What can the Vibration Training industry learn from the rise and fall of Pilates ?
For many people Pilates made promises it did not deliver on. Why. Were they over-hyping the system from day one or just plain lying. The answer is NO PILATES GIVES FANTASTIC RESULTS TO EVERYBODY. The problem was that millions of Woman were sold a watered down version of Pilates by unethical marketers, who knew full well it would destroy Joseph Pilates legacy. But these people would sell their Grandmothers legacy so no surprise there.
This is the real story ( but shortened ) .
Joseph Pilates was a German who moved to England in 1912, and among other things was teaching self defense to Police at Scotland Yard, so you can imagine how tough this guy was. Anyway during WW1 all German nationals were interned in camps. So Joseph took it upon himself to keep everyone fit and healthy. His background in gymnastics ( his Father was a Gymnastics champ ) gave him the idea of using old bed bunks as workout racks, where traditional strength poses could be replicated on.
His mother being a naturopath gave him the understanding that controlled breathing was a very important part of a workout. So he combined them together to form what most purists consider "True Pilates" It was a hard workout system that improved muscle quality without bulking people up. Which is for most people the kind of results everyone is looking for.
At a later date he moved to the U.S. and during the journey meet his wife Clara ( a nurse ) who further helped him in creating an entire system from floor / mat warm-up , Physio and flexibility sessions, all the way up to the weightloss and conditioning rack system.
Now make no mistake, the system was always meant to be taught in its entirety. They had both brought their prospective talents to bring precision to the physics and physiology of Pilates. The entire system was designed around the idea of gradually moving from the floor to the racks in ever increasingly harder poses and exercises.
So what went wrong and why don't you know this story ?
In one word, MARKETERS.
On October 19, 2000, the Pilates trademark was proclaimed invalid in the USA which meant anyone could use it. Marketers saw this as a gold mine, but there was one problem. To sell the complete system meant building lots of Pilates equipment, which also meant the sale price would be quite high. And because it had to take your body-weight, it couldn't be done cheaply or lawsuits from injuries would kill them financially. It would also mean a massive outlay in building factories. These people like making fast money with very little outlay, so none of that was going to do.
So they embarked on a TV campaign to sell a mat and a DVD ( only cost about $1 to make ) as 'Pilates" knowing full well that Joseph and Clara Pilates would be rolling over in their graves. Essentially attempting to not only destroy their lives work but also never give people the chance to experience true Pilates and the results it can give.
By making it into a cheap fad and lying through their teeth, they destined it to peak and collapse. Thankfully there are True Pilates aficionados out there that are fighting to claw back their industries reputation, and bring it back to its rightful place in the serious world of health and fitness. It was a pity they were not aggressive enough about it before, because their marketer enemies sure were. .
How does this pertain to the Vibration Training industry and what lessons can be learned ?
Well Vibration Training is also a complete idea in terms of Physics and Physiology. A marketer saying that "vibration" = vibration training ( trying to sell you a big foot massager ), is directly comparable to the Mat and DVD scenario. It does not mean the smaller cheaper machines are useless, but they only play a part in all the promising results Vibration Training can give.
These people given half the chance will sell the entire industry and consumer short if they can make a buck out of it. They will tell you, all you have to do is stand there and wobble your fat off, or sell you something that looks like a step pad with a tiny vibrator glued on and tell you that's as good as it gets.
Too bad if they destroy years of innovation and science in the mean time right.
For every person reading this who knows the truth about Vibration Training, and wants it to be part on an industry that will be around in years to come. The fight starts with us. If we do not educate the public, trust me no-one will. Just like the entire fitness industry and all the "experts",( the people we expect to warn us about such scams ) , sat back and watched Pilates get sold out, history will repeat itself if we let it.
Using the internet is one obvious tool we will be using to spread the truth, but it is also up to each individual who sees any dishonest marketing or over-hyping of a cheap product, to make sure people know it is not the whole truth.
Just like Pilates, this industry has many levels. It is our job to clarify these levels so it can reach its full potential.