G-Force: How G-Force relates to Whole Body Vibration and Power Plate
What is G-force?
Here at Power Plate, we often get asked questions about G-forces and how it relates to vibration training. Let’s take a moment to clarify what it is and why it’s a good thing for health, wellness and performance.
On earth everything we do – walk, run, jump, lift, throw – is against gravity, or what we call 1g, and this 1g adds force to our body which we then ‘work against.’ In other words, gravity is nature’s resistance, and it is based on the rate at which we are accelerated toward the earth. Thus g-forces and acceleration can be used synonymously.
In life and sport, we can increase the number of g-forces that we are working against, thus adding more force to the body, and making it harder to perform the task. Take for example a Formula 1 racing driver or fighter pilots traveling at high speeds, the latter potentially experiencing up to 9G. Higher g-forces = more force = more work.
How G-Force Applies to Whole Body Vibration and Power Plate
So how does this apply to Power Plate and Vibration Training? Simple. Power Plate moves vertically (as well as side to side and front to back) 30-50 x per second and to do this it must accelerate greatly. More acceleration means more g forces and more g forces means more force! So, when you are performing exercises on a power plate - like a squat, push up, plank – the Power Plate is adding more force to your body making it harder for you to perform the task. In short, you are working harder because of the extra g-forces (acceleration) on your body.
Now it is very important to note that because the Power Plate leaves you and returns (30-50 x per second) the forces on your body are not continuous (like that fighter pilot or race car driver) but instead they are intermittent. This on / off nature of vibration is crucial and is what makes vibration training so safe and effective.
We need gravity for healthy, strong muscles, bones, joints and connective tissue! When in space astronauts lose significant muscle and bone mass because of ZERO gravity. The same is true when we age, become sedentary, or get sick or injured. When we stop moving against gravity, well, the wheels start to come off. Gravity is good, gravity is essential, and we need it to upgrade our health, wellness and performance goals. This is why vibration training and Power Plate are game changers.
Power Plate models have a g-force range between 1.83 – 6.36 g (because these are the research proven safe and effective ranges) and correlate to different settings on the product. Think of the settings as intensity dials that we can turn up or turn down depending on what we are training for. For example, flexibility and mobility exercises will be at lower settings (we don’t need to stretch at 5 g!), as strength improves the intensity dial turns up (3 - 5 g), while recovery massage is likely at the highest settings (5-6g) – because I like a deep massage.
In many forms of training, we work against body weight, or external weight (dumbbells, etc), to develop muscle, bone, and strength. With Power Plate we use g-forces in the form of a vibrating platform. They both work. It’s not a matter of which is better but rather what’s best for you. And for millions of people for whom a gym is not appealing, affordable or convenient, or perhaps you don’t have the space at home for dozens of different pieces of equipment, or maybe it’s just too confusing to know what to do next – Power Plate offers a game changing solution. One product proven to help prepare faster, perform better and recover quicker.
Here is a chart showing the g-force measurements that various Power Plate models use: