Mixed vibes on body shaker

Mixed vibes on body shaker

There are 505 comments on the Newsday.com story from Jun 18, 2006, titled Mixed vibes on body shaker. In it, Newsday.com reports that:

Remember those machines from the 1950s that jiggled a person's fat in an attempt to rid the body of cellulite? These days, a more sophisticated generation of those machines, which vibrate the entire body, is ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.com.

Elite Vibration

Auckland, New Zealand

#521 Nov 15, 2010
Just over two years ago Power Plate began to call their new machines “Acceleration Trainers”.

Now they have trademarked the term “Acceleration Training” for exclusive use in their marketing around the world and especially in North America.
So What does Acceleration Training Mean?

Don’t be fooled by the semantics, Acceleration Training is just yet another term for Vibration Training. Since the market began to saturate with all kinds of VT models and Power Plate knock offs, the marketers at Power Plate knew they had to come up with at term that would separate them from the rest of the pack.

That’s all it is, just a word, and the technology isn’t any different. If you read Power Plate’s press releases, they themselves, when using The Term “Acceleration Training” use parentheses with a.k.a Vibration Training inside them.

Although the overall industry accepted term is “Vibration Training”, marketers of other machines have coined many other terms as well.

* Whole Body Vibration
* Whole Body Vibration Training
* Vibrating Exercise Machine
* Vibrating Platform
* Vibration Fitness Training
* Vibration Plate Training
* Bio-Oscillation Training

These are just a few of the many terms out there. So don’t be confused or fooled. Look at the machines specs and track record instead of getting allured by it’s fancy name.
Elite Vibration

Auckland, New Zealand

#522 Nov 15, 2010
The good and bad of positive research. This new study is going to be used by every single company that sells something that vibrates up, down, sideways or tilts fast enough to be called a vibration and even though some companies would be justified in using it to support the effectiveness of their product, about 99% of the industry have NO claim to the positive outcomes shown in that report.
Here are the Power Plate facts
The study was done on a newer Power Plate machine designed to take heavier loads. It was a fiberglass Lineal machine and would be considered to be at the upper end of the “Medium Energy Lineal ” as per our review categories.
No one except Power Plate and other companies on that same/similar level and above can rightfully use this study in any kind of advertising. I think this is logical to most, but we will soon see how many people in our industry come up with justifications for twisting it for their own marketing purposes. I am quite sure I will be slamming a few companies in the very near future for exactly that, but for now we get to Power Plate’s problem.
Now of course we can not ask Power Plate to name their equals and above because that would be paramount to “sales” suicide. However, Power Plate at the same time must differentiate themselves or lose sales to much lesser and probably cheaper units. A catch 22 if there ever was one. So what are you going to do as a consumer to get around this? Everyone’s either going to lie or not say anything at all. So here is the ONLY answer…..
The old fashioned try before you buy
Yes it might seem simple, but so many people forget this common piece of advice. Trust that your body knows the “difference” in quality when it feels it, you do not need a PHD to feel something, after all, your body is very in tune with its surrounding and gives feedback you instinctively understand. No big word or fancy sales speech to worry about. Go where you can try a Power Plate (a larger model like used in the study, not a home unit), then find somewhere you can try other machines. As always the more the merrier.
A 1 minute basic squat ( as per the safety program here) is the perfect position to do these tests and don’t let the salesperson talk to you or distract you during this. Tell them to put it on a good workout setting and vibrate off. Even after only 3 units you will get the idea.
Important note: No one in the study we are aware of had any injuries or physical limitations that would stop them from doing a basic squat, so if you do have one it is not advised you try this test (“its too hard” is not a physical limitation, that’s a mental one).
Having tested the machines and made an informed decision, buy the product and use it with a calorie restricted diet if you want the kind of results seen in the research, please note that buying a lighter home model for economic reasons will also vary the outcome. The whole point of this is to understand machines are NOT all the same, even if built by the same company. I am sure a number of companies that sell larger machines like those used in the research will attach it to their cheaper home models, this is also unethical without clearly disclosing it and would put them in the same bracket as the marketers who would attach it to anything that moves.
The press release concerning a six month study presented on Friday at the European Congress on Obesity that showed participants who used Vibration Training as well as a low Calorie diet had more weight loss then those using conventional exercise with the same low Calorie diet.
Elite Vibration

