3 Rules to remember

1. Any Vibration does not = Vibration Training
2. Light Vibration = Therapy
3. Heavy Vibration = Training

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Optimum Frequency for Training on Lineal - Part 2

written by Lloyd Shaw

In this article I am going to explain the reasoning behind my move towards the 40hz + range for Lineal Vibration Training. Notice I use the word "reasoning" not "research" Because it was common sense that brought me to this conclusion. But recent research and other industry experts willing to look outside the square, are now backing that decision up, or at least bringing into question the lack of "logic and reasoning" we have had to endure in the past.


The reasoning is put into a chronological order so hopefully it makes the evolution of the idea easier to understand.

Important point: 90% of people using Vibration Training in New Zealand are doing so for weightloss, lean muscle gain and cellulite reduction. These people have created a viable industry. Without that 90% the other 10% who need it for medical reasons would have no local studio or location to go to.

2004 .... At this time both the Pivotal and Lineal side of the industry agreed on one thing. That the 27hz -- 30hz range was the premium setting for Vibration Training. This was based solely on EMG tests done on Galileo ( Pivotal ) and Nemes ( Lineal ) years before that showed a spike of activity at that range.( But it is important to note that no definitive links had been made to better physical results from only that Fq ).

In fact the whole industry seemed to be obsessed with finding the perfect Fq for everything. Building bone, burning fat, making you faster and stronger. All we had to do was find that perfect Fq and our jobs were magically done.

Meanwhile in the real world......

As Product Manager for Power Plate ( a better looking Nemes ) and the person who set up the world first public Vibration Training studio. I had noticed a few things ...

(a) The Power Plate units had a selection of 30hz , 35hz, 40hz and 50hz.

The customer feedback we got was unambiguous...

30hz felt horrible

35hz didn't feel much better.

40hz was much smoother, but not as powerful as 50hz

50hz was great but hard to retain correct foot placement on.

So I recommended a full range in 1 hz increments ( instead of the existing and illogical massive 5 or 10 hz jumps ) be added to the next model.

Note; They ignored me and the new "Next Generation" machine ended up not only having the same settings, but even those settings were not accurate. 50hz being 38hz in reality.

(b) A massive change in perceived exertion levels ( PE = how hard the workout felt, not a computer reading like EMG ) when the machines went from Steel to Plastic. Now we were already running the machines up to 50hz for advanced users and they simply refused to even take free sessions on the new Power Plate machine. In their own words it was just too weak for them. So it was very apparent that how hard the machine hit you was far more important to the user experience than how often it hit you.

Also note: The new Power Plate was actually only doing 38hz on its highest setting. So according to all the experts. That should have been giving a better workout anyway than 50hz. Just something to think about.

My Theories on the subject at the time were simple .......

It is the body's job to respond to its environment. It was pretty obvious to anyone doing a physical test on the machine that the heavier vibration the harder you had to work. The ONLY honest people I ever came across who did not agree were people who did not do vibration training themselves or had only used one type of machine.

The muscles could keep up with almost any speed, but some are more comfortable than others. The muscles definitely moved faster beyond the 30hz range. Because you could feel them moving faster as you moved up towards 50hz. And I think my body and brain is far more sensitive piece of equipment than any computer. Just because my head can not print out a result for some geek to examine in no way makes it invalid.

Comfort and user experience was paramount. Customers refusing to use the lower Fqs and weaker machines FOR FREE kind of spoke volumes on that one. Again people trust their own body over any "research" paper you will put in front of them. Now you do not have to pander to every single persons ideas, but to completely discount an obviously widespread one is just plain foolhardy.

Higher motor speeds creates more inertia ( KN Force http://www.vibration-training-advice.com/extra-force-better-training-results ) . So if you have a lighter machine with lighter motors and weights you could theoretically make up for it by spinning it faster.

What did I do with these theories....

With absolutely zero research to back me up. I built a test machine that had extra mass and shockingly had a choice of 1hz -- 60hz . I put it on the floor right next to all the other machines. And set it on 43hz 3mm amplitude. I immediately had 3 very distinct reactions.

