Vibrating Plates – Effective or Just Another Gimic?

Every now and again, the fitness industry comes up with a revolutionary machine or concept that almost overnight becomes a fitness sensation. The Power Plate is the perfect example.

These oscillating plates can be found in most big gym chains and leisure centres up and down the Country, with gym bunnies hopping on them and hoping that the vibrations coursing through their muscles will help to shift some fat and sculpt those thighs.

If you have arrived at this post after reading my article on the main fitFAQS website, you will know my opinion on where i believe power plates should fit into our fitness regime but i, and  thousands of other vistitors to fitFAQS,  are keen to hear your experiences on the power plate and how they have improved / changed the way you train.

Are they just another expensive Gimic the fitness industry could do without or have you found that vibrating plates are the best invention since the wheel and have a long future in the corner of the gym shaking and sculpting our bits to perfection?

49 Responses to “Vibrating Plates – Effective or Just Another Gimic?”

  1. Sarah says:

    Personally, i have found that the last 3 months of power plate training have been a total waste of time as i have not seen any improvement at all in my body shape. I think they are an expensive con and i regret ever buying one.
    I’m sure some people might get some benefits from them, but i’m going to stick to go old fashioned weights and running from now on in.

    Seriously, has anyone actually seen any change in their body from power plate training or am i just the odd one out?

  2. Sarah says:

    In response to the article and previous comment from another Sarah I’d just like to give my personal opinion.

    After six weeks of training on Power Plates at my local gym I can definitely see and feel a benefit in my body and general fitness. Contrary to the findings of the article I spend 30 minutes, two or three times a week, with a trainer and really do get a good work out. Every person I have spoken to who goes says the same – it’s hard work, you definitely break a sweat and you definitely get results.

    I would suggest that anyone who thinks that just standing on one of these machines for ten minutes at a time is going to change their body shape or fitness is extremely gullible! The reality is half an hour of hard work with resistance straps, weights, push ups, tricep dips etc.

    As with any exercise it works best with a healthy diet and a mindset to achieve results. The gym that I attend, Movers and Shapers, only uses Power Plates and only ever has a maximum of four clients in one session to ensure that each of us is getting the very best from the machines.

    Naturally I can only speak from personal experience and of course I’m not a celebrity such as Lily Allen et al. I would recommend Power Plates in the correct environment under the supervision of a personal trainer to make sure you’re getting the optimum out of the experience. Combine it with some walking and cutting down on the biscuits and you’ll soon start to see results.

  3. Paul says:

    I totally agree with the above post.

    I have been using a power plate under the instruction of a fitness instructor for about 8 weeks now, in the hope it would help me shift some of my Christmas weight.

    As the previous post said, you have to be pretty naive to think you could just stand on a power plate, let it wobble your bits and expect to get results.

    If used properly, (i’d advise under proper instruction) power plate workouts can be really tough and have you sweating buckets in no time at all.

    In conjunction with a more sensible diet and other forms of training to keep variety, the power plate is a big player in getting you into shape, or at least it certainy has been in my case.

    I’d suggest that the first poster “Sarah” was either not putting enough effort in, or her diet needs some attention. How long were you on it for each go? Are you putting in enough effort? Be honest, is your diet of good quality?

    Put the work in and you can get the results – just don’t expect miracles if you think you can just push a button and expect to shape up.

  4. kath says:

    i have only had 2 sessions on the power plates
    so i cant say if it is working or not. i also thought
    you just stood on the machine and it did the work,boy did i get awake up call you work hard on them,
    i get a bad headache during my 10 mins (im working up my time)is this normal?

  5. Sam says:

    I found that.

    Whenever i got on the power plate, after about 5 mins of shaking i started to get a splitting headache so i had to stop. Is it normal? Has anyone else experienced this?

    I’d like to give it another go but don’t see the point if the only thing that seems to get a workout is my head.

