Vibration Training Advice
3 Rules to remember
1. Any Vibration does not = Vibration Training
2. Light Vibration = Therapy
3. Heavy Vibration = Training
Extra Force = Better Training Results
KN = Force
Fq x Amplitude x Mass = Force
This article is only going to concentrate on one small obvious question, directly aimed at the "experts" who live and die by the numbers. But its a question that will hopefully literally shake the industry up. Here is the background to that question....
In 2003 the University of Leuven in Belgium conducted engineering tests on the original Power Plate Pro ( now Vibro-Gym Pro ) The machine was tested over a few Frequencies and Amplitudes ( only had 30 , 35, 40 or 50hz settings at the time, 2mm or 4mm ). A group of university athletes were used in the tests to match up the engineering performance of the machine, with the Perceived Exertion of the workout ( how hard it felt ).
The amplitude of the plate was changed primarily by allowing more weights to be swung around by the motors creating more KN ( kilo Newton ) of force to be produced, stretching the isolators so the platform could move more. Same Fq just more force added.
See my Myth Buster Videos for a better understanding of this concept ...... http://www.youtube.com/user/VibraTrain
Here is how the figures worked out in well documented "independent engineering tests" ....
Lower setting recorded at 2.1 KN ( = approx. 210 Kg of force ) the isolators and platform moved up and down 2mm with this force applied to them.
Higher setting recorded at 3.9 KN ( = approx. 390 Kg of force, Note" almost double the first figure ) the isolators and platform moved up and down 4mm with this force applied to them.
Now the KN force was a combination of a few things, the force coming from the motor + the mass of the hull ( very obvious to a anyone understanding basic physics ). And it was already understood gravity was playing a part in how the workout felt, but the massive jump in Perceived Exertion could not be accounted for by just 2 figures + gravity. It was obvious to everybody the KN Force was playing a major part.
So here is the big question...
Why did companies stop mentioning this important engineering KN figure later on. Why did they not tell other researchers about it when clearly the FQ, Amplitude ( HyperGravity equation ) and KN force was combined together to produce a response on the person in contact with the machines.
" a person must produce an equal and opposite force to stay in position."
Note: I called this calculation " required force" to simplify it for the public using my studios. And it was not purely a mechanical term, it represents the fact it combines Physics and Physiology , as in "this is how much force is required" by the machine to produce, and then you in turn to produce in an eccentric contraction ( I will be releasing more precise engineering information and human thresholds on this topic in the future ).
The term "High Energy Lineal" was used by me to describe the machines because even a layperson knows what "energy" is, and obviously what the word "high" means. As opposed to low, right ?
For the research buffs...
Further research over the years clearly showed the link between higher KN forces and better responses again and again ( IF you take the KN forces at play into account that is ). If a lighter machine was used, the research results were never as good, which was used by our critics as evidence Vibration Training did not work.
So to clarify that idea.... Double the Required KN Force, the workout gets harder and you get better results. Not exactly rocket science is it ?
And this variance wasn't just on paper, when one company tried to build the platforms cheaper and lighter ( Power Plate going from steel hulls to plastic hulls ) , the KN force dropped significantly ( as physics dictated it should ) and the customers started to complain that it just didn't "feel as hard". Why, because it wasn't "as hard" of course. So it was obvious to even the consumer that their Fq x Amplitude = Hyper- Gravity explanation was missing something.
Why the deliberate confusion ....?
A combination of a few things, but mainly it boiled down to marketers and fake experts getting together to bury that KN figure, and any ties it had with past positive research.
Sure some machines had completely fake specs attached ( real Fq and Amplitudes were way out than advertised specs ) , I know because I was the one to expose this practice. But some were very close to correct and still felt completely different. A perfect example of this is the newer Power Plates VS the Vibro-Gyms. Independent tests show almost exact matches to Fq and Amplitude, but everyone agrees the VibroGym is a "much harder" workout.
Or another classic example is the Pulse-Trainer, that on paper out-performs almost all brands, ( both Pivotal and Lineal ) but feels weak. You can even jump on a machine going 10 mm, but the results are not 5 x greater than a machine going only 2 mm.
All making sense now ?
That question I was talking about....
Why would anyone do this ?
Simple, because as a Vibration Training engineer I will tell you something, Fq is very cheap to reproduce. Consistent Amplitude under someone's body weight is a bit more expensive to reproduce.. But force is expensive to reproduce, there is no way around it. And you then need to be a very good engineer to control it, one small mistake and you have scrap metal on your hands.
There is also another problem......
Seeing as there are multiple mechanical ways of producing vibration, what if you had chosen to produce a system or a certain type of construction that limited the KN force produced within the vibration. Relying solely on Fq or Amplitude to get results. I personally tested and abandoned multiple drive systems that are limited in that exact task. Some designs simply can not surpass a certain required KN force rating.
Please note: That is not to say other systems are invalid, but to say EVERY system has its limits. Some limits can be adjusted for Eg... extra time on the machine or a premium Fq for each design can be evaluated to create sufficient force ( each design would be different)
Note: We ran the Vibro-Gyms at 50Hz / 4mm in my studios for advanced users for this exact reason. The Fq was slightly too fast, but the extra KN made up for it in abundance.
What I am saying is, it is completely unscientific and invalid to compare two different machines with each other without taking all limits into consideration.
The sell outs that hurt the science .....
The fact was it was always going to be cheaper for some companies to lie to the entire industry, or in the case of the "experts" simply refuse to discuss or mention these physics facts and engineering details ever again. Bury them and deliberately only talk loudly only about Fq and Amplitude, coming up with sayings like "Amplitude is everything" or "Fq is everything" , hoping to hell no-one goes back over the older research and puts 2 and 2 together.
I brought this to the industries attention in 2004, and have been doing so ever since. So make no mistake, it is not some error on their behalf or they "forgot to mention it". They made a conscious decision to withhold the idea from you because it made their lives easier.
What it did not do is make our industry any better. But I will tell you this, there are those of us who will not lie to you, or bury the facts under BS marketing slogans. We believe every machine type has its place in the industry. From light Physio machines to big heavy workout models. But we want the consumer to have realistic expectations of what machines can deliver what results, To be making educated choices, not choices based on half truths or profit margins.
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