(1) I got attacked by industry experts for daring to go against all the research, and was even accused of being reckless. Exactly how was never explained to me in English but apparently even the fact my machine was working at 3mm ( previously only 2mm or 4mm had been used ) was apparently an abomination. Forget the fact that all Pivotal machines have a 3mm setting somewhere on its platform depending on where you are standing.

How serious were they about this. Well one company even flew in an "expert" all the way from the UK, to go around all Vibration Training studios in New Zealand affiliated with me and talk them out of even trying the new settings.

(2) It got pointed out to me via email from the top Pivotal company in the world that these higher Fqs will not and can not work for the following reasons...

(a) The amplitude was not high enough and the Fq was too high. It cant work.

" There is solid research that has shown this will “impede” or “decrease” performance, significantly "

(b) The only reason I had to go that high a Fq on Lineal was that on 27hz Lineal felt terrible.

(a ) " With the straight vertical motion of the platform, it is clearly uncomfortable to stand in an upright posture without rattling your head, eyes and teeth."

(b) " You are therefore forced into a flexed knee posture which results in a loss of transmission of the vibration to the hips"

There is so much wrong with that statement I do not know where to begin .....

(a) For a start standing lock legged on a Lineal platform like the ones we are using is a "banned pose". It is for Pivotal machines only. It is as ridiculous as saying " putting your head directly on the platform is uncomfortable, so there must be something wrong with your machine " No maybe it is just a dumb pose with zero bio-mechanical reasoning behind doing it in the first place ?

In fact this is an argument used often by some Pivotal companies and they even did "tests" to prove their stupid point. Something that is a highly unethical comparison and will be brought up in another article soon.

(b) So you are "forced" to have to bend at the knees to do a proper squat and put pressure into your leg muscles ? To anyone who had ever jumped off a chair and forgotten to bend at the knees would attest to, it does not feel very comfortable. So do you stop jumping off chairs or do you learn to bend at the knees ?

It would be funny if these experts were not being serious.

I can honestly say that this extremely limited view on Vibration Trainings applications was the source of all the fear mongering and calls for the past "research" to only be followed. No matter how logical an idea was, if some piece of paper or expert did not back it up. It should never be tried.

(3) The third and most important thing that happened was people ONLY wanted to use my new machine. Even with others available they would patiently wait for it to get free to do their workout. Now these were not new users who could easily be fooled by marketing jargon. These people were hardcore regular users of this technology on multiple units. They reported a boost in their results for fat loss, cellulite reduction , strength and stamina.

So does this 40hz + thing work on all Lineal platforms....?

So far the answer is yes. For one simple reason. Even the lighter machines I have tested gave a greater workout because moving the platform faster creates more inertia ( one of the forces your muscles work against ) A fiberglass machine I was recently asked to evaluate gave its best PE response at 48hz. So the construction of the unit will define a machines best workout Fq. There is no one-size-fits-all Fq.

What about the amplitude...?

Again this has been more about feeling safe and stable during poses than being flung off the machine. Going over 3mm seems to just cause foot slippage and add nothing to the workout at all.

A very sad fact in our industry ......

" Selling a machine and an idea to someone is easy. You only have to fool them once."

But you try running a commercial studio, asking people to pay each visit, and you will soon find out the "practical truth" of Vibration Training very quickly. Which simply means people will vote with their wallets and not come back if something does not add up, feel right or give the results promised. And I will tell you one thing for sure, no research paper is going to pay the rent.

It would be wise to ask anybody out there giving advice to give you evidence of their own success. Aka... A successful Vibration Training location where they have had to make it in the real world, not just on paper. Hands on experience day after day with this technology and the general public.

That is why I choose to work with people who put their money were their mouth is, and fully understand that the reason most of the experts have failed our industry to date is not because the idea of Vibration Training or the technology was faulty. It was their limited understanding, mindset and application that was holding us back.

My prediction is more companies and individuals who are forming this industry and dealing with the public will choose to use 40hz + on Lineal platforms. And the research in time will show that far from losing benefits at that range, they will perform the same function if not better than 27hz.