October 3, 2020
[00:01:05] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:38] Guest Introduction
[00:06:57] How Ben And Jason Use Vibration Plates At Home
[00:09:32] How To Use A Vibration Plate To Burn Fat
[00:19:58] Endocrine Responses To WBV
[00:24:24] How The Body Is Better Prepared For A Workout After Using A Vibration Plate
[00:31:54] Podcast Sponsors
[00:34:00] Ideal Length And Frequency Of WBV Sessions
[00:40:25] The Efficacy Of WBV On Cardiovascular Fitness
[00:47:09] The Effect Of WBV On Lymph Fluid Circulation, Improved Immunity, Etc.
[00:50:49] Research And Best Practices On Increased Recovery Potential With WBV
[01:02:03] Best Practices While Using A Vibration Plate
[01:07:31] Other Modalities That Combine Well With Vibration Plates
[01:11:52] Closing the Podcast
[01:14:38] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Jason: Whole body vibration is exercise, and we know that those who exercise have more control of their eating after the activity. You don't have to know the science of why it's working. There's enough science to say, “Yes, it does work. I hope you can perform and feel better.” What is the right dose and response, the amount of vibration, how long? Vibration has got to be part of that platform no matter how you play it from a health and fitness standpoint.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
I love learning new things and I learned a ton of new things on today's show. It's all about vibration. So, if you have always wondered whether or not those little vibration platforms actually work, you're going to learn a lot about them.
You're also going to learn something else new that I'm very excited about, and that is the fact that I have finally, after years of wanting to do this but not being able to find a good high-quality source, dialed in a decaffeinated coffee for you. That's right. My company Kion has now turned to this chemical-free mountain water process that removes 99.9% of the caffeine, which is astounding because most decaf, a lot of people don't know this, still has a ton of caffeine in it, ours doesn't. And it's the same coffee that you're used to. Meaning, at Kion, all of our coffee is mold-free, mycotoxin-free, pure, smooth, totally organic. And the good news for you, sensitive caffeine snowflakes out there, is you can get the same delicious organic specialty grade coffee without the caffeine. We just launched it. It's flying off the shelves like hotcakes. So, get yours while the getting is good with 10% discount code BEN10 at getkion.com. Use code BEN10 at getkion.com. This decaf is the best I've ever tasted. I know I'm biased, but I'm still just saying.
The other interesting thing that I learned, all sorts of new things, is that a lot of people are into this anti-aging molecule called NAD. And NAD is one of those ways in which your cells get repaired, and your mitochondria are able to better produce ATP. But the other part of producing ATP is called cytochrome c oxidase. It's another component of the electron transport chain, and that one gets turned on by red light. And so, what I've been doing now when I take NAD is I go and stand in front of my red light panel because I'm hitting my mitochondria from two different angles. So, it's kind of a cool concept if you're into free energy. You don't have to take NAD, but red light therapy is a very, very cool thing to have access to.
The model that I use is I think the best one out there. It's called a Joovv. All you have to do is stand in front of it for 10 to 20 minutes to get all the red and near-infrared light benefits that have been proven in thousands of PubMed studies if you go look them up, like sexual libido and wound healing muscle recovery, skin rejuvenation, sleep, circadian rhythmicity, you name it. You get a free copy of my book “Boundless” if you get a Joovv. So, you go to J-O-O-V-V.com/ben. If you get one, try that anti-aging hack I just told you about. Take NAD and then go get in front of your red lights when you've NAD in your system. Total game changer. J-O-O-V-V.com/ben. You can use discount code BEN over there to get a free copy of my book “Boundless”. Alright, let's go talk to my vibrating guest.
Well, folks, you've probably seen it. I have the lady who's trying to lose weight at the health club, holding her 24 ounce Jamba Juice standing on a vibration platform for her weight loss regimen. Thus, I think creating a bad name in the industry for these little vibration platforms that seem to be scattered around gyms and health clubs. And for a while, I actually thought, even when I was a student in exercise physiology and biomechanics, and later on, got into personal training and managing a lot of health clubs and gyms, I actually thought they were kind of gimmicky. And then, after seeing a few research articles in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, I actually became interested in the potential for vibration, not necessarily for fat loss, although that's a topic that I want to visit today, but for performance enhancement.
And I've never actually done a podcast on vibration platforms or so-called whole-body vibration even though there are oodles of scientific articles and oodles more research behind vibration. And so, I decided to hunt down somebody who could speak intelligently to this whole realm of vibration and answer questions like, “Do they actually help you burn fat or lose weight? And what's the effects on lymph fluid, or immune health, or cardiovascular fitness, or strength, or muscle recovery? Can you stack it with other modalities?” I go to some of these biohacking facilities and they've got a vibration platform in front of some kind of a red light therapy with special air that you breathe as you're standing on it. And I really don't know if any of those type of things have actually ever been subjected to any type of research.
So, my guest today is actually a gentleman who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and cardiac rehabilitation, and also a master's in exercise physiology. He's a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the Medical Fitness Association, the Medical Wellness Association, and also serves in the advisory board for a variety of companies including Life Fitness Sports and the National Commission on the Reform of Secondary Education, the National Task Force on Citizenship Education. And he's also a guy with a long history in the realm of a whole-body vibration research. He's the Chief Scientific Officer for Performance Health Systems, and his name is Jason Conviser. And I have no clue, Jason, if I am pronouncing your last name correctly because we've just met, but is it Conviser?
Jason: Perfect. Well done.
Ben: Awesome. I'll pat myself on the back for that. Well, anyways, you've got, gosh, like over 45 different articles and scientific journals and trade publications, and you've done a lot of a lot of consulting in the realm of exercise physiology. So, I'm stoked to have you on the show.
Jason: It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.
Ben: I got to ask you because I know you're sitting in your office right now. You have your video on. Are you one of those guys who has like a vibration platform in your office?
Jason: I don't have it in the office, but I do have it just down the hallway. And I have one at home, and I have one in all of our clinics.
Ben: How do you use your one at home? I mean, honestly, we're going to get into the science and everything, but I'm just curious if you have like a go-to thing that you do with your vibration platform at home.
Jason: So, I actually have two. I have a larger unit in my basement fitness center where we use it for weightlifting, balance coordination. My kids use it because they're much more athletic than I am right now. And then, I have a smaller unit in my bedroom that when I'm reading or watching TV and just sitting on a couch, I put my feet on it or my calves because after a long day, my feet might be tired and it just rejuvenates them. So, I actually have two in the house.
Ben: That's a good idea. I never actually thought of putting the feet up on it to–I suppose it would, based on the vibration if your feet are elevated on it, cause a pretty good reaction in terms of flushing out some inflammatory products.
Jason: It's a perfect massage.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I have one of those big Power Plates out in my gym and I've certainly gone through the little posture that came along with it and laid down with my back against the vibration and also done a little bit of work on the IT bands and the hips for a sort of massage. But I tend to use mine more frequently for just like either bodyweight exercise, meaning, I'll do push-ups, squats, and even isometric holds on it. And then, I'll also use it to prime my body prior to a weight training session, like I'll do a set of bodyweight squats prior to jumping into my barbell squats, or I'll do a set of even like a bodyweight style deadlifts where I'm not actually lifting something or going through a deadlift motion before I deadlift, or I'll do a set of push-ups prior to doing a heavier press. And so, I'll primarily use mine for either priming or some type of bodyweight, or isometric program. And I've also found, interestingly enough, that if you wake up in the morning and you go stand on it, and this works with like a rebounder or a trampoline as well, it elicits a quite satisfactory morning bowel movement if you stand on that thing for about 5 to 10 minutes in the morning at some point with your cup of coffee.
Jason: That would be a pretty interesting thing to put into the marketing literature.
Ben: Yeah. Absolutely. The poop plate. Alright. Well, anyways, I actually want to start, Jason, with chatting a bit about what I brought up in my introduction because I actually wasn't joking. Like I have seen a lot of personal trainers and a lot of people who may not be working with a personal trainer kind of turn to a vibration platform as something they would stand upon as a fat loss or a weight-loss method.
And I'm just curious, what does the research say about using something like a vibration platform for actual metabolic adaptations, weight loss, increase in metabolic rate, shift in the respiratory exchange ratio, or anything that would be associated with fat burning?
Jason: Physiologically, when you're standing on or using a vibration platform, your caloric expenditure goes up. You have more muscle fibers firing, more muscle fibers firing, more caloric needs. So, absolutely, you can consider it a weight management device. However, there's a variety of different ways of thinking about it as a weight management device. For some, they might do their entire workout on a Power Plate. And whatever activities that they're going to be doing, the vibration ramps that up. It gives it a multiple so you are burning more calories, not only during the exercise, but also an extended burn after the exercise.
I don't know of many people who are standing on or using a Power Plate for an hour and a half or two hours without stopping, but that's certainly a possibility. In our clinics, what we do, we have people using the Power Plates in order to warm up and prepare and then using vibration to be part of the exercise program. So, it's additive, not singular. And when it's additive, it helps you warm up. I have very, very few injuries. For performance, it takes individuals who may be elite athletes all the way up to a 90-year-old athlete perform to their best level. And just as important, it helps them cool down. So, yes, more calories are burnt, but it also allows the body, it's like preparing the body to do what it's supposed to do, and that's exercise at the most efficient level possible.
Ben: You know, it's interesting that you bring that up related to fat loss because I came across just one article, you're likely more steeped in the research than I am when it comes to vibration, that showed that there was a pretty significant effect on visceral adipose tissue when whole-body vibration training was combined with a diet. And in this case, they compared it to aerobic training. And there was an impressive drop in visceral adipose tissue, but I couldn't wrap my head around the mechanism of action because it doesn't seem to me that the shift in metabolic rate would be that much significantly greater than what you might experience with even like steady-state endurance training. Is it some kind of a hormonal response? Is it some kind of an anti-inflammatory response? Is it like an inhibition of adipogenesis? I mean, what exactly do you think is going on in terms of the ability of something like vibration training to actually reduce body fat accumulation?
Jason: So, I don't know the specific study that you're speaking of, but there's very few activities that when you do them in isolation would be considered optimal for weight loss. And when we have our clients, and you can go to our research or our website, we're always including other forms of exercise along with vibration to get the biggest bang for the buck. Burning calories is important, but weight loss is a behavioral issue. It is a physiological cardiovascular issue, and it's a neuromuscular issue. The more muscle fibers that we can get firing, the more calories that we burn. The bigger the muscles and the stronger the muscles, the more burn that an individual has.
But a study that would say, “Just using vibration for weight loss,” I'm not sure that that's what I would recommend. It's certainly possible and it certainly could work, but from the athlete, the Olympic athlete, again all the way up to the 90-year-old athlete, it is part of a plan, part of a program that allows the body to perform optimally. From a physiological standpoint, if you look at how does it work, I always give an example of when you left your house today, you probably use the key to lock the door. And you can't get back into the house unless you use that key to get back and unlock the lock to get in the door. From a physiological standpoint, a cell needs glucose, and the glucose is the energy that the cells use. And exercise has an insulin-like or it has an action of being that same key that opens up the cell. And the literature is very solid that when you're on a Power Plate, the cells become more permeable to glucose. The glucose enters into the cell. That means that the cells and the body can then perform at a higher level. So, if you don't open up the cell, you don't have much energy and you don't have much caloric burn.
Ben: It's interesting. I was noodling on the mechanisms of action myself when it comes to fat loss, and I think that is interesting what you say about glucose, particularly, because there was one study that I came across that did show that the glucose uptake in muscle cells was actually something that occurred in response to activation of muscle spindles. And we see that, for example, with weight training. Like, if you go do squats and deadlifts and then go eat a slice of bread, your glucose response is going to be far lower in terms of the extent to which blood glucose is elevated because of the muscle spindle activation that increases glucose utilization and insulin sensitivity. But I thought it's interesting that the rapid stretch reflex that occurs in response to vibration training actually activates muscle spindles similarly.
And what I would actually like to see, and again, my dipping into the research on vibration therapy is pretty shallow, but I would love to see something like a comparison, say, in like a postprandial state of, let's say, like the Japanese or the Okinawan practice of a 15-minute postprandial stroll, which we know has a significant impact on blood glucose versus maybe wandering into your basement, flipping on the TV, and standing on your vibration platform. Obviously, someone could pretty easily do that experiment at home on themselves as an n equals one if they had something like a continuous blood glucose monitoring device. But yeah, the drop in blood glucose is interesting. I didn't expect that there'd be that type of glycemic response.
And then, I think the other interesting thing, really there's two other interesting things, the endocrine response, and I want to ask you a little bit more about the endocrine response in terms of whether we see something like testosterone or a growth hormone response or something like that to whole-body vibration training, but the thing they did see in some rodents was an increase in leptin sensitivity. And so, another thought pattern I had, and I don't know what you think about this, is that there would be a potential for increased satiation and appetite regulation in the hours following a whole-body vibration if you are seeing an increase in leptin sensitivity. If we could indeed say that if it's occurring in rodent models, it's occurring in humans. Have you seen anything when it comes to appetite response the rest of the day after a whole-body vibration?
Jason: First of all, the logic that you just put forward has been demonstrated in numerous articles. So, your spot on whole-body vibration is exercise. And we know that those who exercise in general have more control of their eating after the activity. It's no different in the animal model that you just described as with humans.
Ben: Interesting. Okay. And then, the last thing that I thought was kind of notable when it comes to this fat loss piece is that we know if you're in a state of fight and flight, or you've activated the sympathetic nervous system, there's an innervation in white adipose tissue that triggers lipolysis. Kind of like what we see in something like cold therapy, that shift of white adipose tissue to brown fat and a triggering or release of fatty acids into the bloodstream, which is also why I think you see such a drop in blood glucose in response to something like cold therapy. Well, there are some studies on the effects in terms of the nervous system response to whole-body vibration, and it does appear it's a shift in the direction of sympathetic nervous system innervation. And so, that also might be contributing to this lipolysis piece is this idea that an increase in fat burning from a nervous system standpoint is occurring, which when paired with hormonal appetite regulation, and also the uptake of glucose into cells, does create almost like this trilogy that dictates that maybe I shouldn't have been snickering back in the day when I was seeing people stand on a vibration platform to lose weight. It seems like there might be actually something to it.
