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EMSculpt vs. CoolSculpting: Which One is Better For Me?

There are a lot of non-invasive body contouring procedures on the market and it can be unclear which of these treatments can be best for your current needs. Treatments like EMSculpt and CoolSculpting are constantly pitted against each other for what may be seemingly the same effect but their differences are quite wide. 

So how do you decide between EMSculpt or CoolSculpting? Though they both provide a measure of fat reduction, these treatments have different purposes. EMSculpt uses electromagnetic technology to induce muscle contraction for muscle definition while CoolSculpting treatment entails freezing the treated areas to damage the fat cells in it. While they have different purposes and technologies, they can be done in a single session.

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!

The Main Differences Between EMSculpt and CoolSculpting 

Learning about the subtleties and swathing differences between an EMSculpt treatment and CoolSculpting treatment can help you achieve your body sculpting goals with fat reduction as a benefit. 


EMSculpt is a device that can actually tone muscles in just a few treatment sessions. The machine uses electromagnetic technology to cause your muscles to contract more than in your average workout session. This will cause the fat cells in the treated area to break down immensely and rapidly. This will help build and refine muscle mass while providing fat reduction as the treatment area adapts to muscle contraction. 

CoolSculpting is designed primarily with fat reduction in mind. The treatment targets stubborn fat that couldn’t be slimmed down through conventional needs. Through freezing fat cells, body contouring is able to provide substantial fat reduction across wide areas of the body. With less unwanted fat, the muscles in the body can be more visible after treatment. 


Since they have different primary functions, they also have distinct technologies that provide their benefits. EMSculpt sends electronic magnetic pulses to the treated areas to induce supramaximal contraction—intense energy and vibration that are more than the muscles can handle. This is done in a safe and comfortable manner with patients describing the treatment as a “pulling” sensation.   

Likewise, CoolSculpting also implements seemingly drastic measures in a safe and effective manner to target stubborn fat cells. It uses the phenomenon of cryolipolysis—damaging unwanted fat cells to the point of death so that they can be safely deposited by the body’s lymphatic system. The freezing temperatures will only target the fat cells and not any other part of the skin. 

Treatment Areas

The treatment areas each machine can handle depend on the nature of the machine and what the FDA has approved. CoolSculpting can sufficiently target stubborn fat in more viable treatment areas like the:

  • Chin
  • Abdomen
  • Breast 
  • Flanks or love handles
  • Back
  • Near the buttocks
  • And the arms

Meanwhile, EMSculpt can only treat a select number of treatment areas due to the design of the machine. The FDA has approved the following areas as the application needs an ample amount of muscle to properly induce contractions in the following areas:

  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Buttocks 

Comfort Level

Both these non-invasive treatments have attested zero to minimal pain during the procedure and no downtime, unlike other means of plastic surgery and fat reduction. However, the experience of the procedure and the downtime can differ for others, especially if you have sensitive skin or muscle. Doctors are well-knowledge of the machine and can adjust their effects for you.   

EMSculpt could be comparable to using a gym machine to work the targeted muscle. Through safe amounts of induced muscle contractions, patients report no complications or intense side effects after the treatment outside of muscle soreness that's akin to tiredness after a  workout. Thus, the most discomfort a patient can feel is similar to exercise.

Meanwhile, CoolSculpting uses cold temperatures that may have other side effects, particularly on the skin. Numbness, tingling, and soreness are common sensations associated with the treatment and are also part of the potential side effects along with redness, itching, and bruising. However, the discomfort of the procedure is minimal and any discomfort afterward can be immediately treated.  

Amount of Treatment Sessions

The technology and designs of the machine and the expectations of the patient are the main factors for the total amount of treatment time. EMSculpt machines are shorter, with an average of 30 minutes for each body part. However, you will need a minimum of 4 treatments, at 2 to 3 days intervals, for the best body sculpting results. In total, an EMSculpt treatment session takes about a week and a half to complete.   

CoolSculpting is the opposite as it needs a single treatment or two for its complete fat reduction benefits. However, the machine can only treat one part at a time with the session taking about 30 minutes to an hour. A single treatment session can last around 3 hours depending on how much work needs to be done. 


