It is a perfectly safe and uniquely complementary technique of voluntary training. This technique is capable of inducing muscular stability (or facilitating recovery) resulting from a high intensity muscular activity, that is very different from a purely passive technique that does not require the serious involvement or the motivation of the athlete.
No national or international sports body or federation, including the International Olympics Committee, assimilates the use of electrostimulation to a doping practice or bans the use of this technique.
1. No harmful effect on health▾
No harmful effect on health whether in the short, medium or long term has ever been recorded ; even in subjects using this technique daily for many years, as is sometimes necessary for some medical situations.
2. The effect is natural▾
The electricity possesses no property which would enable the slightest artificial development of the neuro-muscular system. The effect is natural.
3. The muscle contractions are comparable to those of voluntary training▾
The muscular gains generated by electrostimulation are only the consequence of the work (= the contractions) done by the muscle, in response to the stimulation of its motor nerve. To be effective, the muscle contractions that are electrically induced must necessarily be powerful, Gilles Cometti of the Performance Expertise Center of the University of Dijon, considered that minimum tension at least equal to 60% of maximum strength was required in trained athletes, in order to increase strength, which requires a certain amount of self-sacrifice, comparable to what is required in numerous sessions of voluntary training.
4. Muscular wisdom : a muscle used excessively by electrostimulation becomes exhausted and ends up no longer contracting.▾
There is a saturation phenomenon which the Anglo-Saxons call ‘muscle wisdom’ whose effect is that a muscle used excessively (too long or too often) by electrostimulation becomes exhausted and ends up no longer contracting in response to stimulation. This therefore excludes the use of long term exposures which are completely ineffective.
5. Complementary and non-substitutive technique of voluntary training▾
Electrostimulation is a complementary and non-substitutive technique of voluntary training. In fact, sports performance is the sum of numerous qualities: cardiovascular, technical… and muscular, the sole component on which electrostimulation is effective. The story of the athlete who has improved his performance after replacing his voluntary training sessions with electrostimulation sessions is nothing more than a crazy myth.
6. Recovery programs are not likely to improve muscular performance▾
Another indication of neuro-muscular electrostimulation is its use to encourage recovery after a workout. This is achieved using specific active recovery programs which do not require the same self-sacrifice constraints as "muscle building" type programs. The effects are vascular (increase in blood flow), pain relief (release of endorphins) and decontracting and are achieved using a low muscular activity which is not likely to improve muscular performance, even if the sessions are repeated in excess.