April 27, 2017

How to Properly Select a Platform: Part I

Let’s begin the first part of this article by stating that all vibration platforms on the market have some, albeit limited in many cases, health value. It’s not about pivotal, lineal, sonic, triplanar etc., they all are capable of helping people improve their level of health. As will be discussed later however, some platforms have evidenced through research that they can provide these benefits. Other respectable manufacturers, having not enough research behind them yet, offer quality construction and superior engineering (as demonstrated by proper engineering tests performed on their platforms) to support their technology’s capabilities. These manufacturers, with time, will all likely demonstrate their efficacy through research. For the most part however, the majority of manufacturers simply choose to avoid making an effort. Instead, they resort to “piggybacking” on these other companies’ time and effort. These manufacturers, chasing the almighty dollar, make false claims and sell inferior equipment to the unknowing consumer. The majority of this equipment, often sold for “affordable” prices (and often made for pennies), is the primary factor behind the unfortunate slow growth of, and the increased skepticism held by others towards, the Vibration Training industry.

Specificity

Putting that aside for the moment however, the fact is that regardless of whether it is a vibration platform, a bicycle, a particular strength training method etc., what qualifies as “the best” is all about SPECIFICITY. This is what ultimately points us towards what we need and is being increasingly supported by our growing understanding of the positive response to specificity in the human body, in particular that of the nervous system which directs all traffic in the body.  Returning back to Vibration Training technology though, the selection of the most suitable platform for an individual, a question that is endlessly posed on this forum, depends on several often interwoven factors. Chief among these are:

– What the individual’s SPECIFIC goals are?

– What factors contribute to the determination of those goals?

– What may be overlooked by the individual when determining those goals?

– What the person can, or in most cases, IS WILLING to invest in their health.

This last factor brings to mind the saying, “you would spend anything to eliminate a disease, but how much would you spend to prevent it?”

Understanding What You Really Need

As an example of how these above factors are interwoven and how the final choice of platforms is ultimately driven by them, consider the following. Many people seeking vibration training technology claim “balance” is their main problem because they have fallen or experienced an increasing amount of instability when walking. Therefore, their goal is to improve their balance. If I want to recommend a platform to help only with balance reactions, I can recommend almost anything on the market since just vibration (sensory input) and a moving platform (unstable surface) alone can help train several components of the balance system. However, due to the reductionist mentality bred by western medicine, these people are often failing to see the “big picture”. They are failing to consider the role of muscle power and spinal flexibility in efficiently reacting to a fall and therefore potentially preventing it. They also fail to understand the need to improve bone density so that if they should fall, they can minimize the risk of fracture that could result from the fall. If someone searching for a platform is aware of this more comprehensive view and has this wider array of goals, they have now significantly reduced their options as we have to consider other variables in finding a platform to meet their specific goals.

Example #2

In another example, perhaps the most common, people are looking to “lose weight” and “tone their muscles”. Well, realistically, they can purchase any platform since exercise, with or without a vibration platform, can promote these benefits. This is assuming they acknowledge the larger role of nutrition in achieving this goal of course. Having that been said, to maximally influence the metabolic (weight loss) and neuromuscular systems (tone) of the body, you need to be able to not only push the body, but also have the ability to progress the intensity of your program once you have gained strength. This is necessary no matter how limited by age, weight, disease etc., you think you may be.  High Intensity Training, although sounding scary, can be performed by anyone when properly designed and supervised. So now, this individual looking to purchase a platform for this purpose needs not only a platform that delivers strong forces on the body (discussed in part II), but one that allows for a maximal amount of training progression. This now, as in the example above, reduces the options available.

Example #3

Lastly, I have people that want a recommendation for “circulatory problems”. These individuals, typically with a history of diabetes, cardiovascular impairments, or mobility limitations fail to consider the influence on improving muscle strength and flexibility so that they become more functional and therefore influence their natural ability to enhance circulation. Not to mention their ability to move better, exercise more effectively, and improve the multitude of systemic issues tied to not only their disease, but to the general reduction of circulation in the body. If I only care about blood flow, I can recommend any of the platforms on the market since vibration alone can improve blood flow. However, if they want to maximally improve muscle strength and develop a better ability to perform functional activities such as walking, stairclimbing, getting out of a chair or bed etc., I now, once again, have a limited number of options because I have to consider other variables.