Jason: It's not my area of expertise, but the physiological logic that you just described is spot on. We deal with elite athletes, Olympians, Olympic medal recipients, all the way up to 90, 92-year-old, I consider them athletes trying to be the very best that they can be. So, how they use vibration may be different. Somebody who is average mom or dad who's in 40, 50, or 60 may use vibration differently than an elite performer who's using it to activate the muscle to prepare for a very specific moment in time so they can become a better athlete. That little hair that gets you from fifth, sixth, seventh place to podium, they may not be using it from a weight management standpoint as someone who has 20, 30, 40 pounds to deal with, but the body physiologically handles it the same the same way.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And I certainly want to get into some of the performance implications, but to dive into this rabbit hole just a little bit more, I had mentioned the leptin and appetite regulatory response to whole-body vibration, and that being indeed a favorable response.
But are there any other significant endocrine responses that you're aware of, whether it'd be growth hormone or testosterone, or anything like that in response to whole-body vibration?
Jason: Yeah. The big one is GH, is growth hormone. And the literature is solid that growth hormone increases with certain dose responses of vibration. What the literature is not clear is how much for each individual do they need, 5 minutes of exposure, 10, 15 minutes of exposure? That they're still being worked out, but the fact that growth hormone increases with vibration, that's solid, take it to the bank. And when you have increases in growth hormone, good things happen. The second, cortisol, and I'm a big believer that if we can find ways of controlling the cortisol release, the better off my clients are, whether they're going to be Olympians or whether they're on the other end of the spectrum.
Cortisol by itself is not a problem. Excessive amounts of cortisol, that's the problem. And when we're exercising at a high level, whatever our athletic and performance abilities are, cortisol is released. And with vibration, we know that cortisol is held constant or decreased, and that's a big deal. It's a big deal in terms of how we recover so that we can do more on a particular day. And it's also important how we recover two, three days later. A story that I think is interesting, we started looking at the Beijing Olympics. And if you can think about the swimmers like Michael Phelps, 17 races in seven days, 14 world records. So, here's a guy who is swimming at the very top of his game, and it's not so much that he was faster than everyone. I think you'll be able to say that he was recovering better than everyone. And the fact that he could recover so much faster, and I don't have his particular data, but I would bet the money in my wallet that it was the control of cortisol that he was able to recover so well and be able to perform at a high level an hour or two hours later.
Ben: Interesting. Yeah, but by the way, for those of you who are listening in to this episode, I will link to a really big episode that we did on cortisol with Dr. Craig Koniver if you want to take a deeper dive into the benefits of certain levels of it in an exercise scenario, but kind of the law of diminishing returns in terms of its elevation. And so, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vibrate, that's where the shownotes are going to be for this episode. So, if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vibrate, I'll link to everything Jason and I discuss including that interview with Craig Koniver on cortisol if you want to take a deeper dive into that.
And that's very interesting on growth hormone. I know that some people's spidey senses go up when they hear growth hormone because these days, especially amongst the folks who are doing a lot of fasting, trying to control mTOR activation, and attempting to keep IGF levels and growth hormone levels, kind of that sweet spot that might not be too anabolic or that might allow them to have some type of anti-carcinogenic effect, the significance of an increase in growth hormone might be problematic. And a little tip that I can give folks, I mentioned this on a podcast I think several months ago, is that one of the main things you need to focus on is not necessarily limiting growth hormone, or even limiting IGF-1 to a certain extent, but instead increasing your actual receptor sensitivity to growth hormone.
And it turns out that when I looked into the different ways to do this, one very interesting molecule kept popping up over and over again. That was quercetin. Quercetin, which you can buy in supplemental form or you find in foods like apples, red onions, et cetera. It dysregulates a little bit of that IGf-1 signaling and increases growth hormone receptor sensitivity. So, if you were engaged in an activity that would cause this big dump in growth hormone, or even taking something like, let's say, growth hormone peptides or something like that, then including quercetin in your supplementation protocol might actually be a good idea and could even be potentially paired with something like whole-body vibration. That's really interesting though in terms of the testosterone, growth hormone, and the cortisol response, and then also the leptin response, Jason.
That being said, the performance is something you've alluded to a few times here, and that's something that I mentioned that I was familiar with in terms of my initial exposure to the benefits of whole-body vibration, was using it as a primer to prepare muscles for subsequent activity such as lifting or sprinting. Now, what exactly is going on when you stand on a whole body vibration or do like a bodyweight version of the exercise that you're about to go do such as a squat on a vibration platform? How is it that the body is being better prepared to take on the activity in which you're about to engage in such as a sprint or a squat or a deadlift, for example?
Jason: That's the quintessential question. So, I'm going to answer it two ways. The first, how I answered it pre-COVID when I was teaching a junior high class for a friend, a science class, I said, “If you take a rubber band and you pull that rubber band two, three, four inches apart and let go, it has a snap to it. A certain amount of energy is created just by letting go. And so, it has potential energy when you're pulling that rubber band. And when you let go, it has a certain amount of force. If you take that same rubber band and pull it an inch, two inches, three inches further, it still has potential energy, but when you let go, it has significantly more force that can be applied.” And when we take vibration with muscles for warming up, the whole idea is how do we quickly and safely get muscles loose and pliable so they can fire at the optimal level? So, the first thing with vibration is that the muscles are prepared for activation, and that's something again the elite athlete to the 90-year-old, to the guy or gal who's going for a workout leaving their house, to that person who's training to get their personal record. It prepares the body. It prepares the muscles safely in order to perform. That's a big deal.
Ben: Is that due to like increased neuronal recruitment? They talk about, for example, like there's this device called the Halo, which is like a head-worn transdirect cranial stimulation device that claims to increase your neuronal recruitment for any exercises that you might do afterwards. And I'm curious if that's primarily what's going on here is a nervous system effect or if it's something else.
Jason: Vibration has a three-prong approach. There is a neural adaptation, both at the acute level and the chronic level. So, you get some immediate benefit, as well as when you're using vibration for extended periods of time, you have an extended and enlarged neural adaptation. That's important. The second is you have a sensory-motor adaptation, both at the acute and at the chronic level. And then, the third is the muscular adaptation. So, yes, the body adapts. It adapts at acute or immediate levels. So, if you want to just be a weekend warrior and you want to go out safely and exercise, you got it. And if you're at the elite level and you want to be able to high jump, trying to reach for eight-foot high jump, you darn well better pre-activate and prepare the muscles for firing. So, neurologically, we want more cells to fire. We want more motor units to fire. A whole-body vibration slam dunk. The literature is clear that it does that.
The second is that sensory part is that we have to practice these movements over and over again. One of the finest athletes in the world that I've ever known is a gymnast. She's in a different class by herself. And just couple months ago, she was asked to throw a baseball out at a baseball game and it appeared that she would be able to throw a baseball to save her life, and yet she may be one of the finest athletes in the world. So, part of vibration allows a sensory-motor adaptation of learning how to fire in sequence so that you can do better. It's not just being stronger, having more force, it's having that sequence of how the muscle fires. And then, that third part is the muscle adaptation. It's not just getting the muscles firing, but getting them thicker, stronger, more durable. And if your listeners need an analogy, go to the kitchen and pull out a box of spaghetti. Hold on to that spaghetti in one big bundle, and that's what a muscle looks like. And imagine now if we took each of those pieces of spaghetti and made them bigger, thicker, the muscle is able to perform much better. It has more capacity. So, neurologically, sensory muscle adaptation, all three are game-changers when you're using vibration.
Ben: Now, possibly, a little bit of a rabbit hole here, but when you're talking about the neurological effect, it gets me a little bit curious about footwear because we know that big built-up rubber-soled shoes would inhibit a little bit of the proprioceptive nature of how you might sense the vibration coming up through the body, if these were like a standing activity on the platform. Do you know if it's important to, for example, be, say, barefoot versus shod, or if the footwear should be taken into consideration here when it comes to how you're approaching that especially for something like priming the body prior to strength training or sprinting?
