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Amplitude Vibration Studio

Wed, 08/10/2011 - 6:38am by Andy Shen

I was recently invited to check out the Amplitude Vibration Studio, a training facility founded by physical therapist Gabriel Ettenson. For those of us of a certain age, the words ‘vibration studio’ surely conjures up black and white archival footage of chubby people being shaken by waistbands, so I was heartened that Ettenson's email contained a shot of Mark Cavendish on a vibration plate.

Whole body vibration can be used in strength training, stretching, and recovery. The vibrations cause a rapid stretch of muscle tendons, which makes the muscle contract to oppose the stretch. Thousands of these accelerations occur in minutes (the machine vibrates up to 30 hertz, or 30 times per second), and the entire muscle is effected, as opposed to 40-50% from regular exercise.

I visited the facility with James Stevens and Ettenson guided us through a sampling of exercises and stretches. I did squats on the machine and they did indeed feel more intense than normal squats. Stevens served as the guinea pig for the rest of the demo:

An array of the Galileo (branded Vibraflex in the US) machines.

Ettenson gradually introduces Stevens to the odd sensation of the platform. As you can see from the blur, the platform rocks like a seesaw. The frequency of the vibration is controlled at the console, and the amplitude is varied by setting your feet at different widths. The rocking motion is meant to simulate the human gait – despite the vigorous motion your head remains quite still.


Ettenson guides Stevens through some squats on the machine.

According to Ettenson, a flexible muscle is a stronger muscle. Stretching on a plate increases flexibility, and its effect is supposedly longer lasting than regular stretching. Here Stevens shows his normal reach.

Stevens gets on the machine and works his way lower, using a stool for balance.

A few minutes later, toes touched.

Stretching the achilles.

Hip flexor stretch on a different machine, which oscillates up and down rather than seesawing.

The plate can aid in recovery as well. Stevens' calves take a ride on the Galileo.

Now, having just had a brief visit to the facility, there's no way I can vouch for it. Instead here's a testimonial from longtime client Ira Krell of the Western Union team:

I came to Gabriel Ettenson by way of referral from an orthopedist I was seeing for severe knee pain. The doctor wasn’t sure what my issues were but knew I was in pain. The doctor felt I needed arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus but admitted that wasn’t the cause of my pain. He recommended Gabriel because of his out of the box techniques and approach to PT. Within weeks, Gabriel did what several of MDs and PTs couldn’t. He got to the root of my issue and FIXED the cause while everyone else looked to provide pain relief.

During the process, Gabriel introduced me to vibration therapy. It did wonders for my balance/flexibility and interesting enough we began to see improvements in strength. I started to see significant improvement in my cycling performance and general fitness. Once my course of treatment ended I continued visiting the vibration studio. This is what I have found - a half hour workout leaves you completely depleted without the residual soreness associated with lifting weights. I noticed a loss of body fat and an increase in muscle definition. Vibration training works my whole body so I saw improvement in non-cycling muscle groups. The science aside vibration therapy works.

At 48, I am now having great fun racing. I am more than holding my own when before I had trouble hanging on the back of a CRCA A field or 123 race. I share this with you because of my fondness for Gabriel. I truly believe in his theories, philosophies and approach to conditioning. Vibration improved my well being and has allowed me to train/race more seriously. I rode on a limited basis while my kids were young and as we got older I found it harder to keep up. I was prepared to hang up racing because of the aches/pains. Meeting Gabriel and adding vibration allowed me to work on my physiological weak areas which enabled me to train/ride harder. 

Membership at Amplitude works on a month by month basis at $100 a month for unlimited visits.

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Power Plate has been out for
By: Jonathan Adler Sucks
Sat, 08/13/2011 - 7:01am

Power Plate has been out for years. Total joke. As is this device.

Stevens the emo
By: 31.8
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:59pm

There's only one picture where you can actually see more than 35% of his face, and he's not smiling. maybe it's just dumb luck, but who the fuck smiles when they stretch? Stevens is only partly emo.

Wonder how much they paid
By: paid
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 4:18pm

Wonder how much they paid Cavandish to stand like a douche bag on that contraption? The picture looks like a hurried one of him standing on the device for a quick snapshot before that start of a training ride or race.

By: Tom Tracknut
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 4:16pm

The effects can certainly be more rapidly noticeable in a deconditioned population, but you will see if you take a look at the research, that quite a few populations of athletes also benefit in terms of speed and fast twitch performance.

