Biohackers are known for finding and testing new tools and protocols that help increase physical and mental performance in the least amount of time.
That’s where a hack like whole body vibration training (WBVT) comes in. This little vibrating plate is one of the best ways to hack your strength and recovery in just minutes every day, as opposed to spending hours at the gym every week.
Maybe you love your hours-long lifting sessions or Zumba classes. No problem. You can also use WBVT supplementally to encourage lymphatic drainage, increase bone mass, and lift your mood.
What is a whole body vibration training plate?
A whole body vibration training plate is a platform that vibrates at a specific frequency to activate your hormonal, cardiovascular, lymphatic, and nervous systems simultaneously.
Different WBVT machines have different frequencies, but the most effective frequency for the most people is a constant 30 Hz.
Many WBV machines have adjustable speeds, but this usually compromises the quality of the engineering. The best way to make a WBV unit affordable AND high quality is to use a constant rate motor.
How does whole body vibration training work?
As you sit or stand on the vibrating platform, your muscles will contract and relax dozens of time each second, which is why doing squats on a vibrating plate requires so much more energy than doing them on the ground. But that also means you’re getting more results in less time.
Vibration at specific frequencies also helps oxygen and nutrients get to your muscles and other tissues more efficiently, which can aid in flexibility, blood flow, muscle soreness, and can even reduce levels of your main stress hormone, cortisol.
How to use whole body vibration training
You can use it to get the lymphatic and circulatory benefits of hours of walking, or you can perform some simple exercises on the vibe plate to stimulate actual muscle growth. Here are some simple steps to get you started:
- You can use a vibration plate every day, starting with 30-second to 1-minute sessions, slowly working your way up to 15 minutes. Don’t exceed 15 minutes on a vibration plate.
- Standing on the plate is easy. It doesn’t really matter if you fire it up before you step onto it or after, just be mindful as you step on and off.
- Keep your knees bent at about a 30-degree angle as you stand on the vibrating plate. Engage in this position for as long as possible, or try holding different positions. Other popular poses include deeper squats or placing your hands on the vibe plate (feet on the floor) in a plank position. Hold this for as long as you can without exceeding 15 minutes!
Benefits of whole body vibration therapy
- Spend less time at the gym for the same results
- Increase your strength, especially explosive strength
- Lose more fat in less time
- Balance your hormones
- Increase lymphatic drainage
- Increase bone mass and mineral density
- Increase flexibility and mobility
- Metabolic alterations in bone, stomach, bowel, prostate, kidney, and bladder
- Enhance knee neuromuscular control
- Immediate improvement in blood circulation
- Reduce pain
- Improve proprioception and balance
- Deter Multiple Sclerosis
- Increase secretion of serotonin and norepinephrine
Now let’s dig into the details behind some of the most exciting science-backed uses for whole body vibration therapy.
1. Spend less time at the gym
Getting a dynamic workout doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. You can, in fact, get the benefits of an hour or so at the gym in about 15-minutes on a vibration plate. Specially designed vibrations work up to 95% of your muscle fibers, whether you’re standing still with knees slightly bent or switching poses.
This level of muscle engagement translates to a high-intensity workout, which means increased gains is less time. I use my Bulletproof Vibe WBV Plate with weights about once a week for 15 minutes. With my extended travel, two kids, and work schedule, this is the right amount of weight training for me. But most other days, I find 10-15 minutes to stand on the platform to refresh my energy, stimulate circulation, and help my body excrete toxins by stimulating lymphatic drainage.
2. Increase your strength, especially explosive strength
The way we conventionally work out uses the formula Force = Mass x Acceleration. Simply put, increasing either of these increases strength. For WBVT, the mass is your body and the vibration is the acceleration.
Using your body and the vibration, the WBV plate also uses gravity as another form of acceleration to generate “G-forces.” It naturally incorporates more acceleration so you become stronger!
According to a study comparing WBVT to conventional training, WBV produces higher strength levels within six weeks. It does so through its use of gravity – added acceleration in the “force” equation – and the reflexive muscle contraction it provokes.
A scientific leader in this field, Dr. C Bosco, held many studies on WBVT’s muscular benefits. He came to find out that WBVT has a neural effect on muscle growth, meaning it constantly puts your muscles under load.
The neural effect of whole body vibration training
Athletes who used WBVT increased their leg press by a significant amount of average velocity, force, and power. While this is what athletes are supposed to do, through repetition without increasing intensity or changing things up, the rate of muscle growth often plateaus. The neural effect of WBVT is what made the difference in this study, and is what makes it ideal for maximizing your muscle potential.
Along with enhancing muscle, Busco concluded that vibration enhanced the power capacity we have as humans, which means we may go beyond what our genetic power entails. Both studies show big innovation toward strength and are the reason why Olympians use these machines.
3. Lose more fat in less time
WBVT is an efficient way to lose weight and shrink visceral fat.
A weight loss study done in Europe showed a group using WBVT lost 11% body weight during the intervention phase and maintained 10.5% of that loss compared to a group that used diet plus conventional exercise, which lost 7%.
In the same study, visceral fat shrank by 48 cm2 in the WBVT group compared to 18cm2 in the diet plus conventional exercise group. This weight loss was caused by the WBV’s metabolic alteration and hormone balancing effects.
4. Balance your hormones
Hormone balance is heavily affected by your diet, stress levels, and how much you exercise. Conventional exercise from running or heavy lifting, for instance, can do wonders for your hormone production and overall health, but some conventional training comes at the cost of your adrenal health.
A famous study done in 1995 by Frank Perna and Sharon McDowell states that cortisol levels (a hormone that pumps out when you’re stressed) can spike 20 hours after conventional training. Overproduction of cortisol can negatively affect the body’s recovery process and sap your energy, making it difficult to perform in other areas of your life. On the flipside, WBVT actually decreases your cortisol levels during and after training.
WBVT also helps with healthy hormone production and use by increasing testosterone and growth hormone (GH).
One study shows that after 10 repetitions of WBVT there is a tremendous effect on your endocrine system with:
- 460% increase in growth hormone
- 7% increase in testosterone
- 27% decrease in cortisol
A similar study states WBV stimulates GH secretion, reduces circulating cortisol, and reduces plasma glucose.
Overall WBVT does not represent a stressful stimulus for the neuroendocrine system, which is the opposite of most conventional training. Stress shortens your life, and we’re all better off hacking stress in order to reap the full benefits of WBVT.
WBV training as an anti-aging tool
Studies show that WBVT improves strength more efficiently in the elderly. Since the elderly have trouble using conventional workout machines, whole body vibration was used to improve balance and muscle tone. WBVT also improves quality of life, ability to walk and balance, and motor capacity in the elderly.
For seniors with knee osteoarthritis, WBVT reduced the proliferative response of TCD4+, which is a medical anagram for counting T-cell depleted bone marrow. All of that to say: WBVT may help halt osteoarthritis in its tracks.
From Olympic Athletes reaching their peak to the biohacker seeking better blood flow and bone density to the elderly wanting to improve balance and motor capacity, WBVT is an amazing hack.
Before using a WBV Plate, contact your physician if you are pregnant, have foot, knee or hip implants, lumbar disc problems, or acute inflammations or infections.
For information on who and how to use the WBV Plates go here:
How do you train right now? Do you think a vibration plate can take you to the next level? Let us know in the comments below!