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Taking It To the Next Level: An Elite Athlete Discovers Vibration Training


By Di Heap 23 April 2009

Taking It To the Next Level: An Elite Athlete Discovers Vibration Training

New Zealand personal trainer and qualified kettlebell instructor Teneka Hyndman was recently awarded First Place, “Novice Figure Short”, at the NZFBB National Bodybuilding Championships and Second Place at the NABBA National Amateur Bodybuilding Championships.

Teneka’s entry into the world of fitness and bodybuilding began in 1999 with her desire to train for competitive dance aerobics. Needing to improve her strength, she entered into weight training and found a real passion for it. Reshaping her body and completing a physical education degree, she became a Les Mills gym instructor and, within a year, a highly sought after personal trainer. Entering into her first bodybuilding competition in 2001 and winning her class, Teneka, 29, has competed the past four years with 2008 being her most successful. With a hardcore attitude about exercise Teneka has continually updated her skills and qualifications, becoming a qualified kettlebell trainer, also certified in relaxation and sports massage, and completed courses in peak Pilates mat exercises. She also has three years experience working for a physiotherapy clinic as a rehab trainer, assisting clients through rehabilitation exercises.

Teneka’s personal exercise regime consists predominately of weight training, plus functional training using cables, Swiss balls, medicine balls, and a bosu, as well as cardio sessions on the treadmill, and vibration training three times a week. For her clients to reach their fitness goals, Teneka prefers traditional training methods such as weights and cardio. For her more active and experienced clients she adds in Pilates mat exercises, kettlebell training, and other exercises from an extensive list for functional training.

I was first introduced to Teneka at Vibra-Train’s Auckland City studio where she was using a Sports Model (Level 5) Vibration Machine as part of her program in the lead-up to Regional and National Figure Competitions early last year. When I asked what benefits she was seeing, Teneka told me vibration training was taking her body to a whole new level.

She’d first experienced vibration training in 2007 when a friend took her along for a free trial. Thinking it would be easy she was shocked when that first session showed her weaknesses. She was unconvinced but interested enough to return for more sessions and over the next month she saw changes in her body shape. Starting on a Level 2 platform as all newcomers do, Teneka trained using the Vibra-Train Safety Program with machine settings of 43Hz and 3mm amplitude. She said it is impossible to imagine the intense feeling in the muscles you get using a training machine until you try it, and she understands how confusing it must be for people who have only seen or tried low intensity copies. With her exercise experience and quickly learning to hold perfect position on the machines, Teneka moved through the levels, achieving the Sports Model (Level 5 intensity) in only six weeks.

Two weeks before the 2007 Bodybuilding Nationals, while following her body sculpting program, she desperately needed to look firmer fast [her emphasis] so after discussion with Lloyd Shaw, owner of Vibra-Train, she trained every second day on the Sports Model machine achieving the desired “firm athletic look” needed for competition. She competed for NABBA Nationals in "Physique" that year and placed second, and the NZFBB Nationals in "Body Fitness Short" and placed third. She then thought, “What, would happen if I did Vibra-Train for an entire year?”

Teneka told me, “Vibration training has firmed up my 'soft bits,' improving definition and strength in my butt and thighs. My legs have never ever looked so great! I’d never had legs this 'hot' just doing weights plus cardio on the treadmill; Vibra-Train was the only change, so I know it was due to this.” She added that she’d seen a noticeable difference in her physical appearance, muscular strength, and endurance compared with her previous gym program. In the Vibra-Train studio she sees other gym members who only ever do aerobic classes and many people who would never go to a gym. She said, “As a trainer I think it’s great to see them doing vibration training as it enhances their muscular development in ways similar to weight training and promotes health benefits associated with regular physical activity.”

I asked Teneka where she saw vibration training fitting into the fitness industry in the future; was it as a fad that would pass or was it a genuine training method? She answered, “Vibration training is another method of exercise. It plays an integral role in adding variety to a well-rounded training regime and when used on a regular basis it has long-term benefits which enhance other areas of physical performance and sport training. It is safe and easy to use, as there is an instructor on-site at all times to assist with the exercises." On newcomers to exercise who might want weight loss or improved fitness Teneka commented, “It’s good for everyone!” Lloyd Shaw then commented that even the most unfit individual would start to see results within three weeks of vibration training, just as Teneka had done if using a high quality machine and safety program, and guided by a trained instructor. Teneka praised the instructors, saying, “The instructors are awesome. They gave me new challenges which I love and the concept is simple; maintain perfect technique.”

Teneka has found vibration training to be the X-factor in her constant success in bodybuilding competitions over the past year.
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