Good Vibrations

By Jim F
Power Plate my5
Vibrate your way to fitness? had an (advertising?) feature titled “Good Vibrations Help Tone Muscle, Melt Fat”.

“Power Plates” vibration machines move your body in three different directions as you stand on a vibrating platform and hold a vibrating handle. The result is muscle strength, flexibility and bone loss prevention.

By holding poses for up to a minute, ‘”You can get a total workout in 15 to 30 minutes,” personal trainer Kay Smith said.

15 Minute Vibration Muscle Toning?

That sounds pretty good – a “total” workout in 15-30 minutes. The personal trainer goes on to say that “You’d have to do about an 850-pound squat to get your muscles to work as deeply.” There are few people who could squat that kind of weight – only the top powerlifters.

The article links to a study showing the benefits of the machine. However upon reading the abstract of this study – the actual health improvements are improved gait and body balance in elderly people.

So what’s the point of this post?

There are many machines and gadgets that do offer some kind of health benefit for some people – however these benefits are grossly exaggerated.

I find it difficult to believe that standing on vibrating exercise machine will tone muscle or “melt fat”. I find it even more difficult to believe that it can be compared to an 800 pound squat.


  1. Diet-Blog

    This discussion continues on the Vibration Training blog site. The site is dedicated entirely to vibration training and therapy.

  2. Lloyd Shaw

    WAVE wins hands down. And their research is very heavily geared towards safety which I like.

    Miranda’s advice to everybody forgets one important issue.

    To get something decent in N.Z. ( including tax etc..) costs about 8k ( and remember price does not always mean quality ).
    Thats at least 533 sessions at a good studio , with access to upgrade units. And supervision.

    But no you dont get to keep it.

    As a consumer there is NEVER a win win situation. Anyone telling you different is probably a salesperson.

    alot of the poses on the net are not listed for their intended purpose. Such as Physio ( short term ) Training and Weight Loss ( long term ) Performance ( short term ).

    So be carefull.

    By “KING ” exercises I mean positions that use major muscle groups simultaneously. Like ,basic squats , pus-ups , pelvis stability ( the plank ) etc..

    These incorporate rebalancing resposes better. And are also much safer than just isolation work.

  3. Kat

    Where do you find photos of proper positions? As I told Lloy earlier, I had never had an issue with my hamstring until i started vibration training. Lloyd’s advice did help but are there any photos to access? Lloyd, can you be of assistance on this? Lloyd, what exactly is the “king ” exercise???

  4. SK

    Hello Lloyd,
    I am currently planning on opening a WBV studio and have been trying to research the many machines available out there. It has taken me forever to go through this blog but I understand that there simply is so much to look at.
    The studio I want to open is going to mainly focus on weight loss.
    So I ask, out of the one machine that I have used: the Proellixe and another that I have been looking into: the Wave
    what are your opinions on them for my purpose?

  5. Miranda Hollins

    Hello Susan,

    I agree. You really have to seek out information regarding the units AND the positions(such as a graphic chart) that are optimal for not getting physically hurt with these units. So called experts speak about positioning in such a casual manner on this sit or gloss over it in general.

    Possibly the reason for the still-birth-ness of this industry has to do with such a coid in actual publications regarding it. The thing is if you don’t know what you’re doing…you’ll injure yourself.

    I suggest going to a studio for several sessions-try to glean as much information as possible from the trainer(sometimes I really wonder though) and then seek out graphical literature. PowerPlate does have some good resources regarding this last aspect. Then, get your own home unit. I cannot believe so many people are willing to throw their good money away paying for a vibration gym for a year or more. You get all the info you need in a month or so…then you can save yourself the long lines to wait to use a sweat soaked unit and a whole lot of good money.

    Best to you,


  6. susan

    So it looks like I will have to find a professional model and pay to workout on it with a trainer. I really wanted to avoid this, but I can see that it would be best.

    I am an international marketer. I launch products into North Anerica. I would really like to publicize this whole category. It has taken hours to learn what I have learned so far. AND I have been given a hard sell by a couple of people already.

    It seems to me that the industry should police itself. Start an association and publish standards…otherwise more people will be taken or hurt.


  7. Lloyd Shaw

    30hz and below for Pivotal

    38hz and above for Lineal.

    The difference is safety on the lumbar region. Which has the fastest breakdown but slow growth rate under the wrong pressure and matching resonance Fq.

    Pivotal machines cause little pressure on the lumbar thanks to its more natural movement so is less likely to cause issues even if Fq are matched.

    But Pivotal has restrictions surrounding its actions on bio-machanics. Hence its hormonal effects will also be limited.

    So for an all round , safe long term , training program. I myself use 43hz , Lineal. Full body , only king exercises. Every 3rd day.

    On my Vibra-Train “Build”

  8. Claes M

    Go Lloyd!
    Sad I can´t come to see you as you´re on the other side of this planet.

    You talked earlier about the frequencys and hormoneproduktion. What articles can I read about frequencys over 40 Hz and hormones?

    And What articles are talking about dangerous frequencys under 30Hz?

    Powerpate are talking about the eyefrequency at aprox 22 Hz and some organs are right behind on 20Hz and lower. Interesting to se that EMG shows most muscleactivity around 27 Hz. Frequencys over 30 hz reduce muscular (EMG)activity (on the Vibmax having one oscillary engine).

