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Is This Madonna's New Secret Fitness Weapon?

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Author: David Grisaffi

Is This Madonna's New Secret Fitness Weapon?
By David Grisaffi

After more than 11 years in the fitness industry, I have seen so many
exercise machines pop up out of nowhere, take their place as the hot
item in the exercise equipment marketplace, only to fizzle out or even
completely disappear in a few years, or in some cases, just a few

Many of these fitness machines promise you "maximum fitness with minimum
effort and time."  Their sales pitches are based on the premise that
it’s easy to get in shape if only you had the right technology. They
tell you that if you’re not in shape it’s not your fault - you simply
didn’t know about their hot new "revolutionary" machine. All you have to
do is buy it and use it, and you can get as fit as you want and lose all
the weight that you want in 10 or 15 minutes.

I'm here to tell you that after the many years of time, effort and
research that went into the development of my Firm And Flatten Your Abs
system, no where in the pages of my book will ever hear me say that it’s
quick and easy or it only takes 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week to get
a fantastic body. Getting in top condition takes time, effort and
discipline. Human beings were made to MOVE - not sit!

If you only knew how much your movement patterns affected your physique
and your overall health, you would be astonished. Instead of taking the
time to learn how our real genetic programming affects us and how
movement works best for us to become fit, we tend to jump on the latest
fad thinking it’s the breakthrough that will finally get the job done.

In this quest after the "next big thing," we chase after every fitness
product, program and supplement on the market - some do have benefits
but most that do not - and then you realize you just flushed a few
hundred (or a few thousand) more dollars down the toilet.

I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to be trained by internationally
recognized exercise kinesiologist Paul Chek and to have received three
separate certifications from Paul’s organization. In Paul's Nutrition
and Lifestyle Internship Course, we learned many different facts about
on how food affects your mood, your body type, and your metabolism.

Eating the wrong foods can and does contribute to fat gain. But perhaps
even more important, we learned how important exercise and movement
patterns are to the results we achieve in our fitness programs. This
training has given me the skills and wisdom to allow me to very quickly
come to logical (and usually correct) conclusions about the latest
fitness equipment craze, even before all the evidence has been laid on
the table, which I gladly share with my clients and readers.

The latest rage in fitness equipment is the Power Plate. The power plate
is a device which, depending on which model you use, is about the size
of an upright scale.  This device is being touted by some in the
industry as the best fitness invention to ever hit the market. The hype
is overwhelming, and also quite convincing when users include
celebrities like Madonna, athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and even
professional sports teams.

The plate vibrates at 30-90 times per second and the makers promise that
you can stand on it for 15 minutes a day, three days a week and lose
body fat, tighten muscles, and reduce your waist line.  It was
originally developed in Russia to help astronauts maintain muscle mass
and bone density while in space. In 1999, the modern version of the
Power Plate was developed by a Dutch Olympic trainer who then marketed
the machine to health and fitness industry.

Dr. William Kramer, the renowned strength and conditioning researcher,
said in a recent interview that "There might be something there" as the
vibration plate causes more activation due to the body gently being
asked to stabilize using what we call the proprioceptive mechanism with
the golgi tendons to stimulate more muscle activity.  However, Kraemer
also said that "The application of right prescription is little unclear"
and "it is an emerging area with a lot of people making hypothesis and
guesses, so the jury is still out."

I can see some possible application for older people with osteoporosis
and arthritis, but the claims that are being made are stretching the
truth behind the little data that is available so far.

I find it somewhat intriguing how this piece of equipment has made it
into the mainstream. My guess is "marketing 101" and the never-ending
quest for higher cash flow.  This machine costs almost $10,000 dollars!
Heck, if you want vibration, why not just jump up and down on the floor
- that’s free! This Power Plate reminds me somewhat of the "Body Blade,"
Not to get on the bodyblade< i like using is in many application, but I
have to wonder how you get "buffed" arms from holding on to a handle and
waving it up and down? So how can you get buffed arms by just holding on
to a handle that does not move?

Keep in mind, if you use one (very expensive) machine like this, you are
only going to get the benefits that this one machine offers. If you were
to use a vibration training machine, it should be coupled with other
activities and exercises to balance your development and improve your
overall health. Relying on only one piece of equipment or one mode of
fitness is almost always a big mistake.

I decided to do some of my own research, and while there are a few
papers just coming out as Dr. Kramer mentioned, there really is not much
solid science yet to back up the claims being made at this point.  Some
studies are "encouraging", say the researchers, but they are too
preliminary and have not been repeated over a long period of time to be
definitive. Other studies show no benefits at all.

I spoke with a few fitness experts to get their thoughts the viability
of the power plate. Ori Hofmekler, author of the popular fitness book
the "The Warrior Diet" says "the PowerPlate has minimal application in
the real world. It's just a bunch of hype without solid science backing
up the claims."

According to Hofmekler, to achieve the fitness and fat loss claims being
made for this device, you have to eliminate poor food choices, decrease
estrogen-based food products, and get your butt up and move. Human
beings were designed to move.  Sitting on a plate "vibrating" goes
against every human evolutionary development, not to mention it goes
against simple common sense.

I also asked internationally recognized fitness expert Paul Chek, from
the Chek Institute in Southern California, about vibration training and
he said, "There are some benefits to the power plate, but from what I
can see, they are transitory."

Paul even wrote a poem about the PowerPlate and I think you will get a
kick out of this:

The power plate,
will shake you,
Even your bones...

The power plate will do magic,
but so will sitting quietly,

The power plate is a new idea,
but taking  care of your "Self" isn't,
So, do you want a $9,000 vibrator,
Or, to your "Self"...
...Can you be True?!

Power plates, counters, beepers, tweeters, horns,
Where is the laziness buzzer,
That seems to be so lazy...
Does your mirror warn?

You can pay to have a high speed jiggle,
Or you and KC can, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake your Booty!

You can plug the power plate in and turn it on,
but will it keep you slim,
if you’re always gone,Too many things to "DO"?

There's a great workout,
Wrapped all around you,
Work out your sore spots,
Melt down you fat too,
May I suggest some regularity,
as a change for you,
For even with a new power plate,
won't chase after you!

Remember, we need movement to be healthy and our instincts tell us that,
but our impatience and emotions sometimes get the best of us and we perk
up whenever something new comes out promising us an easier way with less
time and effort involved. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to
vibration training machines. This is a subject that deserves more study,
not only to confirm or refute specific claims being made, but also so we
can be sure this type of machine is not damaging in any way, as we
already know there are numerous conditions which contraindicate the use
of vibration plates.

If I’ve sounded skeptical, cynical or critical, that’s not because I
believe this device has no benefits or does not do anything it claims to
do, as it does seem to have some benefits in some applications. I am
simply saying to you, be discerning when it comes to how far the claims
are stretched and don't be swept up in the hype of every new device that
comes down the pike with movie star or pro athlete endorsers. Rest
assured, there will be another, and another and another!

David Grisaffi, C. H. E. K. II, CFT, PN

Corrective Exercise Kinesiologist II

Golf Biomechanic

Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach II



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FLEXI-BAR With as little as 30-45 minutes exercise per week


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