Evidence

So what must we use to direct these recommendations? What are these other “variables” that need to be considered? There is only one answer, evidence! Evidence provided by the current body of research or the willingness of manufacturers to back their claims by subjecting their platforms to proper engineering tests. Now don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the issues that surround research and appreciate the potential errors technicians can make, but in the end, in order to stop people from continuing to waste their money and reduce the continued negativity that exists around the Vibration Training industry, we need to start somewhere. I can tell you from experiencing over 25 platform systems that those systems that have evidenced themselves through one of the two criteria stated above provide an experience that is untouchable by their money-hungry counterparts. Although the experience still differs between them (discussed later), once you’ve tried them, it is unlikely that you will question the benefits of using them. So let’s discuss some of the basics of Vibration Training technology.

Continued in Part II

Comments

  1. Great read Gabriel, can’t wait for part II.

  2. Hyper Guy says:

    Gabriel,
    Thanks for addressing this topic, perfect article to direct people too…. and I’ve already begun to do so. Looking forward to the next part!!

  3. Hi. I am looking for anyone who might have purchased or tried out the Wave Contour Plus machine. If you have one or have at least tried it please post here about the experience and your opinion of the machine for the various purposes you have for it. Thanks.

  4. Mike M. says:

    Can anyone explain to me the math, i.e. physics equations that show how one arrives at numbers quantifying the forces, G forces or KN, that are generated on one of these vibration platforms? if possible, I would also like to see equations that quantify such things (for comparisons sake) as box jumping, bounding on a mini trampoline, running up- or down-hill, or anything else that seems applicable. If you can’t do these then please point me to a site where this is done. Thank you.

  5. Mike,

    Murray can help you out with that one. He will be able to reply by next week.

  6. Murray Seaton says:

    Hi Mike,

    To calculate G force we use:

    G=[(F*6.28)^2 * A/2)/g
    Where F= frequency, A= peak to peak displacement, g= 9.8 m/s^2 (1G)

    You can save yourself the calculations by using our calculator here http://www.hypervibe.com.au/frequency_specific_vibration.php

    G force is quite a confusing term, as it is not a measure of force, but a measure of acceleration relative to a free falling object on earth.

    Just as G force is a measurement of acceleration, KN is a measurement of force. To calculate force, the basic equation is Force=Mass X Acceleration.

    The KN rating you are referring to refers to the mass of the platform X the acceleration of the platform, it does not refer to the force applied to a user. You can find my article on platform mass on this site which shows that the force applied to a user is independent of the force applied to a platform. Therefore, no comparisons can be made using a platform KN rating to the forces applied to a user during the activities you have described.

    Rather than looking only at acceleration, we can certainly look at the forces applied to a user, that equation again is Force=Mass X Acceleration, however in this case it is the Mass of the user X the Acceleration the user undergoes.

    To determine this is not as simple as to multiply the users weight by the acceleration of the platform. Since the human body is not a rigid object fixed to the platform, rather a complex elastic object attached only via gravity, the acceleration measured at the platform is not necessarily the acceleration the user undergoes.

    Furthermore, research also shows that factors such as posture, muscle site, and frequency of the vibration will result in great variations to local muscle acceleration. A great study showing this can be found here:
    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/asp/2010/972353/
    Where it was shown that maximum acceleration at the muscle (and therefore maximum force) was achieved at a frequency which was close to the natural frequency of the individual muscle. This also resulted in maximum EMG, so therefore it was suggested that maximum acceleration at the muscle equals maximum muscle activation.

    Anyway that should give you something to think about. I’m unaware of any website or research which runs comparisons between forces or accelerations experienced between the examples you gave, but I can tell you that adding vibration is much more complex.

  7. Mike Stevens says:

    Hopefully you’ve had a chance to give the VibePlate a try. I used some of the more wobbly platforms, and now own a VIbePlate. It works pretty well, and I’ve lost a bit of weight in the last 2 months using it.

    I look forward to part 2 of your article!

    • Hi Mike. I am assuming you work for Vibeplate? I am familiar with it and Gary Gray and the Gray Institute. In fact, my co-worker is in the Gift program. I can see the value in a large work surface that vibrates, but this is different from real vibration training and real platform systems. Having that been said, regardless of this fact, we only support platforms that are validated or supported through clinical research. I don’t believe the Vibeplate qualifies for either?

      If you do work for the company and would like to provide us a platform to be validated, please let us know. Otherwise, if you are legit and are seeing improvements, glad to hear. Part 2 will be up soon.

  8. Now that I have read all of the above, I am TOTALLY confused! I am thinking about getting a home unit for weight loss amongst other things.

    I saw the Power Step at a state fair and I tried it. I was amazed at how good I felt after I got off of the machine. However, I think the price point was a bit high for me.

    Which ones are on the cheaper side, and still have the performance I want?

  9. Hi Cindy,

    Sorry you are confused. This is a tough industry to navigate and we are trying to do our best to make it comprehensible. The Power Step in just one of many cheap pivotal vibration platforms. Even their logo shows they are trying to deceive people into thinking they are the Power Plate. Although not tested, it is unlikely the Power Step will be able to achieve the performance requirements for weight loss. For this you need a much better engineered platform like those mentioned in Part II of the article.

    The fact that you felt good attests to its ability to serve as a large massager which works to relax the body and improve circulation. If you were to decide to go this route anyway, performing exercises regularly would help work on weight loss, but the platform would provide little additional benefit.

    The unfortunate bottom line in this industry is that if you want performance, you have to pay for it. It would be hard to find anything of value for under $2600 US.

  10. Hi,
    I am a wellness training manager for a new fitness facility being built as we speak. We open in October of this year and I found some extra dollars in my budget. I was wondering what the best for the money commercial grade WBV machine would be? I have been looking at Power Plates but the lightest commercial grade (The Pro5) goes for around 8,000-10,000 which is extremely over my budget. I am just wondering if it is feasible to get a Europlate for around 2,000-3,000 or if I should just wait until my next year’s budget so I’m not stuck with something that won’t last. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  11. Hi Shawn,

    Unfortunately, as far as I know, there are no commercial grade platforms on the market within your 2-3K budget. You can reference the list of platforms that we support in part 2 of the article. Perhaps you can try and negotiate a bit?

    What type of clientele will you be working with? Some of the platforms are low-medium acceleration. Others are high acceleration. This would be a variable to consider as well when selecting.

  12. Hi Shawn,

    You should also consider how much daily use a machine would get in your new facility. How long would each session be? You may be able to start with one machine and add from there as your business/budget grows.

    I would also strongly recommend trying the Europlate if you have a chance. I know of a few studios with it and other machines to compare depending on where you are located.

    Deb

  13. Joenito Soon says:

    Does anyone have experienced on the T-Zone VT-8 & VT-15 vibrating machine? Also, how much these machine cost & where to buy them? Will appreciate your comment/s & feedback. Thanks in advanced.

  14. Joenito,

    I have both models, along with the VT-12 and a number of other manufactures machines, mainly for the purpose of demonstrating, allowing people to experience the differences in performance. The models in question, like the majority of Asian made platforms represent the low end of the scale offering in general massage and therapeutic benefits only. Your post here tells me you have read part 1 of the series on how to properly selected a platform, continue reading into the second and then the most current article on dispelling myths. Lastly the engineers reports article and related video here http://www.vibrationtraining.net/category/reviews/ on this forum. Price wise, as new the VT-8 retails around $1,000.00 and the VT-15 for $1,900.00 but check around the web for resale sites like E-Bay, you will find them and many other similar preforming machines at a fraction of retail price. I would encourage you to search out and try as many different machine in your area as possible before making a purchasing decision.

  15. Gabriel:

    Thank you for your response regarding low back issues. I was referring to chronic back problems and not acute so your answer is very helpful. Do you have an opinion relative to the Nobelrex K1 and what pivotal machines do you recommend?

    Thank you again for your help!

    Lewis

  16. You’re welcome Lewis. The Noblerex is not supported on this forum as they have yet to meet the criteria for consideration. This being that they have either provided evidence that their machines perform as specified through engineering analysis or have shown to provide benefit through research. Until this is the case, it’s buyer beware.

    The platforms that we support are listed in part 2 of the “purchasing” article. The closest unit in price to the Noblerex is the Hypervibe. An excellent platform for personal use.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

  17. I am trying to find some answers to the use of vibration with Type 1 diabetes. Some machines specifically say ‘should not be used’ with Type 1. I would like to know why it could or would be an issue.

    • Hi Deb,

      As far as I know, simply having type 1 diabetes is not and absolute contraindication. Only contraindication surrounding diabetes, which is a relative contraindication (requiring physician approval) is “severe diabetes” which typically involves other medical issues (cardiovascular etc.).

      Like any other form of exercise, with any medical issues, you progress slowly. Where did you see this?

