What is the history of “Acceleration Training™” whole body vibration technology?
Acceleration Training™, whole body vibration technology has been around for fitness and therapy for years. This technology was researched and advanced in the former Soviet Union during the 1960’s to enable cosmonauts to withstand the negative effects of zero gravity while engaged in space flight. This technology was responsible for their cosmonauts staggering record of 420 days in space, compared to American astronauts returning home after 120 days.
After space missions, the cosmonauts had previously suffered severe loss of strength and bone density, and this training method mitigated the negative effects suffered, helping them to recover quickly.
More recently, vibration science was studied extensively and the results showed benefits for muscular strength, flexibility, power, bone density, circulation, and recovery. The West was still in the dark about this training method until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, when the Dutch Olympic coach Guus van der Meer was one of the first people to recognize the potential of this technology. The paradigm shift to this method of training offered the possibility of optimizing human function naturally, using the body’s own resources, while preserving joint health and maximizing power. The use of this technology stimulates the body’s reflex neuromuscular activation to promote strength benefits without requiring heavy loads. For the elite training and therapeutic community, vibration opened the potential for human performance and exercise physiology to reach new levels of accomplishment. Using his experience in training athletes and listening to the wants and needs of “average” people who are aware of the need to exercise, but are not willing to devote a lot of time and effort to training, Guus van der Meer then went on to develop Acceleration Training™ – to make it accessible to as many people as possible, resulting in the world-wide success of the Power Plate® equipment.
Who uses Power Plate equipment?
Power Plate is used by most all professional and collegiate athletes as part of their strength training regime. This accelerated training technology imparts about three times more force on muscles than traditional gym strength training. It also initiates all muscle fibers; slow-fast-superfast twitch not stressed in aerobic or typical weight training.
In addition, Power Plate equipment is used in hospitals and physical therapy clinics for its ability to reduce recovery time 30% versus standard physical therapy. We have been working with clients that use the equipment as part of their therapy program.
Power Plate is really the “best kept secret” in fitness and therapy in this country.
How does Power Plate technology work?
When your body comes in contact with the vibrating platform, the instability creates a unique spinal reflex action from each muscle to the central nervous system. This action creates an involuntary contraction for each vibration. So, if the platform is vibrating at 30hz (vibrations per second), and you do a 30-second exercise, ALL the muscle fibers just did 900 repetitions. The objective of the workout is to create increased muscle mass. To do this, it is essential that force be placed on the muscles. Force is Newton’s Law, which is Mass X Acceleration.
In a traditional gym, you can only put force on muscles that are being worked directly with weights or other resistance, which is MASS. There is practically no acceleration. With Power Plate, tremendous force is placed on ALL muscles through ACCELERATION. In one 30 minute workout using Power Plate technology, it is not unusual to have all the muscles in the body subjected to over 20,000 repetitions. When working on the Power Plate, additional force is added by increasing gravity and resistance, making your own body weight more resistant, which means more force with less weight. This is much safer than pushing heavy weights in a gym. At Vibrant Life Fitness USA, we do not use, nor need heavyweights to provide gravity/force. Power Plate workouts are safe and extremely efficient.
Can I do Power Plate workouts if I have a medical condition?
Yes, provided you have an approval from your doctor to exercise. Because Power Plates are Certified Medical Devices, many clients can benefit from Power Plate workouts that would normally not be able to exercise in a gym using weights or resistance equipment. The vibrations from the Power Plate equipment create a tremendous amount of blood flow which will bring oxygen and nutrients into sore or troubled areas, and help relieve arthritic joints. Whole Body Vibration technology can increase bone mineral density, and it creates substantial movement of the lymphatic system.
Prior to starting an exercise program with Vibrant Life Fitness USA, each client is given a fitness assessment and review prior to a FREE demonstration workout. Check the FREE Demo tab on this site for more details.
Can you explain how you use technologies to help clients who are wheel chair bound, or unable to walk without assistance?
Vibrant Life Fitness USA has a specific program for “Therapy Clients”. They combine the fitness and blood flow benefits of the Power Plate equipment and Bemer Vascular therapy for improved blood flow at the microvessel level. We have clients who arrive in wheelchairs from TBI incidents, or just too weak for walking without assistance. This therapy approach is one that is centered on allowing one’s own body to be able to use its own healing powers.
How long are the workout sessions and how many times per week should I exercise?
Power Plate workout sessions always start with warm-up stretches, then followed up by balance, power, strength and core exercises. This is followed by muscle recovery massage on the Power Plate. Total time of this workout is about 30-40 minutes.