Jason: You ask good questions. I'm not familiar with a particular study, but I can tell you in the four clinics that we own, we ask people to have their shoes on when they're on a vibration platform because they seem to be more comfortable in the office environment in which we deal with our clients. But at home, I told you, I have a larger vibration unit in my basement workout area and I use shoes, but in my bedroom where I have the smaller unit, I have my socks on or barefoot. But I can't tell you that I'm familiar with a study that says wearing shoes will buffer the vibration. If you're going at 30 hertz at two or four millimeters, the amount of protection that you have in your shoe is not that much that's going to protect the individual or slow down the vibration. I think it's more a comfort level, but I'm also going to be honest with you, I don't know of a particular study that has looked at that.
Ben: Yeah. That'd be interesting to look at. I know I personally prefer to be barefoot or wear minimalist shoes on it. I just feel like I can feel it more, but that's purely anecdotal. However, it would be interesting to see someone actually investigate whether or not footwear should be taken into consideration here.
Jason: Yeah. I've been doing this a long time and I've never in my career heard of an incident where someone has an injury because they're barefoot, or says, “I don't like being on the vibration platform because I'm barefoot.” And similarly, I've never had a client that says, “You know, my shoes are on, but I don't feel it.” Trust me, when you're on a vibration platform, you can feel the vibration when you have shoes on.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Oh, you can definitely feel it. Yeah, I agree.
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In terms of how this would look from a logistical standpoint, has anyone actually investigated in terms of how long you should stand the platform, or for how many times, like how many sets you should do a whole-body vibration to enhance the performance that you might want to get from that during the actual workout? What I mean by that is, let's say I'm going to do five sets of 10, 8, 6, 6, 6 for a barbell squat, and I want to be able to utilize more musculature, get more neuronal recruitment, and have more proprioceptive activity during that squat, and I have access to a whole-body vibration platform in my gym, or at home. Would I just stand on it or do bodyweight squats on it prior to all five sets? Would I go stand on it in between each set? Do you get what I'm saying? Like, what would this actually look like from a logistical standpoint?
Jason: Ben, what you're really talking about is two things. One is the dose-response, how much exposure to the vibration and what is the response that's expected. And the second is taking away the science, and then there's the art of training in and working out. To my knowledge, almost every pro-football team, baseball team, basketball team, elite athletes are using Power Plate to overload the muscle in big ways. And they might have exposure of 20, 30, 40 minutes of doing all kinds of weight lifting and resistance training while on a vibration platform. Whereas, I have other individuals who are not trying to go for peak performance, but health, safety, and enjoyment of athletic endeavors. And they may be on for five minutes of exposure. If you go to YouTube, there's hundreds and hundreds of programs for individuals who want to jump higher, to be more flexible, to have better upper body strength.
The Power Plate company has a wonderful website of hundreds and hundreds of exercises and recommendations at different doses or different levels of resistance. So, that's the art of it. There's no one that I know that has a perfect chart that says, “If you do this much, you'll have this much response.” I think it's going to come. And there's people in Europe that are working on that right now, but there's a sensitivity. And what trainers like your past experiences and trainers who are creative, they're using Power Plate more and more because their clients are getting better. But they're using it because they're paying attention, they're trying out new things, and they're willing to switch up the workout when it's not working to their advantage. So, is there a chart? Not that I'm aware of, but we're two, three years away and it's going to be here. But for now, at the low end, you probably want 5 to 10 minutes of exposure. And at the high end, you want 40 to 60 minutes of exposure to get the optimal that you might be looking for for performance activity.
Ben: Forty to 60 minutes of exposure you mean in a single session?
Jason: Well, if somebody is doing it purely strength training or purely overloading the body, that would be a heavy-duty workout. But most people, as I said, don't do that much because they're combining with all kinds of other activities. A whole-body vibration is an incredible modality. It is part of an exercise routine that includes balance, and coordination, and cardiovascular, muscular endurance, muscular power. So, depending on what the goals are of the individual, that's how you would write the exercise prescription for length and exposure for vibration. So, yes, I have had clients. I'll give an example. A gentleman who was an unbelievable athlete, had all the success in the world, fell off his bike and broke his neck. We were using vibration for two and three hours a day to keep the muscles active. So, he is now able to, protectively, walk very slowly a few years ago, and it's documented on the internet because I was with him, rode a specially made bike across the United States. So, he had exposure for two to three hours a day to keep muscles active when he couldn't send a signal from his brain to the muscles to fire. That's on the far side of what people would normally do, but that's what he needed.
And then, I also have clients who are elite performers, who are figure skaters who may be on the ice for their 10-minute warm-up. And then, there's eight-figure skaters that have to perform and they might be the last person on the ice. So, they've warmed up and now they have to sit and wait for an hour before the others perform. So, they're using vibration to keep their legs loose, to keep themselves warmed up. So, it's strategic use of a modality, not a specific way of doing it for everybody. That's what makes it such a great modality is that it doesn't have to be used just one way, you use it as the individual presents and what their needs are.
Ben: Yeah, that makes sense. That's a lot of binging on Netflix to stand on a vibration platform for multiple hours per day. But again, I suppose if you were rehabbing a pretty significant issue, it's not too bad. They just have to stand there and vibrate. You know what's kind of interesting is that I came across a study that showed a decrease in arterial stiffness and an increase in both blood flow and blood oxygenation. This is a Japanese study that was looking into the effects of vibration platforms on the treatment of hypertension. And they got me thinking a little bit about cardiovascular fitness, whether or not someone like a triathlete or a marathoner or someone like that would experience, for example, anything, increase in lactate tolerance, increase in VO2 max, increase in stroke volume, and any of these parameters for cardiovascular fitness.
What's your impression of the efficacy of whole-body vibration on cardiovascular performance or cardiovascular fitness?
Jason: That's a loaded question and a great question. If you're an elite triathlete and your MET level is 21, 22 METs at the highest cardiovascular level, you probably won't use vibration as a singular modality to get another MET out of it because you're already at the very highest levels. However, in order for that elite athlete to perform at the highest level, you want the muscles to be loose and pliable, you want vasodilation in the peripheral circulation. And the bigger the vessel, the more circulation, the more oxygen delivery. That's what will help the most elite of athletes.
For the athlete who is just trying to get back into shape, who might be 40, 50, 60, 70 years of age, probably one of the finest researchers in America is a guy by the name of Figueroa. Dr. Figueroa has some of the best studies on peripheral circulation. And he was able to demonstrate that the vasodilation in the periphery increases skin blood flow, decreases a blood pressure, allows someone to deliver oxygen more efficiently, and their MET level, their aerobic capacity, both at the acute and chronic level, was increased. But they're starting at a lower level and have some space to increase up to. So, again for the elite athlete, certainly, we would want to prepare the body so they can inch out another hair thickness of performance trying to get on podium. For the average person, in terms of cardiovascular fitness by itself could be a reasonably good modality to help them get more out of their body when they're exercising.
