My body type might be petite, but you can absolutely tell I like pasta. I tend to hold onto fat around my midsection—which is completely normal and fine—but streaming Marvel movies has got me wanting a strong, toned, superhero-esque physique. So when I learned that EmSculpt Neo could melt fat and build muscle over four 30-minute sessions, I booked the treatment at a speed to rival Quicksilver himself.
Here, we spoke to board-certified dermatologist Bruce E. Katz, MD, and medical esthetician Evelyn Ramirez, MA, to get all the details on EmSculpt Neo and how to tell if it's right for you. Keep reading to learn more and to see how I fared as I test-drove the treatment.
Meet the Expert
- Bruce E. Katz, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist, director of the Juva Skin and Laser Center, and a clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine.
- Evelyn Ramirez, MA, is a medical esthetician born and raised in New York City.
What Is EmSculpt Neo?
EmSculpt Neo is a non-invasive body contouring treatment that harnesses the powers of radio frequency (RF) and high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy (HIFEM) to simultaneously tone muscle and melt fat.
“The HIFEM is what causes your muscle to contract,” Katz explains. “At the same time, the machine is firing RF to warm the muscle as you would during a warm-up, while also melting fat cells.” According to Ramirez, the warming action of the muscle helps to better prepare it for exposure to stress. Additionally, the fat cells are heated up to about 42 or 43 degrees Celsius, which causes apoptosis, or the controlled death of said fat cells. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
It’s the first time that this technology has been used in tandem—the first-ever version of EmSculpt only used the HIFEM energy and was better suited to already-fit individuals who wanted to create extra tone. The radio frequency gives EmSculpt Neo that extra fat-melting boost, making just about anyone a good candidate for the treatment.
Benefits of EmSculpt Neo
- Strengthens your core: All those HIFEM-motivated muscle contractions are great news for your core strength. Aside from the aesthetic payoff and better ability to keep up with a HIIT workout, Ramirez calls out that a stronger core packs additional health benefits. “Strengthening your core helps your posture and allows you to put less pressure on your back and hips,” she says. Echoing that sentiment, Katz notes that the improved core strength also led to lessening the lower back pain some of his patients faced before the treatment.
- Reduces fat: Those stubborn areas that always seem to hold onto fat? They’re no match for EmSculpt Neo’s radio frequency. Because the heat causes apoptosis in the fat cells, Ramirez notes that patients often see a 30 percent reduction of fat in the treated area. And it isn’t a temporary measure—once they go into apoptosis, the number of fat cells in the impacted area is permanently reduced.
- Improves muscle tone: While you’ll notice a more toned appearance, the benefits of conditioning your muscles run more than just skin-deep with this treatment. According to Katz, our bodies lose between 2 and 5 percent of our muscle mass every 10 years as part of the natural aging process, with almost 30 percent being lost over the course of one’s lifetime. “Because EmSculpt Neo builds muscle and restores the volume you lost, there are anti-aging benefits in restoring the muscle mass that would be lost naturally,” he says. “During the pathology studies, we also noticed new muscle fibers being created in areas that were treated, which is beyond what you’d see in exercise alone.”
One of the biggest reasons EmSculpt Neo can be a game-changer for many is this multifaceted approach to body contouring, allowing you to work on several goals at once. By the end of the treatment, you're likely to look and feel notably stronger and more toned.
How to Prepare for EmSculpt Neo
For the most part, EmSculpt Neo doesn’t require any pre-treatment preparation, according to Ramirez. However, she and Katz both note that you’ll want to remove any metal jewelry, as the radio frequency and HIFEM will heat them up. If you have a metal implant (like an IUD), make sure to check with your doctor before booking your EmSculpt Neo treatment to avoid any complications.
What to Expect During EmSculpt Neo Treatment
EmSculpt Neo is administered through a large electric paddle, which can be placed on the abdomen, thighs, and/or butt, depending on your treatment goals (a smaller paddle can target your arms as well). I chose to get my abdomen treated (because of my Marvel body goals), and Ramirez placed the paddle directly on my skin, holding it in place with a velcro band.
