Get 60% Off The Best Tips to Slow Aging
Technology & Tools

Katalyst Suit Review: World’s Best Full-Body EMS System?

Photo of author

byNick

Updated:

18 Minutes

Outliyr is is editorially independent. We may get a small commission if you buy through our links (at no cost to you). Thanks for your support!

Katalyst EMS Suit Review Ft
Katalyst EMS Suit Review Ft
PinLinkedInPrint

The Katalyst EMS system has all the hallmarks of a “lose weight and get fit fast” scam, here’s what’s advertised:

  • 20-minute full-body workout equivalent to 2 hours in the gym
  • 90% muscle fiber activation (~40% from traditional workouts)
  • Small, light, and portable
  • Zero-impact and available to all fitness levels

Magic bullet fitness technologies like this garner excitement but fade as the results don’t match the hype.

The principle behind this technology is simple…

Instead of activating your muscles by lifting heavy weights (risking injury and missing certain muscles), we can accomplish something more effectively and efficiently by strategically applying small currents of electricity.

I’m constantly researching, testing, and tracking breakthrough fitness technologies. Skeptically, I dug into the science behind applying electricity to muscles to transform your body, fitness, and overall health.

Turns out that Katalyst has the science to back it. Explaining how their waitlist exceeds 75,000 people and the $40.6M in funding they received from a laundry list of big-name investors.

Is the state-of-the-art home training system worth the hefty price tag?

I decided to try this system for myself. In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about EMS. The science behind how it works, the benefits, and my review of the Katalyst EMS System.

What is EMS Training & How Does it Work?

Electro-muscle stimulation (EMS) sends small, low-frequency electric impulses to muscles, causing contractions. Mimicking what happens naturally when we lift weights or run, but better. Practitioners combine this technology with functional movements.

External activation via electricity more effectively activates type II (fast twitch) muscle fibers. Letting us bypass the slow-to-fatigue type I fibers. So that we build muscle, strength, and power, but without wear and tear. Learn more in tthis deep dive on the benefits of EMS training.

We can use EMS to target individual muscles, or with the right gear, apply it for full-body body training. Although most other systems only do one of the two.

Although it’s only now becoming popular in the West, research on full-body EMS systems dates back to the 1960s. Sessions consisted of cumbersome suits used in dedicated fitness centers, tethered to a control system with a mess of wires, and ranged in price from $60-$180 per session.

Several companies have made major innovations in the field. The most modern and promising of them is Katalyst.

The Katalyst EMS Suit

Muscle, Strength, Power, & Cardio in Just 20 Mins (Katalyst EMS Suit Review)

Bjoern Woltermann was living in Germany when his doctor prescribed him an early EMS unit to treat his chronic back pain (caused by a weak core). Within weeks, he experienced a massive transformation firsthand. So in 2015, he founded Katalyst Fitness to bring the technology to the USA.

Katalyst isn’t the industry’s first full-body EMS system. Yet most other units suffer from one or more of the following major drawbacks:

  • Rats’ nest of wires restrict movement and workout options
  • Confusing electrode placement
  • Terrible, outdated, time-consuming user interfaces
  • Complicated soaking and setup

Unlike virtually every other device I have seen, Katalyst is completely wireless for unencumbered movement.

Plus, it’s cleared by the FDA for consumer use. Making it suitable for at-home workouts.

So what is it exactly?

Katalyst is a three-piece system based on EMS technology. It includes:

Katalyst EMS Suit Impulse Pack
Katalyst Impulse Pack
Katalyst EMS suit vest
Katalyst Suit Vest
Katalyst short and vest suit used for EMS training
Katalyst Suit Shorts & Vest
  • Base Layer: lightweight clothing designed to be worn underneath the suit
  • Katalyst Suit: the vest, shorts, and arm straps are worn over the base layer
  • Impulse Pack: the battery and “brains” of the suit which relay signals from the Katalyst app to the suit

You put on the base layer of clothing, slide the suit over it, attach the Impulse Pack, then select a workout from within the app. A personal trainer specializing in EMS training then guides you through a functional workout of your choice.

If you’re at all skeptical like me, you probably want to see the science now. I plan to write an entire deep-dive article on the science of EMS training. For now, I’ll share some of my most impactful findings.

