Posts Tagged ‘Handlebars’

Vibration Training – Obesity and Morbid Obesity – THE RESULTS

August 7th, 2011

Back in May 2009, I read a press release reporting amazing results of a scientific study completed by the European Association for the Study of Obesity. This controlled study was performed at the Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium.

They stated: vibration exercise machines may help you lose weight and trim the particularly harmful belly fat from the organs. Participants of the study who were part of the vibration training group lost 11% of their body weight and retained their loss at 10.5% after 12 months. They lost an amazing 47 square centimeters of visceral fat maintaining that loss at the final follow up”.

I was very excited because the study results were verification of what we were seeing on a daily basis at Vibra-Train. We already confidently told new clients they would start to see a decrease in their waist and belly size after just three weeks of training (9-10 sessions). We warned them that initially their weight might increase due to increases in muscle mass but that they’d see small discernable change in their shape; and then it would just get better and better. And they told us we were right – it really worked!

Then along came the detractors – they reminded me that the press release was an early report and the study had not yet been peer reviewed. They said I should wait for all the information before I jumped up and down with glee. They were sure it wouldn’t all add up, when you consider that gyms have been running “weight-loss challenges” for what seems like forever. They told me the gym based group must have performed better than vibration training group; their trainers were the ones with all the experience of working with obese clients and, besides, these naysayers, thought vibration training was a fad, just like a fashion that’s popular for a short period of time and then fades away.

There were some outspoken, highly respected fitness trainers, who had never tried a vibration machine session and refused to, when it was offered, yet they held very strong views on why it couldn’t work – they couldn’t understand it, they didn’t want to even try it, yet they argued about it. They told me the study would be flawed, because it didn’t validate their training methods (gym and outdoor exercise) above using a ‘wobble machine’ (to even call a vibration platform a wobble machine showed how little they really understood).

Then a year later, April 2010, the fully reviewed study was released

It was published in ‘Obesity Facts – The European Journal of Obesity Vol 3’.

No one could argue against the full study – the results were in; visceral (belly) fat reduced the most in the Vibration Training plus Diet group compared with the Fitness plus Diet group.

For the study they used PowerPlate brand, medium energy lineal vibration machines. These machines are lower force than the Vibra-Train brand I work with and this made the results even more exciting.

Here was the proof of the claims we were making and the results we were seeing every week; the academic world vindicated us. Vibration Training on high energy lineal or, as in the study, on medium energy lineal, Vibration Machines was proven to be very effective in achieving fat loss.

Another year ahead, now July 2011

Currently I am training three very obese clients. The first is a guy who has muscular dystrophy. He uses the Vibra-Train machine that has side, vibrating handlebars. He was totally unused to regular exercise although he told me he has been a referee for cricket games in the past and his aim was to lose enough weight to do this job again. That’s his motivation; it’s what is driving him to come into the studio regularly, three times a week.

In just two months he has progressed from managing just one special, 60-second, side handlebar assisted squat position to now completing nine of these special, “ski the slopes” assisted squats. On Monday he moves onto the regular program.

Vibra-Train Vibra MachineTo help understand how hard repeating the “ski the slopes” squat position is; I can only do seven of these back-to-back before my quads and my arm muscles feel such a burn that I have to stop for a long rest before completing the final two of the set.  We use this progression, going from just one minute of this simple, aptly named “Ski the Slopes” position moving up to nine of the same, and then the person moves onto the full IVTRB Safety Program, using the side, vibrating handlebars to assist in holding all squat positions.

The facts and figures of my client’s progress: Over the eight week period he’s been doing the therapy program of assisted squats he has progressed from one squat position to nine of the same; he’s gained 2kg of muscle (this is generally thought to be impossible for people with muscular dystrophy); he has lost 2kg of fat; and has 2% less body fat overall (measurements taken by Body Composition Analyser (BCA Machine) at first session and after 8 weeks of therapy). He can now move on from therapy, onto the full fitness training program.

The second client I am working with is a morbidly obese woman. She started on a therapy program about six weeks ago. Her program started at the most basic – she sat in a chair with her feet on the edge of the machine, with a mat on the machine to prevent her feet slipping. The angle of her knees/legs was the same as the basic squat position, around 110 degrees. Three times a week she did a total of 9 minutes therapy, just simply sitting with her feet on the machine. This provides sufficient stimulation to the legs and buttocks to move fluid accumulation and improve blood circulation. This is all about saving the client’s life! After a month this lady told me how much difference this had made. She said she was able to walk easier, with less of a stoop; she felt very much “better” and so had become more active. She was better able to participate in her family life and as she had a large extended family this was really important. In a very real sense she has been given her life back.

