Vibrational therapy workouts may sound like something out of an ’80s infomercial, but thanks to a slew of new classes, state-of-the-art equipment, and research on the benefits, this throwback concept has gotten a major makeover.
And buzzy studios like Platefit in Los Angeles are going all-in on new-and-improved version of vibe-ing out. “It’s one of the best ways to hack your strength and hormone balance in just minutes every day, as opposed to spending hours at the gym every week,” says Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, who considers himself a diehard member of the vibe tribe.
“It’s one of the best ways to hack your strength and hormone balance in just minutes every day, as opposed to spending hours at the gym every week.”
And fitness guru Diery Prudent, founder of high-tech foam roller company RolPal, raves that the high-tech gym accessory can increase balance, improved strength and flexibility, and even sounder sleep.
So how does it work exactly? It's all about taking your regular routine (anything from deadlifts to dance moves) and putting it on top of oscillating plates that can contract muscles up to 30 times per second. New research shows that vibrational therapy alone can be as effective as running on a treadmill in terms of weight loss and increased bone strength—and adding it to your HIIT workout majorly amps up intensity.
Ready to shake up your fitness routine—literally and figuratively? Here's how a high-vibe workout can do your body good.
The surprising science
To better understand what’s going on physically, Prudent suggests thinking about the workout the same way you would riding your bike down a cobblestone street. Each bump increases the demand on your body to generate internal force and maintain balance, which puts your muscles into overdrive.
These plates can dramatically improve the results of your training and make workouts more productive, but the craziest part? You can reap some of their benefits simply by standing on them—no actual exercise required. “It makes muscles contract more often, forcing the body to recruit as much as two times more muscle fibers for every movement,” says Prudent. Asprey uses his plate several times a day between meetings and while on calls. “It moves your body more effectively and more quickly than you possibly could in just a few short minutes.”
The idea of sculpting your muscles while just vibin' and chillin’ may sound too good to be true, but science says it's the real deal. A recent study found that mice who stood on the plates for 20 minutes every day experienced muscular and metabolic changes similar to mice who scurried on a treadmill for 45 minutes per day. According to Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence, who headed up the study, these results could translate to humans, too. This means that people who may not be able to follow a traditional exercise routine (like the elderly, for example) can reap the benefits of working out without actually having to work out.
How to shake it up
For anyone who’s looking to add some good vibrations to their regular routine, there are countless ways to go. "Pretty much anything you can do on the floor, you can do on a plate,” says Rachael Bloomberg, founder of Platefit. Her always-packed studios, which opened in 2016, offer a range of classes atop vibrating plates, including barre, boot camp, dance, and recovery sessions—and people line up to claim one of the coveted spots.
If you can’t make it to a formal class, investing in your own plate is one way to experience the effects at home. Prudent recently teamed up with Vibeplate to create the VPxRPM, a small, lightweight plate topped with a silicone mat. He suggests doing rounds of bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, planks, and push-ups on top of the plates for maximum muscle-building results, then stretching and foam-rolling on it after your workout. At $1,190 for the plate, plus $70 for the mat, it's pricey, but some consider it worthwhile given the benefits.
“Vibration can lessen the pain of stretching, increase joint range of movement, and reduce the time spent getting optimal results,” Prudent says. It "improves calorie burn, coordination, and even bone density.”
Well okay, ladies—now let’s get in vibration.
Attention intensity junkies: Here's the hardest workout move you've never tried. And FYI you might be scaling walls and climbing cargo nets at your gym soon.
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