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Power Plate®┬áTraining Increases Strength and Muscle Mass in Older Men

One Year of Power Plate® Exercise Showed a Significant Increase in Muscle Mass, Isometric and Explosive Strength in Older Men.

Study conclusions:

Power Plate training is as effective as a conventional fitness program in order to enhance isometric and explosive knee extension strength, as well as to increase muscle mass of the upper leg in community-dwelling older man. These findings suggest that Power Plate training has the potential to prevent or even reverse the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass, referred to as sarcopenia.

The number of elderly people in Western populations is increasing every year. Because of the fact that the population is aging, more people will be confronted with age related conditions. Maintaining the best possible health and fitness level is very important in order to prevent or cope with any of these conditions. And there are many ways in which people can contribute to sustain that level, for example, a healthy diet or staying in shape by adopting an active lifestyle.

Aging is associated with a decline in muscle mass and muscle strength, also known as sarcopenia. This condition is directly linked to decreased mobility, loss of independence, increased fall risk and a diminished quality of life and may contribute to many other age-related disorders. At this time, an estimated 30% of the population over 60 suffers from sarcopenia, but this number is expected to grow significantly.

Method:

In this study, 97 participants were divided into three groups: a Power Plate group, a fitness group and a control group. Both Power Plate and fitness group trained three times a week for one year. The Power Plate group exercised for a maximum of 40 minutes (see fig. 1), whereas the fitness group trained for about 90 minutes, performing cardiovascular, resistance, balance and flexibility exercises. The control group was advised not to change their lifestyle or physical activity during the project.

Figure 1

Figure 2: Overview of the Power Plate Program

Results:

Participants of both training groups showed an increase in isometric and explosive strength. Muscle mass increased as well.

The conclusion the researchers reached was that Power Plate training is at least equivalent to regular fitness training. The participants achieved the same results with both kinds of training, however, training time of the Power Plate group was less than half that of the conventional fitness group.

This study shows using Power Plate can be beneficial to fight age-related problems such as sarcopenia. It is thought that this loss of muscle mass, strength and function may contribute to several other disorders, such as osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and arthritis. Previous research has shown Power Plate training to have a positive effect on osteoporosis, balance and postural control. It is an effective tool in helping to prevent some of the negative effects of aging, and may assist the growing number of elderly in maintaining their health and independence.

This study demonstrates that Power Plate training is a very effective training method. It enables elderly subjects to gain muscle mass and strength in less than half the time conventional fitness training would take.

Figure 3: Total Training Time

Figure 4: Both Power Plate and fitness group shows a significant increase in muscle mass and strength.

This is a summary of a study published in Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 2007, Vol. 62A, No. 6, 630–635.
By An Bogaerts, Christophe Delecluse, Albreacht L. Claessens, Walter Coudyzer, Steven Boonen and Sabine M. P. Verschueren Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium