FitEquip: A Break From the Ordinary

Ever get bored at gym? Stupid question, I know. Even the rattiest of gym rats sometimes get sick of the same workout with the same fitness equipment. And, as a regular home-exerciser, I sometimes get tired of working out at home, too. Well, today’s FitEquip is all about breaking from the ordinary. The two fun and somewhat funky items below are guaranteed to bust you out of any workout rut.

Good Vibrations
Ready to “shake up” your workout routine? (Har, har, right?) Say hello to vibration training. This puppy from Power Plate is mostly used in collegiate and professional athletic training, but it’s also turning up in health clubs. Some big-name celebs are getting their shake on, too. Madonna, Heidi Klum and Hilary Swank are said to use vibration training to increase their strength, improve their flexibility and bone density, reduce cellulite and improve skin condition. Sounds like the fountain of youth to me. Plus, the vibration jokes are nearly endless. (And laughter keeps you young, right?).

Although there has been some disagreement as to whether or not vibration training is completely safe and effective, it’s definitely becoming more popular. I’ve done push-ups and squats on the machines (the vibration adds a totally new and harder dimension to those exercises, by the way), and I’ve never felt like I was in harm’s way. However, as someone who gets a little queasy on spinning rides at the amusement park, I get a little green after I’ve been shakin’ for more than a few minutes. Power Plate recommends workout sessions of 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a week for the best benefits.

Virtual Road Trip
Some days, when it’s, say, 3 degrees out, I really don’t have the option of going out for a run or walk. I mean, I guess I could if I bundled myself in four layers of clothing, but that’s just not fun in my opinion. Instead, I hit the treadmill, bike or elliptical either trying to get a good spot in front of a window or overlooking the weight room where I can giggle at the guys who are grunting and groaning under weights that are too heavy for them. (Gets me every time.) While I guess looking at a tree through glass or observing males in what they think is their natural habit is kind of like being in nature, I’d rather enjoy a more literal interpretation. That’s why I’m kinda geeked at Virtual Active Travel and Connect 18. Both bring the nature to you, in a high-tech sorta way.

The two companies provide virtual running, hiking and cycling experiences to either your home TV or personalized-viewing screen at the club. You can go for a run in Yosemite National Park, hike to the top of Mt. Whitney or a bike around the island of Guadeloupe. Sounds better than staring at a wall or watching a repeat of The Housewives of Orange County, eh?

How do you spice up your workouts? Do you prefer high-tech, low-tech, or tech that mimics no-tech? —Jenn


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  1. Lori says:

    I’ve seen the Power Plate, but never had the opportunity to use it. Glad to know it offers some variety.

  2. Erica says:

    VERY cool post Jenn! This power plate does sound like the fountain of youth! If it makes me look like Heidi Klum …I’m in hahah. Hope you guys have some great weekend plans!

  3. Merry says:

    I swear, every new exercise trend I read about turns out to be something that Madonna uses to get fit. Either that woman is all exercise all the time or else somebody’s been fibbin’ 😉

  4. Charlotte says:

    I tried the Power Plate and I gotta say, i didn’t really see a difference. It was a fun way to change up a workout but those suckers are so pricey I couldn’t see making it a regular part of my routine.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve tried the Power Plate and it works well. After a few weeks on it you’ll see the benefits…It takes time just like any other piece of fitness equipment… Give it a shot, I loved it.

  6. Irene says:

    That Virtual Travel is awesome! I may have to get one or two once I get my elliptical machine moved.

  7. tfh says:

    I like watching guys in their natural habitat, too, but a virtual road trip sounds much better! In fact, sometimes I need that even when I’m outside, just because the same old scenery does get a little monotonous.

  8. Every Gym's Nightmare says:

    cant do the vibration. im scared id get brain damage.

    Kelly Turner

  9. Sagan says:

    I like trying anything new. It’s all fun! The power plate looks hilarious.

  10. NatNibbles says:

    They have the Power Plate at a gym near me, seems a little hokey to me, but maybe I’ll need to try it!

  11. Moonlight Dancer says:

    Ahhh Guadalope I’ve hiked up to the rainforest there and it was spectacular! I really heart my gym because my classes are different everyday. So far almost a year into going there I haven’t gotten bored, we do the same “class” boxing, kickboxing, circuit etc. but the routine is different so far I haven’t hit a class that was the same yet. It keeps it interesting. They just added a new “body pump” class on fridays that I went to last night and it was interesting albeit hard. My body is sufficiently sore this morning.

  12. Meg says:

    I have no idea how I would react to a Power Plate. I think I might just giggle my way through the workout. Spicing up a workout for me simply involves doing something different. For example, this week I took a belly dancing class! I’ve also incorporated the Wii Fit into my routine…hopefully someday gyms everywhere will over Wii Balance board enabled classes! (hey i can dream!)