Once the paddle is activated, the sensation is somewhat of a hybrid that fuses the warmth of a heating pad with pulsating vibrations and an almost-magnetic pull that seems to grab at your abs, coaxing them out from underneath. “You can feel intense muscle contractions together with a heating sensation in the treated area, comparable to a hot stone massage,” says Ramirez. “It’s also customizable, which allows us to treat each patient at their comfort level.” The treatment doesn’t hurt, and I wouldn’t even say it was uncomfortable—the main thing you’ll have to get used to is the involuntary muscle contractions and movements, which almost feel like someone else is controlling your muscles.
Once you get used to it (and in my case, laughed off my weird, unexpected flailing with Ramirez), the treatment is quick and easy, taking about 30 minutes from start to finish. Afterward, I was able to resume normal activities without incident. My abs were a bit sore the next day, but not in any significant way that impacted anything I was doing—it just felt as if I successfully completed a tough workout, and if anything, I was motivated to complement my EmSculpt Neo treatment with exercise.
Before and After
Before my four EmSculpt Neo treatments, my midsection was not toned in the slightest, with excess fat clinging to my lower abdomen in particular. I started noticing significant results week by week, with my obliques popping through as early as my second treatment. I'm also an aerialist who practices pole, and after completing the fourth treatment, I definitely experienced an improvement in my strength. This was especially noticeable when I was attempting moves where I was required to initiate from my core.
EmSculpt Neo vs. CoolSculpting
Simply put: CoolSculpting just focuses on getting rid of fat, while EmSculpt burns the fat while also toning muscle.
As Katz tells us, the technologies are entirely different. “CoolSculpting freezes the fat cells but doesn’t touch the muscle, with roughly a 17 to 19 percent reduction in fat,” he says. “EmSculpt Neo eliminates fat while building the muscle, and you’ll see a 30 percent reduction in fat after completing the treatments.” The sensations between the two are also vastly different—with CoolSculpting, the temperature makes your skin go numb, followed by a massage to break up the fat cells. EmSculpt Neo is warmer in the way a hot stone massage is warm but feels more active, with the HIFEM contracting your muscles.
As someone who has tried both treatments, I found that the downtime with CoolSculpting lasted longer. While the results were significant, the treated area was swollen for a few days afterward, and the numb sensation lasted for a few weeks. With EmSculpt Neo, I didn’t experience any downtime or lingering sensations, save for the “I just worked out” feeling in my abs the next day, which wasn’t uncomfortable.
Potential Side Effects
There aren’t usually any side effects associated with EmSculpt Neo, apart from that residual "just worked out" feeling the treated area will have in the day that follows. “The original EmSculpt launched in 2018, and EmSculpt Neo was launched in 2020,” Katz says. “After hundreds of thousands of treatments, we haven’t seen one side effect, which is quite remarkable.”
A single session of EmSculpt Neo can run anywhere from $750 to $1,000. Because at least four consecutive treatments are necessary for optimal results, expect to spend between $3,000 and $4,000 in total.
Would you believe us if we told you there's no downtime associated with EmSculpt Neo? “After an EmSculpt Neo treatment, you can resume all of your normal activity, and go about your day as you typically would,” Katz says. While you won’t want to apply an ice pack to the treated area (the tissues should stay warm for a bit), there aren’t any restrictions to any of your activities afterward—whether you decide to do an additional workout or house a bowl of pasta is entirely up to you.
Conscious of the fact that I just had my muscles contracted, and in effect, “worked out,” I made sure to bring a bottle of water to hydrate right after. “Radio frequency also feeds off water, which helps to flush out toxins from our body, which will be excreted through sweat and urine,” Ramirez adds. The next day, my abdomen felt as if I did an intense core workout, which was to be expected and wasn’t limiting at all.