We recommend starting the program with exercises sessions twice per week, with a minimum of one-day interval between workouts. For those wanting to maximize their workout, when ready, they will be able to move to a three a week workout schedule.
Do I use the equipment by myself?
No, you will always have a personal trainer working with you. The personal trainer will be responsible for developing exercise programs to maximize each workout based on starting fitness level and progression. Exercises will change in intensity while changing machine frequency, amplitude and time. Our goal is to increase muscle mass, flexibility and balance.
What do I wear?
We recommend wearing comfortable exercise clothing, such as sweatpants- yoga pants and a cotton tee shirt. Also, suggest bringing a small towel and water bottle.
Is There An Advanced Power Plate Workout Program?
Vibrant Life Fitness USA personal trainers will decide when a client will be cleared for a more advanced workout program. The advanced workout will be at 6G force for most advanced exercises workouts with TRX resistance straps. Total time could increase to around 45 minutes
Are there any negative effects connected to Acceleration Training?
The effects of vibration on the human body have been researched for many years. Most people find no negative reaction to the vibrations of the equipment. All potential clients are provided with a FREE demo workout to find out for themselves if they have any negative reactions to the vibrations. Every client is instructed to let the trainer know immediately during an exercise if they encounter any sharp pains in any area of the body. Any client that has had any serious illnesses or recent medical problems is requested to get medical clearance for workouts by his/her doctor.
Will I lose weight when I train on the Power Plate machine?
What we tell our clients that have a goal to lose weight is that we can help. Our primary mission is to increase muscle mass for our clients. We do this in a very efficient and safe way with Power Plate equipment. After a typical Power Plate workout, our clients continue to burn calories at a high rate for 48 hours. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so, if a client follows a nutritional plan that will reduce fat producing calories, weight and more importantly, fat will be reduced. We will help educate our clients on nutritional plans based on recent science. Everyone is different and we strongly suggest finding the nutritional plan that works best for them.
We also suggest that a better way to check for fat loss is to watch for how our clothes begin to fit. One of the best measures of fitness and health is the height to waist ratio. Everyone’s goal should be to have a waist measurement no more than half their height in inches. For example, for a six-foot man (72”), his waist goal should be 36” or less.
The whole body vibration technology allows for the building of HGH during the workout, and reduction of cortisol, both will help in weight/fat reduction.
Does Power Plate training improve flexibility and balance?
Yes. The Power Plate platform vibrates in three different dimensions. Doing exercise on the machine creates an imbalance in the body which activates sensors called proprioceptors. Proprioceptors in our muscles are responsible for keeping our balance. If our proprioceptors can keep us from falling when we are placed on a platform that is vibrating 30-50 times per second in three different directions, walking on stable ground will be much easier.
Flexibility is created as blood is pumped into the muscles and joints during exercise on the vibrating platform. Most all of the exercises are “functional” which means many body parts in motion. Power Plate machines are now finding their way into Golf Clubhouses and used by professional golfers and tennis players.
Do you recommend cardio-training as well as workouts on Power Plate machines?
We believe everyone should be active every day. We recommend walking over “running”. However, for those clients that have an active cardio routine, we would recommend making a modification to “high-intensity interval training”, where the heart rate is increased during the run in short bursts followed by a recovery period. We also suggest taking stairs over elevators and parking a long distance away from stores to increase additional walking. Everyone should be careful about long periods of sitting. It is always better to stand up and stretch every 15-20 minutes if possible.
Are there any age restrictions on using Power Plate machines?
We would recommend starting Power Plate at a minimum age of 12. All workouts are with personal trainers. Because Power Plate workouts do not require heavy weights, it is very safe for young and older clients. There is no upper age restriction. If a client is cleared by a doctor for exercise, then we can proceed.
Science has proven that as we get older, our muscles begin to atrophy and we lose muscle mass. We strongly recommend that the older one gets, the higher percentage of his/her exercise routine be in strength building to regain lost muscle mass. The Power Plate can put force on muscles without high impact on joints and tendons.
My doctor/specialist is not familiar with Power Plate machines, what should I do?
POWER PLATE INTERNATIONAL organizes practical and theoretical presentations and demonstrations of Power Plate® equipment, where doctors, physiotherapists, and other specialists are very welcome.
Internationally, Acceleration Training™ is gaining vast acceptance and familiarity within the medical sphere due to ever emerging scientific backup and research studies. The knowledge of the many applications of Acceleration Training™ is growing rapidly, not only in the world of fitness and health but also in the area of medical and paramedical care. If your doctor, specialist or physical therapist would like to know more about Power Plate® technology and its possible applications, please ask him or her to check their website, www.powerplate.com