If you’ve never heard of it before, let Samantha Barakat Light, Founder and CEO of Body Catalyst, break it down for you: “The TeslaFormer is a revolutionary technology which helps to strengthen, define, and build muscle while burning fat.
“It uses FMS (functional magnetic stimulation) to stimulate up to 50,000 pulses to strengthen and tone your inner core, glutes, hamstrings, triceps, and most major muscle groups.”
Samantha explains: “While we still recommend exercise (hello endorphins, cardiovascular health, stress relief!), we often have clients who add it in as part of their workout routine. The technology uses Tesla energy to stimulate strong muscle contractions above the level possible through exercise alone, targeting deep into muscles that can be difficult to activate during exercise.”
So in short: it’s probably best that you continue with your workouts, but TeslaFormer is a highly effective add-on to supercharge your existing routine.
If you’re interested in trying TeslaFormer to prepare for a big event (brides-to-be, this is for you), Samantha recommends coming in 3-6 months before the date to craft the perfect plan. “The 3-6 month time frame ensures that whatever your concern is, we’ll be able to cover it all before your big day,” she says.
Well, it sounds pretty incredible – but are you a good candidate? “The technology is suitable for most healthy individuals,” shares Samantha. “There are a few contraindications such as pregnancy, having a pacemaker, or metal implants, however it’s always best to speak with one of our body shaping and wellness therapists to see if it’s the right treatment for you.”
But post-pregnancy, it can actually be an ideal treatment to help with recovery: “Along with being able to strengthen and define more major muscle groups, TeslaFormer can also be used to strengthen the core to reduce lower back pain, as well as post-pregnancy abdominal separation (also known as diastasis recti),” shares Samantha.
When I first heard about TeslaFormer, I was intrigued. Its promise of delivering the equivalent of up to 50,000 sit-ups each session seemed almost too good to be true, especially to someone (i.e. me) who hadn’t done a sit-up in living memory. I’d yet to venture into the world of body contouring treatments, so when Body Catalyst invited me to try TeslaFormer, I hastily signed up to a set of sessions.
My lovely therapist Jacinta welcomes me into the clinic and sits me down for a comprehensive consultation before we start, covering all things from diet and exercise, to what I would like my results to look like. It seems to be the ideal treatment for me: I’m not looking to lose weight, but I’m also not toned in the least, so the idea of building muscle without requiring any active effort on my part is very attractive. She then takes measurements to compare with my final results, and we begin.
The TeslaFormer treatment itself is painless, if a little uncomfortable at first – but hardly unbearably so. You lie on a bed and two paddles are strapped onto your target area (for me, it was my stomach) which create different sequences of pulses throughout each session. The therapist then turns on the machine, gradually increasing the intensity up until 100. You might be able to handle 100 during the first session or you might need to work your way up over the course of a few session; it all depends on your pain threshold, really. The sensation is hard to describe but an approximation would be that it causes an involuntary rippling of your muscles up and down. It’s weird to feel your muscles move out of your control, but once you get used to it (which you do quickly) it’s almost meditative and it’s easy to drift off.
I had 10 TeslaFormer sessions in total, during which I lost 10cm in total from various points across my abdomen: a fairly astounding result, especially as I made no other lifestyle changes in this time. And, above all, I could certainly feel and see the changes with definition on my hitherto completely undefined stomach: not quite abs, but my stomach looked tighter and clothes fit a little looser.
If you’re looking to create definition and tone your body, it’s not a substitute for a solid exercise routine or an excuse to disregard your nutrition; instead, it should be regarded as a powerful supplement to deliver results quicker. But if you are looking to bolster an otherwise airtight lifestyle, it’s definitely a treatment that I would happily recommend.
Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot of Gisele from Ralph Lauren’s 1998 S/S campaign.