Auckland, New Zealand

#523 Nov 15, 2010
Here is and outline of the study
The study was conducted over a six month period, after which subjects returned to their daily lives and reported back for retesting at 12 months. In terms of weight loss:
* The “Power Plate®” group lost 11 percent of their body weight and maintained a 10.5 percent loss
* The diet and conventional fitness group lost 7 percent and maintained a 6.9 percent loss
* The diet only group lost 6 percent, and maintained less than 5 percent loss
Even more promising was the reduction of visceral fat:
* The “Power Plate®” group lost 47.8 sq. cm.(18.8 in.), and maintained a loss of 47.7 sq. cm (18.7 in.)
* The diet and conventional fitness group lost only 17.6 sq. cm.(6.93 in.), and maintained only a 1.6 sq. cm (.63 in) loss
* The diet only group lost 24.3 sq. cm.(9.57 in.) and maintained only 7.5 sq. cm.(2.95 in.) loss
“We are extremely encouraged by the results of this study, especially in terms of the reduction of visceral fat,” said Guss Van Der Meer, Founder of Power Plate®. “Obesity is a major concern both in the United States and worldwide and we are excited that Power Plate® exercise may provide a low-impact way for people to lose weight and belly fat.”
This study was funded by the Artesis University College of Antwerp and has not been peer reviewed as of yet. It does show promising results for the industry, in general, even though this study was conducted using Power Plate machines.
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#524 Nov 30, 2010
WBV Exercise: To Move or Not

Scientific research on whole body vibration unquestionably demonstrates significant benefits in terms of strength, flexibility, balance, bone density, blood flow and others. Whilst simply standing on a machine and turning it on may produce some benefit, more can be gained by fine tuning the input. Fortunately the research is slowly moving towards exploring the variables available to whole body vibration users to discover what we need to do to get the greatest benefit. How can we tweak the frequency of the vibrations, the amplitude of the movement and the time spent exercising to get the greatest benefits? What positions are best and should we move on the platform or be stationary?

For many first time users the surprise of the moving plate makes them reluctant to move through fear and uncertainty. And this feeling has been compounded by some misinformed views.
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#525 Nov 30, 2010
First, let’s consider the argument against movement. It has been theorised that moving on the platform creates the potential for harmful shear forces in the joints that may lead to damage. I must say that in my years of experience I have learnt that theories are usually wrong and sometimes may even have ulterior motives. Sound, scientific research is required to find out the truth, but more on that later. Next, shear forces in joints are a normal part of life. Fortunately, we have within us small stabilising muscles around our joints to control for shear forces and by challenging those very muscles we ensure that they remain healthy and robust. And finally, do shear forces cause joint damage? Well, they have the potential to. Repeated shear forces that exceed the capacity of the surrounding muscles can indeed create stress on joints. But whether whole body vibration is sufficient to create shear forces has yet to be determined. Nevertheless, what is the best way to strengthen the joint stabilising muscles? Movement, of course.

Now that we are talking about movement, we should also consider the ‘specificity of training effect’, which tells us that the effect of training is specific to the training that is being done. For example, if I want to be a better runner, swimming won’t help. If I want to dance better, lifting weights won’t help. If I do lots of bicep curls then I become better at nothing other than bicep curls. When we translate the ‘specificity of training effect’ to human function, how often do we spend time in a stationary position? Very little. Just about every moment of every day the human body is moving, therefore it follows that we need to be moving in our training.

Let’s look at the research. In a recent article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning1, the authors reviewed 31 pieces of high quality research that unequivocally showed that a combination of movement and stationary exercises produce nearly twice the strength gains compared with stationary exercises alone. They admit that stationary exercises may be a good first step when introducing beginners to vibration exercise because it is easy to learn, requires less ability and does produce some benefits. However the progression to include movements on the platform is required if one wants to fully achieve the benefits of vibration exercise.

Plus there exists not one research article that used movement exercise that mentions any deleterious effects due to shear forces.

So there we have it, it makes sense to move on the machine and the research shows the benefits are doubled.

