With so many new pieces of fitness equipment popping up, it can be difficult to know which products to choose. To learn how trainers can use the Power Plate with their clients, ACE met with Derrick Price, ACE pro and Power Plate Master Trainer, to get the inside scoop on the benefits of vibration training offered by this unique fitness device.
ACE: What is the Power Plate?
Derrick: The Power Plate is a fitness device that accelerates ground reaction force (and thus gravity) using whole-body vibration training.
ACE: What is vibration training and how does it work?
Derrick: More than 180 research studies have been conducted on whole-body vibration (WBV) training. The Power Plate oscillates at a speed of anywhere from 25 to 50Hz at an amplitude of 2 to 4mm. The vibration is not only vertical, but also has sagittal and frontal plane displacements as well, which provides a three-dimensional force from the ground up. Because force is a product of mass times acceleration, if we accelerate the ground underneath us, the body must respond to the subsequent increase in force. This is why it’s vital for trainers to understand how our bodies react to both gravity and ground reaction forces. As the ground (in this case, the Power Plate) vibrates, the nervous system responds reflexively and creates 30 to 40 micro-muscle contractions per second to help disperse the vibrational force throughout the body. Thus, much of the "exercise" being done on the Power Plate is reflexive.
ACE: What are the benefits of vibration training and how can it make a difference with a client’s program?
Derrick: The same benefits we see from traditional exercise can also be achievable with WBV. Numerous studies have demonstrated that WBV can improve circulation, coordination, stability, strength, power, flexibility and mobility and bone density. Some studies also suggest it can assist with weight loss and potentially decrease pain.
For a trainer, the Power Plate offers the opportunity to work with individuals from all walks of life—from the very deconditioned and debilitated client, all the way to high-level athletes. Because I work with a lot of people who are in pain or don't move well, the Power Plate provides a way for my clients to exercise in a pain-free environment that still provides enough stress to create positive adaptations in their body.
ACE: How do you use the Power Plate as part of your clients’ warm-ups, workouts and cool-downs?
Derrick: I use the Power Plate in all aspects of a workout with all types of clients. For a warm-up, the plate quickly enhances blood flow to any specific area I choose, improving the viscosity of connective tissue (making the fascia more resilient) as well as improves the sensitivity of the nervous system. This means more muscles and muscle fibers are being recruited right before the client works out and his or her tissue elasticity and extensibility increases.
From a workout perspective, we can send upwards of 5Gs of force into the body, so I love to use the Power Plate for improving strength or power for various movement patterns, especially movement patterns that require an enhanced ability to respond to ground reaction forces.
For a cool-down, the massage on the Power Plate can't be beat. We can flush the system of metabolic waste that was created during the workout and enhance recovery time from a bout of exercise. The massage also works well as part of a warm-up if the client is feeling sore.
ACE: What is the greatest success you’ve had using the Power Plate?
Derrick: My greatest success comes from watching someone who begins a session feeling thrashed, both physically and mentally, and then watching that person use the Power Plate and instantly feel better. When used appropriately, we can create instant change in the client’s body and mind.
ACE: Where can fitness professionals learn more about the Power plate?
Derrick: To learn more about the Power Plate, visit www.powerplate.com.