Trying the Latest Beauty Trend, Emsculpt

Can the latest beauty buzz really take you from zero to six pack in just four sessions? We tried Emsculpt ourselves at Four Season Denver to find the truth behind the TikToks.

Emsculpting treatment
Photo by Jody Zorn, Four Seasons

I’ve always believed that exercise buffs fall into one of into two categories: cardio enthusiast or weightlift warrior. But now, there’s a third classification of people who lay down and let a machine do all the work for them. Let’s call them the smart ones. Emsculpt, the world’s first noninvasive aesthetic device to build muscle and sculpt the body, uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy technology to trigger what’s called supramaximal contractions (the kind you cannot achieve on your own), simultaneously imploding fat cells and building muscle fibers to define your abs with nary a crunch. Or so they say. Intrigued, I booked a session at The Spa at the Four Seasons Denver to see if Emsculpt could live up to its hype.

Workout With Me

The Four Seasons’ lead esthetician Alexa Elliott warns me that because the machine only penetrates a few inches of adipose tissue, not everyone sees outwardly visible results after one session—but that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Not to mention the benefits of a strong core go far beyond appearances, improving posture and balance, reducing back pain, and helping to prevent future injuries. “The ideal candidate is someone who is already in a workout routine,” Elliott tells me. “Emsculpt is great for those trying to get past a fitness plateau and for targeting specific muscles that are difficult to work out, like the gluteus minimus or the corset muscle that often splits during pregnancy.”

My session takes place in one of the spa’s luxe treatment rooms, where I lie on a heated table while my therapist hooks me up to the device. And then, my 30-minute ab protocol begins. It’s intense. Relaxing is impossible, my muscles are contracting hundreds of times in a matter of seconds. I can feel my quivering abs being pulled from the depths of my core where they had been hibernating since the pandemic. Just when I’ve gotten used to the sensation, my therapist asks if I’m ready to dial up the intensity until my contractions are in the thousands. Over the course of 30 minutes, I work up a sweat that leaves me sore for days—a testament to the equivalent of 20,000 crunches the machine induced. And it was worth it. At the end of my session, I could see a clear outline defining my abs, with a nice, crisp cut down the middle. The treatment is ideally administered in four sessions over two to three weeks, but after the first session, you’ll have a good idea if it’s right for you and worth $750 per session.

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