T Nation

The Power Plate


Over the past year my wife has been asking me to invest in "The Power Plate" for our home Gym. My wife has stayed in great shape through the years and only weighs 5lbs. over her weight when we were married. She's usually very sensible and has never been a spend thrift either. However, this time she just won't let it go!

Most of you know who have read my many, many posts that I don't go for gimmicks and that is exactly what this looks like. I have told my wife on countless occasions that I would buy her something new for the Gym, but of course I was not talking about this sort of device. But, my wife has been so insistent that I have decided to come to you, my T-Nation brethern to seek your wisdom and council on the matter.

I have read all about it and I'm just not buying into the principles behind this device. Please take a look at the information and tell me what you think.

Of course, I'm going to use your comments to reinforce my argument. So...thanks in advance :wink:

"The Principle of Power-Plate?

Power-Plate generates natural stretch reflex
The human body has natural reflexes such as the eye-lid reflex, the touch reflex and the stretch reflex. The stretch reflex is that which occurs when a doctor taps your knee with a hammer, this causes a reflex that extends the leg. The Power-Plate generates a continuous special stretch reflex called the Tonic Vibration Reflex in all involved muscles.

Power-Plate generates 30 to 50 reflexes per second
The special vibrating platform stretches the muscles, which activate Tonic Vibration Reflexes. Because the Power-Plate vibrates at 30 to 50 times per second, these involuntary muscle contractions happen at the same speed.

Power-Plate activates 95 to 97% of the muscle fibers
Not only will your muscles contract and relax at very high speed, but also the amount of muscle fibres in every single muscle involved exceeds the amount of muscle tissue utilised in regular training. For most people in conventional training a maximum of 40% of the muscle fibres per muscle are recruited. The Power-Plate vibrations recruit between 95% and 97% of the muscle fibres. This also means that the deeper posture and stabilizing muscles, such as the spinal muscles and the pelvic basin muscle, that are normally hard to train, can be stimulated. But how does this reflex create stronger muscles and increase fitness and health?

Power-Plate changes the acceleration factor
For years we tried to become stronger and healthier through weight training. Adding extra weight made the muscle adapt to this heavier load and become stronger. This is what the Greeks did in ancient times and this is what we still do. Now there is Power-Plate, where we change the acceleration factor instead of the weight with much less strain on the ligaments and muscular-skeletal system and no more long exhausting sessions.

The 10 minute result
Just 10 minutes of Power-Plate per session, 2 or 3 times a week, is enough to achieve your desired results. Most people still believe that getting fitter is about the duration of the training, but it's the intensity of the training that gives the result. By assuming various positions on the Power-Plate you can stimulate different muscles and muscle groups. Power-Plate makes it possible to achieve fast and easy results in almost every part of the body.



That thing looks FREAKY. I thought you might be spoofing us until I checked the link.

What exactly does this thing do? Does it just vibrate, or shock you? How much does it cost?

My gut reaction is SILLY-ASSED RIP OFF but I have to admit you've got me curious. Let us know if you get more info or decide to try one.


She's your wife. This is what she wants.

So you have 2 options:
o You give it to her without putting up a fight.
o You give it to her after you put up a fight.

Which is it going to be?




As a newlywed, this is perhaps the best advice I have read on T-Nation.



I'm also confused as to what the hell the thing actually DOES. If I saw that thing I wouldn't know whether to get on it to weigh myself or give a speech. That's very telling. Granted, I read the page only briefly, but if you can't tell what a product does within the first few second of reading its description, there's a good chance it's a gimmick.

It almost sounds like they're recommending {gasp} using a fast tempo as opposed to the super slow crap that has pervaded the fitness world.

To be honest, it looks totally useless.

Zeb - Buy her a kettlebell. You know you want to. :wink: Actually, I say that only half-jokingly. If "power" and faster tempos is what she is after, then some type of ballistic/Olympic lifting may be the solution assuming you think she could perform them safely.


Well, it's European. It MUST be good. :slight_smile:

How much is it? They also say that there are Power-Plate centers. Maybe if you find one in your state you can try it out and see for yourself. Did you check out the specs, the damn thing weighs 100 kilos - 220lbs!!

It seems like it's only good for untrained people or rehab. My 2 cents would be - don't buy until you try. And definitly ask some of the T-Nation contributors.


Okay, I read more about it and figured out what it does - it just vibrates. That's it. Nothing else.

While I don't buy the whole balance training thing, I really don't see how this is different, in principle, from a BOSU. Hell, exercising on a BOSU may even be better than this thing. It certainly would be cheaper. Would she go for that?


I remember something like this had been mentioned before - http://t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=460595

I can't see a comparison between this thing and a BO$U (one is proprioception focused, the other helps recruit motor units - my understanding), but I wouldn't buy either.

Say you'll buy her one after she trains every session on the washing machine for 6 months - to show her commitment to the idea.


