Power Plate training: why it’s not just a fading fitness fad

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The elusive Power Plate machine.

A lot of people have seen these weird contraptions sitting unused in their local gym, a bit intimidated but what they do and how they do it.

You may have heard that Power Plate is just a fading fitness fad, but these machines are the real deal when it comes to fat loss and improving your overall fitness level.

I learnt this firsthand over a year ago when I began Power Plate classes at Transition Zone, a sleek boutique studio in the heart of Parson’s Green. Passionate about functional fitness and its results, Transition Zone specialise in Power Plate, TRX, HiPer Zone, Boxing and Personal Training.

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When I asked Claire Finlay, Transition Zone’s founder and head trainer, what she thought of the skepticism surrounding the Power Plate she summed up her thoughts stating:

“In terms of Power Plate being a passing fad I would say it’s definitely not. In fact, many top athletes within rugby, football and American football use it.  It’s scientifically proven and backed by the medical profession. Not only will you see dramatic inch loss it will get you incredibly  strong and increase your endurance and stamina FAST! At Transition Zone all newcomers who have been away from fitness for a while start on power plate, which allows them to get fit fast and progress to other classes quickly such as TRX, HiPer Zone and boxing.” 

So what else do these plates actually do? Read on to find out.

What is Power Plate?
Power Plate is a mode of accelerated vibration training. A typical Power Plate class involves 25 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training)- a proven fat loss workout that is made even more powerful with vibration training.

Origins and backing:
Devised by  Russian cosmonauts, Power Plate halved their exercise time from 6 hours
to 3.  A 25 minute Power Plate class is equivalent to spending 90 minutes in the gym at 90% intensity. It’s also medically backed, as it’s MDD Certified and FDA approved.

How does it work?
The vibrations of the Power Plate floor stimulate your muscles, causing them to relax and contract 30-40 times per second. Essentially, the vibrations create instability that forces the body to respond with multi-directional contractions to counter-balance the force. To put it simply, Power Plate is an updated version of stabilising equipment such as med balls, bosu’s and dyna-disks. But the principle remains the same, with the instability created forcing activation of the body’s core musculature. Basically, the more muscles you ‘switch on,’ the more toning and calorie burning that occurs. A win on every level.

What exercises are carried out?
Effective body weight and free weight exercises are performed on the Power Plate. Think arm and leg raises, lunges, planks, push-ups, tricep dips, burpees, tuck jumps, and squats. Every session will provide a fast and efficient whole body workout.

How much do I need to do?
Two-three 25 minute sessions per week will provide the most benefits such as muscle tone and fat loss. Or, mix-up your current workout routine with one Power Plate session per week.

Real results?
Whether you are looking to ton-up or lose weight, studies have shown the effectiveness of power plate training: “A study at the University of Antwerp in Belgium ii published in 2014 found that the vibrational training was 54% more effective than traditional aerobics and strength training in producingfat loss.”

Furthermore, another study done in Germany proved the positive effects of vibration training on cellulite stating;

“…whole body vibration training can defeat cellulite; it can accelerate and enhance collagen remodeling, improve circulation, increase lean tissue, help people to lose fat…”

Have a minute to spare and want to see if it really works?
Try the same exercise (such as air squats) back to back; 30 seconds on the Power Plate and 30 seconds off performing the same movements. You’ll quickly see just how beneficial vibration training really is.

Where can I do it?
There are a few gyms that offer Power Plate in London. If you have never given it a go, definitely try out a class taught by qualified trainers at Transition Zone.

You can check out their schedule (which includes me on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings!) here.

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SAM_0021*images by @jjessys

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