What can I say? I had my first Power Plate session today (courtesy of Take 30 Gym in Lurgan) and I’m feeling all sorts of pains in my legs and core as well as all sorts of smug that I even managed to complete the 30 minute “superset”!

For those who have been living under a stone for the last few years, a Power Plate is a vibrating platform which you stand on whilst doing exercises. However, it is the top-of-the-range model and not the standard machines that just jiggle your fat. In fact it was initially designed for Russian Olympic athletes and later used to train cosmonauts. Now, instead of cosmonauts we have the likes of Madonna, Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, Elle McPherson, Kylie Minogue, Tiger Woods and Shaquille O’Neill reportedly using the machine on a regular basis. And we have one in LURGAN!!!

So the spiel is this: The machine creates instability in the body, as with each vibration the body is forced to perform unconscious reflexive muscle actions, 35 to 50 times per second. By assuming various positions on the Power Plate you stimulate different muscle groups. Additionally, the muscle contractions occur in multiple dimensions as the Power Plate machine oscillates in all three planes, just as the body does in everyday motion. The constant muscle action is what makes the training so efficient and effective. It is also why the workout only takes 30 minutes rather than the hours I would normally spend at the gym (admittedly, doing a lot of chatting between machines and enjoying a leisurely soak in the jacuzzi afterwards).

I thought it would be challenging but I don’t think I was expecting how sore my arms would feel as well! It was also a bit embarassing that my lovely instructor, Breda,was able to demonstrate the exercises with ease in spite of her being at least a quarter of a century older than me! God knows what she was thinking about me sweating and swearing away as I tried to do each exercise as she’d asked. I have got to stop thinking that just because I’m a Pilates and yoga instructor I am fit and healthy. (Note to self – You have to DO it not just tell others to do it, for the benefits to be passed on!) Which is perhaps why my upper body strength was so poor. I was pleased that my core strength was better than I thought and, while my legs are hurting now, they were strong enough to do all the exercises.

So, I staggered out within the hour, having done a premium workout for a fantabulous price. In fact Take 30 is currently offering free trial sessions for any women (sorry guys – you’re out of luck) who want to experience the quality of this machine so you should call them on 028 3834 1919 and book your place now! Non-members can then experience a single session for £10 or book a set of 10 sessions for the bargain price of £80. For me, the fact that you are getting a half hour of personal training (Breda never left my side) as well as the intensity of the machine makes it well worth double what they’re charging. But don’t tell them that or they might put the prices up 😉

Victoria