EMSculpt provides more benefits than CoolSculpting on the account of its direct muscle-building function while providing fat reduction. Those taking EMSculpt will notice their results after 3 to 4 weeks after treatment and can be redone to maintain its effects. The average results can be about 19% of fat reduction and 16% of muscle growth. On the appearance side, it can definitely help your muscles look bigger and toned, though that benefit only lasts for a few months.   

On the other hand, CoolSculpting provides permanent fat reduction results at a wider range with about an average of 22% reduced fat. The treatment can remove any sort of unwanted fat, big or small, in any part of the approved list of treatment areas. Though it may not provide you with a defined muscle look, it can definitely take away wide areas of stubborn fat to let any previous muscle growth shine.

FunctionMuscle growth and fat reductionFat reduction
TechnologyFocused electromagnetic energyFreezing technology 
Treatment AreasAbdomenArmsLegsButtocks ChinAbdomenBreast Flanks or love handlesBackNear the buttocksAnd the arms
Comfort Level Similar to a workoutSlight numbness and tingling 
Amount of Treatment SessionsAt least 4 3-minute sessions with one session every 2 to 3 days About 1 to 2 treatment sessions that last 30 to 50 minutes depending on the machine, that is spaced between a month
ResultsA well-defined muscle area with less fat. Muscle definition only lasts a few months.A sizable fat reduction that allows appearance for muscles

Ideal Candidates for EMSculpt and CoolSculpting

It's important to note that both of these treatments are for fat reduction, not weight loss. Hence, ideal patients should be close to their ideal BMI, in good health, and be in decent physical shape. At the minimum, candidates should have at least one inch of pinchable subcutaneous fat. 

However, CoolSculpting can be done with those who are a bit higher or overweight than their ideal BMI as it is designed to take away large amounts of stubborn fat cells. It can also treat more areas than EMSculpt that are otherwise hard to slim down with exercise. 

When It's Best to Choose EMSculpt or CoolSculpting 

The most deciding factor between choosing EMSculpt or CoolSculpting is your body type and expectations. If you need more body sculpting toward the muscle and you’re already close to your ideal figure, EMSculpt can help fast track. Meanwhile, if you need to focus on reducing fat in more stubborn areas, CoolSculpting is for you. 

Can You Do EMSculpt and CoolSculpting at the Same Time?

Yes, EMSculpt can be done after CoolSculpting if a desired amount of muscle growth wants to be highlighted with the extra amount of fat reduction. They can be done on the same day if your medical provider has both machines available. Be aware of the time commitment it takes to finish the number of sessions for two body contouring treatments. 

Excellent Fat Reduction Treatments at NJ Center for CoolSculpting

Whether you need to focus on fat reduction or to build more visible muscle growth, make sure that whatever treatment you choose meets your needs and expectations. If you plan not to undergo both treatments in the same session, ensure that your medical provider is knowledgeable about both procedures and has the most recent equipment.   

At NJ Center for CoolSculpting, we can handle all your body contouring needs. With our excellent CoolSculpting service and our experience with 10,000 successful treatments, we can help you reduce any stubborn fat. Get your dream body and book an appointment with us online.

Freeze Away Your Stubborn Fat Like Never Before

Up to 25% Fat Reduction With CoolSculpting: Treat Yourself Today!


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What Our Clients Say About Us

  • "The treatment itself was not uncomfortable. Afterwords, I felt great. I didn't really notice anything for about 30 days. After day 30 until about a month later, I started noticing that my favorite jeans were not as tight anymore. I wasn't having to suck in to get them buttoned. And by that two month period after my CoolSculpting

    Lesley Hamilton

    Age 41

  • "It's subtle at first, and then a month later you look and go, "Wow - It really did something!" It really moved the bar for me, and I'm feeling better about myself already. It feels so good to put on anything and know I look as good as I've ever looked. And I didn't say that or feel that when I was in my 20's, 30's, and 40's."

    Anne McMarthy

    Age 56

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