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You Asked: Power Plate Pros and Cons

You're asking and I'm answering.

Dear Fit,
My gym is getting "Power Plates" installed and I am curious about the benefits of standing on a vibrating platform compared with a one hour workout in the gym? They are claiming it can have the same effect but I am not convinced! Of course, I'm going to try one but how is this beneficial for overall long-term health?

The Power Plate revolution is beginning to fully materialize and I think it is cool that your gym is springing for some fancy new equipment. However, I am with you and am a little incredulous that 10 minutes on a Whole Body Vibration Machine (WBV) can replace a 60 minute traditional workout. To hear the pros and cons of the Power Plate, just


I must begin by stating that I have never tried a Power Plate or any other WBV machine exercise, and although I am skeptical, like you I am also intrigued. A WBV platform vibrates mildly activating muscles to contract 30 to 50 times a second. Cedric Bryant, the chief physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, feels that WBV could be a good supplement to a sensible diet and exercise program. Some small studies have found that performing squats on a WBV machine is slightly more effective at increasing muscle power as well as jump height than performing squats on stable ground. However, with no external load forcing muscles to exert themselves some members of the sports medicine world don't think that vibrations alone could do much good for healthy, young individuals. The benefits of using a vibration machine for people with multiple sclerosis is dramatic, and other research has found that using WBV has inhibited bone density loss in post menopausal women.

Regarding long term health, the major concern is that high-amplitude vibration can be dangerous over time since it sends jarring waves throughout the body. This jarring motion could create low back pain, cartilage damage, blurred vision from retinal tears, hearing loss and even brain damage (gray matter being shaken too hard in the skull). It is not recommended to use the machines for over 30 minutes a day.

One thing is for certain, your core will get worked using a Power Plate. I can't wait to hear what you think of the machines. Be sure to let us all know.


