Monday, June 18, 2012

Good Vibrations (Power Plate Training)

Good Monday morning.  I hope everyone celebrating Father's Day yesterday had a great time.  We had a great weekend, filled with family and fun.  But I want to talk about fitness today.

I love working out. Actually, I love working out first thing in the morning. I swear when I don't, I don't feel fully awake. I feel kind of discombobulated, and just not like 'myself'. I guess it's the way a lot of people feel if they don't have a coffee. Of course I gotta have my coffee too!

Even though my hamstring tendonitis is significantly better since I had my cortisone shots, it is still a vulnerable area and I am still limited by it. I have to avoid most types of lunges and deadlifts, and really have to limit the amount of walking I do, particularly on an incline.

In general, I really have to avoid doing too much of any one thing. I suppose this is good because it prevents me from getting into a rut and forces me to keep a lot of variety in my workout routine. So for cardio, I rotate between our treadmill for walking, running or lateral training, our stairmaster, or various fitness DVDs at home, and spinning on Sundays at the gym. I do two 20-30 minute strength training sessions at home during the week, and a longer, more intense one on Sundays before I teach my class. I love my kick-butt Sunday training, but I do pay for it. Even when I'm super careful, I am usually crazy sore for the next 2 days, and my hamstrings require some TLC (I've discovered icing is useless, but heat pads or hot epsom salt baths help a lot).

So I was intrigued when I started researching vibration machine training for some fitness seminars I've been giving (remember the one I messed up the date for last week???), and what I thought was just a hyped-up fitness trend, seems to really have some major training benefits!

Like virtually every fitness gadget, tool, equipment and type of activity out there, you will hear claims that vibration training is the key to dramatic weight-loss and the rock-hard bod of your dreams. There is no evidence that this is the case, but it can increase muscle strength and explosive power comparable to conventional methods of training. Because no additional weights are necessary, there is very little loading to passive structures such as bones, ligaments and joints. So it is highly suited to people whose training is limited due to old age, illness, disorders, weight or injury OR for highly conditioned athletes who want to stimulate and strengthen their muscles without overloading joints and the rest of the physical system. Hmm...

Since I always like to try the activities I talk about, I decided to head down to the Power Institute in the Yorkville neighbourhood to check it out. They offer a free trial session with a trainer in their beautiful, clean studio featuring Power Plate equipment.
Power Plate pro5
According to the Power Institute's Website:

"Using Power Plate equipment is the next generation of fitness technology, providing highly efficient workouts through Acceleration Training. This revolutionary training technique delivers harmonic vibration to the body, stimulating a natural reflex that contracts the muscles 25 to 50 times a second- using up to 95% of muscle fibers, compared to as little as 20% with traditional equipment.
We offer high-intensity training unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. This unique fitness system burns fat, enhances muscle tone, improves balance, and increases strength. With the PI Platform, you will get a complete full body workout incorporating Stretch, Balance, Core, Strength, and Massage all in only 30 minutes."

Despite the impressive research findings, I was actually expecting to find this training a waste of time. But I was unfortunately incredibly impressed. I say unfortunately because I absolutely cannot justify spending money on regular training, but I could see/feel the benefits of this type of training right away, and I loved it!

A typical session involves full-body training with a combination of dynamic exercises (squats, tricep pushups, etc.) and isometric exercises (plank, etc.). My trainer, a lovely woman who clearly knew what she was doing, put me through an intense workout with 45 minutes dedicated to each exercise. She recommended doing it in bare feet, so I did. Pretty much every exercise she had me do was challenging and my abdominal muscles and triceps, in particular, were burning. In addition to the exercises, she had me use the machine to stretch out my muscles at the end, and incorporated some massage. Yes, I got a massage from the trainer, does it get any better than that???

Aside from that, the best part was that I experienced no post-workout hamstring pain, nor delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after this intense strength building routine.  Seriously, I felt absolutely no pain, strain or tightness afterwards.  I was sure I'd have to modify my usual Sunday morning workout, but 48 hours after doing the training, I was fresh as a daisy, ready to pump some serious iron. Love it!

Sessions at Power Institute start at $45 for a single 30 minute session, like the one I did, and go up to $80 for a single 60 minute session. The more sessions you buy, the better the deal, so if you buy 50 sessions, the cost goes down to $29/session. Still...we have many other things we can be spending our money on right now, and I am still far away from having a significant, steady income. Nevertheless, you can bet that if the day comes when we DO have money to burn, I'm heading to the Power Institute!!

So do I recommend this training? Absolutely. If you can afford it and are looking for a great way to improve your fitness, I encourage you to give it a try.

If you want to find a facility near you that has Power Plate equipment, visit the Power Plate website.


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  2. it gives the better result in weight loss, increases the muscle power, and reduces the back pain. Proper supervision will be needed while using the vibration plate before starting the workouts consult with your physician .

    Vibration Training

  3. Power-Plate workouts are supposed to be fun as well as benefical. However, not everyone will take to them. If, for what ever reason you don't want to participate in a power-plate workout simply choose another activity more in-keeping with your personality and exercise goals.