A WORKOUT that can dissolve fat, tone muscles, and fight ageing? It sounds too good to be true.
But GELIDA promises to do just that – and you get to do it all lying down.
It’s easy to see why singer Pixie Lott and British Bollywood star Amy Jackson are both big fans.
I tested the concept myself at Unique Fit – a luxury personal training gym in Holland Park, West London – and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
While you are horizontal on a bench (making it one of the easiest workouts I’ve ever done in that respect), it’s comparable to being punched in the stomach.
Thankfully, it only lasts 30 minutes – and the intensity is said to be the same as spending three hours in the gym, so at least it’s speedy!
What is GELIDA?
GELIDA offers various “wellness technologies”; it’s all about supporting rejuvenation and regeneration from the inside out.
There are numerous devices, but I tried the IOS 21, which apparently offers the latest in muscle stimulation.
This is essentially a way to activate muscles through electrical current instead of movements – so it’s like exercise, while staying still (I’m on board already).
When applied to your abdominals, for example, it’s comparable to doing sit-ups – but you don’t have to actually do the work.
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Instead, the muscles are ‘shocked’ into contracting.
While you might only be able to manage 20 crunches in a normal workout setting, you could do far, far more with this machine.
GELIDA IOS 21 has seven electrostimulation programs, which target specific muscle groups.
This kind of physical activity – if you can call it that – burns fat and builds muscle, as well as aids recovery and lymphatic drainage (the release of built up fluid and swelling).
What is a ‘class’ like?
It’s difficult to call a session with the GELIDA IOS 21 a ‘class’ because it’s just you and your ‘instructor’ in a room doing next to nothing.
But it involves lying on a massage table and exposing the body part you’re hoping to work on – in my case, my abs.
Small, slightly damp pads were applied to my middle, which is how the electrical current reaches your muscles.
Personal trainer Joss Garnier spaced eight pads across my stomach, with wires hooked up to a silver box.
This is where he controlled the intensity of the shockwaves throughout my 30-minute workout.
We started light and worked up to 70/100 (apparently only the fittest of the fit make it close to 100).
When it felt easy, he amped it up. And when the pain became unbearable, he dialled it down.
The best way I can describe the sensation is a light vibration which buzzes under the skin – a little bit like ants crawling.
Thankfully, it’s not constant, with varying rest breaks throughout.
On the highest setting, I found it was like being lightly and repeatedly punched in the stomach – but it was over before I knew it!
My skin was a little red afterwards, but it looked far worse than it felt.
In fact, I actually felt great afterwards, which I can only put down not be as knackered as I would be after my usual runs, swims and HIIT sessions.
Importantly, does it work?
GELIDA IOS 21 contracts the muscles 150 times more intensely than normal exercise (so it’s no wonder it hurt a bit).
A single 30-minute session is equivalent to three hours of hard work in the gym.
Joss said some of the most significant benefits include:
- Fat reduction by lipolytic activation
- Skin toning, firming and reshaping
- Muscle recovery and firming
- Improved lymphatic drainage
- Restoration of cellular metabolic functions
- Bio-rejuvenation which slows down ageing
- Inch loss
- Muscle definition
I only had a single session, so it’s difficult to say how effective it would be for me long-term – but I did feel firmer for hours afterwards.
I was also left with an unusual but not entirely unpleasant tingling sensation for about 30 minutes, so I felt like I had done some form of hard work.
Muscle stimulation technology transmits current via individual electrodes that are connected to the muscles on the surface of the skin.
“These muscle motor points have often lost tone due to inactivity, which the IOS21 device can rebuild,” GELIDA said.
“The fast contraction and subsequent relaxation of these individual muscles, alongside the precise positioning of the electrodes, allows the device to target specific areas of the body with the correct electro wave for desired results.”
When the muscles contract, energy is collected from the surrounding tissue and adipocyte content is removed.
This allows fat to be transformed into glucose at the metabolic level in a process called lipolysis (splitting of fats), GELIDA said.
It all sounds quite complicated, but in short, each of the seven wave forms achieves different results. These are:
- Wave 21 – helps with lymphatic drainage due to the perfect synergy of the unit pulses with the heart
- Rectangular – weight loss program with an inch loss from 0.4in (1cm) to 1.6in (4cm) in one session
- Isometric+ – 80 per cent firming with 20 per cent slimming (a passive exercise that works to tone the muscles)
- Isometric- – 100 per cent firming program, comparable to Pilates
- Kotz – deep muscle toning working on all muscle fibres for a lifting effect all over the body
- Triangular – connective stimulation and vibration to recover skin tone, activate collagen and elastin synthesis, and increase oxygenation of the tissue to recover skin brightness
- Microcurrents – increases ATP production, promotes protein synthesis and the active transportation of amino acids whilst promoting skin rejuvenation
Whatever the wave form, GELIDA promises visible results after just one treatment.
While my own were minimal, before-and-after photos from other clients (like the one below) show the incredible positive impact just 30 minutes can have.
The number of sessions needed to see considerable change is dependent on the patient and area of concern, Joss said.
So it’s no wonder celebs love it
Amy Jackson, who starred in Supergirl and is dating Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick, said she felt like a “new woman” after a GELIDA treatment.
Meanwhile, model and TV personality Jo Wood said she “loved” her experience, and All About Tonight Pixie Lott simply said: “Wow.”
Even tennis champ Andy Murray’s mum Judy is a fan. She said of GELIDA: “Best treatments ever.”
I’m someone who likes to keep my workouts varied – I’ll be running one day and doing a dance class the next – so this was a nice way to mix things up even more.
But it comes with a hefty price tag (prices start from £150), so I’m not sure I’ll be making it part of my weekly fitness routine.
If you’ve got the cash to spare, it only takes a look at the before-and-after pictures to see GELIDA can be effective, so it may well be worth it – especially if you want to take your workouts to the next level.
However, if you’re happy with a standard gym, then you probably don’t need to rush to book a session.
GELIDA is available at Unique Fit in packs of 10. It is also on offer at:
- Harley Street Skin Clinic – London
- Radiant Glow – Doncaster
- Noza Clinic – Goole
- Sessions Aesthetics – Beverley
- Skin Techniques – Amersham
- Gelida Clinic – Nottinghamshire
- 21 Clinic – Banbury
- Wiltshire Inch Loss Clinic – Wiltshire