The 3 rules explained...
1. Any Vibration does not = Vibration Training
2. Light Vibration = Therapy
3. Heavy Vibration = Training
We all know the specifications that marketing companies attach to Lineal machines, " Amplitude " and " Frequency " . Amplitude of course is how far the plate travels in each vibration. Frequency is how often the platform vibrates per second , but what they do not tell you ( even some salespeople are kept in the dark on this ) is that these specifications are almost worthless if promoted and attached to workout machines if they are not constructed properly. How effective the platform is and how hard you work on it during your pose is the difference between getting good results and almost none.
Hopefully this article will explain why so many platforms in the past have given no true Body-Composition changes ( Grow Muscle Cells and Loss Body-Fat% ) .
To explain the relationship between the construction of the platform and your results I will NOT talk about Vibration Training, and instead use another scenario we all understand. This will allow someone who does not even have, or ever used a machine to understand the Physics involved.
Catching a Ball
You and I are standing opposite each other, I am holding a volleyball in my hands. These are the very basic "specifications" of the scenario...
(1) The distance between us is the Amplitude of the throw.
(2) How often I throw the ball at you is the Frequency
(3) You are going to use the same " Involuntary reflexes " to catch the ball as you do to react and catch your own bodyweight on a Vibration Training platform.
I throw the volleyball to you and you catch it. Sounds simple enough, but we all know from experience this is not hard work, for either of us. If I throw it to you 100 times you might start feeling it, but in no way would you describe this as a "workout" . So how do I challenge your body and make it work harder. Extending the distance between us will not change much, so we know Amplitude is not the key, and throwing it more just takes up time. The perfect scenario would be to make the workout harder but shorter, right ?.
The simple solution ...... Change the ball to a medicine ball.
The increase in mass of the ball immediately increases your workload considerably, in each throw. Few people know this but built into the muscle is the response to replicate the exact force applied to it ( I call it Required Force ) By placing more "pressure" in the contraction the muscle forces them to try and compensate and place more cells in the area that receives this pressure, so the next day you will be slightly stronger, and your muscles will feel slightly harder. The building of these cells takes allot of energy and that helps burn fat, truly giving you a Body Composition change.
So we have simply pointed out how mass changes the workload, but what else does it change ?
(a) Well for a start the person throwing the ball has to be stronger. So in Vibration Training platform terms, to shift that extra mass the machine needs very good motors, that are able to create "inertia" with the platforms weight ( like swinging a ball at the end of a piece of string ) . That is why some machines no matter how well constructed will never be listed as "Training" machines. If you use the wrong motor type it will always form a light vibration.
(b) Both of your "form" ( control ) has to be better than with the volleyball. The person throwing it can not do so at a random angle, and the person catching the ball has to be more precise or risk an injury.
Eg... If you catch a volleyball just above your right shoulder, no sweat. You do that with a medicine ball, and say hello to a sore back the next day.
That is why a good quality Lineal machine should never deliberately be creating 3D random movement and the person using it should be trained properly in High Energy Static poses. Both these things decrease the risks and improves muscle quality ( by putting the pressure in the right muscle instead of the joints ). http://www.vibration-training-advice.com/vibration-training-and-precise-joint-angles-consumer
( And I haven't even discussed how throwing the ball harder changes things again, but that's for another time. )
Mass x Acceleration x Fq = Required Force
The above may sound logical now it has been explained to you, and I think you will agree it is pretty undeniable physics. But the so called " experts" involved in the industry had only used Amplitude and Frequency to gauge what their machines were doing for 40 years, relying on gravity as their sole " constant" to apply pressure to the muscle. My opinion was this was a very limited way of looking at the Physics and limited results could only ever come of it. Time has proven that right and our critics have loved it.
Power Plate had first hand knowledge of these limits when going from steel to plastic in their platforms following moving their factories to China. The fact is these people were only trying to build cheaper versions of machines they did not understand in the first place, so it was always going to be hard for them to "get it". But when they were told by customers the new plastic machines did not feel as "hard" as the previous steel models they pulled out their trusty "specs" and simply said they couldn't feel different, the Fq and Amplitude was the same ? ( often a lie anyway as the quality was so bad ) .