The Final Takeaway
Color me an EmSculpt Neo convert. In addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits, I loved how it impacted my core strength. As an avid (but by no means great) pole hobbyist, I had worked really hard to get my core muscles in a place where I could navigate the trickier moves with ease. But all of that kind of unraveled in lockdown without studio access. Practicing at home was effective, but still a far cry from the intense practices I used to have, and my muscles really felt the impact (or lack thereof).
EmSculpt Neo helped me to recondition those muscles so I could better navigate harder moves that required me to initiate from my core, and honestly, the sculpted appearance certainly doesn’t hurt. My form-fitting clothes look better than ever, and I’m less self-conscious about the area of my lower abdomen that seemed to cling to my clothes and hold onto extra fat. I’ve already seen significant results and am excited for even more progress in the months that follow.
Anyway, hit me up in six months, Marvel. My body is ready.
I Tried Emsculpt—a Body-Contouring Device—and Now I Have Actual Abs
How soon do you see results with Emsculpt Neo? ›
While some patients may see or even feel EMSCULPT NEO working after their first session, it typically takes about 6 – 8 weeks after a full round of EMSCULPT NEO for visible results to develop, during which time the body begins to dispose of fat cells and build muscle.Do you see immediate results with Emsculpt? ›
The part of the body that was targeted will feel like it got an intense workout, but the results won't be immediately noticeable. After your last session, you can expect to begin to see results in about two to four weeks, with benefits usually peaking at about six weeks after the last treatment.How does fat leave the body after Emsculpt? ›
The muscles release a chemical signaling local fat cells to break down in order to sustain the rapid contractions with adequate energy. This process of lipolysis, or fat cell destruction, metabolizes local fat cells. The fat cells are eventually broken down completely and expelled by your body as waste.How long does it take to see results from EMSlim? ›
EMSlim results are similar to the results of months of time spent at the gym building muscle and losing fat. Many people will notice results within the 2 to 6 weeks following treatment and they will continue to improve in the months following.How do I make Emsculpt Neo more effective? ›
Keep Your Body Moving
Emsculpt Neo is most effective when combined with exercise, whether resistance training or cardiovascular exercise. Working out helps boost your body's circulation and muscle tone, which can aid in the efficacy of Emsculpt Neo.
- Drink plenty of water while undergoing your EMSculpt treatments. This helps the body flush fat more efficiently.
- Maintain your healthy diet. The results of fat reduction and muscle growth will last longer when the body is fueled with healthy carbs, lean meats, and plenty of fiber.
- Stay active.
Emsculpt produces extreme, real contractions. Which means your muscles will, well, contract! But the biggest advantage Emsculpt has over conventional exercising is there's really no risk of overdoing it. There aren't really any adverse effects either.Does Emsculpt flatten your stomach? ›
EmSculpt is unique among body contouring treatments because it can not only melt away fat, but also tone muscle at the same time. It can flatten out a belly, firm and round a behind, or make thighs more muscular than ever, all with just a few quick, painless, half-hour treatments.Does Emsculpt make your waist smaller? ›
The treatment stimulates muscle movement to burn fat and build muscle like no other treatment. EMSCULPT can help those who are looking to lose an inch or more off of their waistline and are already healthy.How many pounds can you lose with EMSCULPT Neo? ›
What we can tell you is that, on average, people lose 1.5 inches from their waist. Extrapolating the generalization that “every inch you can pinch is five pounds of fat,” it is reasonable to assume that if you targeted your abdomen, you could expect 7.5 pounds of fat lost and a small amount of muscle gained.
Does EMSCULPT help belly fat? ›
Emsculpt is an excellent option for people who are at their ideal weight but dealing with unwanted belly flab. Ideal candidates are relatively fit and are looking to reduce abdominal fat and increase abdominal muscle mass.How many inches do you lose with EMSCULPT Neo? ›
How much fat will I lose with a series of EMSCULPT treatments? According to clinical studies, patients had an average of a 20% reduction in fat and a 1.5 inch average loss in waistline measurements following a series of 4 EMSCULPT treatments.Is EMSCULPT Neo worth the money? ›
Definitely. If you're like me and don't work out often, but still try to live a healthy lifestyle and just want something to help with sculpting in the stomach or butt area, I can attest to the fact that the treatment is worth the money, because you will likely see results.Can you do EMSCULPT Neo twice a week? ›
Emsculpt can be performed twice weekly if preferred, while Emsculpt Neo is just recommended once weekly due to the added RF energy. “You can have both the same day, but not at the same time,” says Dr. Delucia. Quarterly maintenance treatments may be recommended to sustain results.Does EMSCULPT tighten skin? ›
EMSCULPT is a fat-reducing, noninvasive procedure to help tighten skin and build muscle mass in your thighs and other areas, and can result in a slimmer, more toned appearance.Why didn't EMSculpt work for me? ›
Some people simply don't respond to Emsculpt treatment the way that they expected and end up disappointed in Emsculpt. In order for Emsculpt to have lasting results, you must also consume a healthy diet and maintain a consistent exercise routine.What happens if EMSculpt doesn't work? ›
We stand behind our work and your results with our Real Results Promise™: If you invest in muscle toning and fat reduction with EMSCULPT NEO and follow your provider's recommended treatment plan but it doesn't show results, we will perform another series of EMSCULPT NEO treatment on you for free.What are the negative effects of EMSculpt Neo? ›
The most common side effect of Emsculpt Neo is a mild feeling of muscle soreness like you might feel after an intense workout. during Emsculpt Neo treatments, the supramaximal contractions that occur flush lactic acid out of the body, which relieves the feeling of soreness.How much water should I drink after Emsculpt? ›
Drink plenty of fluids – Keeping hydrated helps the body to flush away fat cells. Drink at least 8 oz. glasses of water a day. Exercise regularly – Focus on cardio and muscle-building activities to strengthen and maintain the treated areas.Should I drink protein after Emsculpt? ›
Plan to consume between 20 – 30 grams of protein immediately after your Emsculpting session. Protein will help your muscles not only get more tone and enlarged, but also will reduce soreness. Remember, just because you aren't lifting weights in the gym doesn't mean your muscles aren't getting a serious workout.
How many sessions of Emsculpt Neo do you need to see results? ›
If you're looking to continue to keep your muscles toned, we recommend a regimen of EMSculpting beyond the 4 NEO® sessions, but with the NEO's radio frequency technology, your fat loss is permanent. It may only take 4 sessions to see the fat loss results you're aiming for, which we'll assess at your 12-week follow up.What are the downsides of Emsculpt? ›
The only real downside to Emsculpt, when compared to CoolSculpt, is the issue of the total body area that can be treated. CoolSculpt can be used virtually all over the body when there is excess fat. Currently, Emsculpt only treats the abdomen, buttocks, calves, and arms.Does Emsculpt work on everyone? ›
Emsculpt isn't a perfect fit for everyone. As Dr. Frank explains, the "ideal candidates are thin, relatively fit patients looking for that extra definition in the abdomen and lift in their buttocks that their own efforts can't accomplish."Can I do Emsculpt twice a week? ›
How Many Times Can You Do Emsculpt? We recommend a series of four treatments, each of which is scheduled two or three days apart, for most patients. Occasionally, the initial series may involve six treatments.Does EMSCULPT Neo permanently remove fat? ›
The great thing about your NEO results is that the fat reduction is permanent. Once fat cells are destroyed through radiofrequency heat, they cannot return. The muscle toning, however, is temporary, especially if you do not begin an exercise routine to maintain your results.Do you burn calories during EMSCULPT? ›
DOES IT BURN CALORIES? Yes, it does. It is the equivalent to a 30 minute workout, so this is not a treatment to be used in place of a healthy, balanced diet. For fat reduction in certain areas, we may also suggest combining your course of treatments with LipoFirm for optimal results.Does EMSCULPT burn visceral fat? ›
Emsculpt Neo has been shown to reduce visceral fat by up to 14% in the targeted area. Visceral fat wraps around the organs and can't always be seen or felt. It is not on the surface like subcutaneous fat cells and can actually be dangerous, as it can encase the liver and other vital organs.Does EMSCULPT speed up metabolism? ›
Does Emsculpt Speed Up Metabolism? Yes. Since Emsculpt increases muscle tissue, it also helps boost metabolism. In clinical trials, Emsculpt treatments increased fat metabolism from 19% to 92% within five hours of treatment.Why am I bloated after EMSCULPT? ›
This means that it will take some time for the results to show, usually a few weeks after treatment. In the meantime, you may experience some bloating while your body breaks down the fat. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help the lymphatic system do its job of eliminating the fat from your body.Does EMSCULPT remove love handles? ›
Yes. This treatment system is particularly effective on the abdominal and flank area, which makes it an excellent solution if you're looking to blast away stubborn love handles. Patients also use this treatment to sculpt and lift the buttocks, tone their arms and calves, and improve the look of the thighs.
