The Latest Fitness Scam-Vibration plate gyms.

I am not even going to spend a lot of time on this one. I wanted to write to our dedicated members and followers about this gym more as a warning (while I am sure all of you won’t fall prey to this terrible marketing and outright misinterpretation of scientific research).

There is positive research that has been conducted with vibration plates, incorporating this technology into very specific workouts. However, marketers and non-professional so called “fitness experts”, have butchered this research in the name of making a buck; at the expense of an often unsuspecting and unaware public.

Now before people get up in arms about my comments, here are some facts:

-I have a master’s degree in Human Movement and Sport Performance.

-I have been in this profession for 10 years actively training clients with a proven track record of getting results.

-One of my professors from my master’s program is the world’s leading researcher on vibration technology.

-While I cannot discuss all the details, there are currently lawsuits pending against the vibration plate manufacturers concerning false claims.  

It is difficult to argue with the owners of the vibration plate facilities because they do not have enough education and knowledge in the fitness industry to understand the physiology of what is happening. But, let’s blow through some of the myths, shall we?

1.According to the sign above the door to the Kingston facility, 10 minutes on the vibration platform = 1 hour workout.

How is it possible to not punch this full of holes?

First off, no it doesn’t. And if you think it does, what kind of workout are you talking about? HIT workouts? Hypertrophy? Strength? Power? Circuit? Cardiovascular/ Low intensity? Fartlek? I could go on. But each of these workouts is very different. How can 10 min on a vibration platform equal a one hour workout of ANY of those  listed above, when they are all very different?

Or can the vibration machine somehow read your mind and biomechanics and figure out what your workout is?

Sorry facility owners – this is one of the most bogus statements you make and you’re silly enough to put it on your storefront? Better ad some clarification to that.

 

 

2. Let’s look at the list of supposed benefits according to their website:

A- For weight loss: there is a reference to a physical therapy book here, no page citation however. It boasts an 18% increase in metabolism. Where is the evidence of this?

B- For your muscles: website says you can expect similar gains to conventional resistance training and says there are scientific studies to prove this!

Well I don’t know what to say except this is completely untrue. “Vibration people”, show me one single scrap of evidence in a peer reviewed study, anywhere. I have a stack of research not showing these results.

This doesn’t even make sense when we look at the laws of physiology. Muscles get stronger when they lift a load heavier than gravity. How does standing on a vibration platform manage this? Complete fabrication of reality here.

C- For beauty: apparently the vibration platforms reduce cellulite by more than 25%.

One study is cited but without enough of a citation to find the study. No, this isn’t true. It will not affect your cellulite. Maybe those fancy crèmes at the drug store will. Oh, wait…that is a bogus lie to.

D- For firming and toning.

 It doesn’t really say how it firms and tones. Just that vibration training is better than conventional weight training. It’s not. Show me the evidence of this.

E- For massage: the website states that vibration technology offers whole body massage and relaxation.

What? How? Tell you what, everyone reading this go use a vibration platform and then go get a massage. Get back to me and tell me which worked better and was more relaxing.

F- For feeling good.

Apparently the vibration platform will give you an all over high from a chemical reaction similar to exercising. Wow. I want that. Mental stimulation and concentration will also be improved. How???? Seriously? Stop making claims without saying how!

G- For rehabilitation

This is simply, completely and utterly nonsense.

H- For die hard golfers and other sports people.

This is one of the worst sections on the site. They claim that flexibility and strength are increased because the vibration stimulates the muscles, and there is a “dramatic increase in explosive strength, motor learning, muscular endurance, and overall agility”. This is complete and utter bunk science.

Each of those results requires very different muscle stimulus and training protocols. It is impossible to provide one stimulus to achieve all of those objectives. Not to mention there is not research to support any of those claims anyway…

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Really the supposed benefits from this technology are a result from increased strength of the muscles. Yet they in no way prove, nor could they, that vibration plates and technologies can even improve muscular strength-at all, yet alone in comparison to traditional strength training.

The research done does not support the claims. This technology has been corrupted to appeal to people who want an easy and quick fix to their problems. While there are positive adaptations and uses for this technology, the companies currently marketing the platforms and the facilities marketing them are not using them the way they were intended to be used nor following the appropriate protocols.

Like anything else in life, as soon as something claims it can “do everything”, it is most likely not good at anything. You cannot have one device, piece of equipment, or training protocol that simultaneously makes you stronger, less fat, more explosive, reduces injury, rehabs injury, decreases cellulite, improves health, and gives you a massage.

See, reading that sentence…now you understand. 

A Challenge

Here is something for our new local vibration friends.

I would like to post you a challenge. Let’s take 3 brand new clients. You get three people and we get three people to work with.  We will match them so they are new to exercise and training. Your 3 people do vibration technology training for a month, our three people will train at our studio using ‘traditional’ training. At the end of the month we will post their testimonials and their before and after pictures on our Facebook fan pages.

We will post yours on our page, as you post on your page.

Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is? Because we are.

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