The force required by the muscle to stay in contact with the machines was simply not the same. This is where I came up with the term Required Force and actually started to measure machines by that standard. I still do in all the machines I design.
Power Plate later tried to fix this problem by putting extra weight in the base, so they could say it weighed more than other machines. But the base plays no part in the Mass x Acc x Fq equation. Kind of funny if you think of all the "experts" that apparently work for them. What, not one of them could figure that out ???
Important side note: It was at this time they started pushing the new " you must move to get results" rubbish, even though we had gained decent results from the static workouts on the steel machine prior. And why would they do this ? Well if your machine lacks power, make the person on top of it move more.
The added benefit of this extra "inertia" a properly built machine produces..... It also helps the machine keep to it advertised specs. It is well know that when Power Plate changed to plastic the machines failed to run at its correct Fq ( often 12 hz lower than the display showed ) and independent tests from university athletes here in N.Z. showed it pretty much became useless at only 80Kg . The fact is the extra mass in the platform helped lift the person on top of the machine. You take away the mass and you lose that quickly.
Keeping the truth hidden..
I was told to keep my mouth shut at Power Plate after developing these principle and effectively demonstrating it in 2004, they had already done a deal with China and did not want to know about it so I stopped sharing my knowledge. Since then this information has been passed to I would say 90% of all companies involved in building or selling machines. And it would seem allot of companies globally have been working overtime to not discuss these other "specs". Why ? Because quite simply if they acknowledged it they would need to acknowledge they are not experts and build better machines.
To those already in the industry who may be new..... I have just explained something any kid can understand and its something you can tests for yourself, so its not some random theory from someone who is anti-competitive. Ask yourself why you have not been told this ? Only 2 reasons I can think of...
(1) The company you work for is not honest.
(2) Your companies "experts" are idiots.
I admit it does not help when engineers with obviously no experience in this field decide to set up websites giving their opinion on the subject ( eg. vibrationtrainingdevice- com ) and completely fail to mention other important factors involved in what makes a good machine, in fact I think dishonest companies rely on these self professed experts and encourage them ( or pay them to keep going ) . But I am hoping a new breed of Vibration Training industry people and educated consumers start asking more questions and force the manufacturers to include these Physics factors into their machines.
Now I have no problem with lighter machines, they give great basic "Therapy" results, but I do not think they are the future of the industry. And we will never be taken seriously if we keep making people jump and move around on the machines to "simulate" a workout ( another practice our critics love because they are right to point out doing the same thing on the floor would give results ) instead of just building better machines .
I am sure by now some of you are really questioning my motives in releasing this information, surely it is worth money right ? But think about this, if I kept my mouth shut I could profit in a number of ways. Stop others from building better machines than mine by keeping it to myself. In fact by going hard on this topic I am forcing competition on myself by forcing manufacturers to up the anti, and even now I could keep my manufacturing cost much lower by doing the same as other companies and just work on Amplitude x Fq specs ( that is very cheap and easy to reproduce ) . By bringing this to your attention I myself can never decide to cheat the consumer.
This industry can only be built on full disclosure, until then we invite failure.
A small number of companies have stuck to steel and a few newbie's have decided to go into steel. So even if they did not fully understand Mass x Acceleration x Fq and its effect, they have lucked into the right path. And I hope they use this article to explain to the consumer why theirs is the better choice. But there are still warnings for those who rely on luck. I know personally of one manufacturer who decided to "up-mass" his machines, and ended up with a warranty nightmare on his hands.
I hope this starts people thinking and talking, and especially asking the question. Why was this kept from me ? And you start pushing for the right to choose a good Training machine over a Therapy unit fully understanding it will cost you more, but also understanding why. And those of you working for companies cheating the consumer out of this industries potential, rethink were the future of this industry lies and leave for one following the right path.