The Science Behind Katalyst EMS Training

Electro-muscle stimulation training may be relatively new to the West, but it has an older history globally.

The Russians began using it in the 1960s. Multiple European universities routinely conduct several new studies per year. At the time of this writing, I found 97 medical studies published so far.

Germany is the global EMS destination, home to around 2,700 boutique studios dedicated to EMS.

Classification as a medical device by the FDA has dissuaded manufacturers from bringing the technology to the US. Companies like Katalyst are changing that.

Although the research, and more importantly, real-world experience, show that it works, the mechanisms are not entirely understood.

The basic premise behind EMS is simple.

The brain prefers to engage type I (slow twitch) muscle fibers first. It only engages type II (fast twitch) fibers when—and only for as long as is absolutely necessary. Even then, the brain looks for shortcuts to most efficiently handle the load.

EMS allows you to directly target your desired muscle fiber type. Katalyst claims users can engage 90% of their muscle fibers using this tech as opposed to 40% through traditional resistance training.

Plus, you can engage and re-train “forgotten” muscles.

There’s some good research suggesting the EMS improves:

  • Muscle, strength, athletic performance, and general fitness
  • Body composition
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Biomarkers

This 2022 randomized clinical trial found that whole-body EMS performed once weekly yielded better results than conventional training [R].

A systematic review of 23 published research articles concluded that it works to safely and effectively build muscle, reduce body fat, alleviate back pain, and improve biomarkers [R].

But it’s not just for athletes.

Another 2021 systematic review of 16 studies compared the effects of EMS on body composition and muscle strength in non-athletic adults. They found significant improvements in muscle and strength [R].

In a hurry?

Get Exclusive Katalyst VIP Access

Use our Katalyst link to bypass the entire line and unlock expedited shipping for free

Katalyst EMS Suit Review: My Experience

I first heard about Katalyst Fitness back in early 2021. I balked at the price and insisted on continuing to exercise the old-fashioned way.

Then I tested out some of the most powerful, best and most effective new fitness technologies like:

  • ARX
  • CAR.OL
  • KAATSU (read my review)
  • Harambe System (read my review)

I discovered smarter and more efficient ways to train.

From my Integrated Movement Science Program and working with some world-class experts, I also discovered that I have several important muscles that I rarely engage.

Not only would the Katalyst system help me “re-learn” to activate these muscles, but it could potentially replace my gym membership. At about 3 pounds, the entire setup is light enough to fit into my suitcase. Plus, I like the idea of the time savings of no commute and efficient 20-minute workouts.

So I bit the bullet and shelled out the cash.

I bought the Katalyst

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Brain & Body Optimization (@mindbodypeakperformance)

Immediately after ordering, I received an email asking for my bodily measurements. Katalyst uses this to determine your ideal suit size. If you don’t have measuring tape, they offer a printable ruler.

I hastily input my measurements and submit the TypeForm. Five days later, the large black box arrived on my doorstep.

To my relief, the measurements don’t require millimeter precision.

Unboxing the Katalyst felt reminiscent of that of a new Apple gadget. Sleek packaging. Beautiful designs. Clean labels. Surprisingly high build quality.

It certainly felt like a professional EMS machine.

I generally skip reading the directions and instead, follow my intuition. As I pulled a pile of items out of the box, that idea went out the window. Luckily, Katalyst includes a simple 1, 2, 3 easy setup guide. With a QR code to an instructional video walking through the entire thing.

I downloaded their app to my iPad (the iPhone iOS app is almost here) and answered several personal questions. Like my birthday, height, weight, and activity level.

Katalyst setup

Before buying, I researched and compared other EMS systems. Irrespective of brand or device, this technology has certain requirements to work. One of those is the setup. It’s not quite just “toss the suit on and hit ‘start’”.

Immediately after loading YouTube, I equated the 11+ minutes intro video with a frustratingly long setup process.

Katalyst certainly has a learning curve. From the quality of materials making up every component to the elegant design of the setup process. They clearly did everything they could to simplify the entire experience.

It gets significantly easier and faster after the first two or three times.

Mo, one of the Katalyst Trainers, offered to personally help me get started.

