Vibration Machines- can you really get something for nothing?

Is this what effortless weight loss looks like?

“The 60 minute workout that only takes 10 minutes”

If you have spent any time surfing the web or watching television into the wee hours of the night then you have undoubtedly seen a late night infomercial or advertisement for fitness devices. From lean mean grilling machines to miracle skin products we are all familiar with those charismatic personalities hawking their latest and greatest gadgets.

 

For obvious reasons, fitness related infomercials hold the most interest for me. Oftentimes, these infomercials will target a specific body part- the most popular being the loss of abdominal fat and getting six pack abs. The Ab Lounge, Ab Rocket and Ab Belt all promise results with little to no effort and in just minutes per day. However, the only results you will likely see by using these devices will be the decrease in your bank balance rather than your waist size!

Do you trust this guy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness gadgets are big business and lately I have noticed more advertisements for a relatively new kid on the block- the vibration machine. Whole body vibration promises to melt the fat not only from the abs but from the rest of the body as well. In addition it also claims to improve fitness, performance, bone density, osteoporosis, pain management, hormonal response, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. But wait- there’s more! Apparently whole body vibration will also help flush toxins while increasing production of collagen resulting in firmer skin and less cellulite. All of this in only a few short minutes per day with virtually no effort.

If celebrities are using it then it MUST be good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intrigued by these incredible claims I decided to drop in to one of my local vibration training centers to see what all the fuss was about. Once inside, I was told that my 6 minute session was the equivalent of performing a 45 minute cardio and weight training session at a gym – quite a claim given that my typical workout consists of either high intensity interval cardio or compound exercise supersets! Needless to say I didn’t even break a sweat during my session and there was no doubt in my mind that the fat loss results being claimed were exaggerated to say the least.

 

Perhaps my biggest issue I have with vibration training proponents is their claim regarding vibration training being good for spot reduction.  While in the facility I was told that fat loss and muscle “tone” (another B.S marketing word) can be achieved in selected areas of the body by placing targeted body parts on the machine. As discussed in previous articles, spot reduction cannot be achieved simply by subjecting a problem area to some type of stimulus.

 

I expressed my opinion to the owner of the facility and was told that to get the results promised I was supposed to perform exercises while standing on the device…but wait a second- wasn’t this supposed to be effortless weight loss? After all, the brochure does promise maximum results with minimum effort. The story was changing and now I was being told to squat, lunge, push-up, dip and even perform exercises using an exercise band while standing on the machine. Sounds like effort to me wouldn’t you agree? It was explained to me that performing exercises on the vibration machine enhanced the efficacy however the research says otherwise. Studies examining the effectiveness of vibration training show no increase in benefits (fat loss or muscle gain) when exercises were performed on the vibration machine.
 The Verdict
Whole body vibration machines can help with increasing balance, circulation and proprioception- all of which play an important role in overall health and fitness. I would also agree that vibration exercise works to make many basic training moves slightly more difficult and this may increase muscle stimulation. It’s also useful for people with diabetes because it improves and increases blood circulation (like any exercise session will).

 

That being said the use of whole body vibration in the pursuit of “effortless weight loss” is absurd. In fact, one study suggested that prolonged exposure to vibration machines could have major negative effects! Researchers concluded that “The most pronounced long-term effect of whole-body vibration is damage to the spine. The spinal region most frequently affected is the lumbar part, where spinal deformation, lumbago and sciatica can develop”. They sure didn’t mention that in the brochure.

 

The secret to long term sustainable weight loss will always be calorie balance- you must burn more than you consume. And the best program for fast results will always be a plan that incorporates intense physical exercise and proper nutrition. There is no way around this. Rather than spending one to four grand on a vibration machine pick up a set of dumbbells, an adjustable workout bench and learn how to perform some basic compound movement circuits and supersets. And if you still crave vibration you can use some of your spare change for a ride on the subway!

 

References

Roelants M, Delecluse C, Goris M, Verschueren Effects of 24 weeks of whole body vibration training on body composition and muscle strength in untrained females. S. Int J Sports Med. 2004 Jan;25(1):1-5.

Bogadi-Sare A. The effect of whole-body vibration: an unrecognized medical problem Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 1993 Sep;44(3):269-79

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1725325/pdf/v039p00585.pdf

 

This post was written by

Bruce – who has written posts on Cutting edge muscle building and fat loss secrets.
bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

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About

bruce krahn is a best-selling author, writer, researcher, personal trainer and professional speaker. he has coached people for two decades both in person and online. he created this site to be an honest source of useful, practical information you can use to improve your health, build muscle, lose fat and get the lean body look.

2 Responses to “Vibration Machines- can you really get something for nothing?”

  1. April Hamilton says:

    Happy Birthday Bruce!!

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