Vibration Plates For Fat Loss, Cardiovascular Health, Testosterone & More!

Can those fancy vibration plates at your health club or gym really help you burn fat or lose weight, and is there any research behind that?

Is there any significant hormonal response to whole body vibration (WBV)?

What is the effect of vibration training on cardiovascular fitness, and how would it be used for that?

Any effect on lymph fluid or immune health, similar to a trampoline/rebounder?

How about for muscle recovery or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)? 

How does one actually use a vibration plate the right way?

Can you stack WBV with other so-called “biohacking” modalities, such as photobiomodulation, exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT), isometric training, etc?

Jason M. Conviser, Ph.D., MBA, FACSM, is my guest on today’s podcast to answer all these questions and more.

He is the chief science officer for Performance Health Systems and has a long history in vibration research, the health and wellness industry, sports medicine, metabolic syndrome, and bringing healthcare to the general public outside of a clinical environment. Dr. Conviser has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology/cardiac rehabilitation and an MA in exercise physiology. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Medical Fitness Association, and Medical Wellness Association and serves on the Power Plate Sport Medicine Advisory Board, Life Fitness Sports Medicine Advisory Board, National Commission on Reform of Secondary Education, and National Task Force on Citizenship Education. Dr. Conviser has authored the following books:

He has also authored over 45 articles in scientific journals, trade publications, and large distribution newspapers and is the past consultant and exercise physiologist for the Duchess of York.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Ben and Jason use vibration plates at home…7:00

  • Two in the house: a large one in the basement, and a smaller one in the bedroom (for a perfect massage)
  • Power Plate Ben uses in his gym
  • Use for bodyweight exercises
  • Prime the body prior to a weight lifting session

-How to use a vibration plate to burn fat…9:35

  • Caloric expenditure increases while on a vibration plate (weight management device)
  • More muscle fibers firing
  • Very few will stand on a plate for an entire workout
  • Use the power plate to warm-up, then complement the workout
  • Preps the body to exercise in the most efficient manner possible
  • Very few activities are optimal for weight loss while done in isolation (no vibration)
  • Weight loss is: behavioral, physiological/cardiovascular, neuromuscular issue
  • Using vibration only for weight loss is not recommended
  • Glucose is the energy the cells use
  • Cells become more permeable to glucose while on a vibration plate
  • Leptin sensitivity increased with WBV

-Endocrine responses to WBV…19:55

  • Growth hormone increases with certain doses of vibration
  • Unclear how much is the optimal amount for each individual
  • Cortisol release; excessive amounts of cortisol are problematic
  • Michael Phelps performed well at the Olympics because of his ability to control cortisol levels
  • BGF podcast on cortisol with Dr. Craig Koniver
  • Increase receptor sensitivity to growth hormone
  • Quercetin supplements

-How the body is better prepared for a workout after using a vibration plate…24:25

  • Muscles are prepared for activation
  • Halo device
  • Three prong approach to vibration:
    • Neural adaptation on an acute and chronic level
    • Sensory-motor adaptation (acute and chronic level)
    • Muscular adaptation (acute and immediate level)
  • For example, spaghetti strands similar to muscles; WBV increases the size of the spaghetti noodles

-Ideal length and frequency of WBV sessions…34:00

  • Dose-response: How much exposure to vibration and response expected
  • The art of training and working out
  • Differs for pro athletes vs. non-athletes
  • Power Plate company website has many recommendations
  • No such thing as a perfect dose
  • Low end: 5-10 minutes
  • High end: 45-60 minutes (very rare, extreme cases)
  • Typically done with other activities at intermittent frequencies
  • Strategic use for specific situations (waiting to perform figure skating)

-The efficacy of WBV on cardiovascular fitness…40:25

  • An elite athlete wouldn’t use a vibration plate as a singular modality
  • The bigger the vessel, the more circulation and oxygen delivery
  • Stack WBV with other modalities; use on a recovery day
  • Cardiac output is calculated by heart rate times stroke volume
    • How fast is the heart beating, how much blood is being sent out with each stroke
    • As you become better conditioned, heart rate will decrease and the stroke volume will increase because the heart muscle is getting stronger and more efficient
  • VO₂ – Cardiac output times A-Vo₂ difference, or the extraction of oxygen in the periphery (Not only is blood being delivered to the periphery, but how well oxygen taken off the red blood cell is utilized for the muscle to contract is the purest definition of VO₂)
  • Different scenarios call for different uses of WBV

-The effect of WBV on lymph fluid circulation, improved immunity, etc…47:10

-Research and best practices on increased recovery potential with WBV…50:45

  • Over 2,000 research articles since 2000 alone
  • Don’t need to know the science to know that it works
  • Vibration as a massage form for recovery
  • Cool down, just like recovery
  • Recovery ASAP after training
  • Sit on vibration plate, massage Achilles, vibrate hands and arms

-Best practices while using a vibration plate…1:02:00

  • Tri-Planar vibration plate moves up and down, side to side, and forward to back.
  • Front to back is better than side to side
  • Safe and right amount of hertz
  • Slower vibrations abuse certain organs in the body
  • How you use depends on the needs

-Other modalities that combine well with vibration plates…1:07:30

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Books by Jason Conviser:

– BGF articles about vibration:

BGF podcast on cortisol with Dr. Craig Koniver

– Studies:

– Other resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Jason Conviser or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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