How to create a reliable Power Balance band test?

I was recently sent a power balance bracelet to test. This came about due to the fact that someone asked me did I wear them, and I subsequently did some research which threw up all sorts of doubt as to their reliability.  

Quite a debate was struck up, and on the whole, with a few isolated cases, it was felt that they did not work, and had no scientific background at all. Read More

Do Power Balance bracelets really work?

This is something that has been in the media quite a lot recently. Good friends of mine swear by these, good respectable, intelligent friends. Someone directly asked me today, did I wear them. No, it seems silly to assume a bracelet will give me more energy, doesn’t it?

Power balances claims: how exactly does the bracelet work?

Apparently, the holograms on the bracelet are meant to work with the body’s natural energy field. On the power balance web site, their directly quoted answer to this question is thus:

‘The thin polyester film hologram is programmed through a proprietary process, which is designed to mimic Eastern philosophies that have been around for hundreds of years.’

I am not entirely sure what this is meant to mean, though! If you use enough fancy words, is it meant to make it more believable?!

Research: does it really work?

Porcari et al (2010) did research for the journal of sports science, into whether the power balance bracelet improved balance, flexibility, strength and power. They made some interesting observations.

42 athletes were tested on four tests, trunk flexibility, balance, strength and vertical jump. These tests were the same as those on the power balance test videos. The test was repeated twice, with a placebo bracelet then a power balance bracelet. There were negligible differences between the test results the first time, but much more promising the second time. They explained this as being a result of either being more warmed up, or the practice of having done the test once already.  

Porcari states that this method of testing is often used by companies, to demonstrate results that they deem to be favourable. It is known as the ‘order effect’

‘The improvements in the second trials were attributed to the fact that subjects were either: (1) more warmed up, or (2) habituated to the task. This would explain why the public sales demonstrations of Power Balance and similar performance-jewellery products appear to have beneficial effects on flexibility, balance and strength.’

‘But in reality, these sales demonstrations are essentially carnival tricks. By altering the way you apply force to the body, explains Porcari, you can easily change the outcome. “If I’m pushing a certain direction, and then I change the angle of pull or push a little bit, I can get you to lose your balance easily,” he says.’ (Hall, 2011 ‘Power balance products: a sceptical look’)

Harriett Hall goes on to challenge their claims at length, with several questions, related to quotes from their web site, for example:

·     It resonates at certain frequencies – so how did they test which frequencies work best?

·     We are a frequency – we are a bunch of cells help together by a frequency she quotes, but states a frequency is ‘the number of repetitions of a periodic process in a unit of time’ therefore cannot exist in isolation.

She also explains a positive test done by a power balance representative on national TV, and explains how the flaws make it look like a positive test.

I would certainly be interested to try it if power balance UK wanted to give me a neoprene strap to wear, however, so far, it seems there is very little reliable evidence to suggest that it works at all.

WE TESTED IT OURSELVES!

A friend and gym owner friend of mine conducted a test on the power balance bracelet. He had seen the demonstration done by a sales rep, and helped construct a test to see if they really worked.Here is what happened. Read the review of how we tested it and what we found by following the link to our full gym test

To read more about the power balance bracelet research, click here.

What are the benefits of drinking Green Tea?

The main beneficial ingredient in green tea is flavanoids, a plant derived compound that is an antioxidant and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  Read More

What are the benefits of hill running?

People often tell me that hill running is the way to get strong, fit and fast, but why is that? In general, people know that if you build stronger muscles, then you will become more powerful, therefore a faster runner. How does hill running fit into this? How does it all relate to building strength?

There are a number of ways that can be done: Read More

‘Catch’ Swim drills progression

Here is a series of swim drills I was given a while back, the purpose is to develop the catch phase of the freestyle stroke. It is a progressive set of drills, which should be done in succession. Read More

Is Cheese Really That Bad For You?

My gut reaction to this question posed to me on twitter is yes, but like anything, in moderation it is fine. I know that cheese is a very high proportion of fat, but it also has a lot of calcium and other nutrients that are good for you. Is that enough of an argument considering its very high fat content?

It seems the main concern with cheese it its high saturated fat content. “Saturated fat, which clogs arteries and increases LDL levels, is the No. 1 cholesterol-boosting culprit. And foods like ice cream and cheese are where you’re likely to find them (Sally Wadyka)Read More