Power Plate is a new form of vibration training that puts its users into shape, promising greater strength and flexibility with a decidedly non-traditional workout. Embraced by athletes, celebrities and fitness experts, it works through a science called “acceleration training” that was pioneered by soviet scientists in the 1960s and used to keep cosmonauts in shape while in space. The concept behind it is that standing on the machine’s vibrating plate makes the muscles work harder, as the effort to maintain balance is added to the exercise. The minor instability causes muscles to act in reflex up to 50 times a second, resulting in a more rigorous workout in a smaller amount of time. The machine is simple looking, absent of pedals, stairs and moving treads. It is composed of a large black platform facing a control panel in the center of wide, tall handles. When the plate is activated, the platform starts to vibrate. Frequency and intensity of vibration can be programmed from the panel interface. The user then performs typical exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups. The effects of doing the typical exercises on the vibrating platform intensify the workout.
The machine comes with straps that attach to the platform to get the arms involved for exercises such as pulls or curls. The vibrations are subtle, but users feel a buzz. Other advantages of the plate include muscle relaxation, increased flexibility, strength and bone density and even improved circulation. Workouts typically can go from 10-15 minutes to half an hour or so and can be done three times a week. The workout chosen varies depending on the results desired. For instance, someone who is working on increasing stamina will do a different workout routine than someone who is working on weight loss. The “accelerated training” program offered by Power Plate is carefully designed to increase the intensity of the workout while introducing the benefit of the device from the very beginning. All workouts begin with a warm up and end with a cool down. The hamstrings and quads can be massaged by laying them on the machine and laying the rest of the body on the support pad. This should be done at the beginning and end of a workout. Also, typical stretching exercises can be done with the plate, for added benefit of the vibrations.
The vibration motion is in all directions simultaneously. The plate causes involuntary muscle contractions in the muscles at a rate that’s equal to its frequency. When exercising on the plate, the muscles are actually being turned on and off at a rate of 30-50 times per second. The plate’s vibrations help increase blood flow, muscle fatigue, lymphatic circulation, and anaerobic performance. The skeleton also reacts to the vibrations, therefore, making the plate a great tool to increase bone density. Use of the plate also multiplies the effectiveness of training, where just 15 minutes on the plate can produce effects similar to 1 hour of conventional training. Users will also experience increased flexibility, increased range of motion, and typically a sense of relaxation after each session.