Vibration training has grown steadily in popularity, moving more recently into home use as less expensive trainers are entering the market.
We took a look at the newer Zen Pro trainer offered by Teutonic Sales, which was being tested and used in a high-end boutique personal training studio. There, the owners and trainers had experience not only with vibration training as a part of sessions with clients (who, in general, we are told, enjoy the modality) but also with other brands of vibration plates.
The studio’s owner noted how “great” the product was and said, in sum, “I love it.”
Why? It was smaller and a little less intimidating than others on the market (including a popular brand he also has in the studio). The console and programming were also really easy to figure out, he said, with quick and very intuitive button-pushes. SNEWS agreed when it used the trainer. Sure, in the studio, trainers mostly direct clients through the workout, but the piece would work well in a home setting since the on-off and how-to was so simple to use and to setup.
To the workout itself, the vibration had a “good feel,” which was pleasing to the clients. And it operated quietly -- important in a home setting.
A few things needed a touch of work: The cushioning pad that came with it to put on the plate when a user is sitting or putting his or her hands on it was thin and, well, not very cushioning. It needed an upgrade, which would certainly be a quick and inexpensive fix. The plate itself needed to be slightly longer and wider to accommodate larger and taller people but also wider stances. In addition, at least for personal trainers who re-adjust the trainer for several clients a day, the straps needed some color bands or other markings to help trainers go back to a setting that worked before and not have to re-invent the wheel.
For somebody who is having it delivered, our trainers told us it was extremely easy to assemble and there were no problems straight out of the box, plus (surprise!) the manual was actually pretty good.
The console was a simple LCD display with backlight. Programs included four pre-set ones and a manual option. The vibration frequency is 20 Hz to 50 Hz, and the maximum user weight is 300 pounds.
All in all, the experience was positive and not only would the trainer buy one but clients were also interested.
(Note: A model with slightly redesigned aesthetics was due out in late summer 2009, but we were told it would function the same. Meanwhile, the website was being updated and details may not be uploaded for another few weeks.)
SNEWS® Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $2,499
For information: www.teutonicsales.com