Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Goodbye wobbly bits, hello PowerPlate!

This week, we put PowerPlate to the test. Buckle up, we’re in for a ride!

The experiment:
5 x 40-minute PowerPlate sessions over two weeks

So what is PowerPlate?

It’s the latest celebrity craze of vibration training that blasts your jiggly bits and gets you fit and toned in 2-3 short sessions per week. It was in fact used (long before celebrities) by Russian cosmonauts to fight the effects of zero gravity, improving muscle strength and bone density.

Classes are in groups of 2-4. I went with my (extremely brave) partner.

You stand on a vibrating platform in regular gym gear (no space suit, alas) and do a series of exercises including squats, lunges, push ups, the plank (could we be any more 2011?) and tricep dips. The vibrations stimulate the muscle-pump effect and increase blood flow (is it me or does that sound a bit rude?), which in turn improves the body’s ability to transport oxygen, assimilate nutrients and disperse toxins.

Studies have shown that adding a PowerPlate to your workout increases its effectiveness by 57%. Yes please.

The guinea pig: 
Me, exercise-phobe extraordinaire

I’m super healthy and I walk a lot but let’s get one thing straight – I’m no gym bunny. I used to dance ten hours a week when I was younger (and run and play tennis), and… like all good things in large doses… I got sick of it. The mere thought of exercising makes me want to whip out a box set of Gossip Girl and climb under the doona.

The verdict:

I have to say, after the initial excitement of free exercise, I started to wonder if my not-so-gymtastic body would be up for the challenge. I struggled in the first two sessions but found myself improving so quickly and so noticeably that I stayed motivated and didn’t feel disheartened by my lack of fitness.  My partner and I both felt like we had improved leaps and bounds by session 3, and were tricep-dipping and push-upping like pros in the last session ;)... you should see my plank now!!

I loved the fact that you could feel every muscle working, and that you could target particular muscles with such precision. The instructors at the studio in Bondi Junction were amazing. They definitely knew their stuff and checked in on us regularly, asking if there were areas we wanted to target (aka jiggly bits) and making sure we were activating each muscle correctly (read: working hard enough).

After the workout, you also get to look forward to a mini cellulite-banishing massage. A way to kiss goodbye to wobbly bits and cellulite in 40 minutes? Definitely a man (or woman)'s best friend.

Given my hate-hate relationship with exercise, I didn’t expect to fall in love with PowerPlate but (it’s official) I most certainly have. And so have my new found abs. Now all I have to do is convince them to stay there.

Less Gossip Girl, more PowerPlate? Who am I kidding, a girl can multi-task.


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