Vibration Fitness Machines are scientifically calibrated exercise machines designed to force your muscles to stretch and contract very rapidly but in very small increments. What this does is replicate the same action that happens during traditional exercise very rapidly, therefore speeding up the needed exercise time. In one minute you could probably do 30 squats, but with the you can get into the squat position and do hundreds of mini squats in the same amount of time. Our muscles naturally react by getting stronger and more flexible. As long as the muscle is being worked under force it will react in a very positive way. Vibration fitness uses your body weight and gravity to create the desired force and uses it to its fullest potential.
The companies selling the retrofitted equipment say that costs vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the kind of equipment the gym has and its electrical installation. But according to some reports, it costs a gym at least several hundred dollars—perhaps as much as $1000—to purchase the equipment or equipment modifications needed to harvest this electricity from a single exercise machine. Earning just $18 a year from it means that the initial investment would take decades to pay back. Other energy-conserving investments a gym might consider, such as installing better insulation or adding solar water heaters for the showers, typically have payback periods of several years.
Although the Green Revolution decided not to build custom equipment, that's exactly the approach another entrepreneur in this field has taken. Mike Taggett attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in Latin American studies. He worked as a river guide and started a business making an eyeglass retainer that he'd invented himself. At a trade show sometime in the late 1980s, he had the idea of attracting visitors to his company's booth by bringing a converted exercise machine that would generate electricity and power lights and kitchen appliances. “We made smoothies,” he recalls.
So are these electricity-producing exercise machines merely a marketing gimmick, something to make gym patrons feel good about their workouts? At the moment, that would seem to be the case. Gyms that have embraced the technology say that by advertising themselves as greener than regular gyms—and gyms are notorious power hogs—they can attract environmentally conscious customers. And if enough customers choose that gym rather than another one down the street, the initial investment will pay for itself much faster.