This one is from a reader (Thanks, Renee).  She asked me to opine about the Power Plate.  For those who don’t know, the Power Plate (name brand, but with knock offs) is a large apparatus that you stand on that gives whole body vibration while you work out.  The claim is increased muscular adaptation and further increase in strength and lean body mass as a result.  If you listen to the testimonials (Madonna, Sting, etc.  Apparently you can’t use it if you have a last name…), it is the most awesome piece of equipment in human history.  The Power Plate website has tons of legitimately published research backing their product.  Caveat Emptor, buyer beware.  Their research, like much other, is a little bit contrived.  Most gains were shown in untrained athletes.  Of course, if you do ANYTHING with someone who has done NOTHING, you’ll get benefit.  For trained athletes, benefits were seen to be much smaller, and really used as a form of passive warm-up.  But lets put aside the “research”.  Think about it.  If the power plate were as effective as it claims, there wouldn’t be knock-off products that you could get for under $300 (even though the name brand can still run upwards of $10k).  Also, if it really worked like that, what other method would there possibly  be?  If something works that well, why isn’t everyone doing it?  That wold lead us to believe that people who rode the subway (or the El) would be the fittest lot of people on the planet, or that you would never see a fat jack-hammer operator.  Have you been to the city lately?  Unfortunately, the power plate technology was something that has purpose (accelerating rehabilitation from injuries) that has since been misplaced.  It’s not harmful to use, but the extra benefit is minimal as well.  The claim that you could burn an EXTRA 300kcal in just 10 minutes is ludicrous at best.

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