We welcome anyone to stop in for a FREE demo. As I said, we love skeptics.

Europan Space Agency
By: Tom Tracknut
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 4:12pm

For all the skeptics. Cannot remember the last time NASA or The ESA fell victim to infomercials.

For the rest:

At high power settings, there can be vibration translated to the floor in an apartment. The mats can help, but the extent depends on the flooring and building structure.

By: Lars Ergopower
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 2:10pm

I see that this thing operates at 30hz. Can I just mod my Velodyne subwoofer?
Seriously, if you had one of these in an apartment would the "noise" be a deal breaker, or do those mats isolate it effectively?

I'm dreaming of an exercise
By: Louis Chainline
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 1:49pm

I'm dreaming of an exercise classroom full of these things, with only me and 30 other beautiful ladies in skimpy exercise gear...

most of these fads work!
By: Noa Sealant
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 1:02pm

Hard to believe, but it is true. They don't work because they are some sort of new discovery, they work because for the majority of people who try them, it will be the first time they exercise in a long time, so any exercise will help them. Any exercise is better than being a couch potato watching infomercials.

This vibration platform looks interesting. It obviously recruits more muscles than you would use otherwise. If I wasn't so lazy I would read the published research and see if it all makes sense. All considered, the price is very reasonable compared to other fads. I would drop $100 to at least try it for a month.

Party People in the House
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:24am

Party People in the House Tonight!!!

Why's this kid so emo? Would
By: Jonas Skidmark
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 11:16am

Why's this kid so emo? Would it kill him to smile?

side effects?
By: Happy Golucky
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 10:51am

Is that why James's hair is that way?

On a recent trip to the UK, I
By: Erwan Chamois
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 9:43am

On a recent trip to the UK, I had a chance to use the Galileo. I was surprised by how intense the muscles were working. Research was quite interesting too. Didn't realize you were in the states. I am going to try and come by next week.

Another Silly Fad
By: Vibrator-ATOR
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 7:57am

Watching the video of this one is reminded of all of those infomercials and all of the crap that gathers DUST after the purchaser has become bored with the latest technology in how to get fit and stay fit!

Ridiculous unless you have had a TERRIBLE accident and need such specific therapy!

By: Dr. Douche
Thu, 08/11/2011 - 7:31am


The TSA should use those to
By: Giorgio Nipple
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 8:43pm

The TSA should use those to jiggle balloons of heroin out of drug mules at airports.

By: Viva Velo Vici
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 8:34pm


Can I still use this if I
By: Giorgio Nipple
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 7:36pm

Can I still use this if I have an excitable bladder?

looks like the running
By: Ron Popeil
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 6:07pm

looks like the running barefoot fad

So the lesson learned is...
By: Lander Ceramic
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 5:56pm

Vibe less, masturbate more.

i love the shake weight rant.
By: coffee
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 5:20pm

i love the shake weight rant. awesome. so random. please go off on the snuggie next.

This reminds me of the Shake
By: Shakeweight
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 4:17pm

This reminds me of the Shake Weight device they were selling on TV to help tone muscles - basically a piece of crap.

and I quote

When i saw the commercial for shake weight i was just saying to myself: “It`s just a joke!!!” i mean.. that thing the shake weight thing looks and behaves like a big dildo with stupid vibration that makes other people laugh, how the heck can someone do that shake weight instead of jogging or anything else? Women are just lazy and want to be beautiful without exercise and proper nutrition!!!

In the ad for shake weight there is something like this:”If your arms aren’t on fire after just 6 minutes, return the Shake Weight® for a 100% refund of EVERY dime you paid – we’ll even pay to take it back! “;
How stupid can you be to believe that bullshit?

Of course your arms will be on fire after 6 minutes of intense movement using the shake weight if you don`t exercise at all and that`s your first time, i mean d`ohhhhhhh even masturbation makes your hands sore if you do it after a while of break :| .

Ladies, stick with the old exercises, eat healthy and forget about that shake weight miracle lie! (and by the way, those girls in the commercial for shake weight train intensely in the gym to look as best as they can for that kind of commercials because they are MODELS and they are needed only when the body is in great shape and looks good, omg just forget about that shake weight !!!!!!!)

Anybody ever hear of YOGA? It
By: skeptic
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 4:14pm

Anybody ever hear of YOGA?