Nice link there. I just finished reading it and was about to respond, thinking it was a recent article. I stopped myself when I saw that it was done back in '02.

In case anyone didn't want to read the whole article, here's what was said about the power plate:

"T: Good tip! Do you think there's ever going to be a "next big thing" when it comes to weight training, or have we pretty much figured it all out already? Is there any training system out there now that you'd call the "next big thing" or is it just more novelty stuff designed to "sell"?

CT: Mostly it?s designed to sell. And the sad thing is that today?s novel approaches are actually quite old! They just have been forgotten and rediscovered.

There are some things that show promise, like vibration training for example, but I wouldn't call that the "next big thing." In my opinion, the next biggest breakthrough will come from a refining of the current training methods. We have all the tools, but I just don?t think we know exactly how to use them yet. I also believe we?ll see some novel methods, but these will mostly be derivations of what we have right now.

The problem is that we might very well have a "next big thing" and never realize it. See, there's so much bull out there, so many fads, that it?s likely that the "next big thing" will be introduced much like those fads and we may miss the boat. But I?ll keep my eyes open and keep you informed!

T: Let's back up just a second. What's vibration training?

CT: Vibration training has been developed by Carmelo Bosco, an Italian sport scientist better known for his work on power output and vertical-jump testing. This relatively new method consists of standing on a special platform than can vibrate at different rhythms and amplitudes. This intense vibration has been shown to improve power output, jumping height, and strength.

Furthermore, one could do stretching exercises while on the platform to greatly enhance the effect of the stretch. Vibration training does seem to have an overall effect on the whole body. It also affects growth hormone release and leads to a very intense CNS activation. The training stimulus with vibration training is very intense because the stimulus changes so fast. This creates a great need for muscle activation. For those who'd like to learn more, visit Power-Plate.com."


Chuckle chuckle...

Anywhoo, if nothing else, judging from the pictures on the main page for the power plate, you can take it with you on any trip you may undertake. It seems to get around as much as those little garden gnome thingies and functions very well in water.



Just so it's not taken out of context, I was quoting Christian Thibaudeau in an article that was made back in '02.

Considering the source, there might be something to it, though CT does make the point that it's not exactly the "next big thing".


Okay, I finally stopped laughig and can answer your post. My wife will listen to reason. Up to this point I have simply dismissed her pleas for this machine because I simply don't think it works. And since the cost is $8,500 it is a major purchase.

She wants some logical reasons why it won't work. She will respect the majority opinion of the T-Nation if there are some solid points to be made against machine.


Wow is my wife ever not an Olympic lifter!

At this point if I could get her away from the idea of "The Power Plate" I would be more than happy to invest in one of those girlie leg machines. :). Hey spending 2-K is better than spending 9-K any day. While not as good as free weights the leg machine can at least produce some results..


You have enough money lying around to spend $8500 on a gadget?

What results is she looking for from that thing that she can't get from lifting more slabs of iron?

Plenty of athletes have been built without power plates.


On another strength training and sports performance site, Mark Verstegen replied that he uses it 2-4 x/week with his athletes. He utilizes it as part of his active warm-up and for single leg strength and balance training. Also a number of pro sports teams use it as well.

I would tend to classify it more as a "gimmick". However, I work in the rehab field and it does seem interesting. I would envision using it in much the same way as Verstegen does.


Make her a complete set of matching sandbags. Use the most expensive and trendy fashion fabric for the bags.Pick a color. For the sand, just use plain old everyday heavy sand. Be the first on your block. Bonus, you get to use them too. Second choice - kettlebells. 3rd choice - a 2006 model dragging sled, with AC, cruise control, power windows, CD player.
Some people call it a car.



I found a magazine article summarizing some studies on vibration stations.

"While there's some evidence that vibration training might help a couch potato, there's no solid evidence that it's beneficial to the trained athlete. That doesn't mean that vibration training doesn't help, but there are no long-term studies on athletes to say that it does, and the only longterm study on physically active people (and the highest quality study of the bunch) says that it doesn't. The truth is that the science doesn't match up with the hype."

PM me & I'll send the link.


even if vibration training works the question to ask is: Are the results it will give worth $8500???

there seem to be alot of studies on training on vibration platforms... should be able to dig around on pub med to get some info.

I could never justify spending that kind of coin on ANY piece of training equipment. In my mind there is nothing out there that is going to go so above and beyond the basics to validate that kind of coin.


buy it for her under one condition. that when she stops using it she owes you the money back in blowjobs, and you cost $200 an hour.

seriously, this is crap. you're not gonna find worthy reasons for explaining why it's crap because there're no reasons to believe it's not crap.

nobody has been getting stronger, faster, bigger, leaner now that decades ago. except a few who use more and some slightly better drugs now and more and longer devotion and planning and periodization of already understood methods (Charlie Francis/Ben Johnson).

power plate is crap and your wife may hafta find out 9-K poorer.