Wednesday, May 20, 2009

4 minute fitness/power plates/Versa Climber/stupid treadmills.

In the town that I work in, I saw a billboard for a facility (Fusion Fit) that was promoting a 4 minute workout. Of course, as a personal trainer I was curious. When I got in there, I notice that they had a ROM machine ( - retail cost is just south of $15,000). I got to use the ROM machine, and here were some of my findings.
* I did both the 4 minute upper body and 4 minute lower body workout
* The machine itself is very well made. If you are using "flywheel technology", it has to be well balanced. Very sleek and smooth (like me, ha ha)
* There is a pacer on their that raises and lowers the pace (and in turn the intensity) during the four minutes.
* There is a resistance setting, so the machine is scalable to different people or improving abilities.
* From an experience, some similarities to Tabata (i.e., Hard, but it is over quickly)
* Similar to kettlebells, the ROM machine enables you to use more of your body (especially the upper body workout) at one time to enable you to use more energy before experience localized muscular fatigue. You really use your entire upper body and stabilize somewhat w/your legs and core.
* I was drenched in sweat afterwards, but in a good way.
* Unlike other cardio machines, don't even think about trying to watch TV or read a magazine, talk on your cell phone while you are doing this.
* The woman who set me up on the machine did a really good job of coaching me on how to get the best out of the machine. On the lower body portion, she force me to take full strides (unlike most retards who use a stair climber at the gym that take 2.5" inch steps - give me a break it is a "stair" climber not a "curb" climber).

==> My verdict on the machine:
1) Good machine, I certainly would not buy it for personal use at that price tag. After using it, I could see it as a good machine to add to a gym. I would certainly like to add one of those machine and get rid of three treadmills, bike, etc. for the same cost. Treadmills are:
* By far the most overused and overhype pieces of fitness equipment
* At about $6000 retail and probably $4000 whole, it is overpriced to. Now, we have to have cable TV for it to. For that price I can get about 18-22 kettlebells.
* Have probably contributed to more dysfunctional movement patters, muscular imbalances, and knee injuries. I bet it was invented by an orthopedist looking to drum up some business.

2) I could really see upper body workout being the best way I have seen to get people who have lower body injuries a way to work w/in the training zone. Certainly better than a hand bike.

3) If they had one in my gym, I would use it for both me and my clients.

They also had Power Plates and Versa Climbers. These are two other pieces of equipment that a gym could have and replace one treadmill.

The Versa Climber is a cheaper and more functional version of a stair climber (a machine almost always used incorrectly).

The Power Plate (low frequency vibrating platform) uses vibration to increase stimulation of the muscles. Research has show that vibration can increase muscle mass and decrease soreness. In fact, it was invented so a Russian cosmonauts can get a "resistance" workout in space (where there is no "weight"). I could see using it for:
* Post workout to help decrease muscle soreness by flushing lactic acid.
* Massage
* Breaking up scar tissue in certain areas (lower back, shoulders, hips)

Here is my final synopsis:
* While the equipment was good, for my sports I still need my free weights. This gym would be incomplete.
* Their members seemed very loyal. Many did not get results in a typical gym setting.
* The staff was very knowledgeable of body mechanics and energy systems. Unlike most gyms, I did not see any deadweight ass clowns.
* I am very disappointed to see that these machine are not incorporated in more gym, as they could be for NO INCREMENTAL COST. Get rid of 2 treadmills, and you have a much more functional and diverse gym.

A very good experience that I will remember a long time.

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