Ben: That's interesting. It's one of those things where if, let's say, an endurance athlete, in particular, were injured and couldn't, say, cycle or run or something like that, this could theoretically be used to maintain some amount of cardiovascular fitness. And I tried to dig into the research a little bit and there were a few possible mechanisms of action that were proposed and a couple that I mentioned because it seems that there may be an increase in VO2 max or maintenance in VO2 max, but that appears to be mediated mostly by a potential increase in stroke volume in terms of the amount of blood that's being pumped by the heart in response to whole-body vibration.
But then, there was also some kind of thoughts that it might be related to muscle blood flow velocity or increased oxygen utilization, which makes pretty good sense to me. And so, I agree, this wouldn't necessarily be your go-to modality for training if you were a serious endurance athlete. But at the same time, it's something that you could stack into your existing training protocol use on recovery days, et cetera. There's something going on from a cardiovascular standpoint, and I do know, and correct me if I'm wrong, there's a pretty good amount of research in terms of, I guess more disease-related conditions or issues related to cardiovascular health when it comes to cardiovascular rehabilitation, improvement of circulation for injured limbs, and even the hypertension that I talked about earlier. So, it seems especially for people who just want to increase cardiovascular fitness, but who aren't elite cardio athletes, that this would be something that would actually have some benefit.
Jason: So, I'm going to get geeky for a second, and if it's too much, just stop me. But cardiac output is calculated by heart rate times stroke volume. How fast is the heart beating? How much blood is being sent out with each stroke? As you become better and better conditioned, the heart rate, in general, will decrease, and the stroke volume will increase because the heart muscle is getting thicker, stronger, and more efficient. Cardiac output times A-VO2 difference or the extraction of oxygen in the periphery. So, not only are we delivering the blood to the periphery, but how well we take that oxygen off the red blood cell and utilize it for the muscle to contract, that's the purest definition of VO2.
So, if we have a device that will allow us to be better at delivering oxygen and extracting oxygen or training, then we can improve our VO2. If you have a VO2, if your MET level is, let's say, 10, well, going to 12 is a big deal, it's a big jump. If you're already at 20, 21, 22 METs, the difference between 20 and 21 METs is not that much in terms of whether someone gets on podium or not. There's other factors like who is tougher, who has the bigger head and heart to withstand an anaerobic push at the end. So, yes, it's a good cardiovascular modality, but it's used strategically different ways for different presentations.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That makes sense. And by the way, for those of you who aren't familiar with the term metabolic equivalence or METs that Jason's brought up a few times, think of it this way. One MET, so a single MET, that's the energy you use when you're resting or sitting still. And so, if you see something like four METs, that means you're exerting four times the energy than you would if you were sitting still related to your actual metabolic rate. And one MET is actually, it's about 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, for those of you who want to get super geeky. But certain things have certain MET potentials, like yoga would be like two to three or brisk walking might be five, maybe six, whereas an all-out sprint could be 10, 11, even 12. So, that's the idea behind METs, for those of you who don't know what that word is. Okay. So, you had mentioned putting your legs up on your Power Plate that you have at home or your vibration platform at home, and that could of course be related to lymph fluid or immune health.
And I'm curious now, and this might even be relevant to everyone's interest in immunity at the time that we're recording this, do you see any studies that have looked into things like lymph fluid circulation, improvement in immunity, resistance to certain illnesses, et cetera, via the use of whole-body vibration?
Jason: So, I'm going to give you what I believe as a scientist and as a sports medical fitness person, but I can't tell you that the literature is clear. I believe that the healthier you are from exercise, the healthier your chances are from a variety of different modalities or health-related issues. We know even from COVID, those who are healthier generally are doing better, recovering from COVID than those who are overweight, have hypertension, have a variety of different diseases. So, if you're in better shape, do you have a better physiological outlook? You bet, yeah. Does vibration alone increase circulation? Yes. Are there enough studies to feel comfortable that lymphatic return is better with vibration? Absolutely.
If you ask me how much, what is the right dose and response the amount of vibration how long, I don't have a good answer and I don't think anyone else does. In general, we ask the elite athlete, probably he's going to exercise five to six days a week for 90 minutes to three hours of different activity. For the average Jane and Joe, we want them to exercise from 30 to 90 minutes. Vibration has got to be part of that platform no matter how you play it from a health and fitness standpoint.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I mean, you can certainly draw some correlation behind an increase in lymphatic drainage, which we know occurs in response to muscle spindle activation. That's just given. There's tons of research on that. I've never seen any studies that actually look into, for example, the effects on someone getting sick versus not in response to whole-body vibration, but similar to massage. We know that there is a certain amount of lymphatic drainage via the lymph nodes that would occur in response to those tiny muscular contractions that you're experiencing even if they don't feel as intense as a muscular contraction you might get while doing, let's say, a bench press or a squat or a deadlift.
Those tiny little vibrations are indeed helping to pump the lymphatic system. And I certainly think that there is something to it. For me personally, for my own immune system, as you've alluded to, not only am I very much a proponent of increasing your overall exercise capacity, but also engaging in any of these things that would increase lymph flow, even so-called woo-woo type of practices like, say, infrared sauna or dry skin brushing or rebounding on a trampoline. I think this would probably fall into that category as yet another way to improve lymph circulation and possibly improve immune health. So, I think there's something to it. It certainly could stack on these other benefits that we talked about regarding hypertension, cardiovascular fitness, stroke volume, strength, improve glucose tolerance, improve leptin sensitivity, and increase in metabolic rate. So, as we see these things kind of stack, and even in a little bit of research that I've done leading up to this show and some of the things I'm learning from you, it definitely is making me want to better utilize the vibration platform that's out in my gym and get on a little bit more.
Now, the other thing I wanted to ask you about was recovery, delayed onset muscle soreness, being able to recover more quickly. To my understanding, there is some research on increased recovery potential, which I'd love for you to speak to. But perhaps more importantly, and sorry to throw a two-part question at you, I'm also curious about the best-used practice for something like this. Like, would you stand on it right after workout? Do you see the drop in delayed onset muscle soreness by using it? Prior to a workout, would it be at a different time of day? What's kind of the skinny on using a vibration platform for soreness and for recovery?
Jason: Your questions are great. I want to just respond though to something that you said just a second ago, and I promise I will answer that question. We have four clinics. We use vibration every day. And my patients, they never come in and say, “Can you help me increase neurotransmitters, or can you help me with muscle spindle development?” They go, “I want to feel better. I want to perform better. I want to make sure I don't get injured.” So, for those who are listening, you don't have to know the science of why it's working. There's enough science to say, “Yes, it does work. I hope you can perform and feel better.”
And those who want to know the science, there's a tremendous amount of literature. Since the year 2,000, I would say there's 2,000 great research articles and maybe 15, 16,000 published articles on whole-body vibration that looks at a variety of these different issues. Now, to your last question, Ben, is when do you use it for recovery? And again, it's what's the intensity and what's the level of workout that someone is conducting. At the end of a marathon, the last thing I would do is put someone on a Power Plate and have them standing. But I certainly would feel comfortable in having them lay down and massage.
Ben: Most people want to have a cheeseburger after a marathon anyways, Jason. You're not going to get them on the vibration platform.
Jason: That's true. We use vibration for recovery in a massage mode for–you use the term DOMS, D-O-M-S, for acute onset of muscle soreness so that they don't get tight real fast and they calm their muscles down, just like we would on a treadmill or anything else with recovery. But if you're waiting for recovery, if you're waiting two, three, four hours, you're probably too late in the recovery process. Recovery is a process of training in and of itself. It's not just the training to get to the most weight or the most repetitions, or the highest cardiovascular function, it's also how do you bring your body back down to a resting level so that it can heal itself. And then, the next day or two days later, come back and push it again. That's what the vibration is good for.
