Thursday, 26 February 2009

Power Plate Prescription

“Lets do it!” Mr. Muscles invitingly proclaimed, after exchanging friendly hellos when I walked into the Verve Studio, tucked into a discrete corner of the second floor at Stamford House. 

“Hmm,” I thought, that was a lovely if somewhat cheeky start to what was going to be a 45-minute session try-out of Power Plate®, a much raved about workout touted for people on-the-go. The workout itself takes 45 minutes to complete, but translates into a two-and-a-half-hour intense traditional workout at the gym. Before we began, I made a mental note that it would honestly take a lot more for me to shed the 2 kilos resulting from the recent Chinese New Year binging, not to mention the other 6 kilos piled on from living in the foodie haven that is Hong Kong. 

“Wait,” I said. “We can’t do anything as I have forgotten my gym shoes!” I sighed, in a desperate ploy to delay the inevitable. Mr. Muscles grinned, saying: “Don’t worry, you don’t need them!” as he led me to the Power Plate® machine, which incidentally looks like a larger version of an old fashioned weighing scale but with far more gadgetry and a large rubber plate at its base. There, for the next 45 minutes, Mr. Muscles (trainer Dylan Huan) initiated me into the trials and tribulations of a workout system that celebs like Madonna, Cher, Elle MacPherson and Claudia Schiffer swear by.

Power Plate® works on acceleration training and you are tasked to hold your body in certain positions (not unlike yoga and Pilates) for a 60-second period each time on a vibrating plate that is part of the machine. We started off with a simple squat position (arms stretched out and legs in a standing squat position), which I held onto while the plate I was standing on vibrated. It seemed easy enough for the first minute, but when you move on to other positions like a push-up position (elbows resting on the plate, legs on the ground below) while the plate vibrates, 60 seconds can feel like forever.

In whatever position it assumes on that vibrating plate, your body is forced to perform reflexive muscle actions at 25 to 50 times per second just to balance itself in order to hold that pose. The science of the machine is simple: Remember Isaac Newton’s law of motion that states that the force of an object is equal to the mass multiplied by acceleration? At certain points of the workout, the force of gravity almost makes you feel that your body “weighs” more -- especially as the acceleration forces increase.
Your body ends up struggling to balance itself or hold the position, working against the “load” of gravity, in every small movement that you perform.

Acceleration trainers, as they are called, apparently undergo a special training programme to customize a set routine for each different individual based on his or her strengths and weaknesses. According to Dylan, who was too polite to say more than he could have, I needed a whole lot of things done.

At the end of the 45-minute session, I could actually feel my muscles throbbing (just the way they would after weight training). The cooling down part was the best bit, ending with what Dylan called a “massage”. Sounds promising? This involves the trainer pressing down gently on the back of your legs or back (whichever part of your aching body is held against the plate), which is set at a lower vibration speed (without you holding a pose). “Hmm,” I concluded silently, “I could like this bit a whole lot.”

My verdict: A very interesting workout experience that doesn’t get you into a huge massive sweat, unlike a cardio session at the gym. Some people believe that you have to sweat to lose weight and that’s why serious workout enthusiasts use Power Plate® to supplement their once-a-week gym session, Dylan explained. I would definitely go back!

The guided sessions are S$85 for a single, 45-minute Power Plate® session, S$75 per session if you take a package of 10 sessions, and S$65 per session for a package of 20 sessions. Ideally done two to three times a week for best results -- that is, increased muscle strength, tone and flexibility; improved sense of balance and body co-ordination; decrease in cellulite; and better bone density.

Verve Studio is the only facility in Singapore offering this technology, as well as another machine called Hypoxi that targets fat loss in the challenging lower body region (particularly ideal for women keen to regain their figures post-pregnancy) and this only requires 30 minutes per treatment at S$150.

Check it out at:
39 Stamford Rd 
Stamford House 
#02-11 Singapore 178885
6338 1883 
(by appointment only)

by ey

We did say that some goodies would soon be coming your way! We are very proud to launch our very first WIN. All it takes is for you to be a sport and some freebies will soon be making their way to you…

Here is the deal:
The folks at Verve Studio are giving away three Simply Fabulicious packages of FIVE (45-minute) sessions (valid from 1 April to end-June 2009). These will go to the three best responses from readers who e-mail us to share what they think of this article, and why they want to try out Power Plate®.

Please e-mail us at before Friday, 27 March 2009.

They do say always to read the fine print as the devil is in the detail, and so the catch to this one is that if you are one of the three lucky winners, at the end of your five sessions, you MUST share your experience in a short paragraph or two, which should be e-mailed to us by 1 July 2009 to the same e-mail address as above.

We believe in sharing the love, and we would love you to share yours, on our Simply Fab page on Facebook. 


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