Can I do 2 sessions of Emsculpt? ›
How Many Sessions of EMSculpt do I Need? For ideal results patients should have six 30-minute sessions over the course of 3 weeks spaced every 2-3 days, then two sessions 6-8 weeks later.Do you burn calories with Emsculpt Neo? ›
Do you burn calories doing Emsculpt neo treatments? Yes, you can burn calories. The device works by using high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy to stimulate muscle contractions.What is the ideal weight for Emsculpt? ›
Best Candidates for Emsculpt® Treatments
Like most non-surgical body-contouring treatments, the best candidates for Emsculpt® NEO are those individuals who are within 15 to 30 pounds of their ideal weight, or have a BMI of 30 or less.
Emsculpt tones muscles. This is the main and most important difference between CoolSculpting and Emsculpt. CoolSculpting is the gold standard non-surgical fat reduction treatment for patients who want to spot-reduce stubborn fat bulges on the abs, thighs, back, hips, flanks, banana rolls, upper arms, or under the chin.Does Emsculpt get rid of cellulite? ›
While Emtone focuses on diminishing cellulite, Emsculpt helps you build muscle. If your goal is to improve muscle tone and get a more defined body contour, Emsculpt may be the better choice. This innovative treatment uses HIFEM energy to stimulate muscle contractions and eliminate fat.Who is not a good candidate for Emsculpt? ›
Patients who pursue these body sculpting treatments should be in good general health. Individuals who have metal implants, a pacemaker, or muscular problems may not be candidates. This treatment is not suitable for patients who are pregnant.Do the Kardashians use Emsculpt? ›
Kim Kardashian and her sisters are all known for their enviable figures. In addition to training with professionals and eating healthy, chef-prepared meals, they routinely undergo non-invasive procedures like Emsculpt to firm and tone their abs and buttocks.Is there anything better than Emsculpt? ›
CoolTone Vs Emsculpt – the Differences
Both devices induce over 20,000 supramaximal contractions per treatment. However, CoolTone's MMS is 50% more powerful in magnetic strength than Emsculpt's HIFEM technology. Therefore, those who chose CoolTone may require fewer treatments to achieve optimal results.
The Best Areas to Treat
The most popular areas of the body to treat with the Emsculpt NEO are the abdomen, buttocks, legs, and arms. It works wonders, especially on the flabby areas of the thighs and backside for a smoother look that is noticeable after the first treatment.
Putting on even a few extra pounds after EMSCULPT can cause fatty pockets to develop in new areas. You can find that your perfectly balanced physique now seems disproportionate. It's even possible for you to notice new lumps or cellulite.
