Love at first sight is a real thing — just ask Rachel Blumberg. Before she started PLATEFIT, Blumberg was working out extensively, taking countless spin and BARRE classes to stay in shape before she saw the thing that changed her workout regimen for life. A power plate, unused and unseen by anyone else, was sitting in the corner of the gym. When she asked one of the employees behind the front desk what it was, the woman responded: “I think it vibrates.”
Blumberg turned the plate on as high as it would go just to see what would happen. And immediately, her obsession began.
Nine years later, Blumberg now runs four PLATEFIT locations across LA, with more slated to open in the next year. A fitness enthusiast and former athlete, her goal in opening PLATEFIT was to bring this previously unknown and unused fitness technique to the masses for a reasonable price.
“I went home that day and did some research, finding out it was a certified medical device that every pro sports team in the US uses,” recalls the entrepreneur. “I had dug up all this really cool stuff and was like, ‘Why isn’t anyone using it?’” As it turns out, power plates cost over $15,000, and specialized trainers were charging $250 for a 15-minute session.
There was a reason it wasn’t popular, and that reason was the cost.
This research only spurred Blumberg’s obsession, and she began looking into opening her own studio. A BARRE method instructor and former water polo coach, she knew she had the skills to make the studio a success.
She was 26 at the time and called her parents to say she was quitting her corporate job at MySpace to open a studio. “They said I was crazy,” she remembers. “And I was.” After an initial not-so-successful attempt at getting it off the ground, Blumberg found a 200 square foot space that cost $600 a month to rent. There was a school down the street, and the new business owner recruited moms as the first members of her client base.
Blumberg used those nine years to hone the power plate routines and techniques that have today made the brand famous. Thousands of hours of research went into how long classes should be to what kinds of exercises would work best on the plates. The result was a very loyal and consistent client base.
The official PLATEFIT brand launched in January of 2016 with seven plates in their West Hollywood studio. Within months, they had opened new studios in Brentwood, Studio City, and Hollywood, with new studios set to open in Venice, Playa Vista, and Silverlake in the next year.
So how, exactly, does PLATEFIT work?
“The power plate is a medically approved device that provides benefits internally and externally,” explains Blumberg.
“The second you get onto the plate, your body is working to stay balanced, even if you don’t feel it. The plates are contracting your muscles 30-50 times per second, meaning it accelerates your workout, so you only need a 27-minute class to see results.”
She notes that plate usage has been linked to decreases in cortisol, increases in ADH and lymphatic drainage, amongst a host of other benefits.
Classes are perfect for people of all ages, sizes, and athletic abilities and are kept small, with no more than 15 people per session. This way, clients can have the personal attention they need. Working out on the plates are great for strengthening your bones and muscles, and everything fires at the exact same rate so one side isn’t getting favored over the other. However, expect the first couple of times you take classes to be a bit weird.
“Make sure to bend your knees and lift your heels a bit,” Blumberg advises first timers who might be put off at first. “Eventually, the vibration becomes secondhand and you almost forget that it’s on,” noting it may take up to three sessions to really get used to the techniques.
If you’re interested in trying it out, make sure to keep up-to-date on all of PLATEFIT’s social media channels as well as their website for class schedules and new studios opening up near you.
Bring on the good vibes… literally!
Logan Cross is a writer, editor, and dancer based in Los Angeles. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter, or listening to every fictional podcast her phone allows her to download.