After just one week away due to a family bereavement this client came back for her regular session and told me she was again starting to experience difficulty walking – just one weekthat’s all it took for her to lose some of the gains she’d made. She does travel often to visit family so she is hoping not to have too many breaks from her therapy sessions.

Last week she progressed to using the machine for one 60-second side handlebar assisted squat after her seated session. That’s the next step; she’s moving on!

My third client is a guy who is very morbidly obese. He is, by far, the biggest of the three and his sessions are absolutely about getting his legs moving again. He has fluid pooled in his legs and probably in other parts of his body also. If it pools around his heart he will die unless there is some solid medical intervention and as things are now he is already in a serious way for other medical problems, suddenly, at any time. He’s told us several of his relatives have died from obesity related conditions. So, he’s very motivated.

It’s nonsensical telling someone as big as this man to go for a walk or a run – they can’t, yet that’s the advice the fitness industry often gives. By contrast, Vibration Therapy and Training (at specialised studios such as Vibra-Train) offers a safe, effective way to mobilise these people, in some cases to truly save their lives. It’s up to them, really – the method is there and it’s been proven effective both subjectively and in the controlled study (noted above). What they have to do is simply turn up, three times a week, and do the sessions. Then later, when able, move onto the harder, regular training program and keep doing it.

Here in Auckland, New Zealand there are studios offering free or sponsored sessions for morbidly obese people, there really is no excuse!

It’s not too hard – it starts off too easy; later it does become very hard but that’s the price we all have to accept for fitness and health.

This very obese client has also progressed from sitting in a chair in front of the machine for 3x 3 minutes (9 minutes total) to the side vibrating handlebar assisted “ski the slopes” squat position. Last time he was in I saw him do three of these. In total that was around 7,500 rapid movements. This amount of pressure into his leg, trunk and arm muscles will bring a rapid improvement to his overall condition.

In fact this degree of improvement has been so appreciated by the people in one situation where Vibra-Train has a machine available for use by obese and immobile people that the nurse supervising their sessions has been forced to lock the door to the room the vibration machine is in. Sessions are held every second day (three times a week) with a day for rest and recovery inbetween but these people not realising how important that recovery day is, were trying to use the machine every day – they were so amazed at the results and totally happy to put in the effort to get more.

Meeting a Low Speed Pivotal Vibration Machine Salesman who wanted to be educated

June 19th, 2011

I started writing this article on a flight; returning from an extended weekend in Sydney, Australia visiting my son.  We went to several large shopping malls and indulged in lots of shopping as it was Sales time.

Taking a train to Parramatta, an hour trip out of Central Sydney I’d barely begun my degradation into sales mode when I saw a stand in the walkway with a guy selling exercise equipment.  My son, Brad, pointed out a vibration machine so I walked over to see what type it was.  The salesman asked me if I was interested and had I used one before.  He was a really nice guy so I wasn’t going to let him do a sales talk, I told him right away that I worked as an instructor with high energy lineal machines.  He actually seemed relieved and asked me to tell him about them as he’d only recently learnt that there were others than the type he was selling.

We talked for about an hour, a time really well spent as this salesman who could have insisted his machine did everything that anyone could want or need, instead wanted to be educated.  He even asked about the machine he was selling which was a home machine, quite expensive (but aren’t they all). It was a low speed pivotal (side to side motion) and definitely not the worst I’ve trialled.  The sales guy said he was using the machine at home and wanted to know how to use it effectively to get the best results possible. He could see the possibilities of Vibration Training for fitness and weight-loss but no one had even told him how to use the machines he was supposed to be selling.

The salesman was a bit overweight so I first pointed out that the machine was barely coping and he’d do better on a higher quality machine.  We then went on to talk about poses that can be used. (there was a poster on the wall with about 30 positions many of which were a bit like yoga and totally impossible and impractical for either me or the guy to attempt).  I went through the IVTRB Safety program with him, using the pivotal version and we discussed the speeds/frequencies to set the machine for each pose.  I was able to actively demonstrate most of them.

We then used my son’s large screen cellphone to watch the YouTube video of Lloyd Shaw’s work-out – again it’s the IVTRB Safety Program but with a few extra poses, using the Vibra-Train lineal machine with side vibrating handlebars. David, the sales guy, was getting excited and then watching the Full Body Triceps Dip position using side handlebars he realised there was no way to translate this to anything that could be done on his machine.  He now wants a Vibra-Train brand Lineal machine.  We even had a talk about how Vibra-Train now lease machines for commercial use.  I really felt a little sorry for him – he saw what was possible and now he wants it and I’m sure he went home that night to talk to his wife about a trip to Auckland to try out the whole program.