Here’s my setup checklist:

  • Impulse pack battery charged
  • An iPad paired via BlueTooth
  • Wetting all the pads with the provided spray bottle
  • Wearing special “innerwear” under the suit
  • Wearing four-piece outerwear
  • Cinching down the suit to fit properly

Whenever you apply electricity to the body, wetting the pads within the suit helps the electrodes work most efficiently and comfortably.

Katalyst warns you if the pads aren’t adequately wet, and makes you either disable that electrode or re-wet it. One minor annoyance I uncovered, is that you must fully suit up before it checks the electrodes. If one of the pads needed more water, I had to take the suit off just to fix it. A simple software update could easily fix this.

From undressing to exercising took me 25 minutes the first time, 13 minutes the second time, and I can now about 5 minutes.

Calibration

After suiting up, the trainer walks you through the details of using EMS tech. How the stimulation works, exercise technique. and proper breathing.

The first time you perform each of the different modes (strength, power, cardio, and recovery), Katalyst walks you through calibration. You start with the strength mode. During calibration, you begin at a very low intensity which feels like tingles. Then you slowly titrate up until your muscle contracts. The difference feels obvious.

You go through each of the muscle groups individually and dial in the intensity to match your unique musculature.

If you crank up the intensity super high, you’ll experience intense muscle contractions. The current feels somewhat like getting hit by a fire hose. You can easily back off until you find a comfortable level.

My advice to anyone new to EMS training, start LOW. You can always adjust later, but you cannot take away the intense soreness.

When you’re done, Katalyst uses these settings to begin your workouts. You can adjust them at any time.

App

I found the Katalyst app intuitive and easy to use. I didn’t expect to care much about the app since I never use fitness apps, but it makes a BIG difference in EMS training.

The in-workout UI contains:

  • Workout timer
  • Intensity sliders
  • Visual demonstration from the trainer
  • Rep tempo bar
  • Labels of current and next exercises

Plus, you can stream the workout to a smart TV.

The workout library has plenty of options—far more than I expected. Across four training modes:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Cardio
  • Recovery

You can filter by duration (5-60 mins), experience level (1-4), instructor, or training mode. Only cardio and recovery modes have “freestyle”—the ability to do your own workout without instruction.

Although Katalyst always requires BlueTooth to communicate with the Impulse Pack, the app lets you download workouts for offline use.

The “Activity” tab shows your performance details over time. Automating tracking your workouts, stats, and progress.

Workouts

Katalyst has made EMS training very simple. In the app, you choose one of the 120 different workouts, based on your goals, fitness level, and use case.

Here’s my summary of the different modes:

  • Strength workouts are the most popular and generally recommended for beginners. Used 2-3X weekly
  • Power is more intense and better for athletes and those more advanced. Used 2-3X weekly
  • Cardio is designed to not induce full muscle contractions for safety. It pairs nicely and amplifies the benefits of steady-state movements. Safe for daily use
  • Recovery promotes blood flow and helps recirculate lactic acid and nutrients. It’s more mild and safe for daily use

Then you mirror the instructor’s movements and form.

Your instructor will gradually turn up the intensity/difficulty as the workout progresses (akin to lifting heavier weights). At any point, you can manually override the intensity or completely stop the session.

Less than five minutes in, and I’m usually dripping with sweat.

When really pushing myself, breath plays a major role in EMS training. Especially because there’s no rest between sets or exercises. Back to back to back.

I find myself manually cranking up the resistance to get a harder workout. Unlike with free weights, changing the difficulty is as easy as clicking a button. And I can fine-tune any particular muscle group, by as much or little as I want.

Around the ten-minute mark, I start glancing at the clock to see how long I have left. During the first few sessions, I really couldn’t believe electricity wore me out so quickly.

As the trainers mention, every inch counts with EMS training. You can safely work a wider range of motion with less injury risk. I also discovered some muscle imbalances between the two sides of my body from a decade of collision sports (Rugby and American Football).

By the last few minutes, I’m thoroughly drenched. As is the floor below me. I feel worked and am ready for the session to end.

Cleaning & maintenance

Judging by the difficulty of setup, I tempered my expectations regarding the post-workout experience.

Though it’s much better.

The suit itself doesn’t touch the skin, so it stays (fairly) dry and clean. The base layer, however, gets sopped. It needs washing after every session. Since it comes with two, the minor annoyance is that I’ll need to do laundry every four days. Or perhaps I will try using my own compression shorts/shirt instead.

To take off the suit, I just unsnapped the wires going from the suit’s arms to the body and unclicked the buckles. Took me maybe 30 seconds.

Then I hung the (outerwear) suit in my shower to air dry.

If the outerwear begins to smell, I plan to gently hand wash it. But that shouldn’t happen for months.

Post-workout effects

Immediately after my first workout, I enjoyed a nice endorphin buzz. My muscles felt shot. Well used and worked, without the feeling of a fried nervous system I’m accustomed to after a day of heavy lifting.

The next day, however, was not so pretty. Keep in mind that this was my first EMS workout ever. I thought that I took it relatively easy. I also regularly train most of the Katalyst movements with heavy weights and across different rep ranges.

Nope. Didn’t matter.

I felt beat up. I had engaged significant dormant and unused muscle. I could feel intense soreness around thirteen parts of my body, coinciding with each of the channels.

I wondered if I had made a huge mistake on the suit, or if I’d adapt.

Per the instructions, I waited 48 hours between my first and second sessions. Luckily, I adapted fast. I didn’t get as sore from subsequent workouts.

I did have a similar shock as I went from strength mode workouts to power mode. I felt deeply sore for four days after my first power workout.

Now that the extreme soreness has lessened, I’m exploring how to stack Katalyst EMS training with other fitness modalities.

Benefits & Use Cases of Katalyst EMS

BENEFITS OF FULL BODY EMS SYSTEM

Katalyst is poised to dominate the market. Although they didn’t invent the EMS machine, this company has made professional-grade gear available to consumers for home use.

It offers some significant advantages over other systems and conventional training.

Here are just a few of the reasons folks choose Katalyst.

For everyone

Most fitness technologies appeal to very particular subsets of people. Either due to injury risk, coordination requirements, or to the desired outcome.

Katalyst caters to just about everyone:

  • Busy entrepreneurs and CEOs seeking time-efficient workouts
  • Beginner and pro athletes looking for enhanced performance and recovery
  • Individuals recovering from injuries or seeking injury prevention
  • Older folks unable to train with heavy weights
  • Frequent travelers without gym access
  • Average people wanting better home workouts

Since it’s regulated by the FDA as a medical device, it adheres to stringent safety standards.

Time efficient

Fatiguing the muscle adequately to bring about beneficial adaptations takes multiple sets and considerable time using conventional means.

When training with free weights and depending on the biomotor ability (strength, power, speed, etc), a single exercise can take up to 30 minutes. Multiply that by three or four exercises, add on a commute, and your session eats up a large portion of the day. Unacceptably long for folks with busy schedules.

An entire full-body Katalyst session takes just over 25 minutes, including the setup and put-away. You only need one set of five to twenty reps per exercise.

Targets “dormant” muscles

Among the more interesting uses of EMS, and the reason it’s incredibly popular in injury rehab clinics, is its ability to help the body “re-learn” to engage muscle fibers. Injury, biomechanical issues, poor posture, and disuse cause the brain to forget how to activate some muscle fibers.

Even when the world’s strongest humans maximally contract muscle groups, they only recruit 30-45% of all muscle fibers. The remaining fibers stay dormant. The more muscle fibers you recruit, the stronger and higher you perform.

EMS teaches the body how to access and awaken these dormant muscles. So that, even once you spot using it, the brain remembers how to engage more fibers.

Full-body

Commercial EMS systems are often designed for spot targeting. You have an electrode (sometimes two) and apply it wherever needed on the body. Better than nothing, but certainly not enough for complete workouts.

Katalyst designed the suit to target 13 sections of the body. All at once, with each muscle group on its own channel. Allowing us to precisely titrate the intensity of each individual muscle to match their abilities.

You can keep all 13 active, or spot targets by selectively turning certain channels off. I prefer to leave them all on so that I can activate more muscle fibers throughout my entire body during each exercise.

I may be focusing on a squat pattern, but Katalyst can also stimulate my arms (biceps and triceps) simultaneously.

