High Intensity Debate
by David Howatson-Begg
One of the hottest topics of discussion among Power Plate trainers at the moment is the balance of intensity when using vibration. When should we use High Frequency and Amplitude vs Low Frequency and Amplitude? Should we workout at high intensity and if so how often?! The conversation usually poses more questions than answers.
The debate on exercise quantity and volume is heating up across the fitness world. A recent study conducted by Penn State University and the research team at Les Mills looked at the effects of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in order to provide a guide on how often we should perform this type of session. In an industry where HIIT is always near the top of the list of trending exercise modalities the results of this study will be sobering for many people. The research results suggest that we should only be performing 30-40 minutes of HIIT per week. Any additional time spent at this intensity (90% of our maximum heart rate and above) reduces the positive effects of HIIT.
This research could have a great effect on your Power Plate workout. Many people are advocates of an intense 30-minute session but how many times per week are these types of sessions being performed? Is the heart rate close to its peak for more than the advised 30-40 minutes? It’s important to balance that HIIT workout with less demanding days across your weekly training schedule. Balance out that hard 30 minutes with a recovery day, some low level cardio or a period of simple strength work.
Quick Tip: Monitor Heart Rate to help gauge intensity and allow adequate recovery time. Take at least 10-15 minutes to cool down on Power Plate post HIIT.
When Is Higher Better?
Working at a high frequency (35-40Hz on Power Plate) or high amplitude during the warm up phase of certain activities can be extremely beneficial. For example, short bursts of stimulation on those higher settings activate specific deep lying receptors in the feet. Performing preparatory movements for running for short periods (30 seconds or less) on a higher setting could be beneficial due to those deep mechanoreceptors responding to high frequency. Similarly, when activating muscular tissue before a heavy lifting session, there is merit in warming up on a low setting before performing a short period of bodyweight movements such as squats on a higher setting.
Additionally, the well-known circulatory benefits of using Power Plate are a huge plus for those looking to up their intensity. Exercising at greater than 70% of maximum heart rate is a great way to boost cardio fitness and, due to the speed of vibration, Power Plate can get users up to that level quickly and safely. Post workout it's clear that a higher frequency and amplitude will drive more nutrient rich, oxygen rich blood to the parts of the body in contact with the platform. As long as there are no contraindications and the user is medically cleared there is scope for dabbling in some high intensity or higher set frequencies and amplitudes.
In our next article we'll highlight the flip side of the discussion and look into the pros and cons of low intensity work. Do the benefits of low frequencies outweigh those of higher settings? The debate continues.