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I’m 30 seconds into the squat exercise on Power Plate’s My7, and my thighs are burning so intensely that I have to look down to see if they’ve spontaneously combusted. As I drop my head, Brian Nguyen, who trained Mark Wahlberg for the movies Invincible, Fighter, Lone Soldier, and Pain and Gain, yells, “Head up, butt out: keep those glutes engaged!” And I still have 30 more seconds to go.
The newest member of the Power Plate family, the My7 has the same software and hardware as its commercially oriented big brothers, but with a smaller platform geared towards the home gym (the company also has an in-office model specifically geared toward correcting the problems of sitting, the My7 Fitstop). The machine vibrates at 30-50 times per second, engaging up to 80 percent of your body just to compensate. That vibration, together with the exercise programs on the LCD touchscreen, makes you work harder to maintain stability. As Nguyen explained, the vibration technology “sheds light on the shadows,” exposing muscle weaknesses and forcing you to correct them by engaging those muscles. A Power Plate workout circuit could include push-ups, squats, bicep curls, and overhead presses, all performed while standing on or leaning on the vibrating plate. Rather than counting repetitions, the machine times each exercise, which led to that burning feeling in my quads.
So why would you choose Power Plate over a more traditional regimen? The real benefit is for people who can’t devote large chunks of time to working out. You can do a single set of exercises when you have 3 to 4 minutes to spare, working most of the body’s muscle systems in a very short period of time, and repeat this process several times throughout the day. But the My7 isn’t perfect: Although the workout is intense, this is not a substitute for either regular cardio or heavy weight training. But for $7,999, you get a solid machine, with over 250 integrated workout routines that activate and exercise most of your body. We recommend keeping a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case the burn gets too intense.
From $7,999; powerplate.com for more info.