  6. Mike says:

    Can’t say i’ve experienced headahces from using powerplates but i have experienced something else which i’m hoping other lads might sympathise with. If not – maybe i have an “over excitment” issue!

    Whenever, i lie on my back to do abs on the power plate, i feel, how i can i say, a rush of blood to places i would rather not have a rush of blood to whilst in the gym – if you see what i mean.

    It has been quite embarassing a number of times when i’ve had to stop my Power plate ab workout short as i felt things “firming up” a little and had to get out of the gym discreetly.

    Do any of you other guys have the same problem or am i alone? Is it normal?

  7. Sandra says:

    Basically its not worth while doing 10 mins on your lunch break. I thought it would be handy to nip out and do something which didn’t really make you sweat and didn’t require changing into your gym gear.

    Does anyone think it would help at all??

  8. Jez says:

    Did you seriously think that a power plate would help you lose weight and tone up in a 10 min lunch break?

    Why does everyone believe all the hype about power plates? They have their place but they do not work miracles!!!!!!

    Its easy to lose weight – eat less exercise more. Its not a diffcult concept to grasp. If you are consuming too many calories you have to find a way to burn it off – and standing on a vibrating plate doesn’t quite cut it i’m afraid!

    Great site by the way – keep up the good work!

  9. Andreia says:


    My experience was different. I would do a bit of powerplate, and nothing ever happened, untill today. I went to a cycling class and straight after to do 20 mins of powerplate. I left with a strange headache, blurred vision and loss of sensation on the left side of my face – regarding that my last exercise was a side plank on my left side for my abs. I’m not sure this powerplate is so good, as shaking your whole body’s muscle in a strong fashion does seem to be promising at the beginning, but the future damages seems to be quite worrying too.

  10. Sam says:

    That doesn’t sound good at all. Are you ok now?

    You wonder how many other people have had similar experiences to you. Anyone else felt funny using a P.P?

  11. Ian says:

    Like most, I was indifferent to these power-plate-type devices and others. I do Wii now – not my previous 5K jogs – and it seems OK; and free-standing weights; all 3 times a week. So why do I need something like power plates?

    Well, showed that there is research that such machines are good.

    As to weight loss or gain being purely a matter of calorific intake, this is a poor simplification. There is enough research now to show that some people have an inbuilt ‘norm’ for their weight, which is virtually independent of food intake. Plus not all calories are equal – carbs increase body fat much more than fat (which also comes in several shades) or protein.

  12. jez says:

    Not another anti carb rant!

    Please, can’t you see that if you eat too much of anyhting be it carbs, fat or protein the energy in that food, unless you birn it off, is surplus to requirements and the body stores it as fat. Carbs can be fattening, fat can be fattening and even protein can be fattening.

    Of course they all induce a different response from the endocrine system but in this we are all differnet. we all know some people who can eat carbs like they are going out ofm fashion and not put on an ounce and we all know people who juts have to look at a bowl of pasta and they’ll pile on the pounds.

    We are all different – period. You can’t single out a macronutrient and blame it for being the reason why we get fat.

  13. Claire says:

    Has anyone seen a marked improvement in their cellulite after using a Power Plate? I’ve heard claims that it can reduce it, so wondered if anyone thinks this to be true.

  14. Fiona says:

    Can’t say i have but there is one hell of alot of cellulite to shift so i’d probably need an industrial one to make any difference to my cellulite.

    I have heard it helps alot but at the moment i’m just concentrating on ditching the junk food and exercising as much as i can.

    If the PP helps – awesome!

  15. A Chapman says:

    Very interesting to read everyone’s experiences – thanks.

    I saw a recommendation in a women’s fitness magazine for a much cheaper version and it made me wonder whether the much cheaper versions e.g. KL which is available on Amazon for about £90, are worth considering. I don’t know what the specification of the different machines is or what you get for your money. Does anyone have a view (other than the obvious “you get what you pay for”)?

