Friday, 20 July 2007

Wibble wobble

At lunchtime today a couple of colleagues and I went for a try-out session of PowerPlate. It's apparently the latest "thing" amongst celebs such as Maddy or Sadie Frost. The concept behind the plate is that it vibrates at up to 50 times a second, and this makes your muscles contract at the same frequency, giving them an intense workout. The end results (after several sessions) are a toned silhouette and less cellulite. And all this without having to actually exercise (all you do is squats or leg extensions), because the vibrating plate is putting your muscles through the equivalent of 1800 squats or ab crunches in just 1 minute.

Well, that's the hype. The truth is this: some of the positions are pretty hard to hold, even for just 60 seconds (especially if your abs are non-existent like mine!); because your muscles are contracting at such a high frequency, your body generates a lot of heat and you consequently get all sweaty (bleurk); it's expensive!

The best bit of the whole session was the massage at the end, where you just get to lie on your back with your thighs on the platform and it jiggles away your cellulite (hence the jelly - that was my thighs!), supposedly.

Having tried it, I certainly won't be forking out 200 and something euros for ten sessions (said to be the minimum required to see some results). Powerplate might give your muscles a workout but it's not cardio-training, so it's not actually bringing any real health benefits. And while you might work up a sweat, that's the only side effect of a "real" sports workout you'll notice. Because there's no cardio-pulmonary workout, you're not getting the oxygen rush and endorphin "high" you get from 40 minutes of RPM or step class. And isn't that the best part of sport? It's not the "look at my flab-free abs" and "be impressed at my 10k times", it's the buzz you get, even though you've worn yourself out. Powerplate can't do that.

Which all adds up to the (for some people inconvenient) truth that if you want to get in shape and stay healthy, a buzzing platform and some silly stretching positions are no substitute for a run round the park or a body pump class.

I'm off to renew my gym membership...

9 comments:

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Madness! Absolute Madness!

Now, Lis I'm here to tell you that from your post below this one I know you aim to lose 5kg...but that's so much! That's like a whole stone is it not? But your figure is lovely!

Well anyway, I'm relieved that you shan't be paying for this faddy shaky wobbly plate thing - you've got the right attitude!

Racy Despina said...

Couldn't you just have done yoga on your washing machine?
Hmm I ran up a hill today and nearly died so I wouldn't recommend that either! If only there were some aerobic, repetitive, full body toning excersise that women could actually enjoy, and for free?!

Lis of the North said...

Oh Princesse you are such a kind soul. 5kg is actually a bit less than a stone. The aim is to get of my silly flabby tummy, in truth. Alas it will probably require ab crunches and other exercises I don't like. Why isn't it possible to have a nice tum just by walking the dog?? 5kg is a sort of objective to spur me on.

Miss D you saucy thing have you been up to no good??
Yogo on the washing machine would probably be more comfortable I'd say. Still have not found the magic all-over toning cardio-workout that is actually fun. But will share any 'gen of course! Am not surprised you were knackered after running up a hill. That's a silly thing to do. I have a personal policy of only running along the flat. Gradient and running are not compatible!

JustCommunication said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog :) No I'm not American, I'm too smart for that. I am in fact British ^^ and proud. The names Joe, it's a pleasure :)

What did you think of the place then?

Zhu said...

I tried a bunch of classes at the YMCA - I can't even remember the name of half of them but I'm sure they were all trendy and very popular with Madonna.

Cancelled my membership.

Now I just walk a lot, and I feel good !

Miss Despina said...

Lis, Madonna is evil and you shouldn't listen to her, ever! Why?
Because I found out yesterday that she liked some of the 400 year old tombstones in the old Jewish cemetery in Prague so much, she decided to buy them.
No, really. (She's an orthodox Jew now you see.) GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRS just had to share. More on jezblog soon I hope.

Ghosty said...

Well, I just stumbled in here from Facebook ... and a very nice blog you have here! Very well written, I think I may have to hang about. I should have shown up sooner! :D

Princesse Ecossaise said...

deary me...Why does Madonna keep changing her religion? Isn't religion something you're supposed to stick with? And imagine buying some tombstones! beurk!

Me, I never run. I hate running. I made a vow when I left school and didn't have to do cross country training again that I would never ever run. Unless it was an emergency of course.

Lis thanks for the french job advice!!

bisous!

Lis of the North said...

Joe: will be back for a longer look around when I'm feeling less like a blob :)
Zhu: that is what I need to start doing again. Cars make you fat. It's a fact.
Oh Miss D, that Maddy woman is just a silly mare. What I don't get is who decided that "oh yes you just go ahead and take all those tombstones"??
Ghosty: it's YOU, the agent who doesn't do housework... Thanks for the visit, hope I don't scare you away.
Princesse: having a not run policy is a good plan. Especially when it comes to cross country. :)