All-in-one

As mentioned above, most EMS systems excel at one function. Usually for spot targeting/injury rehab.

Some others do full-body strength workouts. Other devices just improve workout recovery. Fewer still help with cardio.

Katalyst does each mode quite well. It has broad applicability and combines potentially multiple machines into one.

Zero impact

Whether running, lifting weights, rucking, or even swimming—exercise causes wear and tear on the body. In most cases, the upside is worth the added strain.

But not always. And that strain doesn’t come with benefits. Injury is one of the most common hindrances to long term. Especially when lifting, running, jumping, or performing other high-intensity movements.

There are few low-impact ways to effectively build strength, power, or cardio. Katalyst is easy on the connective tissue (joints, ligaments, tendons). Those with ankle or wrist issues do great.

Making it a powerful, life-long fitness strategy for users of every skill level.

Athletic performance

One of the more obvious reasons Katalyst uses cases is to improve sports performance.

It can help athletes build muscle. Indirectly improve performance by accelerating recovery from workouts. But what I’m most excited about, are the sports-specific applications.

Any decent trainer knows that fitness adaptations are sport and movement-specific. Want to run better? You run. Lift heavier? You lift. Swim faster? You swim (but not wearing an EMS suit!).

A wireless EMS suit like Katalyst allows athletes to perform their movements, amplified by electricity. Speeding up and enhancing the adaptations. That’s why they have tons of workouts dedicated to particular sports and activities.

I foresee Katalyst exploding in popularity with athletes.

Injury prevention and rehab

Superstar athletes often fall from fame due to a single untimely injury. Injuries occur for all kinds of reasons. One of which, are muscular imbalances.

To the untrained, small functional differences between opposing muscle groups don’t make much difference. Nor do imbalances between the left and right halves of the body. The more we train, however, the more these differences magnify.

Occasional EMS usage can help re-establish balance.

Plus, those that do get injured can use electricity to rehabilitate faster. The combination of the low-impact movements, the ability to sustain increased ranges of motion, and the neuroendocrine signaling that results from post-workout set the stage for improved recovery.

Muscle recovery

Although less popular than strength, power, injury rehab, and cardio applications, you can use EMS to recover faster from workouts.

Katalyst’s Recovery mode doesn’t contract the muscle as intensely as the strength or power modes.

A large part of recovery is recirculating bodily fluids. This mode increases blood flow, lactate clearance, and nutrient delivery. I imagine it would double as a useful agent to recover from non-muscle stressors too (like jet lag).

Convenient

Between the portability, time efficiency, workout types, and light weight of this EMS suit, it’s one of the more versatile fitness tools I’ve come across.

It’s easy to travel with, effective, and the setup takes about five minutes once mastered.

The designers intelligently laid out their app, and the trainers do a great job leading the on-demand classes.

All in all, Katalyst feels like I have a personalized gym at my fingertips.

Drawbacks of the Katalyst EMS Suit

As much as I love Katalyst so far, it does have its share of drawbacks.

Price

For years, I held off buying simply because the full system costs nearly $2,400 upfront, or $66 per month for 36 months.

Though $66 is about half my monthly gym membership, it’s certainly a premium device. This alone will drastically limit its adoption, and I hope to see the price fall.

Complexity

Yes, Katalyst made EMS technology as user-friendly as possible. I’m not one for reading instructions, but there’s no way I would have gotten the setup right without following the instructional video.

Even then, I had to pay close attention during my first setup. And it took me 25 minutes before I could even begin exercising. There’s certainly a learning curve (now, I’m up and running in about 5-minutes).

Innerwear

Katalyst recommends wearing their innerwear under the suit. It’s lightweight (I assume conductive), full-length shirt and pants. It gets drenched in sweat every workout, and you only receive two pairs.

Depending on your usage, this may require you to do laundry multiple times per week.

Customization

Because the suit must fit snugly against the body, we’re limited in the things we can use with the Katalyst. Women often complain that they cannot wear leggings or sports bras. I had to take off my chest-mounted heart rate monitor. More disappointingly, however, I cannot stack it with my KAATSU blood flow restriction system.