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#526 Nov 30, 2010
I've used vibration training in my clinic for a few years now and it has helped numerous patients. There is more research available on the machines, but I agree, you have to be careful which one you by, because the quality varies greatly. I'm a chiropractor hickory, nc, and you can visit my clinic's website at www.alliancechiropracticcenter.com , and my blog at www.drbradshook.com . Thanks for the great discussion on these machines.
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#527 Dec 9, 2010
The Claim: A vibration platform with greater mass applies more force to a user, than a vibration platform with less mass.
To support this claim the following is an analogy used:
“I throw the volleyball to you and you catch it. Sounds simple enough, but we all know from experience this is not hard work, for either of us. If I throw it to you 100 times you might start feeling it, but in no way would you describe this as a “workout”. So how do I challenge your body and make it work harder. Extending the distance between us will not change much, so we know Amplitude is not the key, and throwing it more just takes up time. The perfect scenario would be to make the workout harder but shorter, right ?.
The simple solution …… Change the ball to a medicine ball.
The increase in mass of the ball immediately increases your workload considerably, in each throw.”
In this article we will show you why this analogy is flawed, we will explain why the mass of a WBV platform is independent of the force applied to the user (provided the acceleration applied is equal), and we will explain what might be the difference between a heavy platform and a light platform.
First, let’s look at that volleyball/medicine ball analogy. Whilst the analogy sounds quite convincing at first, there are a number of reasons why the scenario of throwing a ball with less mass (volleyball) and a ball with greater mass (medicine ball), does not apply to standing on a vibration platform of less mass and a vibration platform of greater mass.
Paul O’Brien, a PhD in theoretical physics explains…
In order to throw a ball through the air, one must initially apply a force that accelerates the ball from rest. The path followed by the ball is determined by this acceleration, and the necessary force from the user is proportional to the mass of the ball.
When catching, a force must be applied in order to decelerate the ball from its current trajectory. This requires a force that is again proportional to the mass and this deceleration. This is why increasing the mass of the ball gives for a harder workout.
For the case of a vibration platform, the forces required to oscillate the mass (the platform plus user) are provided by the spring and motor, as the mass is displaced from the equilibrium position and then driven back toward it. As with the ball, a proportionally greater force is necessary to oscillate a platform of greater mass, although again, this force is provided by the spring and the motor.
Clearly, the use of the ball analogy is flawed. In the ball analogy, it is the person catching and throwing the ball who has to work harder with an increase of mass. When we increase the mass of a vibration platform it is the motor working harder.
So what would be a better scenario to show the relationship between an accelerating/decelerating mass and the force applied to a user?
A fighter pilot! There is a reason why fighter pilots don’t need to train in planes of greater mass to experience greater forces.
In order to follow a trajectory, the plane and pilot must each undergo a certain acceleration. The engines apply a force to the plane proportional to its mass, as well an additional force to accelerate the pilot, proportional to their mass. The additional force is what the pilot experiences, therefore the force felt by the pilot is independent of the plane’s mass.
Similarly, the user on the platform needs to undergo a certain acceleration in order to vibrate with a certain frequency and amplitude. Hence the motor must apply a force to the user proportional to the user mass, in addition to the force applied to the platform (proportional to the platform mass). Although the motor must apply greater force to more massive platforms, the force experienced by the user is the additional force, which is independent of platform mass. Says O’Brien.
Hypothetical Scenario
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#528 Dec 9, 2010
Assume that we have two vibration machines and both are operating at frequency of 30Hz and a displacement of 2mm. Both machines have a platform made of an equally hard material, and both machines are loaded with the same weight of 80Kg. One machine has a platform weight of 10Kg, the other machine has a platform weight of 50Kg. When being operated under such conditions, both machines produce identical output readings on an accelerometer.
O’Brien provides the calculations….
A vibration of 30Hz with amplitude 2mm requires an acceleration of 71m/s2. If the user has a weight of 80kg, standing on the 10kg platform means the total mass is 90kg, requiring a force of 6.4kN for oscillation. On a 50kg platform, with 130kg the total mass, the force required for the oscillation is 9.2kN. In the 10kg case, 0.7kN is required to vibrate the platform, with 3.6N for the 50kg platform. That leaves 6.4kN–0.7kN = 5.7kN to vibrate the user on the 10kg platform, and 9.2kN–3.5kN = 5.7kN applied to the user on the 50kg platform. The force experienced by the user in this example is indeed the same on each platform, and the same is true for any vibration with any platform mass.
So what role does platform mass play in Whole Body Vibration equipment?
In our hypothetical scenario, we had a 10Kg platform and a 50Kg platform operating at the same acceleration whilst under load. In reality however, this might not always be the case. Machines with platforms with small mass are usually powered by smaller motors. Smaller mass, with smaller motors, means less kinetic energy, and as a result such machines are much more affected by the load placed on the platform.
O’Brien writes…
Since more force is required to vibrate a heavy platform, heavier platforms are powered by larger motors, capable of delivering a wider range of forces. The addition of a user is less likely to move the necessary oscillation forces out of the motor’s range for the system with a larger platform mass. This, combined with the fact that the fractional change in necessary oscillation force reduces as the platform mass increases, makes it easy to argue that a heavier platform will be less affected by the weight of a user.
Motor designs and capabilities are by no means perfect. It would be nice to believe that the motor could be programmed to alter the force to keep the same frequency and amplitude once a user is added, but the motor may not have an accurate value or measurement for the user’s weight.
If the motor cannot be programmed to modify its force as such, the existing force must now vibrate the platform plus a user, leading to a decrease in acceleration and thus in frequency/amplitude. As the platform mass increases, the percentage mass of the system contributed by the user decreases, bringing the actual acceleration closer to that needed for the intended vibration, meaning that more massive platforms are affected less by the user. This is an intuitive result, with heavier platforms requiring more energy input from the motor, causing the additional energy required to vibrate the user to constitute a smaller proportion of the total energy.
So what does this all mean?
It means that there is some basis to the original claim. A platform of greater mass could apply more force to a user, than a platform of lesser mass.
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#529 Dec 9, 2010
However, this would only be due to a greater drop in acceleration of the platform with lesser mass once loaded. The claim is not automatically true because it is possible that a platform of lesser mass could produce an identical acceleration to the platform of greater mass, even whilst loaded. When it is all boiled down, the effect of platform mass only contributes to the overall frequency / amplitude / acceleration characteristics of a vibration platform. It is the acceleration a user undergoes that is the key to the workload of a user, the force applied to a user is simply a product of that acceleration.
Researchers don’t need to consider the mass of a platform, only the frequency, amplitude and acceleration characteristics of the machine whilst loaded. This article did not consider variations in platform material properties, or time-varying acceleration characteristics, which certainly could have an effect on the force applied to a user, and should be explored by researchers.
Elite Vibration

