In the first of our instalments of home fitness equipment reviews, we shall look at the power plate. The power plate is a vibration device designed to work the muscles without you actually having to move. At first glance power plates appear to be an easy way to exercise at home, however a surprisingly large amount of effort is required when fighting the machine – and it does at times feel like a fight!
By assuming different stances on the Power Plate you stimulate different muscle groups, apparently in a more effective way than standard resistance exercises. The Power Plate also takes up much less space than a multi gym (and you can hang your coat on it).
A word of caution – Power Plates are quite heavy and the vibrations are noisy too – similar to an old washing machines with a failed drum bearings. Best used on the ground floor and not near to adjoining wall with neighbors!
Some results can be seen within a few weeks of using this machine. However, you have to decide whether this will be your desired approach to training in the long term, as it is a very expensive piece of equipment to discard after a few months. We recommend that you try one out first before buying.
And ask yourself – “will I still be using this next year?”
Power Plates exercise machines are a great piece of home exercise equipment for those who love having the latest gadgets in their gym. However, for the average person they are best left to occasional use in the gym.
Whenever I am confronted with a piece of fitness equipment I asked myself if it actually provides a real benefit over traditional exercises. The powerplate fails on this simple test as I feel that I gain just a good workout by doing a variety of bodyweight exercises, kettlebell swings and traditional weight training.
The only piece of fitness equipment I have bought (other than free weights and kettlebells) is an elliptical trainer, which I love. This is because an elliptical trainer allows me to carry on doing low impact cardio workouts in all weathers. Due to ankle and heel injuries I no longer go running but I can do a pretty intensive workout on a cross trainer without straining any old injuries.
The Power Plate really is just another gimmick. OK, some personal trainers I have spoken to have said that they like it and that many of their clients enjoy exercising on one, and that is actually part of the battle to get people active and fit – to get them to enjoy exercise. But really there are more effective, and much cheaper, ways to get fit.