Software

The development team did a good job building the app. I’ve noticed a few annoyances though. First, when re-calibrating intensity, I couldn’t skip the several-minute video intro. I must have watched it three times. Either I missed the instructions on manually ending a workout or they forgot to include it. But I eventually found how (long-press anywhere on the screen)

Far worse, is that the system requires you to get fully suited up before alerting you that one of the pads wasn’t wet enough. Then you must take the entire suit off to re-wet the pads.

Freestyle

When I purchased the suit, I didn’t imagine I’d do the classes. I envisioned doing my own workouts. As an EMS newbie, I’m actually glad they teach you the details, form, and how to maximize your results.

Still, I noticed that the strength and power modes don’t have the “freestyle” option. For now, you must follow along with the trainer’s workout. Technically you can do your own movement while they do something else, but that might get confusing.

Tips to Effectively Use Katalyst

So you’ve received your system, now what?

Time. When you receive your Katalyst suit, budget a good chunk of extra time to learn how the system and technology work. I expected the entire unboxing plus workout to take about 30 minutes, and I was very wrong.

Suiting up. I didn’t notice one of the buckles or the straps on one side of the suit. As a result, the impulses felt more superficial and uncomfortable. Make sure to buckle up and properly tighten the suit before use.

First workout. Katalyst recommends starting with a strength workout. That’s a good intro to this training style, and you’ll quickly see the importance of proper breathing during the exercise. If you’re new to EMS, start SLOW. You’ll be sore regardless. Avoid the temptation to crank up the intensity as high as you can handle. You’ll thank me for the next few days.

Breathing. Despite over a decade of regular training, EMS breathing took me a moment to get used to since you’re forced to follow the cadence of the program. You can generate a ton more force when breathing properly, and thus get better results.

Schedule and programming. This training style is different. You won’t get away with a mere 24 hours of rest between strength or power sessions. The general protocol is 2-3 strength/power sessions per week. Your schedule might look something like this:

  • Monday: Strength
  • Tuesday: Cardio or rest
  • Wednesday: Power
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Strength or power + cardio
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Added resistance. Before trying EMS, I thought that I’d sneak in some light free weights or resistance bands to get an even better workout. I no longer see that as very feasible. The system provides more than enough resistance. Using dumbbells or bands would increase injury risk significantly.

I’ll add more to this list as I discover it.

Pricing and Availability

I’ve already mentioned the cost of Katalyst EMS suits several times throughout this article.

Since it requires sizing and filling out a survey, you can only purchase it directly through their website.

Right now, the entire Katalyst EMS kit costs just under $2,400. They do offer payment plans and financing options too. The Affirm option is a no-deposit payment of $66 /month for 36 months. Similar to an affordable gym.

It’s certainly expensive still. Previously, I was considering one comparable device designed for spot treatment. It retails for more than 10X over Katalyst’s MSRP. Comparing the tech specs, the alternative doesn’t appear superior by any means either.

You can also just find a local EMS facility and train locally without purchasing any gear. That’ll likely set you back $85-150+ per session. Making the break-even point at around 16-28 workouts.

Since it’s an FDA-cleared medical device, you can likely use HSA/FSA funds. Katalyst also offers discounts to military personnel, first responders, and medical professionals.

What happens if you burn a lot of body fat, lose weight, and the system no longer fits? A fellow Outliyr left a comment below, pointing out that Katalyst “will replace your suit if losing weight causes you to drop down a size”.

Katalyst EMS Questions & Answers

What is the Katalyst EMS suit, and how does it work?

The Katalyst EMS suit is a wearable fitness device that uses Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology to cause muscle contractions. It engages more muscle fibers than traditional workouts.

How long do Katalyst EMS workouts take?

Katalyst EMS workouts claim to provide the equivalent of a 2-hour workout in 20 minutes. Although you can find programs as short as 5 minutes and as long as 60 minutes.

Who is the Katalyst system suitable for?

Katalyst is designed to accommodate all fitness levels and ages, from beginners to professional athletes. From the young to the elderly.

Is the Katalyst system FDA-cleared and safe to use?

The FDA classifies EMS technology as medical devices—which are held to the highest safety requirements. Therefore, Katalyst had to undergo rigorous testing before it could market to the USA.

Does the Katalyst system require a membership?

