electrical muscle stimulation. And again, if you grab a suit, you'll get the expedited delivery, you'll get the personal onboarding via Zoom. You can do the $66 a month 0 interest for three years. And, it's easy to get your hands on. Yeah, there's a little bit of a wait, but if you go through me, you'll get slightly expedited delivery and it's well worth the wait.
So, Bjoern, thanks once again for coming on and sharing with us this super cool technology that I think is just continuing to take the fitness world by storm.
Bjoern: Thanks, Ben, for having me.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
In the episode “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.”, I revealed my discovery of what I consider to be the next frontier of electrical muscle stimulation.
In my book Boundless, on my podcast, and elsewhere, I've talked about how I have used electrical muscle stimulation, also known as “EMS”, in the past…including:
- The Ultimate Biohacked Workout & The Future Of Fitness: Minimal Effective Doses, Cold, Blood Flow Restriction, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Ozone & More!, at SystimFit in New York City.
- The Most Powerful Electrical Muscle Stimulation Device Known To Humankind (& Exactly How To Use It), with Garrett Salpeter.
- Nerdy Ways To Lose Fat, Build Muscle & Maintain A Nice Body As You Age, with Thomas Delauer.
- How To Use Electrical Muscle Stimulation to Enhance Performance, Build Power and VO2 Max
- How To Quickly Biohack Your Nervous System & Muscle Growth With Electrostimulation.
…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.
In this episode, I interview once again the founder and CEO of Katalyst—Bjoern Woltermann—to take a deep dive into the latest science on EMS and 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. Because there are no weights and no joint impact, Katalyst empowers all people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. 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 our discussion, you'll discover:
-The basic overview of the catalyst training system…10:48
- The Katalyst is a full body electro muscle stimulation (EMS) device in the form of a suit
- Modular, has three components and is suitable for everyone
- Controlled by an iPad – takes training content out of the cloud
- A small device placed on the hip sends electrical currents through body
- Simulates signals from the brain
- Activates muscles in a complete way
- EMS training allows you to trigger and target each muscle in exactly the way you want it
- It can be used for recovery
- Kaatsu – Automated Blood Flow Restriction System (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Difference between Kaatsu and EMS suit
- ARX – super slow resistance training device
- Combination of slow and controlled lifting protocol with the EMS suit is not recommended for beginners
- Airdyne bike
- Combination of strength and cardio session
-The electrical modality used for cardio vs strength…21:33
- Cardio interval training – recommended
- Combination of Katalyst with an Airdyne bike or Assault bike
- How strength and cardio training on EMS work
- Ben uses it once a week
- Consistent use is essential, doesn’t matter how often
- Perfect for traveling
- First podcast episode with Bjoern Woltermann:
-The latest scientific researches on Katalyst’s efficiency…30:23
- Many studies are coming up that indicate the full body muscle stimulation does not only benefit your muscle mass, but also your bone density
- Effective with two major longevity problems – osteoporosis and sarcopenia
- Katalyst – excellent for sarcopenia (muscle loss with aging)
- Currently conducting a study in cooperation with several universities
- Initiative with the Mayo Clinic group “We Build Hearts” – works with individuals that have congestive heart failure
- Katalyst is the only FDA approved device for home use without supervision
- Had to prove the heart is protected and safe
- Impact on bone density
- There are initial signals that EMS can increase, or at least, stop the decrease of bone density
-Surprising positive impacts of Katalyst…46:04
- Katalyst proved efficient with many problems it wasn’t initially designed to solve
- A man with prostate cancer
- A dentist with occupational pain
- Frozen shoulder problems
- Back pain problems
- Innovo pelvic floor trainer
- Katalyst can also be used for pelvic floor training
- Solves postpartum incontinence
- EMS exercise as medicine for overall improvement of physical health
- Bjoern’s headaches has been gone for 10 years now
- Preparation for hip replacement surgery with Katalyst
- After 9 months there was no need for the surgery any more
- Katalyst can improve overall quality of life
-App updates, future improvements, buying options…1:01:09
- Onboarded four new trainers, one of which is an MMA coach; teaches not only boxing but also technique
- Added a set of workouts that are injury-prevention specific like ACL stabilization
- Building specific workouts for golfers
- Massively increasing the team
- Personalized sizing
- When buying you enter 6 different sizes
- Goes into an algorithm that basically picks the right combination of sizes for your base layer, for your vest, for your shorts, and for your arm straps
- Issue of supply
- Long waiting lists is beginning to get shorter
- Benefits of purchasing through Ben’s link, here
- Skip the reservation and purchase your system right away
- Expedited delivery (1-2 weeks after measurement is received – normally 3-6 weeks)
- Personal onboarding worth $150 with one of Katalyst's EMS specialists
- Additional advantages
- $66 a month with zero interest rate for 3 years
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Free of charge replacement if a smaller suit is needed because of the weight loss
-And much more…
- Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023
Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, where you get to improve on your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you get to learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I'd love to see you there. Learn more here.
- Elements Of Vitality with Dr. John Lieurance, Ben Greenfield & Friends: December 2, 2022, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM EST.
Dr. John Lieurance & Ben Greenfield offer a rare experience to explore the elements of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water with unique treatments, technologies, modalities, and biohacks to represent the healing powers of each element individually. Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- The Katalyst Full Body EMS Suit
- Skip the reservation and purchase your system right away
- Expedited delivery (1-2 weeks after measurement is received – normally 3-6 weeks)
- Personal onboarding worth $150 with one of Katalyst's EMS specialists
- 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.
- The Ultimate Biohacked Workout & The Future Of Fitness: Minimal Effective Doses, Cold, Blood Flow Restriction, Electrical Muscle Stimulation, Ozone & More!, at SystimFit in New York City.
- The Most Powerful Electrical Muscle Stimulation Device Known To Humankind (& Exactly How To Use It), with Garrett Salpeter.
- Nerdy Ways To Lose Fat, Build Muscle & Maintain A Nice Body As You Age, with Thomas Delauer.
- How To Use Electrical Muscle Stimulation to Enhance Performance, Build Power and VO2 Max
- How To Quickly Biohack Your Nervous System & Muscle Growth With Electrostimulation.
– Other Resources:
Levels: If you want to better understand how food affects your health by trying continuous glucose monitor, go to levels.link/Ben to learn more. They also have a really well-researched, in-depth blog that I recommend checking out if you’re just looking to learn more about topics like metabolic health, longevity, and nutrition.
Clearlight Sauna: If you want to sweat buckets in the privacy of your own home, go to HealwithHeat.com and use code: BEN for a discount and free shipping – the free shipping alone is a huge savings because these saunas are big, heavy, and well-made!
Joy Mode: Want to spice things up in the bedroom and boost your sexual performance? And do it naturally without nasty prescription drugs? We have a special offer for the Ben Greenfield audience. Go to usejoymode.com/GREENFIELD or enter GREENFIELD at checkout for 20% off your first order.
Kion Aminos: Aminos are building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Go to https://getkion.com/bengreenfield to receive 20% off on monthly deliveries and 10% on one-time purchases.
Boundless Parenting Book – Tools, Tactics and Habits of Great Parents. Everything you need to know about family, parenting, and raising healthy, resilient, free-thinking and impactful children. Go to boundlessparentingbook.com and pre-order your copy now.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Bjoern Woltermann or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!