Introducing… Whole Body Vibration Training??

April 18th, 2012 Posted in Medical, Research No Comments »
Vibration Training Then
Vibration Training Then

I couldn’t believe this when I saw it. About as useful as EMS and slightly less comical than the Shake Weight. Now you can spend $100 a month for a membership to a Virbrational Training studio, where you undergo EMF (electric and magnetic field) treatments. Yes, the same EMF that has been widely reported for decades to be linked to such unhealthy effects as perturbed sleep patterns, altered heart rhythms, and cancer. Think: powerlines, building wiring, microwaves, appliances, and cell phones.

But, what the heck, why not bring back an out-dated fat-loss philosophy from back in the 70′s and 80′s. Remember those vibrational fat loss machines? I’ve met a handful of women who remember standing around in these things at the gym, waiting for their butt-fat to vibrate away into oblivion. Have you see any of these machines in the last 20 years? No? Think there could be a reason for that?

As is the standard with American culture, where we are always looking for greater returns for lesser effort, this is another Less-Time – Less-Effort weight loss / muscle gain strategy. They advertise “10 Minutes = 1 hour at the gym” using “NASA Technology” and an “FDA Approved Medical Device”. Most of the studies conducted involve short treatments, often 10 minutes, once or twice a day. The site and its supporting “research articles” are full of “might”s, “could”s, and “may”s, which is always reassuring.

The Good News

Vibration Training Now
Vibration Training Now

There does seem to be evidence that twice-daily vibrational treatments have a positive effect on bone-loss in older post-menopausal women. The explanation is that the EMF causes the bones to generate “tiny electric fields”, which “may” turn on genes that affect bone remodeling and growth.

Many studies have seen increased bone and joint healing, and recovery from maladies such as osteoarthritis, after treatments from 14 weeks up to a year, respectively.

There also appears to be a decrease in perceived pain around an injured area, possibly resulting from EMF fields causing an increase in a joint’s production of natural anti-inflammatory agents and natural growth factors.

Of greater interest is the development of neuromuscular adaptation caused by frequent applications of EMF treatment in a isolated area – biceps brachii, elbow, and knee. It would appear that vibrations stimulate adaptations via a different pathway than resistance training. Of course they said they same thing about EMS training as well, and we all know how the popularity of the Ab Belt has taken off in recent years.

The Bad News

While there is some evidence that EMF training can improve muscular function, I would not consider it easy or cheap to procure the equipment needed for regular treatments.

The observed improvements are also attainable via specialized resistance training.

It would appear that highly trained athletes will benefit far less from EMF training, than would untrained folks.

There is very little evidence that any form of EMF training is benefit for fat loss. Most of the applications involve bone strength, joint health, and neuromuscular adaptations.

Conclusion

If you are able to give EMF therapy a try, please drop me a line with your results. I’m always open to new ideas and training methods, but at this point I am highly skeptical that 99% of Project Swole readers would benefit from it by focusing on EMF as a primary source of training.

I am encouraged about the use of Vibrational Training to heal from injuries, to help those with degenerative bone and joint conditions, and to assist the effort to minimize the effects of osteoarthritis.

Check out Zaaz Studios for more information.

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