At first, the Power Plate seems like another gimmicky weight-loss product, but its website features endorsements from fit celebs like Madonna, Courteney Cox, and Hilary Swank. On top of that, it's used by over 60 college and pro sports teams, and the Police brought one with them on their reunion tour. That's some serious
celeb street cred.
The secret behind the Power Plate is its vibrating plates. The manufacturer claims that if you stand on it for 10 minutes a day, three times a week, you'll lose weight, tone your body, and improve bone density. To really maximize the benefits of the machine, it's encouraged that you do the same exercises you would do on the floor — sit-ups, for example — on the Power Plate.
Cougar Town actress Cox says the Power Plate was essential in shaping her up for her new role: "The Power Plate machine has dramatically changed my workout. I know that every muscle in my body is being ignited in ways that you can't do with traditional training."
To see a video of Cox's trainer Michelle Lovett demonstrating the Power Plate,
They call the technology behind the machine Acceleration Training: the vibrations transmit energy waves to the body that are able to contract muscles 25 to 50 times per second. This is suppose to help stimulate blood flow, work the muscles harder than ever before, and increase strength and flexibility.
Vibration training is not a new thing in the fitness world (remember the black rubber belts that used to go around the waist to shake off fat?), but it's been picking up steam especially as it garners more backing from the medical community and health professionals.
Studies done on the effects of vibration training show that if used properly, it's more beneficial at building lean muscle mass, improving weight loss, and increasing strength and speed than exercise regimens without vibration training. Researchers warn that the machines should not be used for more than 30 minutes a day due to health concerns about engaging the body in high-amplitude vibrations like back pain or blurred vision.
I remain a little skeptical, mostly because I can't get the Shake Weights infomercial out of my head, but my curiosity is piqued. My gym doesn't have a Power Plate yet, does yours? I'd love to hear what you think of this new workout.