Like sex toys and toothbrushes, the way we workout is getting a vibrating makeover. And it's nothing like those old machines with the wide belt that straps around the waist to shake the belly. The Power Plate works by sending small vibrations through the body, causing the muscles to contract and react thousands of times a minute. It's similar to the body automatically adjusting and moving while standing on the train, except you're gently pulsating and will be sore the next day.
Popular with Europeans and many professional sports teams (including the Bulls), the plate can now sculpt Chicagoans who visit the Power Plate Institute in Lincoln Park, a small, mint green studio broken into two areas. The front serves as a check-in spot for clients and a sales floor for potential plate purchasers. A few machines stand on display, and a large TV loops Power Plate's media coverage. Separated by a large white curtain, the back space features a classroom with a few changing rooms.
Classes: Classes are limited to four participants. The plate isn't for everyone; some folks can't handle the vibrations, so expect attentive trainers asking lots of questions and making adjustments while participants go through basic moves like squats and planks. Because you only need to work each muscle for 30-60 seconds, classes only last 25 minutes. One session costs $35, but because they recommend three 30-minute sessions per week for optimal results, you'll receive a discount if you purchase in bulk ($300 for 12 sessions). If that seems a bit steep, the $4,500 price tag on the plate's home model should put the cost into perspective.
Extras: You can snack on complimentary healthy treats and Starbucks coffee, but the real bonus here lies in the additional results from regular plate use. Customers report a break up of cellulite, increased bone density and a decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson