“Weight-loss” what’s best Traditional Exercise or Whole-Body Vibration Training?
Recently whole-body vibration training (WBVT), has been gaining interest in the health and fitness community for its reported beneficial outcomes. Such benefits include:
- Increased muscle strength & mass
- Increased bone density
- Fat reduction
- Improved flexibility
- Reduced levels of stress
However, studies appear to show that more research is needed when making claim to such effects. With this in mind I personally set out to investigate the effects of vibration training on weight-loss. Why? Well, weight gain is on the increase. In fact, the World Health Organisation has announced that the UK is in the throes of an obesity epidemic. To this day health difficulties associated with being overweight or obese continue to spiral out of control costing the National Health Service billions of pounds each year.
Among the various forms of weight loss intervention dietary modification continues to be widely used. Yet most dietary strategies aimed at restricting calorific intake fail due to relapse often termed the "yo-yo effect". According to the Department of Health any appreciable change to one’s well-being requires the regular undertaking of physical activity. Government guidelines suggest that adults undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
Those who are physically active have the ability to increase calorific expenditure, raise resting metabolism, reduce fat mass and increase lean tissue. Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who are either overweight or obese tend to maintain an inactive lifestyle. Conventional exercise for some individuals may therefore be deemed unattractive. An exercise modality that is readily accessible, quick and convenient yet requires minimal physical exertion may appeal to those who are sedentary and at risk of an unbalanced lifestyle.
WBV requires relatively little exertion compared with traditional forms of exercise. It is low in impact and thought to be good choice for the older or obese client trying to lose weight yet maintain muscle.
What Is Whole-Body Vibration?
With whole-body vibration, you stand, sit or lie on a machine with a vibrating platform. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to your body, forcing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times each second. Research suggests that exposure to 10 minutes of vibration is equivalent to 1hr of conventional gym-based training.
WBVT and weight-loss?
Advocates say that you can lose approximately 14lbs in just 3 weeks. The study therefore set out to test this hypothesis.
13 overweight/obese adults undertook a 3-week intervention study used to assess the effects of Whole-Body Vibration training on body circumference and composition. The study consisted of three phases a) baseline b) control and c) vibration. All participants were exposed to 120 minutes of vibratory stimulus.
Vibration exposure (t=120 min, f=5-15Hz, A=10mm peak to peak) was well tolerated during the intervention period.
Attendance during the intervention phase was 100%.
Circumference measurements consisted of the waist-to-hip ratio and mid upper arm. WBV failed to have any significant affect.
Electrical impedance was used to measure changes in body fat. WBV failed to have any significant affect.
Training intensity (habitual and WBV) throughout the study were equally matched comparative to 65% Max Heart Rate.
The results appear to suggest that short term WBV training when used alone may not be a useful adjuvant to lifestyle prescriptions specific to weight-loss. Therefore, caution is required when vibration training is solely used for the purpose of reducing body weight without the support of other forms of intervention. Speak to a Personal Trainer for advice on WBV Training and how it may help you alongside a structured weight loss program.
As there is little evidence that WBV alone will aid weight loss, a more physical training regime should be undertaken. For Personal Trainer Courses that are based more on the physical activity side, please contact us or visit our Courses section.