It is free and it is from the east -eastern medicine - tried and tested.

laalaa, Please feel free to
By: Ayoub Brakepad
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 4:01pm


Please feel free to come in for a complimentary demo. We love nothing more than converting skeptics. Please feel free to review the research if you'd like. It's available on

hmmmm what will they come up
By: laalaa
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 3:45pm

hmmmm what will they come up with next?

Whatever happened to those leg compression things which supposedly helped you recover.

Then there was the ice pack device.

Now this, does thing come with a happy ending?

Cyclists are such a guillible bunch.

Ben Wa Balls
By: D'Oh!
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 3:40pm

Ben Wa Balls to Mengoni

Try it before you knock it
By: Nathan Flange
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 3:11pm

I do bike fittings here is lovely, and HOT, Austin Texas and have incorporated the Power Plate vibration trainer into the sessions when possible. They're not for everyone, however. Contraindications include Epilepsy, folks with pacemakers, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and other issues related to a compromised neuro-muscular system and/blood issues (folks with clots or a history of EPO usage should steer clear of these things). The hamstring demonstration is interesting. Want to see some more dramatic results? Check this post on Steve Hogg's website.

Lilian S is Gabe E.
By: Andy Shen
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 1:57pm

Lilian S is Gabe E.

Ben wa Balls - love
By: Lancie Pie
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 1:45pm

Ben wa Balls - love it!

Lilian Seatube - reveal yourself . . .

Must be Jello...
By: Mo Money
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 1:39pm

Cuz, Jam don't shake like that.

By: Gregorio Topcap
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:37pm

bike/wheels/tires/stuff/reg/out of town races/gym/coach/vibration therapy

By: Lilian Seattube
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:27pm

The level of soreness or fatigue differs from one person to the next, but this is generally a reflection of the program intensity which we are quite good at anticipating when we train someone. So...if you were looking to avoid this, you'd be introduced slowly with an introductory program.

As far as using it before a race, you could. The only difference would be that the program timing and design would reflect the goal of exciting the nervous system for performance vs fatiguing it to create a strengthening effect.

By: The troof
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:04pm

In 2006 I was in PT for a 2nd degree hamstring strain and they had me on a Powerplate during each session. It really seemed to help break down the scar tissue from the strain (as did the massage) and felt nice on the calves as well as the hammies and ITB.

I will definitely consider this place next time I have muscle issues and also during the off season training.

Will this jingle my Ben Wa
By: Matteo Tigweld
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 11:17am

Will this jingle my Ben Wa Balls?

feel the vibration
By: Marky Mark
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 11:02am
Thanks Lilian. Is there any
By: Victor Polished
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:42am

Thanks Lilian. Is there any initial negatives when you first start using it (ie does it take some adaptation or cause some initial fatigue or soreness)? Could you start vibration and then race the next day?

Will it tickle if I sit on
By: Mathys Tarmac
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:31am

Will it tickle if I sit on it?

All attachments should be
By: Lilian Seattube
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:22am

All attachments should be cleared by our staff first ;-).

The uses for Vibration
By: Lilian Seattube
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:20am

The uses for Vibration Training can be for both in-season or off-season. The only differences being the program design. During in-season it is done with the goal of both enhancing performance and recovery between training/competition. Off-season training focuses heavier on general strength and conditioning as well as eliminating compensations or overuse issues that have built up during the season.

The shoes are typically not
By: Lilian Seattube
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:18am

The shoes are typically not used unless it is during competition. The benefits are still there with shoes however, but some vibration is lost in the materials of the shoes.

If your serious about the
By: Lilian Seattube
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:16am

If your serious about the question, it is phenomenal. We have worked with many eastern medicine practitioners in the past as circulation and electrical activity via the nervous system typically translate into "energy flow". Come in and you can decide.

What does this do for your
By: Damien Helmet
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 10:04am

What does this do for your Chi?

By: D'Oh!
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 9:01am

Is Cav really getting benefits from the board by standing on there with cycling shoes?

Would this be better for
By: Victor Polished
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 8:38am

Would this be better for off-season training or a a complement to in-season training? Anyone know?

Cavendushh secret, big head,
By: Maxime Headset
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 7:40am

Cavendushh secret, big head, short body, long arms and femurs!

I am so there, for a
By: Hamza Topcap
Wed, 08/10/2011 - 7:37am

I am so there, for a lunchtime session...I will bring my special attachment...

Seriously looks great! Do hot chicks hang out there?

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