I continued with my shopping but I’d lost interest; instead I was “buzzing”, excited that I’d been able to help someone learn a little more about vibration machines and how to use them. And very happy to have met a salesman who, instead of pretending he already “knew it all” wanted to extend his knowledge.

Vibration Training Instructors

August 10th, 2010

In my last post I reported having many new customers coming into the Vibra-Train studio where I work.  This can make my day very exciting and also challenging as I instruct these new users and put them through The Safety Program, introducing them to safe and effective Pure Vibration Training and answering any questions they have.  I like to leave them with a great impression of what training on high-force, lineal machines can do for them – increasing their fitness and toning their body, along with strength increases and maybe fat-loss and much more, depending on what the person needs. The benefits are too many to list in one sentence!

We often talk about the different machine types and brands available and the Vibra-Train difference.

I worked on Sunday, and two new customers had specific back injuries that required me to make decisions about their ability to follow the standard safety program.  I have the option of giving them fully assisted (side vibrating handlebars) squats so that their lower back, hips, knees and ankles have even more support and allowing them work through the whole program; or, if necessary, they can do only the side handlebar assisted squats, that’s if their medical condition or severity of injury suggests they will be unable to do the regular program.

I have to make the choice.  I’ve gained experience in this and I can always refer back to Lloyd Shaw, the owner of Vibra-Train if I am really unsure but he expects me to be competent in this by now.  Sometimes I wait and and then decide  from how well they handle Position 1 – The Basic Squat – getting them to use the side handlebars instead of front ones, but even before that very first first position, I’ll be thinking and deciding as they’ve filled in a questionaire and we’ll have discussed their health or injury concerns.

Confidence is the thing –  I can make the right decisions for these customers.  I can decide if they can follow a Training program or is they need to start with Vibration Therapy.  It’s really not hard to decide!  I err on the side of caution but I don’t want to send a customer away disappointed because they could have done more.

Vibra-Train Vibra MachineSo, yesterday’s customers – one had a severe lower back problem and had expected to have surgery but was declined by our national accident insurance system.  Despite her injury being the result of an accident there was an element of degenerative plus overuse issues.  She was hoping her private medical insurance would help pay for the needed surgery and told me she was currently unable to lift up and carry her 18 month old toddler.  It was quickly obvious that she was not able to work through the full program so she did a simple set of side handlebar assisted squats and will come back in few days to tell us how she felt afterwards and then we may increase what she does – She did Vibration Therapy.

The other customer with lower back and knee pain arrived later in the day.  Her injuries resulted from years of working in childcare squatting on the floor while she played with children and picking them up from the ground.  I thought she would be able to do the full Safety Program using the side handlebars for support in the squat positions.  Then as my boss walked into the studio I decided to ask his advice.  Lloyd (my boss) took over and put the customer through the program and I observed.  She did the full program – Vibration Training. I noticed she was putting her body weight onto her toes not balanced onto heels and toes.  This was what was causing her back and knee pain as it was the way she regularly squatted down when playing with young children.  Lloyd pointed this out to her and told her how much she would benefit from the Vibra-Train Safety Program; with an instructor supervising her sessions she would quickly learn to keep her heels down and take the pressure off her knees, also keeping her back neutral and relaxed.

I love it when I see Vibration Training giving such benefits that will change a young person’s life so dramatically. I’m excited to be able to watch this new customer’s progress.

Disabilities and Vibration Machines in the Studio

February 18th, 2010

Some of the customers at the Vibra-Train studio where I work have disabilities.  No, I don’t just mean they don’t listen when I instruct them or forget the poses from one session to the next I mean they have real physical and/or mental disabilities and they come in two or three times a week (same as other customers) to workout on the vibration machines or to do a vibration therapy session.

One of these customers has been very regular lately, coming three times each week no matter if he’s feeling well or having a “bad” day where he can barely get out of bed.  On Wednesday he came into the studio very slowly, stooped over and saying he hadn’t come the previous day as he’d been too unwell but he didn’t want to miss his session so he’d come in today despite quite bad muscle aches from his condition.

While I can feel some empathy I didn’t dwell on his illness instead telling him firmly, “Okay, now get onto the machine and let’s do your work-out”.