Does EMSculpt Neo work on glutes? ›
Emsculpt NEO is a machine that forces the glutes, or a variety of other muscles, into 20,000 supramaximal contractions in just 30 minutes—and burns fat at the same time due to its HIFEM+ tech.Does EMSculpt Neo work on arms? ›
Emsculpt Neo uses high-intensity electromagnetic therapy to grow new muscle fibers and enlarge current muscles. This non-surgical treatment has been approved by the FDA to successfully treat the abdomen, buttocks, arms, calves, and thighs.How does fat leave the body after EMSculpt? ›
The muscles release a chemical signaling local fat cells to break down in order to sustain the rapid contractions with adequate energy. This process of lipolysis, or fat cell destruction, metabolizes local fat cells. The fat cells are eventually broken down completely and expelled by your body as waste.Does EMSculpt work on flabby arms? ›
Patients are able to minimise fat and build up their muscles across diverse areas of their body, including arms and legs, as well as problem-prone areas like the butt, belly or abs.Does EMSculpt stop working? ›
But even invasive plastic surgeries like tummy tucks and liposuction can't promise permanent weight loss results, because the remaining fat cells can grow and expand with weight gain. The muscle built with EMSculpt treatments can last six months or more, but like all muscle mass, the benefits will fade over time.How many pounds do you lose with Emsculpt Neo? ›
What we can tell you is that, on average, people lose 1.5 inches from their waist. Extrapolating the generalization that “every inch you can pinch is five pounds of fat,” it is reasonable to assume that if you targeted your abdomen, you could expect 7.5 pounds of fat lost and a small amount of muscle gained.Does one session of Emsculpt Neo work? ›
Just like other fat-melting devices, Emsculpt and Emsculpt Neo don't work overnight when it comes to fat loss, but you'll feel stronger after just a session or two. "We know that muscle results appear faster than fat, so muscular results are evident after the second treatment," explains Dr.How many inches do you lose with Emsculpt Neo? ›
How much fat will I lose with a series of EMSCULPT treatments? According to clinical studies, patients had an average of a 20% reduction in fat and a 1.5 inch average loss in waistline measurements following a series of 4 EMSCULPT treatments.Does Emsculpt Neo permanently remove fat? ›
The great thing about your NEO results is that the fat reduction is permanent. Once fat cells are destroyed through radiofrequency heat, they cannot return. The muscle toning, however, is temporary, especially if you do not begin an exercise routine to maintain your results.Does EMSCULPT make your waist smaller? ›
The treatment stimulates muscle movement to burn fat and build muscle like no other treatment. EMSCULPT can help those who are looking to lose an inch or more off of their waistline and are already healthy.
Does EMSCULPT flatten your stomach? ›
EmSculpt is unique among body contouring treatments because it can not only melt away fat, but also tone muscle at the same time. It can flatten out a belly, firm and round a behind, or make thighs more muscular than ever, all with just a few quick, painless, half-hour treatments.Does EMSCULPT Neo reduce belly fat? ›
With this device, you can expect results in as little as four treatments over two weeks! Emsculpt Neo has been clinically proven to reduce abdominal fat by up to 20% with just four treatments. Additionally, it helps to build muscle mass, creating a more toned and sculpted abdominal area.What happens if you gain weight after EMSCULPT Neo? ›
Putting on even a few extra pounds after EMSCULPT can cause fatty pockets to develop in new areas. You can find that your perfectly balanced physique now seems disproportionate. It's even possible for you to notice new lumps or cellulite.Is CoolSculpting better than EMSCULPT Neo? ›
Emsculpt tones muscles. This is the main and most important difference between CoolSculpting and Emsculpt. CoolSculpting is the gold standard non-surgical fat reduction treatment for patients who want to spot-reduce stubborn fat bulges on the abs, thighs, back, hips, flanks, banana rolls, upper arms, or under the chin.Does EMSCULPT work on big belly? ›
Emsculpt is an excellent option for people who are at their ideal weight but dealing with unwanted belly flab. Ideal candidates are relatively fit and are looking to reduce abdominal fat and increase abdominal muscle mass.