Vibration is a stimulus that ADC has made a part of their training regime. ADC uses vibration in conjunction with traditional weight lifting, jumping, running and throwing activities to improve performance.
Vibration has a proprioceptive effect on the body. Proprioception is the perception of movement and spatial orientation arising within the body as a result of stimuli. This affects the nerves and muscular system of the body. When the body is exposed to vibration, specific parts of the neuromuscular system react.
Vibration directly affects 2 components of the neuromuscular system of the body, the muscle spindles and the Golgi tendons.
Muscle spindles are designed to react to stimuli and contract the muscle. The contraction rate depends on the level of stimulation. Vibration and weight lifting each can cause contractions. Together they will more fully activate a muscle fiber. They can maximize muscular contraction.
Golgi tendons are designed to inhibit muscle activation. They attempt to prevent dangerous contractions but they can also inhibit growth. Vibration has a tendency to reduce that inhibition.
Vibration has a proprioceptive effect on the body. It can improve activation, reduce inhibition and help maximize muscle contraction. As vibration improves proprioception, it also improves balance.
These neurological effects can improve muscle strength and power.
In many ways vibration has a plyometric effect on the muscular system. Plyometrics involve rapid stretching and contracting of muscles. The rapid rise and fall of the vibration platform does the same thing. This process improves muscular power.
Exposure to vibration has also been shown to increase testosterone and human growth hormone levels. These positive side effects help to increase muscular size.
ADC has coupled the use of vibration with traditional lifts like the bench and squat. The result has been large increases in neurological efficacy and in muscle size.
This process has to be done in cycles and with controlled levels of stimulation. Vibration delivered in the wrong dosage can actually inhibit growth or set someone back. You can overtrain using vibration. It took us a long time to develop these protocols.
Generally speaking, vibration has been a boon to our athletes because it speeds up the growth process.