Later he thanked me and said that’s the reason he’d come in despite feeling very achy.  He knew he’d get no special treatment or allowances from me but would be expected to do the Safety Program to the best of his ability.  In his case he is only able to do a Basic Squat position supported by holding onto the side handlebars of the Level 2 Vibra machine.  Because of his condition he can’t always manage the 60 seconds of the squat so we do as long as he can hold the position perfectly with three repeats.  This means he drives his car or gets someone else to drive him 20km across town for just three times 30-60 second squats.

What does this tell you?  Obviously Vibration Therapy is working for him.

And yesterday he thanked me for pushing him so hard, for expecting him to put in his best effort and for not dwelling on what he can’t do but on what he can.  He’s come to understand that he will feel discomfort during the squats on the machines but that this is no different to what every customer feels.  In many ways he’s simply a regular customer. And the bonus of expecting his best effort yesterday, he asked for and was able to do a fourth squat position instead of the three he normally does.  He left feeling fatigued but mentally enlivened, knowing he’d have to rest for a few hours but would feel more flexible and alert the next day.  This is the benefit for him, not a cure but a way to strengthen weakened muscles and a path to improved overall fitness physically and mentally.

Older Women and Vibration Machines with Side Handle Bars

August 14th, 2009

It feels like spring in New Zealand as the air temperature has risen and we’ve had blue skies this week.  Alas, it’s only August and there’s more cold and wet weather ahead before we get to enjoy the long balmy days of summer.

This week has seen an lot of newcomers coming into the studio for their first free trial visit and some of these have been older women.  These women tell me their reasons for coming in; improved mobility, fat-loss, fitness and general well-being.  Some say they want to ensure their bones remain strong and prevent osteoporosis.  It’s exciting to get these women into the studio as they are usually not sports oriented but have lived active lives and now having slowed down a little they recognise the need to rebuild fitness or they simply want to keep the muscle strength they already have.

Ski The Slopes Vibra-TrainI feel privileged to work for Vibra-Train as we have a vibration platform that’s perfect for these women to use.  It’s called the Vibra (or Vibra-Train) and as well as the platform having upward vibration it has vibrating  side handlebars.  This machine’s handlebars were specifically designed for people who find it difficult to hold a 110 degree angled squat position.  By holding the side handlebars users are able to push down with their arms to take some pressure off the quad muscles (the thighs) while  more easily holding their body in the correct squat position.  » Read more: Older Women and Vibration Machines with Side Handle Bars

Vibration Training for people with disabilities

June 23rd, 2009

A mother and her adult son are frequent visitors to the vibration training studio where I work.

For the mother it’s a chance to have just a little time-out while doing her work-out as I work with her son.  Mother gains all the benefits of vibration training on the level 2 high force platform named the Bullet while her son uses the platform that has side handlebars.

It’s a slow process as Jack (name changed to protect identity) walks across the room taking in his suroundings.  He’s very tall and sometimes walks with a slight stoop.  An obsession with spaceships and travel makes for interesting, if sometimes a little incoherant, conversation.  When he reaches the machine he steps up very slowly and deliberately and gets into position to do an assisted squat; assisted as he uses the side handlebars to help support his weight, taking some of the pressure of his hips and legs, and also helping him stay in position as his disabilities make him less able.

Jack is easy to work with and is able to do about half of the regular program.  He tries to get into each position correctly and I take care to be slow and careful with him, talking to him as I know he understands me even though he babbles on about other things some days.  He likes to look over at the reception desk and is interested in the computer screen.

When he finishes his workout on the lineal vibration machine including as many repeats of the assisted squat as he is able and willing to do, some times three or four, Jack walks back across the room, this time holding his head up high and his body more upright, and he then stands on a small pivotal platform for 5-10 minutes.  This also helps with his posture and walking ability and his mother told me that the program overall is helping deter nocturnal enuresis.

Vibration Training and Therapy is very helpful for Jack.

I was a test dummy and I’m so excited!

January 25th, 2009

dreamstime_968714A few days ago I was privileged to try out a test machine,

a pivotal vibration machine with vibrating handlebars.

It was very smooth. Standing upright on it I didn’t felt like I was moving at all – a big plus for me as I’ve never liked the see-saw motion of pivotal machines.

And, It could be made to give more sensation by using varied frequencies.

The best part though was the Vibrating Handlebars.  I currently have nerve and muscle injury to both arms, left one is worse and I can’t lift it above my head. The vibrations from this test pivotal vibration machine felt so good in my arms awakening sensation and relieving pain.  This is not a usual feature of pivotal machines where the vibrations barely reach up to the hips when standing on the machine.

This machine would be ideal in a Physical Therapists office and, maybe one day, in Vibration Studios.

(Pic  © www.dreamstime.com)