    Give me a good frekuency-, time-, setprogram for the normal overall atleth. How much rest and how intense to train???

    I think you´re the man to give me answers…

  9. Lloyd Shaw

    The advice I give is aimed at two groups.

    The public…
    who understandbly dont know what to believe. Education is the only remedy for that , and this will take time. Reading this is a good start.

    Other manufacturers and investors…
    hoping they do not repeat past mistakes. At times I may be appearing to help my competition. That is deliberate, so yes I am, and I will continue until they stop operating out of fear and hense making bad choices. Which effect us all.

    I believe this is the only way my industry can move forward ( it has been stalled now for 15yrs ). I also believe there will only be about 5 top player left in the market by 2010. And they are the ones who will communicate now about safety , regulation, operating specs ( independent tests ), and hence classification of machines .

    We have to split the machines into clear scientific and market definitions.

    Pivital ? Lineal ?

    Therapy ? Training ?

    Domestic ? Proffesional ? Commercial ?

    The people who ,past and present, continue to deliberatly blur the lines and in doing so put others at risk , will not get away without a cost.

    Names will me named.

    Not just companies but those individuals who signed off the marketing knowing it to be falsified or sold goods that had known inherent problems.

    This is not a case of “putting someone else down ” to make us look better. We are already in a good place.
    It must be done , to earn some respect back.

  10. Mike Hair

    Hi all. I would like to share my experience to hopefully stop somebody else making the mistake i did. I am the owner of a very successful vibration training studio. I originally started with pivitol then went to linial, the reason being is the pivitol machines which retail at $9k and $18k started to break down after only one month in operation.(we are currently suing the distributer)who sold us the machines as commercial machines. For those of you out there who think a $200 or $2k machine is going to do any better than the ones i bought good luck you deserve what you get. There are alot of salesmen out there trying to make a fast dollar out of this industry and as soon as something new comes along they will be off selling that. I already know of some one who has injured themselves on a cheap home version, some of the positions that the manufacters and salesmen are saying you can do are enough to make your toe nails curl. They wouldn’t have a darn clue about physio angles and pressure, all they want is a fast dollar, i found that out the hard way. Vibration training is safe providing it is done on the correct machine with the correct posture.
    I am totally independent from Lloyd Shaw but i was wise enough to spend my own money to travel and stay with him for a weekend. I can’t put a price on what that weekend has ment for my business, but i am certain i wouldn’t be trading today had it not been for Lloyds advice and wisdom. I would encourage any one contemplating this industry whether domestic or commercial to contact Lloyd and ask his opinion as he freely wil lead you in the right direction, not for his own gain but simply to protect this industry. No Lloyd does not know i am writing this, I feel morally obligated to warn people of the many sharks out there. Please seek the right advice before you throw away your money.

    Mike Hair

  11. Lloyd Shaw

    You are correct in assuming a $200-$2000 dollar unit will not do the same job. Not even some of the $18,000 machines I have seen will.

    But some are MUCH better than others.

    You are incorrect in assuming the technolgy will get cheaper though. The reason being the base products used in the manufacture of the true commercial machines are all raising in price at the suppliers end ,( eg…copper is more expensive now than it was 10yrs ago )

    The only reason I can afford to build my machines to the quality I do, is I dont retail them.

    I hope that makes sense.

  12. susan

    Lloyd Shaw said:
    The reason I dont have my web-site up is this blog is not for advertising. Sorry, I also dont sell units to the public.
    I can only help you know what to look for in a machine. […]

    thank you. I understand. I am hearing that maybe I should not waste money on a machine that costs 300-400? If I can not purchase one of the more expensive machines, should I just skip the thought of having one? until the technology catches up? I am so confused.

  13. Lloyd Shaw

    The reason I dont have my web-site up is this blog is not for advertising. Sorry, I also dont sell units to the public.
    I can only help you know what to look for in a machine.

  14. susan

    Lloyd Shaw said:
    Kat , are you contracting your muscles while on the plate ?[…]

    I would like to have Lloyd’s website or email. I can not find it on the blog. I am really trying to decide which machine to buy for home use asap. I know the hypergravity people….it is expensive for me….

    Please advise.
    Thank you so much.

  15. Lloyd Shaw

    The Power-Plate has never had a commercial unit . The Next Generation model was a “pro” model. , same as the Vibro-Gym Pro , and Fit-Vibe Excel Pro. etc…

    Which is a massive step away from a commecial unit.

    Just another way the marketers like to “bend” the truth to suit the sale.

  16. Claes M

    Interesting. I have the same positive results in low tone children (and adults). Functional scoliosis can be limited if you can stimulate stabilizing muscles in a good posture.

    But why talk about WBV as PowerPlate and not PowerPlate as one way to train WBV. Like talking about toyota as the only car on earth. It´s a good car and PowerPlate is a good WBV machine but there are a lot of other cars and WBV machines out there. Maybe you will find a Merzedes Benz in Australia and maybe it´s better than your SouthAfrican toyota?? But still you have made good results with your PowerPlate and then you know what you get…(your money)…

    Did you make any studies of your work in South Africa and if can i read it?

    Good luck in Aus!

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