Join The Conversation
Vibra-Trainer3461817 Vibra-Trainer3461817 3 years
Withy this tecnology being in the public arena for over 10 years now. By hundereds of thousands of people from athleses to the disabled. I hope people now realize 2 simple things.. (1) The scare mongering by third parties with uleteior motives about brain damage, eye damage etc... was all made up. One big fat lie to stop you even trying this type of technology. (2) Over 90% of all product was fake. With even some large gym chains getting scammed. The truth will always rise to the top.
medvibe medvibe 8 years
Lisaduffy28, What you are experiencing is not wierd. I am not in anyway attemting to badmouth Powerplate but you are not the first person to complain about that. See. I personally can't handle the vibration coming from the powerplate because it feels too intense and blurs my vision. Its no suprise that the first and only product to receive durable medical equipment class 2 status was a pivotal platform that operates at 25hz not Powerplate whose products mostly start at 35hz and vibrate at a much shorter wavelength. See a doctor about that tremor immediately- that doesn't sound healthy at all.
lisaduffy28 lisaduffy28 8 years
I have had a powerplate for about a year. I have never overused it, really just a few times a week for about 10 minutes, max. I now have this wierd ongoing off and on vibrating sensation in my nether regions! It is not a pleasant feeling (which it was) It is so odd, it will happen when I am asleep and it wakes me up, when I am standing in a line at the grocery store, as I am sitting here typing! I never have ever felt this sensation until I started using the Powerplate and I feel there is some connection here. I use my machine less and less hoping if I don't use it the subtle fluttering vibration sensation will cease. It does after a couple of weeks cessation. What is this all about? When I first used it, the results were so dramatic and I extolled it to everyone. I have always exercised since I was nine and following Jack La Lane on TV. I am really fit for my age and have come to the conclusion that good old fashioned work outs, work the best.
medvibe medvibe 9 years
Does WBV work? Definitely! Is it an effective ten minute workout? Yes!- depending on how intense you are willing to get on the platform you can work out your entire body in just 10 minutes—If you think this workout entails just ten minutes of standing on the platform, you have another thing coming. You do actually have to perform dips, pushups, squats, lunges, curls, ab bridges etc. Will you build muscle mass? It depends on who you are and where you are starting from. If you are well built then you may notice some tone but not size. If you don’t work out at all then yes of course your muscles will develop to a point from engaging them. I can understand how so many of you are skeptical about whole body vibration. At one point I was also. Think back to a time when elliptical machines were entering the fitness community. Elliptical machines looked awkward and made crazy claims that you could achieve better muscular/cardio effects than a treadmill with out putting excessive stress on the joints. Were you skeptical then? Now elliptical machines account for about 65% of home fitness store sales and make up roughly 50% of the cardio equipment in most gyms. We as American consumers are skeptical of most new products on the market because we have been bombarded with so many useless fitness products. The difference here is that many of those products never make it past an infomercial because they don’t have much empirical data that suggests they actually work nor do they get a worldwide following like whole body vibration has. WBV technology is nothing new and is something that has recently been exposed to you because it is becoming affordable to the public. Think plasma TV’s back in 1995- They existed but were not widely used or purchased by the general consumer like they are today. WBV was passed down from a space program to Olympic athletes, then to your favorite Professional sports teams and now to your gyms and homes. My credentials: I own Medvibe, a company dedicated to furthering the research and distribution of whole body vibration. We manufacture products that are a bit different than PowerPlates machines. It is important to know that all gym/fitness equipment is not the same. Many machines in the gym i.e. free-weights vs. machines often engage the same muscle groups yet do it differently and have different benefits. The same goes with WBV machines. We use a pivotal technology that rocks the vibration platform from side to side rather than Powerplate which uses a tri-plannar technology that vibrates the entire platform uniformly in a vertical motion. Pivotal machines mimic your body’s natural gait which means the vibration is impacted and absorbed by your body’s natural motions thus eliminating the vibrations to your head. Ok this is getting lengthy—sorry I am passionate about this subject. To answer most of your questions—WBV IS NOT AN ADEQUATE, END ALL MIRACLE SOLUTION TO WEIGHT LOSS AND FITNESS. It does have many benefits ranging from rehabilitation, stretching, massage, and muscle tone. I often tell my customers that FITNESS=DIET+EXERCISE. WBV in this case is only a part of your exercise. I think marketers have taken things a bit far by over exaggerating the benefits from the research that has been done. For the millions of Americans that don’t get to the gym like we do—this product is effective because its better than performing no exercise at all. Additionally if you are an athlete, its another tool in your toolbox to add some diversity to your workouts via balance training, increase explosive power and an increased production of your natural growth hormones. If you haven’t tried a WBV machine yet then get on one. Remember they are all not the same—If you get on one that seems like its too intense—it probably is—you may need to check out a few different companies and technologies before you find the machine that is right for you. If you have any more questions—I would be happy to answer them—just email the Medvibe website and I will gladly respond.
Marlovestar Marlovestar 9 years
My old gym used to have one. It was very difficult to balance on at first and I think thats why it uses more of your muscles. However I'll stick to yoga. The machine didn't leave a lasting impression.
Stephen-E Stephen-E 9 years
Doesn't seem natural to me. Generally there are no "shortcuts" to getting fit.
Freya82 Freya82 9 years
My trainer said you shouldn't use powerplates if you are suffering (or used to suffer) from migrains, apparently they can get worse. Which is why I've never used one, didn't want to take any chances there...
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I am usually a very skeptical person but my mom has been using this regularly and she swears she feel fitter, thinner and more energetic having used it for about 2 months now. I am concerned to hear about the side effects. They never bother to tell you about the possible dangers.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Thank you for answering my question!! :) I will be going along to the introductory classes and trying them out. Heck, it's only 15 minutes. :)
TheMissus TheMissus 9 years
We have them at my gym... The trainers utilize them into our workouts. My trainer has me stretch certain muscles on the Power Plate. So, for example, I stand in a way that stretches my calf on the plate, then she turns it on. It feels good. But it does make the inside of my ears itch from the vibrations. We also do squats on them sometimes. And it does take a lot of control to keep your form while doing them. I would say Power Plates are a GREAT way to challenge certain exercises you do... But I certainly would never workout on one for 10 minutes and then not do anything else.
NatureMadeLisa NatureMadeLisa 9 years
Seems like another fad to me.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
Whoops I tried to do a laughing face. Oh well.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I wonder how long the line is for it at the gym! :O
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
It sounds interesting, but I do wonder about the actual benefits and future side-effects.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
I've never tried it, but my sister-in-law does it and she found it helped her along with her diet to lose weight before her wedding. She also uses a stationery bike, so the exercises on the power plate is basically her strength training program. I think a lot of people assume you just stand on the thing, but as far as I know, you do mild strength movements while on it (squats, pushups and so on) - and she also has a trainer type person who oversees her workout. I don't belong to a gym, so I'd rather follow a DVD like Jillian Michael's 30 day shred or do my own strength routine at home than have to pay for using something like Power Plate. People are buying them for their homes now, too!
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