Christchurch, New Zealand

#530 Dec 13, 2010
Quote from last piece.

So what does this all mean?
It means that there is some basis to the original claim. A platform of greater mass could apply more force to a user, than a platform of lesser mass.

The person you quoted and tried to discredit ended up being right

Buffalo Grove, IL

#531 Dec 22, 2010
I can't see a use for this.
Philippa Church


#532 Dec 22, 2010
I bet that's what they said about Penecillin.

Boise, ID

#533 Dec 22, 2010
I have to agree with you about the power plate. The product seems to do a great job not only with the subjects you mentioned but also with proprioception and balance. I see these results especially after injuries such as auto accidents and sports injuries. more can be found about how I treat these injuries at www.boiseapexchiro.com
Jenni V - age 60

Independence, OR

#534 Mar 9, 2011
I bought the Power Plate My3 in 2008 and loved it. Started on the low setting with the extra padding provided, doing the exercies on the poster included and gradually moved up to the high speed with no extra padding. After one year of 4 or 5 15 minutes session per week I started to see flashes from my left eye and was dianosed with a posterior vitreous detachment in both eyes. One year later (and no use of the Power Plate) the detachment has completed in my right eye but is still not complete in my left eye. I am still being monitored by my dr in case of a retinal tear. I cannot say for certain that this was caused by use of the Power Plate but it seems strange to me that it happened in both eyes at the same time and at a relatively young age. Most people who have a PVD are somewhat older. Also, it does not usually take this long to complete the detachment.
Lloyd Shaw

Auckland, New Zealand

#535 Mar 9, 2011
Jenne V

You may want to know that Vibration Training is very popular here in NZ ( for 7 years now )and to date I have not heard of anything like your issue.

It is used to treat a lot of issues older people get. But having said that nothing is 100% for everybody and problems are possible. Some even being theorized on to make things even safer.

But we do follow very careful safety protocols over here, as in perfect position, only once every second day usage etc...

Power Plate abandoned those safety procedures years ago because they would scare people off slow down sales.


Fort Wayne, IN

#536 Mar 12, 2011
Carrie wrote:
Lloyd, you do seem to be an invaluable source of enlightenment. But I am still unclear of exactly what to look for. I am in the market for a model for home use to regain general fitness - can you recommend any particular supplier/ manufacturer that does meet with your rigorous standards? I believe you get what you pay for but had started off by looking at the cheaper end of the market. I am having trouble finding any product reviews for these however (and there is a huge proliferation of products!)To your knowledge, are there any that compare in quality, technology and function with those at the higher end? Or is it worth making the investment?
Hey Carrie! Did you get an answer from Lloyd? I would like to know what machines are comparable for home use too. He really knows his stuff!

Westwood, NJ

#537 Mar 12, 2011
Lloyd Shaw

Auckland, New Zealand

#538 Mar 14, 2011

Go to this forum and ask the question.


Say where you are , what you think you can afford etc.. And the community will find you something.
Elite Vibration

Auckland, New Zealand

#539 Mar 30, 2011
Jim S

Severna Park, MD

#540 Apr 14, 2011
The powerplate and all these high magnitude vibration machines are dangerous. Like repeated concussive blows. Only the low intensity vibrations are safe in the long run. There are only 2 vibration devices that have safe OSHA-approved vibration levels, the Juvent (now out of business) and the Marodyne (not quite on the market). No matter what, do not subject your spine and brain to wbv devices.

more on the safety issue -

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