Good Vibrations: Getting Buff without Weights

Goodbye, heavy lifting. Hello, Power Plate.
Goodbye, heavy lifting. Hello, Power Plate.
(AP Photo/ Joe Jines/The Southern Illinoisan)

July 20, 2006 | Post Archive

Technology is the answer to all of our problems, right? It's supposed to take the work out of work. Soon we'll all be leading the life of George Jetson, pushing a single button all day long. Now technology has once again taken the work out of exercise. I give you the Power Plate. Madonna uses it, Donatella Versace and Claudia Schiffer use it, and so should you. Thanks to the Power Plate, staying fit and healthy doesn't require any hard work or discipline. The Power Plate's revolutionary technology overthrows conventional wisdom regarding the human body in a coup d'etat of sweat, gym clothes and good vibrations. Why lift weights or jog when you can vibrate that flab and cellulite into oblivion in just a few minutes a day? And please take note: this is not the vibrating belt of yesteryear. We've come along way since the 1960s.


According to its makers, the Power Plate relies on "Advanced Vibration Technology." Here's their explanation of how it works:

The Power Plate produces a vibration through which energy is transferred from the platform to the body. By standing on the Power Plate you will notice how your body automatically adjusts to the vibrations. This mechanical stimulus produces a stretch reflex which, depending on the selected frequency, results in muscles vigorously contracting 30 to 50 times per second...Each set is performed no longer than 30, 45, or 60 seconds in length, and training sessions on the Power Plate need to be performed no more than 3 to 4 times per week with each session lasting about 10 minutes of actual time on the Power Plate. ...Advanced Vibration Technology increases the production of regenerative and repair hormones, improves blood circulation, strengthens bone tissue, improves lymph drainage and increases basal metabolic rate. All this results in more strength, more speed, more stamina, rapid recovery of muscles and tissue, increased flexibility, mobility and coordination, improved collagen production, and fat reduction.

According to the Daily Mail, the German football team used the Power Plate to train for the World Cup and so does Manchester United. An astute friend pointed out one potential flaw in these statements: exercise equipment manufacturers often send their latest products to athletic organizations. Whether or not the organizations actually continue to use them doesn't matter. While that information is completely anecdotal at this point, I don't find it very hard to believe. Just look at the plethora of ineffective fitness devices on the market today and those of the past (or in storage rooms, thrift stores and classifieds, for that matter). Forgive me for being cynical, but experience suggests that very few things in life don't require hard work.