  18. Does anyone know anything about the Proform Activator V7?

  19. In this industry, you get what you pay for. Therefore, you can safely assume this platform is nothing more than a large massager. Perhaps Dan and Deb know a bit more about this particular platform?

    Our recommended platforms are listed in the “purchasing a platform” article (part 2).

  20. Dan Pelletier says:

    Hi Kenn,

    Unvalidated platform.

    Have seen this machine in the past but have not personally tried it. Gotta say it, a vertical machine that includes weights is leaning itself towards being identified as a Low G machine.

    Checked a couple of resellers such as Walmart and found you can get one there for about $640. The spec’s are lacking a bit as they don’t reference there displacement capabilites so you really have no idea what to expect.

    If the goal was strictly therapy in nature then perhaps not such a bad choice but from a baseline or above training aspect this machine will likely lack sufficient loading characteristics. Hence my comment on the included weights.

    Hope this helps.

    Dan

  21. J Subramanian says:

    Does anyone have any experience with Euro Body Shaper? Any recommendations?

  22. J Subramanian,

    Thanks for the inquiry. This platform is not supported by this forum. Based on the look of it, yet another large massager. For the list of platforms we support, please read the following article:

    http://www.vibrationtraining.net/2011/08/how-to-properly-select-a-platform-part-ii/

    They are listed towards the bottom of the article. Perhaps Dan and Deb or Peter can weigh in on this one?

  23. Hello J Subramanian,

    Along with Gabriels’ reference, please review this article also, does the image look familiar? http://www.vibrationtraining.net/2007/10/warning-to-home-users-heres-how-you-are-getting-cheated/

    The Euro Body Shaper, Crazy Fit, Genki, Turbovibe and others are pretty much the same machines, just privately labeled for the next marketer. Both the Crazy Fit and Genki were tested by independent engineers in 2010 and more recently the Turbovibe also. All are low resistance machines capable of delivering some heath benefits. A copy of the first report is available here http://www.hypervibe.ca/report.php for your review.

    We also encourage all to get out and experience the difference for yourself on as many machines as possible in your market.

    What are your expectations as a future user? Further details may provide additional assistance by the contributors here?

    Happy to help,

  24. I’m looking at buying the VT-20. Does anyone have any comments on this machine?
    I was hoping this was a great machine for home use.
    But I want something more then just a massage machine.

    • I will let Peter et al reply with more detail about this platform, but the VT-12 was tested, like all the other massagers, performed unsatisfactorily. No reason to believe the VT-20 would be any different.

      http://www.hypervibe.ca/report.phpIt

      It is not supported on this forum for anything other than circulation and balance.

      On a side note, T-zone has begun to push their studio concept here in the US (goga studio) and it is an absolute embarrassment to those of us that care about the legitimacy of this industry. Continuing to suggest that simply standing on low acceleration platform cause weight loss, “10 minutes = one hour at the gym”…blah..blah..blah. There won’t be any forward movement until this nonsense stops.

    • Hi Jlene,

      Coming soon, recent independent testing did include the T-Zone VT-20, like a majority of machines in the market place today it too failed to produce the necessary frequencies and load resistance to be considered a ‘true’ whole body vibration training platform.

      Continue your search………. please try as many machines as you can in your area. The three most recent articles found on the home page here at VT.net are a must read to shorten your learning curve, along with the opportunity to at least experience anyone of the validated platforms mentioned. Only then will you too have an actual measuring stick to evaluate all others.

  25. Linda Cassels says:

    I am so confused as to what machine to purchase. I was looking at the vibracore1000 which was recommended and the hypervibe. It is written that the vibracore has one motor but I was told when I called it was two. I was told that vibracore is Asian engineered and was told that the hypervibe was not but one article said it was. I was also told the vibracore has five years warranty on site but do not know how true this is.
    I want a machine to give me overall strength, bone density strength and exercise. I am also concerned about the side effects that are written I.e headaches, back etc. Is it if you do proper exercise and stance on the machines this will not happen. One more question, should a person who has seizures use this type of machine. Thankyou

  26. Marsha Byron says:

    I have one, I love using it, but recently have had a knee replacement, and I’m not sure if I can still use it. Looking for information, please

    • Hi Marsha,

      Do ask you doctor, or the physician that preformed the surgery if they approve now of use…. having said that, I’m personally aware of people who’ve had great results incorporating vibration therapy and training in both post, and pre-op joint replacement. Accelerated recovery being the main positive results.

Speak Your Mind

*