Tucked away in the retail corridor of the Leo Burnett building, a tiny fitness studio is looking to change the way people in Chicago work out. Instead of spending hours sweating on ordinary treadmills and weightlifting equipment, Break4Health clients utilize the combination of two new cutting-edge fitness systems. Great for busy professionals, the whole process can be done in street clothes and takes about 15- 20 minutes a week.
That’s right - just 20 minutes a week!
Is this article sounding like an infomercial?
I admit I was skeptical of the whole thing. So Jenny Mandell, President and CEO of Break4Health, encouraged me to try it myself for 2 weeks. And the results were pretty impressive!
The bioDensity™ sessions take about five minutes each, once a week. The system was designed to stimulate the natural processes in the body that create new bone mass and increase muscular density. Other benefits include higher caloric burn and better coordination and balance.
The sensors on the machine measure how much force is being produced to track the muscular strength from session to session. Each session and is recorded, analyzed and delivered to you via email. Success is gauged by "force production" of the body, which typically increases with each session.
What’s really great is that the system uses “self-imposed loading” - the maximum force that you put on your own bones and muscles. Since you are creating your own resistance, it is almost impossible to be injured with this system.
Mandell pairs bioDensity™ with Power Plate®, which promises users enhanced reflexes, balance, muscular strength and circulation, while reducing visceral body fat and further enhancing bone health. And Power Plate® has shown extremely positive outcomes with patients with Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.
Those outcomes are especially meaningful for Mandell.
After the birth of her second son in 2000, Mandell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Always an active person, she was devastated as she watched her balance and body functions spiral downward.
After years of monthly infusions, she was asked by the creator of bioDensity™ to try his machine. In just 2 weeks, she saw her muscle strength increase. She added Power Plate® to her resistance-training regime, and soon regained her energy and vitality. After just three months of training, Mandell ran in the 2009 Chicago Marathon and, under her doctor’s watchful eye, began weaning herself off her medications. Today, Mandell is off all medications and is in full remission.
Opening Break4Health is more than simply business to Mandell - it’s about helping people to heal.
“These machines were a godsend,” Mandell says. “I want every single person who went through a traumatic experience like I did to know that they can have a second chance.”
In that spirit, Mandell recently donated a Power Plate®, machine to the new Shriner’s Children Hospital, so the children there could begin working towards strength and recovery.
I know what you’re thinking: Nice story but it still sounds too good to be true.
I was skeptical as I watched Mandell go through the paces on the machines. Yes, her face looked like she was working hard but her body was hardly moving. I mean, for heaven’s sake, she was standing on the Power Plate® in high heels! How much of a workout could this be?
So Mandell encouraged me to try it myself - and wow! I could not believe how hard my body was working! I started sweating after squatting for 15 seconds on the vibrating Power Plate® . Next, I went into a semi-pushup position and held it for 15 seconds. Now, I admit to having very little upper arm strength but it was unbelievable how challenging those 15 seconds were.
The 5 minute workout on the bioDensity™ equipment was easy. The Core Pull, which works the same muscles as sit-ups and crunches, was a walk in the park. (The slight soreness in my abs the next day assured me that the Core Pull was the real thing!)
I felt a little tired when I finished my workout but, surprisingly, I could feel my energy start to rise before I even walked out the door. Within 10 minutes of leaving the Break4Health studio, I felt more energetic and clear-headed than I had in weeks.
I went back a week later to go through the short routine again with trainers Felicia and Shone and the results were pretty astounding. The computer showed that my force production had increased by 46%. But more importantly - at least to me - was how I felt. I woke up with energy and I was getting so much accomplished. I still feel great!
And I’m not the only new fan. Sports blogger Ken Valdiserri recently reported that Google bought a bioDensity™ machine for its headquarters, and Tony Robbins bought a machine for each of his three homes. It’s being touted as “the” new way to train and get in shape.
Still skeptical? Try it yourself! Mandell is offering free two-week trials. She knows you’ll be a believer once you try it out.
Tight on time? The sessions take 15-20 minutes a week. You can do them in your street clothes, and won’t need to shower after.
Worried about injury? Since the process is “self-loading”, it’s incredibly low risk. As of today, with over 300,00 data points, there have been no injuries reported.
Worried about money? The monthly cost is comparable, if not less, than most gyms and fitness centers.
Ready to schedule your free trial? Call 312.909.6343, or visit www.break4health.com for more information.
Photos: E. Gelman