In my previous two articles, I wrote about various whole body vibration machines and whether or not I believed they worked.  The conclusion was yes they do work but with limitations.

So what are the basic limitations and applications of WBV training? 

First off no matter what anyone tells you vibration training in any form pivotal or vertical will not replace your cardiovascular exercise.  This means you still need to walk, run, swim or ride for 30 minutes or more several times a week in addition to your vibration training exercise routine.  Again, while vibration training exercise may elevate your heart rate, it does not do so for a long enough period of time to keep your heart healthy! 

Many of you write in with some very interesting questions for me about vibration machines. Lately I hear a lot of people saying that you saw vibration machines being sold at a state fair, a golf tournament, a car show, or even garden show.  I receive questions like  ” is 10 minutes on a vibration machine really like 1 hour in the gym”,  “Can I really just stand on this and lose weight” and, ”how does using a vibration machine make me lose weight”?, “Is this really the only form of exercise that I ever have to do?”

Ok lets rewind a second and think about why you are asking me these questions. Why are you believing something that you heard from a shifty eyed salesman at a carnival?  They rent booth space from the fair, get some non-sense marketing posters made up to suck you in, and then have some out of shape salesperson convince you that they are a fitness guru.  Lastly, they get you to buy with what we call a high pressure sale.  This is when they entice you to buy on the spot by offering you a deal on an already artificially marked up price.  An example of this is when the salesman says ” This machine is usually $1695 but if you buy right here right  now, I can sell it to you for $1199“.  Ouch…if you just bought this cheap machine, you just got taken.  Not to mention you bought it from a travelling salesperson who is going from trade show to tradeshow selling overpriced machines that will not live up to their warranties.  Why are you buying a high ticket item at a carnival or state fair?  Don’t you want a dealer or reputable company to hold accountable for poor quality or faulty parts? Get online and you will find several high quality machines sold through reputable companies for around $1000. Do your homework and  you will spend less, get more and have some peace of mind. 

Now to address the vague marketing claims that many vibration machine models make to get you to buy their products.  10 minutes on a vibration machine doing squats, lunges, push ups , dips, shoulder presses and abdominal bridges will provide a good workout that can be comparable to time in the gym… but not an hour. You might want to ask who’s hour we are talking about..My grandpas or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s?  Does that mean its like walking around the gym for an hour not actually lifting weights?  Sort of a vague term when you think about it isn’t it?

  Additionally, many uneducated salesmen will tell you that standing on the machine alone works out your whole body and is the only exercise that you have to do.  DO NOT BELIEVE THEM….If they are so passionate about this machine, then why don’t they use it and why aren’t they skinny? 

So what are the real applications for vibration training?

Well there are many depending on whether you are a trained athlete using vibration machines in addition to your training regimen or you are new to fitness and you are just looking to get started. I will cover that in a separate article.  For now just know that most vibration machines only ofter limited fitness gains, increased blood flow, warm up for resistance training, warm down after resistance training, increased core strength ( Pivotal machines do this better) , increased balance, and pain relief.  I would have to say that pain relief is the most common attraction to these machines especially the pivotal machines because they do actually make your back and legs feel much better. For acute pain in the knees and shoulders, the vertical machines are a better choice for pain relief due to thier fixed, low amplitude motion. 

Coming soon…. 

Check back for product reviews and a WBV machine comparison chart.