Powerplate_side

It's universally acknowledged that Madonna looks amazing and normally us mere mortal sigh and put it down to her having a personal trainer, masses of money and access to high tech wizardry that the like of us can only dream about . However it has been revealed that she uses the Power Plate machine to keep her torso so trim, and while at £6,995 for one it may be out of our price range, thankfully studios exist now, where for a mere £20 a session we can buff our body ready for those summer bikini's.

But how does it work? Good Vibes Fitness, a studio dedicated purely to Power Plates fills us in on the nitty gritty. A Power Plate workout uses high speed vibration training to work out your whole body in a mere 25 minutes, and then allow you continue with your day. Perfect for the modern working man or woman, these are fitness sessions you can literally fit into your lunch break, and the toning nature of the class means you won't even sweat off your makeup!

Sounds great in concept, but what's the reality? Your intrepid Star Trip writer takes the Power Plates for a test drive...

Read the results after the jump.

I was slightly scared when I entered the studio, the large machines looked like something from a galaxy far far away, and the constant humming sounded like an epileptic bee on acid. However, the friendly staff put me at ease, and I was dressed in sweatpants-shirt and bare feet, so felt very comfortable.I was worried everyone would be supermodel types but there was a range of office workers and aspiring actresses, so there was no fitness show down.

There are five machines, so classes are small and you get a lot of individual attention, which is useful when I incorrectly crouched when I should have squatted. The vibrations did send constant tremors up my body, but I was promised that these tremors were tricking my brain into thinking I was falling, so my body would engage  nearly 100% of all muscle fibres to keep me stabilised. Your muscles contract and relax 30-50 times a second, hence the high speed training. As well as general toning qualities it is thought that constant power plating increases metabolism and blood flow as well as improving flexibility. I could well believe that; though the session itself was fairly relaxing, the constant juddering  has to be good for my circulation, and the massaging effects of the vibrations encourage lymphatic drainage.

Indeed, the founder of the Good Vibes Studio, Nahid de Belgeonne was once a client, who after a few sessions on a Power-Plate was so impressed with the results that she decided to retrain and open up her own dedicated Power-Plates studios. When someone is that enamoured with a product that she chooses to dramatically refocus her life around it it sounds like a good thing!

Leaving the studio I was disappointed to see that my limbs had not achieved Madonna-esque perfection, but apparently you need to go three times a week to start seeing any noticeable results, and as with any exercise there are no immediate quick fixes. Next day I woke in agony with my thigh muscles screaming abuse and aches and pains in unmentionable places. I was surprised but pleased, as it meant that session had actually had an effect, even if I hadn't sweated at the time

I will definitely be going back, and while I may never reach Madonna's sinewy perfection, I'm hoping a that a more chiseled torso isn't completely out of reach.