If you’re looking to get in shape and build muscle, you’ve likely heard about using vibration plates to enhance your workout. But how high does the frequency of a vibration plate need to be to achieve muscle gains? How does the amplitude change the benefits of whole body vibration? In this detailed blog post, we’ll delve deep into why LifetimeVibe maxes out at 15.5 hertz for your best workout outcomes.
First, it is important to understand that the main two factors that determine the effectiveness of a vibration plate are the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations. These two variables have a major impact on muscle activation, workout intensity, resistance training and overall results.
What is frequency?
Frequency, or hertz (Hz), refers to the number of times per second that a vibration or oscillation occurs. It is a measure of the number of cycles that a waveform completes in a given time period. In the context of a vibration plate, frequency refers to the number of times per second that the plate vibrates or oscillates. Higher frequency values generally mean that the plate is vibrating at a faster rate, while lower frequency values mean that the plate is vibrating at a slower rate.
What is amplitude?
Amplitude, on the other hand, refers to the strength or intensity of the vibrations. It is a measure of how far the plate moves up and down during each oscillation. Amplitude is typically expressed in millimeters (mm) or micrometers (μm). Higher amplitude values generally mean that the plate is moving a greater distance, while lower amplitude values mean that the plate is moving a smaller distance.
How do whole body vibration plates work?
With Lifetimevibe vibration plate, vibration is created through the process of oscillation, which refers to the back and forth movement of an object about a fixed point, like a see-saw. The frequency and amplitude of the oscillations can be adjusted to vary the intensity of the vibration. Higher frequencies and amplitudes will produce more intense vibrations, while lower frequencies and amplitudes will produce less intense vibrations.
Vibration plates are often used for exercise and physical therapy, as the vibrations can stimulate the muscles and promote muscle building and fat loss. By adjusting the frequency and amplitude of the oscillations, it’s possible to tailor the intensity of the vibration to suit the user’s fitness level and goals. So, frequency and amplitude are two important factors that determine the intensity of vibration.
When you stand on a vibration plate, the vibrations are transmitted to your body, causing your muscles to contract and relax rapidly. This process can help to improve muscle strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. Higher amplitude values may lead to greater muscle activation, as the muscles have to work harder to stabilize the body and maintain balance as the plate moves more vigorously. Therefore, higher amplitude values may allow for greater muscle gains, as the muscles are being challenged to a greater extent.
Some extremely high frequencies have been found by the to be dangerous, and are even regulated in workplace environments by the US Occupational Safety and Health Association. For example, extremely high frequency vibrations (e.g., 30 Hz or more) are “seven times higher than what is considered a safe threshold for even one minute of exposure each day.” (Muir J, Kiel DP, Rubin CT.)
Frequencies between 4-10hz tend to be more comfortable for massage, and lower frequencies, below 2hz, are ideal for muscle development.
Frequency and amplitude are not the only factors that can impact the effectiveness of a vibration plate workout. Another important concept to understand is the resonance effect, which occurs when the vibration frequency of the plate matches the natural frequency of the body.
The natural frequency of the body is the rate at which the body naturally vibrates or oscillates. This frequency is determined by the mass and stiffness of the body, as well as the surrounding environment.
When the vibration frequency of the plate matches the natural frequency of the body, the vibrations can be more easily transmitted to the muscles, leading to greater muscle activation and a more effective workout. This is known as the resonance effect.
Vibration plate benefits?
In addition to muscle activation and strength gains, vibration plates can also have other benefits for the body. Research suggests that whole body vibration can improve circulation, reduce muscle soreness, boost bone density and weight loss. These effects may be due to the mechanical forces exerted on the body during vibration plate exercises, which can stimulate blood flow, reduce inflammation, and increase bone density.
Vibration plate training can also help improve bone density, muscle strength and power, as well as reducing body fat in postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis, or decreased bone density, is a common concern for postmenopausal women due to the decline in estrogen levels that occurs during this time. Weight-bearing exercises, such as those performed on a vibration plate, have been shown to improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
It’s important to note that vibration plate training should be used as part of a well-rounded exercise program that includes a combination of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. Vibration plates can be valuable tools for improving muscle strength, reducing body fat, improving bone density, and improving balance and coordination for participants of all ages.
Why does LifetimeVibe max out at 15.5 hertz?
As shown by the research, whole body vibration is most effective for your body’s overall health when it oscillates using less extreme hertz at a higher amplitude. From our personal experience, our clients do not like to experience frequencies faster than 15.5 hertz. Most users prefer between 4-10 hertz, when they have the easy adjustable LifetimeVibe knob to change speed to wherever they like.
Users who try extremely fast frequencies on other machines tend to quit those speeds as quickly as possible because they are so uncomfortable and even painful in the skull and neck. In fact, research has shown high speed vibrations over 30hz can be dangerous and harmful for more than 1 minute each day.
In one study, subjects were asked to stand on the high-frequency Powerplate, for example: “The test was briefly attempted with straight legs, but caused immediate discomfort in several volunteers and was abandoned.” That study warns: “it must be concluded that even brief exposure to such WBV levels may be extremely dangerous, particularly in the aged, adolescent, or infirm, and to a range of physiologic systems.”19, 20
While Lifetimevibe frequencies stay in the safer ranges, it also has a much higher amplitude than many competitors, with the ability to reach 14mm on the athletic model and 10mm on the classic model. When you have more amplitude, you do not need or want to use a higher frequency.
LifetimeVibe maxing out at 15.5 hertz reduces risk of injury and allows the oscillating vibration to mimic the body’s natural exercise movements of walking and therefore is less jarring on the joints. This provides a more natural exercise benefit that is healthier and better for the whole body overall. It also feels good and is more enjoyable.
It’s also much more comfortable and enjoyable for the user, so the machine gets much more use. More details on differences between lifetimevibe and competitors, with the difference between oscillating and vertical vibration can be found here.
Liao LR, Huang M, Lam FM, Pang MY. Effects of whole-body vibration therapy on body functions and structures, activity, and participation poststroke: a systematic review. Phys Ther. 2014 Sep;94(9):1232-51. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20130366. Epub 2014 May 1. PMID: 24786940.
Stania M, Juras G, Słomka K, Chmielewska D, Król P. The application of whole-body vibration in physiotherapy – A narrative review. Physiol Int. 2016 Jun 1;103(2):133-145. doi: 10.1556/036.103.2016.2.1. PMID: 28639859.