So, would I stand on it? Maybe at a low hertz level for a little bit, but I like for Power Plate to sit on it, to stretch my hamstrings, to lay down on the floor and put my calves, my gastrocs on the plate. I like to inch my feet back off the edge of a plate so that I can drop the heels down and get a good Achilles tendon and gastroc stretch. I like to put my hands when I've done upper bodywork. I like to put my hands on the plate, the vibration through the arms. It's so comforting and makes my body feel better during the recovery process. And if you take someone like a baseball pitcher or a quarterback who's throwing the ball, or a tennis player who's playing for a couple hours and constantly challenging their arm, you could bend to the side and use vibration to loosen up the tissue so they don't get tight. So, that's one of the niceties about vibration platforms is that you can be creative in how to recover. But your specific answer, if you're going to be recovering three, four, or five hours after the activity, you've probably lost the opportune time.
Ben: Yeah. Then that's from a little bit of research that I've seen primarily in the Strength Conditioning Journal. Most of the studies that show a drop in delayed onset muscle soreness, particularly after eccentric exercise, which is of course the type of exercise in which you're lengthening the muscle and causing muscle fiber tears, show that the methods involve usually within like 5 to 10 minutes. After the final set has been completed, a series of one to two-minute treatments on the vibration platform. Literally that simple, like stand on it for a minute, step off for 30 seconds, stand on it again, step off for 30 seconds, and then do one final effort after you finish the workout.
And interestingly, you see a drop in a lot. You see a drop in serum creatine kinase, which would be indicative of overall inflammation. You also see a limitation in just overall feelings of soreness the next day. And I think one of the proposed mechanisms of action for that in addition to the increased blood flow and oxygen that we already talked about was an actual disruption of the muscle sarcomeres that occurs after eccentric exercises as a prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness. So, you may actually see an increased recovery time, or I guess I should say a decrease recovery time as well, although I didn't see much research on whether or not it would increase your ability to recover post-workout. It's definitely decreasing creatine kinase, decreasing muscle soreness. And so, arguably, it may actually speed up your time to recovery. And so, there's definitely something going on there, and that's pretty simple, just to be able to, whatever, grab a magazine or a newspaper after you finish a workout, go stand in the vibe platform for a little bit, and experience a drop in the amount of soreness you might experience the next day. And I just think that's simple. That's low-hanging fruit right there.
One thing we didn't talk about, because I want to allow in the time that we have to discuss–because when I see a vibration platform, I'll see different frequencies, different durations, all sorts of little buttons on these things, and I want to ask you a little bit about that in a moment. But the only thing that I didn't get a chance to mention that I did find, that I thought was interesting because I have a lot of listeners who are doing like stem cell therapies and they're even injecting stem cells or using some type of stem cell, precursor stem cell, for just overall health, vibration, it does increase bone density. We know that there's an increase in osteoblastic activity and bone density in response to vibration platforms, and just overall, bone loading in general. But interestingly, the osteoblastic activity is related to an increase overall in countering some of the age-related changes in bone marrow and increasing stem cell mobilization. And again, although I haven't really looked into whether or not the increase in stem cell mobilization or stem cell availability has been researched, have you seen much in the realm of stem cells and whole-body vibration?
Jason: It's not my area of expertise and I'd be concerned about trying to guess. I do a lot of publishing and I am quite familiar with bone density, and vibration, and with weight training. And we do know that when a muscle is stimulated, their muscles don't attach to bone–tendons attached to bone and muscles attached to tendons. And when you're using a whole body vibration, you're pulling on the bone itself. The muscle is pulling the tendon, the tendon's pulling the bone, and that's when you have the activity for bone growth. And the literature is I think pretty clear, both in animal and human models, that that's something that you should be considering. If osteoporosis or osteopenia is one of your issues, that's something to consider.
The area of research though, I think that's going to be the hottest, is individuals who have shin splints, individuals who have frequent bone-related issues as athletes. I don't have a published study, but my experience is that when they're using vibration, they seem to have less injuries. And I can make up lots of mechanisms, but I think that for the athlete who is always having that little bone-related or tendon-related issue, I would have whole-body vibration in my regimen of training because I believe that the research is going to prove me correct that it helps prevent those injuries. What's the mechanism? I don't know.
Jason: But to be honest, I don't think anybody knows exactly right now.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I do know that if you see a drop in cytokines and inflammatory factors including creatine kinase, which we know to be the case in response to whole body vibration, then typically, what happens in literally every research study that I've seen is as that occurs, you see an increase in stem and progenitor cell circulation. And the fact that we are stimulating bone marrow and osteoblastic activity via whole-body vibration platform training, I would love to see a little bit more research into things like stem cells, telomere length, even DNA methylation, and some of these so-called anti-aging clocks because I think perhaps some of the longevity in the stem cell research on whole-body vibration could prove pretty interesting. And that's something that I'm personally intrigued by.
Jason: I'll tell you a real quick story. I've been invited to speak at the World Congress on Osteoporosis for the last four years. And it's over a three-day period. There's about 400 presentations and there may be three or four presentations about exercise and osteoporosis, and the rest are sponsored presentations from the drug companies. So, we have our work cut out for us. We do have the fountain of youth, we do have the capacity to change bone, but we're also living in the reality of big pharma is directing what research and how research is funded for bone-related issues.
Ben: GlaxoSmithKline is now going to pull their sponsorship of this podcast episode. Thanks to you, [01:01:33] _____ do that. Alright. Well, let's talk a little bit about the actual modality. You mentioned that you use a Power Plate. That's the one that I have. From what I understand, it uses some kind of a different frequency or something, even though I don't fully understand it. And that's why I want to ask you about this because there's a lot of different vibration platforms out there and they have different settings on them, like frequency and power, and sometimes it can get a little bit confusing for folks. Which button do I push when I stand on this thing?
So, can you get into the actual mechanics of the device itself and what someone should actually be looking for sure?
Jason: Sure. Well, the Power Plate, the equipment that I use is called Tri-Planar. And Tri-Planar means that it moves up, down, side to side, and forward and back. That's the smoothest, the most comfortable form of vibration that's on the market today. That's opposed to other modalities where it's a teeter-totter, where it's actually bouncing side to side. There's a lot of equipment that does have a teeter-totter, but after you're on it, it's a pretty violent feeling and most people don't like to go back to it. The Tri-Planar platform is what you want because you can be standing anywhere on the platform and get the same result, as well as you can do things like sitting on it. You can do all the activities, all the weightlifting, all the flexibility. Any other activity that you were normally doing on the floor, you can also do on a vibration platform.
Second thing is that you want to know that it has the safe amount and the right amount of hertz. So, if a machine has 30 hertz, that means that there's 30 muscle contractions a second. And we would recommend somewhere between 30- and 50-hertz devices. And anything less than 30 hertz, while there are a number of machines out there, we would not allow our clients to use them because the slower the vibration actually is an abuse of certain organs in the body. And the literature is very clear that anything less than 25, you do not want to be on. So, the units that we have are between 30 and 50 hertz. In our clinics, we keep them locked at 35 hertz, just because it seems to be the safest place and it follows the literature.
