3 Rules to remember

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

The Blacklist

Why is Lineal Vibration so important to "aim" for in a Lineal machine

by Lloyd Shaw

I will keep this simplistic and talk only about things we already know to be true. This will hopefully clarify some of the science we deal with. And remember this is about the theory of Vibration Training NOT Vibration Therapy which uses much lighter forces. And we are not even going to discuss the waste of energy in engineering terms uncontrolled vibration is.


This is the main force we have to work "against" during Vibration Training. This force is constant and pulls us straight down at all times at 30ft a sec. This force is perfectly Lineal and the more we can get into a position that allows us to use this forces effectively, the harder our body has to work in each vibration. We WANT to be working directly against gravity at all times.

Our weight.........

This is also constant and due to gravities Lineal nature is always pulling us down. Your 1 G ( 1 x gravity ) is what you weight.
Note: You weight NOTHING from the side.  

Load bearing muscle placement.......

The muscle fibers on all muscle groups including the ones designed to bear weight are placed in a Lineal fashion, so tension can be created from end to end when contracted. If the fibers were placed horizontally or at any other angle the design would not work.

Note: The muscle is at its most powerful when pushing or pulling in a straight line and our largest and most powerful muscles are in a Lineal designed on our body..   

Load bearing tendons......

These strong "cables" allow the force from the muscles to be transferred to the opposing bone and hence creating a "leveraged" force . This force is Lineal, not side to side or any other direction.

Our Pose......

Being in the correct pose allows for these design features to work together at not only our most powerful, but also safest and stable position.

So to put this back into visual terms for people who have not done biology , think of how a crane is designed . That is a simplified version of what is listed above.

Motor = Lineal Power
Cables = Lineal Tension
Pully = Lineal Groove for Cable to run
Hinge = Lineal Control

Anything outside this and fatigue/stress will cause it to collapse and fail.

So how does that translate into the world of Vibration Training....?

Now this is where people get confused and totally underestimate the forces generated on a real Vibration Training platform.


And that is on a medium grade product. Every company likes to use this in their advertising but the amount of people who do not stop and actually "think" about what that means seems to be , well just about everybody. Even trainers who use the equipment and people who sell it fail to comprehend this figure.  Weight yourself and times that by 6 , that is the load you are asking all those above mechanisms to take. Would you normally mess around with that type of weight, or course not, so being safe is better than being sorry.

Note: Any deviation from the perfect formula is " not perfect" and hence not the best we can do. Undue stress at high speed, heavy load and bad angles = Bad science.

3D / Tri-Planar and Pro-prioception training..........

Now this is the guts of the argument for companies pushing uncontrolled vibration platforms and where they love to not fill you in completely. Because doing so would mean classifying their machine into the correct category which is Low Energy Lineal and hence lose sales so they continue to claim them as full on Training units. The fact their machines fail tests to show they match even their own advertising is a mute point, they want to claim otherwise then they get judged by those standards.

So for arguments sake , we will discuss a machine that can go at ...........   40hz  /  4 mm     

The explanation they give you.........

They say that if they put a little bit of shake from side to side in the platform that makes you rebalance and you get a better workout. But think about this, no person is ever born symmetrical , we are asymmetrical ( born unbalanced ) . This means we can never land perfectly straight when jumping up and down. We always land wonky,  but our equilibrium allows for this and corrects our balance with all those smaller muscle groups we don't usually think about.

So when being Lineally vibrated on a platform your natural imbalances cause enough proprioception already, just like walking across an uneven surface. If they were not working you would find out pretty quickly as you fell off the machine and hit the floor.  You don't need to be pushed from the side to train these muscles or sensors, our imperfect bodies provide all the side to side movement we need and its all natural, all we have to do is move.

Note:  There are valid Therapy benefits to 3D motion, but only on Therapy machines.

The risks of deliberate 3D promotion........

Because of these companies dishonesty ,stupidity or lack of foresight they are not telling people there are limits to safe 3D training. True on a light machine with little force behind it not much harm can come from this multi-angled and twisting sideways forces , as only a % of that light force is going sideways. But when you start building real training machines these forces get larger exponentially. So the question has to be asked, at what point does it get dangerous ? At what point does this "shearing" pressure start to cause damage to those mechanisms .

We will just go back to that 40hz / 4mm setting ..  If the machine was only moving 1mm sideways , which would be undetectable to the eye, at 40hz that creates just over 2 Gs of force.  So whatever you weight ( lets say 60kg ) that would be 120kg of force acting sideways on your body. I can tell you one thing for sure, you are not designed to take that for too long.

Very Important Eg....        Most Pro athletes get injured from sideways forces acting upon their bodies/joints, so no matter how strong you are lineally its the sideways forces that cause the easiest damage.  

With companies like Power Plate so far only releasing Low Energy machines made from light material and lying about the specs so they are not matching this, in no way excuses them from promoting 3D / Tri-planar  as the "premium" way to train in general. It is irresponsible and to me shows a complete lack of understanding what forces these machines are capable or producing and the bodies limitations. If Power Plate one day decide to release a sports model, what are they going to do, back down and say they got it wrong, or just release an uncontrolled machine and hope for the best ?

This website is here to fight that kind of " it's all the same " slack marketing mentality which as designers and trades-people we know is NOT the truth.  It is lazy and considering we are selling health products that amounts to unethical. We are dealing with Physics and Physiology, it is complicated and the positives and negatives need to be discussed openly. If we come to a logical conclusion that their may be an issue it should be avoided if possible, as it is our job to not just think about the here and now, but protect the consumer from the kind of stupidity and greed that could hurt our entire industry in the future.

Just my opinion.....Do your homework ?

Take your time to look at multiple companies involved in this industry, and you will see the ones that discuss their attempt to get "true" Lineal vibration are health professionals all wanting to improve on their units , the ones that promote uncontrolled vibration cart-blanch are all marketers not wanting to even admit improvements are needed . Ask yourself who would you trust.