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Platform Size of Vibration Machines: Why does it matter?

If the motor power and frequency is known, the size of the vibration platform is immaterial, right?

Wrong! Absolutely wrong!

A lot depends on the vibration platform. Even if the power of the machine is known and the frequency is known, the motor power may not be sufficiently high to move a large platform with the desirable amplitude (and even frequency, for some machines). On the other hand, if the platform is too small, you cannot stand comfortably or do exercises on that. So, there needs to be a balance somewhere.

The most fundamental concern is that, given the platform size, the motor ought to be strong enough to move the platform with both the desired amplitude as well as desired frequency, without any lag in the movement.

And this is really easy to test. All that you have to do is stand up on the machine while it is running (and take your weight dumb bells, if you plan to use those in real exercise settings). If the machine shows any smallest sign of slowdown, there's a lag. That tells you, the platform is too heavy for the motor to drag along. Simply abandon the machine - it is not worth buying. There are a whole world of machines out there, that do not suffer from this problem.

This is commonly seen in the cheaper machines. The sound of vibration will change and lose its rhythm. And unfortunately, people are ignorant of the fact that this slowdown is a bad indication on the machine's capabilities. They tend to increase the power and get past the lag problem, while they do their exercises. Unfortunately, that exerts a lot of stress on the motor(s) and would burn out pretty soon if such over-stressing is continued for some time (a few months to at most a year).

What is a good size of the plates? A width of around 26-30 inches and a depth of about 24-27 inches is good. For a typical steel-platform machine, a 500 watt motor is deemed good enough. If you get a machine with a plate larger than that, the chance that you would have to go as high as 800 to 1,000 watts for your motor is significantly higher.

Note that a smaller platform size can still be very good. Take a Hypervibe machine for example. These machines have a small platform not because the manufacturer wanted to save the cost of building a larger vibration platform, but because they wanted to make the machines better. The G-force that gets generated by this machine makes it one of the best in terms of exercises it would provide. It gives a really intense workout.

It is important to balance between the platform size and motor power. In fact, that is one of the first few basic considerations that you ought to make before finalizing your choice of vibration machines. And from what I have found, platform sizes of 24-26 inches by 26-28 inches is ideal. This platform size is small enough for usual motors to move significantly fast, and yet, big enough to do manual exercises (such as weight lifting, push ups and dips etc.) while taking the automated vibration exercises.

So, you have two options. One option is to play safe by remaining in the medium zone of 24-27 inch deep and 26-30 inch wide machines. The other option is to take the quiz and find out whether any specific platform size outside this range would still work well enough for given your health conditions.

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