  16. Claire says:

    I am considering purchasing a Power Plate and was wondering the same thing as you, A Chapman. Any advice would be appreciated! :o )

  17. Ben says:

    I bought a powerplate in March of this year and have used it ever since. Having cerebral palsy meant that I never could find a way into fitness that didn’t put me in more pain than I already was to begin with that was until I bought the PP.
    I am now fitter, stronger, physically more stable and most importantly for me my body is now semetrical in terms of amount of muscle, as before my left side overcompensated for my weakened right side and was therefore always more developed. I use the PP in conjunction with a reletively clean diet and some cardio work and it hasn’t let me down yet.

    The PowerPlate however is not easy, a lot of people, especially those who train a lot, look down on it thinking it’s a gimic and all you have to do is stand on it, but that as previously mentioned is not the case. the easiest way of explaining it is you get out what you put in, if you put in a lot of effort into the exercises then you will get results.

  18. Eve says:

    I have been using Power Plates for about 4 weeks now as an addition to my cardio. I do it only twice a week however I work harder than I used to with weights only – especially when it comes to lounges/ squats & press ups/ dips.

    My muscle tone has visibly increased & also my core muscles have strengthen significantly (I have had a back ache for last 6 months due to weak core muscles). I would recommend a personal session to begin with as you would with any equipment not used before in order to do the exercises properly.

    It’s a hard work so if you feel nothing than you are not doing it properly.

    If you are having headaches try to spread the weight of the whole body over your feet until you cannot feel the vibration in your head. Also I have been told core muscles need to be engaged to stop the vibration going to head – by pulling your core muscles in (tuck your tail bone under like you want to stop pass urine mid flow – too much info???). Try without the plate first to get the hang of it than on the plate.

    Hope it helps.

  19. Ruth says:

    I have MS and fellbroke my hip in February, Just as I was coming off the crutches, I had a bad MS relapse which affected the same leg. Basicaly I did no exercise for about six months and my leg muscles were wasted. I then joined a gym and started using the plate abouta month ago – it’s been brilliant!! I now have quadriceps again. I do three exercises each for 5 minutes (at the moment), squattings, tiptoeing up and down, and standing holding the straps to exercise my biceps. The results are visible.
    Re the headaches, I was told initially to keep my head down a little, so perhaps that might help.

  20. Ask any Surgeon, and they will tell you that using a Power Plate is the absolute best exercise you can give your body WITHOUT any strain. Just 10 minutes a day will suffice.

    I work in the medical profession, so I know what I’m talking about. No one is suggesting it takes the place of the Gym – if that is what you like, but as a stand-alone piece of equipment it is highly recommended.

  21. ciara says:

    Hey, I started pp three weeks ago and have had six sessions. I find it fantastic. I am trying to lose my last stone and a half (after shifting 4 stone so far). I attend a pp class with a personal trainer, and I must say its not easy, but it does work. I can already see a difference in muscle tone which I am really happy with. My instructor has also given me information on nutrition which is great.

    I find it a very strenous work out, as my instructor really pushes me. The only side effect I have, is that I am extremely relaxed and tired afterwards. Anyone else feel like this? or does it give other people energy. Either way, I love it and would recommend it to everyone.

  22. J stevens says:

    To A Chapman & Claire. I use the proffessional one at my local Gym and i have recently purchased a Vibraplate max which was £95.00 (recommended by my instructor) in all honesty, there is slightly less vibration but it works just as well and im feeling and seeing the benefits. The only down side to the cheaper ones is the noise, think of a washing machine on fast spin, lol.

    They are just as good as the gym ones and easy to store. =)

  23. Adrienne says:

    We got a ‘Good Vibes’ free trial offer delivered to our office before Christmas; I went along with a colleague and IO have to say I’m hooked; I find the gym boring but this is fun, all the trainers at Good Vibes are great; its 25 minutes of hard work but well worth it; I go twice a week and can definitely see the difference in my body shape.
    I would say go to a class as its much more sociable and with a trainer you’re bound to do more; I’ve wasted money in the past on exercise machines at home; and trust me its not the same ……..Good Vibes classes are great; I really cannot recommend them highly enough – for everyone whatever fitness/ shape / age (I’m certainly one of the oldest that goes – 62 next birthday – not that you would think it!!)