The variation in the device though is the amplitude or how big the vibration would be. For small-amplitude would be two millimeters, and large amplitude would be four millimeters. There's a big difference. You don't have to wonder if it's high or low, you can feel it. And then, it would depend on what your particular needs are. As a young, healthy athlete like yourself, you probably would be exercising at 30 to 35 hertz at high amplitude and get the best results. For someone who might be–your parent or your grandparent, they may be at 30, 35 hertz and low amplitude, and they would get a similarly beneficial response without having too much vibration hitting into or being affected in their body.
Ben: That's super helpful. I've actually been making a mistake then because I was under the assumption that a higher hertz frequency and a higher amplitude combined with that would be best for some of the hardcore type of strength sessions that I'm doing. But from what I'm getting, from what you've just explained, if you're doing like massage, stretch, relaxation, et cetera, you'd go more like 40 to 50 hertz. But then for strength, you could be more down around like 30 to 40 hertz with a high amplitude for more of the strength type of activities, and then a low amplitude for more of like the relaxation stretching type of activities.
Jason: Perfectly said. And that's not just Jason's opinion, there are hundreds and hundreds of articles with elite athletes, with Division 1 athletes. If you look at what is being used in professional teams today, that's exactly what they're doing.
Ben: Okay. Interesting. Okay. That's super helpful and I actually planned on doing a vibration workout later on today after I talked with you because I like to do this stuff when it's fresh on my mind. So, I'll give that a go with a lower amplitude and a higher frequency setting and see what kind of differences I noticed because again, I've been using about 50 hertz. I'm going to drop it down to 30, see what I experienced, because I have actually one of the Power Plate devices out in my gym and it's got that setting on it. And that's also notable about the Tri-Planar versus the seesaw effects because I have noticed that at some gyms, if I hop on a platform, it feels like it's violently shaking back and forth versus moving in all three directions via this Tri-Planar modality that you just explained. So, that clarifies things for me on that front.
Now, I did come across, and I wanted to throw this out to you as kind of a fun question, but I came across a study that looked at L-citrulline supplementation. And L-citrulline is just kind of like a blood flow enhancer, kind of like a popular pre-workout ingredient. And they actually combined it with whole-body vibration training and found that compared to whole-body vibration training, without L-citrulline supplementation, there were enhanced benefits, particularly on aortic stiffness and on the overall lean mass response to whole-body vibration. So, that would be one example potentially like a blood flow precursor like citrulline, or arginine, or beetroot, or something like that that could be used to enhance some of the cardiovascular effects, or even the strength training effects of whole-body vibration. I mentioned earlier perhaps quercetin from a growth hormone standpoint could fall into this. And I even mentioned in the introduction though some people are doing things like red light therapy in front of their whole-body vibration.
Have you in your own experimentation or research found that any anything else might combine well with whole-body vibration, whether that might be blood flow restriction or hypoxia or any anything like that? And this gets in the whole realm of biohacking, I realize, but I'm just curious if you come across much.
Jason: So, again, this is where the art is just as important as the science and we call it stacking where instead of having just a singular modality, you have multiple modalities to try to get a beneficial effect. And there's no question in my mind that stacking has its benefits. However, there are so many things out there that people are trying. I don't know that the scientific literature has caught up with enough studies. So, it's not just a one study that has demonstrated something, but a study that's reproducible has been reproduced a variety of times in a variety of scientific laboratories that we can say what exactly the best stacking would be. From the literature that's out there now, using vibration and weightlifting, clear as clear could be, using vibration and using bands, wands, different devices for flexibility, for balance, smooth muscle coordination. No question at all that it works.
For the other items, I think it's just a matter of time that we have to have solid studies out there that take a look in a controlled environment, whether it's the supplementation, whether it's a vibration. It's the combination of the two and we're getting there, but I'm not convinced that we have enough data to make a definitive answer with so many different possibilities. But if you ask me would I try lots of things, you betcha because the risk, in general, is a relatively low risk. And we as scientists, as artists of our personal training craft, we want our clients, whether they're elite athletes or individuals, or just trying to get better physically fit, there are a variety of things that we can try with individuals to keep them active. And I encourage any of the listeners who are researchers or have access to research facilities say, “Let's see if in a controlled environment, is this really better?” I think it would be good for individuals, as well as the industry.
Ben: Yeah. I can tell you in my own personal experience besides what I found for blood flow enhancement using like a pre-workout blood flow booster such as citrulline or arginine or beetroot, and then the quercetin piece, is that the blood flow restriction training gives me a really good workout when I'm combining that with vibration platform. And it's super simple for a bodyweight workout. You can literally use KAATSU bands or blood flow restriction bands on the arms and/or the legs into a series of squats, lunges, push-ups, et cetera, on the platform. I suppose this might be a little bit of a masochistic explanation, but the discomfort of the workout increases dramatically. However, the full-body effects of it afterwards seem to be notably increased. Again, although I haven't found any research that looks into combining BFR training with vibration platforms, that's one way that I've used mine pretty efficaciously, and that's a workout I enjoy doing, actually.
Jason: You're not out there alone. I mean, there's other people doing that. There's logic to your thinking, but I don't know the studies that support it, but there's a whole lot of smart professionals who are playing with it right now to see what the benefits are.
Ben: Okay. I get this. I just looked this up on my phone, Jason. Here we go. European Journal of Sports Science, literally, couple months ago, “Effects of whole body vibration training combined with blood flow restriction on muscle adaptation.” They actually did do this. Looks like they saw increase in thigh muscle mass, maximal strength, and muscle endurance compared with whole-body vibration training alone. So, there you have it. People are looking into this. Interesting. I was unaware of that study until just now, but that's pretty cool.
Ben: Alright. So, I know that, like I mentioned earlier, I use the Power Plate and I've got a $600 discount code on a Power Plate if you guys want any of the home or the commercial models yourself, and that includes a special payment plan where you can literally just pay next to nothing per month to own one. And I'm going to put a link to that in the shownotes, or you can go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/powerplate. You don't even need a code or anything, you just go there and that'll automatically knock 600 bucks off of Power Plate. And then, obviously, we talked about a lot of research as well and some other podcasts like my podcast with Craig Koniver, for instance, on cortisol. And what I'll do is I'll link to all of that in the shownotes as well and you'll find all of that at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vibrate. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/vibrate.
Jason, this has been fascinating and I want to thank you for coming on. Did you have anything you wanted to add?
Jason: Just one thing. My adult kids would say that I'm not the most technically trained individual even though it might make my living as a scientist and clinician. But the thing that I like most about Power Plate is that when I open up the box and plug it in, it's ready to go and I don't have to be technically astute to know how to work it. And that's important to all of my clients because if they're going to be putting it in their home, in their vacation homes, if they're using it as part of their training program, they want to be able to open up the box, use it right away, and get the benefits right away, and not have to read a large manual. The fact that it's easy is one of the reasons that I think vibration is taking off so much around the world right now in these different environments.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It's fascinating and I think it's such a cool tool, doesn't really have a big amount of real estate that it takes up in a basement, or a home gym, or a health club. And man, it's kind of like a Swiss Army knife. So, for those of you who are interested in getting one, I'll put a link in the shownotes. And I'm not joking, I'm actually going to go do a workout on the vibration platform later on today just using some of the information that I've just gotten from Jason. I'm probably going to take a blood flow precursor, do a little bit of blood flow restriction training, and then also, mess around with the frequencies on the amplitude and throw down a pretty good workout today. Thanks to this podcast.
So, Jason, thanks so much for coming on the show, man.
