Madonna, Sadie Frost and Claudia Schiffer are just a few of the celebs who have been singing the praises of the latest workout must-have the Power-plate.

Rumour has it that the Material Girl, a 40-something who sports a body most 20-somethings would be happy to own, used one to get in shape for her latest video Hung Up.

The Power-plate looks like a giant pair of weighing scales with handle bars but it is, in fact, a woman-size vibrator which reaches parts even Heineken couldn't lay claim to.

It vibrates rapidly, whipping your wobbly bits into shape by working nearly every muscle in your body as it causes them to contract and relax.

If you listen to its makers, the Power-plate would seem to possess more healing powers than a trip to Lourdes.

The virtually inexhaustible list of health benefits from a quick wobble include: Improved strength, skin, circulation, posture, co-ordination, fitness and fat-burning.

While a ten-minute thrash about is said to be as effective as a one-hour workout in the gym.

Luckily for Brighton, Fitness First gym on Queen's Road lives up to its name and was the first gym in the city to become home to a Power-plate.

Natalie Hooper, the personal trainerat Fitness First, who is about to put me through my paces says since the celebrity connection emerged, interest in the Power-plate has soared.

"A lot more people are asking about the Power-plate since celebrities such as Madonna said they had one," she says. "I even had one lady who said she was thinking of buying one because she heard Sadie Frost had one."

Twenty minutes into a deep squat on the Power-plate and I'm feeling the burn, as well as the alarming vibrations. But what starts as a disconcerting buzz soon becomes quite a pleasant jiggle.

While the thought of a man-size vibrating machine may raise an eyebrow and a snigger from the filthier-minded, a session on the Power-plate is definitely more relaxing than arousing.

While Natalie explains how most people spend between ten and 20 minutes working on one-minute exercises to tone and tame wayward flesh, I work through a series of ten exercises from lunges and deep squats to push-ups and pelvic bridges.

The latter two are slightly uncomfortable.

My face is so close to the vibrating plate, it's a similar sensation to resting your head on a washing machine on spin dry. Not nice.

One of the Power-plate's major pluses is that, unlike most gym equipment, it's fun and relaxing.

"Everyone laughs when they first get on the Power-plate," says Natalie.

"But most people really like it and we have a lot of regular users.

It works virtually 100 per cent of all muscle fibres.

It's also good for skin, especially cellulite because it gives a deep- tissue massage and breaks down the fat. It also helps to ease tension,which can improve spinal mobility."

The morning after my Power-plate session, I wake up feeling as though I've been abducted by aliens and used as a punch bag.

Though this could have something to do with the fact that the last time I tackled a press-up was in a PE class circa 1995.

However, the important thing is that my aching back strained while showing off lifting heavy boxes during my recent house move has disappeared.

Three cheers for the Power-plate.

Use of the machine is free to members of Fitness First, and membership costs from £34.95 for three months.

Contact Fitness First, 78-81 Queen's Road, Brighton. Call 01274 220931.