Yes, since August 2023, Katalyst now requires a subscription membership to access their workouts.

Katalyst vs Other Electromuscle Stim Machines

When looking into this technology, I checked out several other brands and products for comparison.

Several companies have sold EMS tech for years and are popular among boutique gyms.

These include X-body, E-fit, and Miha bodytec. Due to their cost (some more than 20X more than Katalyst), large size, maintenance, and requirement of an EMS specialist to operate, I don’t consider them viable alternatives.

The closest alternative I’ve come across is VisionBody.

VisionBody vs Katalyst

A small but growing EMS company with similar marketing to Katalyst. Their main advantage is the lack of membership fee. Although they mention “Equipment cleared by FDA”, I’m not sure it’s cleared specifically for home use.

The main drawback, however, is their suit type. Having a wetsuit style one-piece suit is convenient, but it has a major disadvantage. Due to the fit, certain areas of the body get less compression. Making for a very unpleasant workout. When I forget to cinch down my Katalyst adequately, for example, I feel a “stingy” sensation that detracts from the workout itself.

Their app also doesn’t provide guided workouts. While that may not be an issue with personal trainers and EMS experts, I’ve found the guidance to be extremely helpful (despite me having over a decade of conventional training experience).

Katalyst EMS System Review Verdict: The Electrical Future of Fitness?

Whenever I come across a fancy new exercise technology, I think to myself…

Why can’t I just use my $95 pair of adjustable dumbbells, sprint, or enjoy the hybrid of the two (rucking)?

You totally can. You can get fit and feel great for cheap or even free.

Free fitness programs often have downsides and limitations:

  • Inaccessibility for some (injured, elderly, major muscle imbalances, posture issues, pain, etc)
  • Inefficient (1-2 hours, several times per week plus commute)
  • Ineffective (doesn’t engage all muscle fibers)
  • Incompatibility (hard to maintain while traveling)

When I discovered Katalyst, I thought… great, another product I’d see advertised in a late-night TV infomercial promising “4-minute abs”.

Once the shock of the price tag faded, I began my research to determine whether Katalyst is worth buying. After combing through too many EMS studies, I bit the bullet.

It arrived, and I quickly discovered all the things that I don’t like about it. Wearing their proprietary base layer. Recharging the impulse pack. Spraying the suit down with water and overcoming the learning curve of optimal setup and use.

The efficacy, power, and professionalism stunned me. Just 20 minutes delivered the workout I hoped. The app is easy to use and contains an immense library of classes. I can keep things fresh without repeating them. The Katalyst coaches do an excellent job, matching the likes of Peloton.

Your coach even adjusts the intensity automatically throughout the workout. You can also manually dial up or down the intensity of particular muscle groups as desired.

It’s versatile with multiple modes:

  • Strength
  • Power
  • Cardio
  • Recovery

Making it a standalone tool for the fitness novice, and an excellent companion to the pro athlete. Without excess stress on the connective tissue.

Plus, you can use it to train muscles you’ve never engaged or to rehab an injury fast.

In the next few years, I predict every major sports team and boutique gym will own Katalyst suits. Giving athletes an edge, and modernizing training for the masses.

Although a small fraction of many EMS systems, at around $2,400 it’s still a pricey tool. You can pick it up on a payment plan for about $66 per month for 36 months. Which is slightly more than half of the membership at many commercial gyms.

So…

Is Katalyst worth it?

Yes and no. If you hope to wear it, sit on the couch watching TV, and sprout abs, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

On the other hand…

If you want the most time-efficient, full-body workout. You want to build muscle and strength without commuting to a gym. You’re already injured or you want to exercise injury-free for decades. Or you’re a competitive athlete seeking an edge by activating all possible muscle fibers and amplifying your sport-specific training. Yes. Consider getting yourself a Katalyst suit.

Stock is limited and it’s only a matter of time before the secret’s out and they are all snapped up. Click the button below to secure your spot and enjoy exclusive VIP access.