Jason: It's an absolute pleasure and I hope to have a chance to speak with you again. This is wonderful.
Ben: Cool. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Jason Conviser signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Can those fancy vibration plates at your health club or gym really help you burn fat or lose weight, and is there any research behind that?
Is there any significant hormonal response to whole body vibration (WBV)?
What is the effect of vibration training on cardiovascular fitness, and how would it be used for that?
Any effect on lymph fluid or immune health, similar to a trampoline/rebounder?
How about for muscle recovery or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)?
How does one actually use a vibration plate the right way?
Can you stack WBV with other so-called “biohacking” modalities, such as photobiomodulation, exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT), isometric training, etc?
Jason M. Conviser, Ph.D., MBA, FACSM, is my guest on today's podcast to answer all these questions and more.
He is the chief science officer for Performance Health Systems and has a long history in vibration research, the health and wellness industry, sports medicine, metabolic syndrome, and bringing healthcare to the general public outside of a clinical environment. Dr. Conviser has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology/cardiac rehabilitation and an MA in exercise physiology. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Medical Fitness Association, and Medical Wellness Association and serves on the Power Plate Sport Medicine Advisory Board, Life Fitness Sports Medicine Advisory Board, National Commission on Reform of Secondary Education, and National Task Force on Citizenship Education. Dr. Conviser has authored the following books:
- The Health/Wellsness Professionals' Guide to Medical Fitness Exercise
- Medical Fitness Association's Resource and Planning Guide
- Handbook of Acceleration Training
- Exercise Testing And Program Design: A Fitness Professional's Handbook
He has also authored over 45 articles in scientific journals, trade publications, and large distribution newspapers and is the past consultant and exercise physiologist for the Duchess of York.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-How Ben and Jason use vibration plates at home…7:00
- Two in the house: a large one in the basement, and a smaller one in the bedroom (for a perfect massage)
- Power PlateBen uses in his gym
- Use for bodyweight exercises
- Prime the body prior to a weight lifting session
-How to use a vibration plate to burn fat…9:35
- Caloric expenditure increases while on a vibration plate (weight management device)
- More muscle fibers firing
- Very few will stand on a plate for an entire workout
- Use the power plateto warm-up, then complement the workout
- Preps the body to exercise in the most efficient manner possible
- Very few activities are optimal for weight loss while done in isolation (no vibration)
- Weight loss is: behavioral, physiological/cardiovascular, neuromuscular issue
- Using vibration only for weight loss is not recommended
- Glucose is the energy the cells use
- Cells become more permeable to glucose while on a vibration plate
- Leptin sensitivity increased with WBV
-Endocrine responses to WBV…19:55
- Growth hormone increases with certain doses of vibration
- Unclear how much is the optimal amount for each individual
- Cortisol release; excessive amounts of cortisol are problematic
- Michael Phelps performed well at the Olympics because of his ability to control cortisol levels
- BGF podcast on cortisol with Dr. Craig Koniver
- Increase receptor sensitivity to growth hormone
-How the body is better prepared for a workout after using a vibration plate…24:25
- Muscles are prepared for activation
- Three prong approach to vibration:
- Neural adaptation on an acute and chronic level
- Sensory-motor adaptation (acute and chronic level)
- Muscular adaptation (acute and immediate level)
- For example, spaghetti strands similar to muscles; WBV increases the size of the spaghetti noodles
-Ideal length and frequency of WBV sessions…34:00
- Dose-response: How much exposure to vibration and response expected
- The art of training and working out
- Differs for pro athletes vs. non-athletes
- Power Platecompany website has many recommendations
- No such thing as a perfect dose
- Low end: 5-10 minutes
- High end: 45-60 minutes (very rare, extreme cases)
- Typically done with other activities at intermittent frequencies
- Strategic use for specific situations (waiting to perform figure skating)
-The efficacy of WBV on cardiovascular fitness…40:25
- An elite athlete wouldn't use a vibration plate as a singular modality
- The bigger the vessel, the more circulation and oxygen delivery
- Stack WBV with other modalities; use on a recovery day
- Cardiac output is calculated by heart rate times stroke volume
- How fast is the heart beating, how much blood is being sent out with each stroke
- As you become better conditioned, heart rate will decrease and the stroke volume will increase because the heart muscle is getting stronger and more efficient
- VO₂ – Cardiac output times A-Vo₂ difference, or the extraction of oxygen in the periphery (Not only is blood being delivered to the periphery, but how well oxygen taken off the red blood cell is utilized for the muscle to contract is the purest definition of VO₂)
- Different scenarios call for different uses of WBV
-The effect of WBV on lymph fluid circulation, improved immunity, etc…47:10
- The healthier you are from exercise, the better your immunity, or ability to recover from disease
- Infrared sauna, rebounding, dry skin brushingall improve lymph circulation (and thereby immune health)
-Research and best practices on increased recovery potential with WBV…50:45
- Over 2,000 research articles since 2000 alone
- Don't need to know the science to know that it works
- Vibration as a massage form for recovery
- Cool down, just like recovery
- Recovery ASAP after training
- Sit on vibration plate, massage Achilles, vibrate hands and arms
-Best practices while using a vibration plate…1:02:00
- Tri-Planar vibration platemoves up and down, side to side, and forward to back.
- Front to back is better than side to side
- Safe and right amount of hertz
- Slower vibrations abuse certain organs in the body
- How you use depends on the needs
-Other modalities that combine well with vibration plates…1:07:30
- Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Bands(use code BEN10 to save 10%)
- KAATSU Bands(use code BEN to save 5%)
- Effects of whole-body vibration training combined with blood flow restriction on muscle adaptation
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
Books by Jason Conviser:
- Health/Wellness Professionals' Guide to Medical Fitness Exercise
- Medical Fitness Association's Resource and Planning Guide
- Handbook of Acceleration Training
- Exercise Testing and Program Design: A Fitness Professional's Handbook
- Other booksby Jason Convisor on Amazon
– BGF articles about vibration:
- 9 Quick Tips For Keeping Your Lymph Fluid Flowing During This Month’s Cold & Flu Season
- Biohack Your Body For Muscle Gain & Fat Loss: Part 2 – Ben Greenfield’s Top Recommended Science, Gear & Tools For Building The Ultimate Human
- 6 Steps To Achieving The Ideal Combination Of Fitness, Longevity, And Looking Good Naked (A Hybrid Training Approach For Anti-Aging & Performance)
- Metabolic effect of bodyweight whole-body vibration in a 20-min exercise session
- Anticarcinogenic effect of quercetin by inhibition of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 signaling in mouse skin cancer
- Hormonal responses to whole-body vibration in men
- Effect of Long-Term Whole Body Vibration Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue
- Vibration exercise machines improve your lymphatic health
- Effects of whole-body vibration after eccentric exercise on muscle soreness and muscle strength recovery
- Whole-Body Vibration Training Increases Stem/Progenitor Cell Circulation Levels and May Attenuate Inflammation
- Impact of L-citrulline supplementation and whole-body vibration training on arterial stiffness and leg muscle function in obese postmenopausal women with high blood pressure
- Effects of whole body vibration training combined with blood flow restriction on muscle adaptation
– Other resources:
- The Power Plate(use this link for $600 discount)
- Infrared Sauna
- Dry Skin Brush
- Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Bands(use code BEN10 to save 10%)
- KAATSU Bands(use code BEN to save 5%)
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