Is This Madonna's New Secret Fitness Weapon?
I was just reading about the Power Plate in a magazine. Apparently Madonna uses it to strengthen and build her muscles, and there was also a positive article about this in the Daily Telegraph. Apparently these machines cost of £2,600! They say it can do in 10 minutes what you would get from weight training for an hour. It was been developed years ago from technology used by the Russian astronauts to stop muscle wastage when they were in space. Have you heard of this and do you think it could do what it claims to do? Not that I can afford to buy one but I might try a class if there is ever one this offered this way.
After more than 11 years in the fitness industry, I have seen so many exercise machines pop up out of nowhere, take their place as the hot item in the exercise equipment marketplace, only to fizzle out or even completely disappear in a few years, or in some cases, just a few months.
Many of these fitness machines promise you "maximum fitness with minimum effort and time." Their sales pitches are based on the premise that it's easy to get in shape if only you had the right technology. They tell you that if you're not in shape it's not your fault - you simply didn't know about their hot new "revolutionary" machine. All you have to do is buy it and use it, and you can get as fit as you want and lose all the weight that you want in 10 or 15 minutes.
I'm here to tell you that after the many years of time, effort and research that went into the development of my Firm And Flatten Your Abs system, no where in the pages of my book will ever hear me say that it's quick and easy or it only takes 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week to get a fantastic body. Getting in top condition takes time, effort and discipline. Human beings were made to MOVE - not sit!
If you only knew how much your movement patterns affected your physique and your overall health, you would be astonished. Instead of taking the time to learn how our real genetic programming affects us and how movement works best for us to become fit, we tend to jump on the latest fad thinking it's the breakthrough that will finally get the job done.
In this quest after the "next big thing," we chase after every fitness product, program and supplement on the market - some do have benefits but most that do not - and then you realize you just flushed a few hundred (or a few thousand) more dollars down the toilet.
I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to be trained by internationally recognized exercise kinesiologist Paul Chek and to have received three separate certifications from Paul's organization. In Paul's Nutrition and Lifestyle Internship Course, we learned many different facts about on how food affects your mood, your body type, and your metabolism.
Eating the wrong foods can and does contribute to fat gain. But perhaps even more important, we learned how important exercise and movement patterns are to the results we achieve in our fitness programs. This training has given me the skills and wisdom to allow me to very quickly come to logical (and usually correct) conclusions about the latest fitness equipment craze, even before all the evidence has been laid on the table, which I gladly share with my clients and readers.
The latest rage in fitness equipment is the Power Plate. The power plate is a device which, depending on which model you use, is about the size of an upright scale. This device is being touted by some in the industry as the best fitness invention to ever hit the market. The hype is overwhelming, and also quite convincing when users include celebrities like Madonna, athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and even professional sports teams.
The plate vibrates at 30-90 times per second and the makers promise that you can stand on it for 15 minutes a day, three days a week and lose body fat, tighten muscles, and reduce your waist line. It was originally developed in Russia to help astronauts maintain muscle mass and bone density while in space. In 1999, the modern version of the Power Plate was developed by a Dutch Olympic trainer who then marketed the machine to health and fitness industry.
Dr. William Kramer, the renowned strength and conditioning researcher, said in a recent interview that "There might be something there" as the vibration plate causes more activation due to the body gently being asked to stabilize using what we call the proprioceptive mechanism with the golgi tendons to stimulate more muscle activity. However, Kraemer also said that "The application of right prescription is little unclear" and "it is an emerging area with a lot of people making hypothesis and guesses, so the jury is still out."
I can see some possible application for older people with osteoporosis and arthritis, but the claims that are being made are stretching the truth behind the little data that is available so far.
I find it somewhat intriguing how this piece of equipment has made it into the mainstream. My guess is "marketing 101" and the never-ending quest for higher cash flow. This machine costs almost $10,000 dollars! Heck, if you want vibration, why not just jump up and down on the floor - that's free! This Power Plate reminds me somewhat of the "Body Blade," Not to get on the bodyblade< i like using is in many application, but I have to wonder how you get "buffed" arms from holding on to a handle and waving it up and down? So how can you get buffed arms by just holding on to a handle that does not move?
Keep in mind, if you use one (very expensive) machine like this, you are only going to get the benefits that this one machine offers. If you were to use a vibration training machine, it should be coupled with other activities and exercises to balance your development and improve your overall health. Relying on only one piece of equipment or one mode of fitness is almost always a big mistake.
I decided to do some of my own research, and while there are a few papers just coming out as Dr. Kramer mentioned, there really is not much solid science yet to back up the claims being made at this point. Some studies are "encouraging", say the researchers, but they are too preliminary and have not been repeated over a long period of time to be definitive. Other studies show no benefits at all.
I spoke with a few fitness experts to get their thoughts the viability of the power plate. Ori Hofmekler, author of the popular fitness book the "The Warrior Diet" says "the PowerPlate has minimal application in the real world. It's just a bunch of hype without solid science backing up the claims."
According to Hofmekler, to achieve the fitness and fat loss claims being made for this device, you have to eliminate poor food choices, decrease estrogen-based food products, and get your butt up and move. Human beings were designed to move. Sitting on a plate "vibrating" goes against every human evolutionary development, not to mention it goes against simple common sense.
I also asked internationally recognized fitness expert Paul Chek, from the Chek Institute in Southern California, about vibration training and he said, "There are some benefits to the power plate, but from what I can see, they are transitory."
Paul even wrote a poem about the PowerPlate and I think you will get a kick out of this:
The power plate, will shake you, Even your bones...
The power plate will do magic, but so will sitting quietly, Alone!
The power plate is a new idea, but taking care of your "Self" isn't, So, do you want a $9,000 vibrator, Or, to your "Self"... ...Can you be True?!
Power plates, counters, beepers, tweeters, horns, Where is the laziness buzzer, That seems to be so lazy... Does your mirror warn?
You can pay to have a high speed jiggle, Or you and KC can, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake your Booty!
You can plug the power plate in and turn it on, but will it keep you slim, if you're always gone,Too many things to "DO"?
There's a great workout, Wrapped all around you, Work out your sore spots, Melt down you fat too, May I suggest some regularity, as a change for you, For even with a new power plate, won't chase after you!
Remember, we need movement to be healthy and our instincts tell us that, but our impatience and emotions sometimes get the best of us and we perk up whenever something new comes out promising us an easier way with less time and effort involved. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to vibration training machines. This is a subject that deserves more study, not only to confirm or refute specific claims being made, but also so we can be sure this type of machine is not damaging in any way, as we already know there are numerous conditions which contraindicate the use of vibration plates.
If I've sounded skeptical, cynical or critical, that's not because I believe this device has no benefits or does not do anything it claims to do, as it does seem to have some benefits in some applications. I am simply saying to you, be discerning when it comes to how far the claims are stretched and don't be swept up in the hype of every new device that comes down the pike with movie star or pro athlete endorsers. Rest assured, there will be another, and another and another!
If you would like to learn more about abdominal exercises, ab workouts, core training, as well as dozens of lifestyle tips and nutrition secrets to help you lose fat and get into top physical shape, then be sure to