Get Exclusive Katalyst VIP Access

Use our Katalyst link to bypass the entire line and unlock expedited shipping for free

Katalyst EMS Suit
Katalyst EMS Suit Review Ft

The Katalyst EMS System appears too good to be true. Can it really build muscle, strength, power, and cardio in just 20 minutes? I bought the suit and put it through rigorous testing. It's portable, lightweight, usable by virtually everyone (regardless of fitness level, age, or injuries), awakens "dormant" muscle, and has virtually zero-impact on the knees/shoulders/joints. But it is expensive, and has a learning curve. Overall, I foresee this technology taking the world by storm. Especially amongst competitive athletes and busy professionals that don't have time for the gym.

Editor's Rating:
4.67

Pros

  • All-in-one fitness device
  • FDA medical device
  • Responsive customer support
  • Wireless system
  • High quality build
  • Fast workouts
  • Lightweight
  • Portable

Cons

  • Slow setup
  • Expensive
  • Software bugs
  • Needs special undergarments
  • Requires a membership subscription
PinLinkedInPrint

Post Tags: Cardiovascular Health, Fitness, Movement, Recovery & Resilience, Review, Strength & Muscle

12 thoughts on “Katalyst Suit Review: World’s Best Full-Body EMS System?”

  1. Hi Nick
    Thanks for your effort here you give a great deal of information and have put some effort into it, so again thanks.

    QUESTION
    I live in the UK and when I go on the Katalyist site they seem to only sell the suit in the USA and Canada do you know if
    1. They do offer it in the UK and I am just missing something?
    2. If not have they plans to sell in the UK in the future?
    I would ask them directly but I cant find even a contact e.mail for them
    IF you don`t know thats fine thanks for your time and have a happy Christmas

    Reply
    • Hey Steve,

      Unfortunately it looks like they still only really offer the Katalyst System in the USA & Canada. I’ll check with their team on this though, as perhaps they will start shipping internationally soon. Hope you had an amazing holiday season!

      Nick

      Reply
  2. Nick!
    Thanks so much for your Katalyst review.

    I came across a video of a competitor named EPulse here:
    Can The EMS Suit Really Make Your Workouts More Efficient?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf0wBIH1uKI

    Thanks!

    Cesar

    Reply
  3. Very much interested to learn more about the katalyst. How does this compare against other competitors? While looking up other ems suits I came across another by the name visionbody. Any difference between the latter?

    Reply
  4. Hi Nick
    Thanks for the very awesome & thorough review !
    Very helpful & I’m buying one asap !
    I’m also reading about a lot more on your site & will ask a few questions on those areas….
    A couple of cool things I found out from reaching out to Katalyst…..
    They generously offer military/veterans discounts !
    And if like me, if one is loosing a fair bit of weight (~60# in my case);
    if needed (they said the suits are highly adjustable), Katalyst “will replace your suit if losing weight causes you to drop down a size !
    Very thoughtful !
    Also additional base layers can be bought so that you can wash them less often overall, than with only 2 pair provided
    Thanks Nick, would’ve never heard of Katalyst w/o you !
    David

    Reply
    • Hey David,

      Thank you!

      Go ahead and ask away 🙂

      WOW! I didn’t realize that. I’ll update the article with that info. How cool.

      Appreciate you leaving your comment!

      Reply
  5. The Katalyst website mentions a monthly membership now. Will the suit work without a membership? That’s another $29-$49 per month, or $600/year.

    Is that right? Do you know what other EMS suits for home use are out there?

    Reply
    • Hey Jamie! Yes, that was an (unfortunate) recent change they made. I’ve been asking them to open some of the workouts to non-members too. In my opinion, no system should become a paperweight without a paid membership. Hopefully they will change this soon!

      I am not aware of any other professional EMS suits designed for home use (sold in the USA). But Compex, Marc Pro, Neufit, and some Russian devices are imperfect alternatives geared towards recovery mostly. Please let me know if you come across a solid contender!
      Nick

      Reply
  6. I’m 72 years old and a life-long exerciser. I’ve been using Katalyst for about 2 months, and I’ve gotten excellent results. Thank you for the most thoughtful and comprehensive review of Katalyst I’ve found. I’ve forwarded your review to several of my friends.

    Reply
    • Hey Keith!

      Thanks so much for the kind words and sharing. I’m actually going to record an update video and improve the article soon too. Your story is impressive. Would love to hear more about your experience!

      Best,
      Nick

      Reply

Leave a Comment