  24. michelle says:

    Not got a power plate, just doing a bit of research, has anyone thought of long term implications? such as vibrating white finger syndrome! what happens if using regularly can have this effect on all or parts of your body?

  25. No white finger syndrome is caused by lower frequencies – as long as you stick between 25-60 hz you will be OK. Also stick to ISO regulations of I think 30-40 mins a day. We alwyas recommend every other day – VT can overstimulate / unbalance endocrine system in a a few cases if used daily added to which you will see the best muscle growth if you give the muscles a day’s rest in between sessions.

  26. liz nickells says:

    My friend has had a replacement hip and would like to know if he can safely use a plate, he tells me the new hip was cemented in. Could the vibration damage the hip in anyway?

  27. Lynne Duncan says:

    I injured the ligaments in my ankle recently which stopped me training for the last 4 weeks. Does anyone know how soon after injury it is safe to restart training on a VP or do people actually keep using it through the injury?

  28. Alison says:

    I have been using power plates at a local power plate gym for the past 2 weeks. I, like a few other people here was looking for a quick fix and though I only had to stand on them for 20 mins. NO WAY!!! I do a 20 min class 2/3 times a week and i sweat!!! I also do 3 hours at the gym a week, x trainer, tread and bike, this added to the plates I have definitely seen results, especially with cellulite and there is more tone coming to my legs. My first time on the plate I thought my head was going to fall off and the next day I ached from head to toe, but all this was telling me it was working. I love them and I am addicted!!

  29. Liz- probably not a good idea for your friend to use unless you can be 100% sure that the machine in lineal and they have a way that will allow her to support her weight in the beginning. (get her to post on for more detailed advice)

    Lynne – you will find this very helpful to strengthen and heal your ligaments – they will mend in record time. Just make sure you are using safe positions – you can download a safety programme (free) on the Vibra-train web site (google it) or it’s aslo on the site mentioned above. But again – check you are using a lineal (up and down only) machine – a pivotal one (like a see-saw) may actually cause too much stress on weak ankles particularly if it’s a cheap uncontrolled one as most pivotals are.

  30. Christine says:

    I have been told by a practitioner of Chinese medicine that vibration of the body stimulates the vital organs–heart, lungs, liver, kidneys—and that this is very good for you.
    Everyone else who has contributed is focussed on what the pp can do for the outer, visible body. Don’t forget the inside.

  31. nikki says:

    ive just purchased a pp cant wait to use it ive suffer with extreme fatigue and swollen ankles heres hoping pp will be good also i need to shift some belly flab

  32. jennyb says:

    I’ve been been doing on average 1 hour gym sessions 3 times a week for oh gosh, over 5 years I’d say but being over 40, though still relatively slim couldn’t prevent saddlebags and cellulite. Gave up smoking earlier this year added lots of weight, so increased gym sessions to 4x a week, changed diet, but still didn’t get the results I wanted, so decided to give that strange looking machine in the corner of the gym a go (was desperate!). 2 weeks of 20 minute powerplate sessions FOLLOWING MY NORMAL WORKOUT ROUTINE, I noticed slimmer legs, better muscle definition and definitely less cellulite, I wasn’t even aware this was a benefit – I am seriously chuffed and 100% confident that I can cross liposuction off my Christmas list (replace with skimpy bikini). Seriously it does work but you get out what you put in – nothing in life is free!

  33. Claire says:

    As the Power Plate is supposed to improve circulation, has anyone seen an improvement in either their spider veins or varicose veins? Does it exacerbate them, alleviate them, reduce their appearance, or not affect them at all?

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