Whole body vibration offers you a platform unit that you stand on which vibrates up and down at high speed. This provides your body a workout while you simply stand on it for 10 minutes. The vibrations per second vary, with the greatest health results appearing when you set the machine for higher vibrations. Health benefits max out at 50 vibrations per second, at which point health benefits begin to decline as your feet begin skidding on the surface of the vibrating plate.
Where it began
Italian researcher Carmelo Bosco developed a Whole Body Vibration program designed to maximize muscle stimulation while minimizing fatigue. In 1999, he tested the body’s hormonal response to this simple routine and uncovered these impressive effects on the body.
- Muscle power — increased by 20%
- Cortisol levels — decreased by 32% (this is your stress hormone)
- Testosterone levels — increased by 7%
- Growth Hormone levels — increased by 360%
- Bone Metabolism - 31% improvement
Why is this outcome so impressive? The level of Growth Hormone secreted in response to the Whole Body Vibration was approximately equal to what you would get from 30 minutes of running at 86% maximum intensity.
Why whole body vibration is such a cool way to exercise
- Results were instantaneous
- 100% of training time was spent standing still
- It required the subjects to exert no conscious effort
- Stress levels which normally increase with intense training actually decreased
- After completing the protocol, the subjects were not fatigued
After falling in love with Hypervibe’s machines (which sell for $1495 and $3495), we decided we could get what appeared to be the same intensity of vibration from the Confidence Slim Full body Vibration Machine. It is an excellent full body vibration machine at an excellent price (weight limit is 300 pounds). We purchased it for $269, plus $29 for an extended 2 year warranty. I liked the fact it had 800 customer reviews which average 4.5. Plus Sears has chosen to carry it which in my mind is a great vote of confidence.
The higher G-force you generate, the greater the health benefits (you want 10-15 G to be effective).
G-force can be increased through each of the following means:
- Increasing frequency of vibration
- Increasing amplitude (lift)
- Adding weights (a weighted vest, etc.).
My experience with whole body vibration
After a couple of days, I set the program on the Confidence Slim Full body Vibration Machine to "3" (maximum program intensity) and it cycles up and down from 15 through 45 cycles every 90 seconds for 10 minutes. I carry 10 pound weights in each hand and do about 8 sets of 20 reps as I lift them over my head. I also wear 10 pounds of neck weights and 5 pounds of head weights (provided by my Maximized Living Chiropractor). These are designed to restore proper curvature to my neck and I was told to wear them 10 minutes a day, so this is a great time to do that.
Recently I have been skipping the programmed settings and turning the full body vibration machine to its maximum output which is 50 vibrations per second and running it for 10 minutes. Studies show that 50 vibrations per second provides excellent G-Force, and offers maximum healing response to your body.
My body heats up during the 10 minutes, and I sense it loosens my joints and increases flexibility throughout my body. It is a great pick-me-up. I believe it does what the research above says it does and it sure is an easy way to get 10 minutes of exercise in. Of course, I can ponder, meditate and pray during the experience, too!
I am flat-footed and have worn custom-fit insoles for 40 years. Even wearing these, my arches became stretched and sore so I quit whole body vibration for 4 days, allowing my arches to heal, and then began again. This time I placed the front third of my foot off the front of the vibrating plate, so I was standing with two-thirds of my foot on the plate. This works for me.
We couple whole body vibration with two other daily exercises: MaxT3 and a 10-mile bike ride.
Testimony from Karen
I really enjoyed the article on Whole body Vibration and purchased the same machine that Mark recommends a few months ago. I have more energy and am gaining muscle weight. My parents who are in their 80's also purchased one after using mine, My Dad's cognitive level is so much better. He had pretty much shut down verbally about 4 years ago and now he is making conversation with me and even talking when he drives which had been too overwhelming before. Neither one was exercising because they were afraid of getting hurt but they have not had any pain from it. It feels like a massage to them. I am glad there was a cheaper option because my chiropractor had one that cost close to $2000.00 used. I am feeling better about my parents being able to stay in their own home and not worried about them getting hurt and becoming exhausted every time they try to get something done around the house and the yard. My Mom has been able to keep up with the light housework she does and it no longer leaves her tired like it used to. After using the machine for about a week I noticed my hip stopped hurting, my legs do not feel heavy and swollen after working all day and I am getting more toned. I bought it because I was not getting outside and walking due to the dark and the cold. I am forwarding this article on to those who have bought one that I know and are thinking of buying one.
If your weight is over 300 pounds, then consider the Hypervibe.