As a follow up to my last article about push up equipment, I wanted to share my thoughts on useless fitness equipment that has found its way onto our closet shelves by means of deceptive and false advertising.
With billions of dollars spent each year in the health an fitness industry, there is a vast market of opportunity for businesses looking to capitalize on a country full of overweight people. We have become an ”I want it now” society” , so is it any wonder that these companies are producing merchandise that promises fast results with little or no effort? Quick results sells and long and difficult doesn’t! That’s it..
Over the last decade I have seen numerous fitness products making great claims about their health benefits, but unfortunately not too many can back it up with science. In my opinion, here are some of the culprits which are tarnishing the reputation of the fitness industry and wasting our hard earned money:
1. The Ab Lounger: Cost: $75-$100. This was one of the more popular pieces of shit equipment found on late night television and subsequently became very popular. Any time your body is stabilized, you are shortchanging the effectiveness of the movement. That’s exactly what this thing does. A basic crunch is more effective and a whole lot cheaper.
2. Commercial Crunch Machine: Cost: $1,000-$2,000. Have you ever seen someone using all their might trying to crunch the whole stack of weight on this machine? I have and it’s not pretty. They are probably thinking that the more weight they can crunch, the better their abs will look, right? You’re more likely to strain your neck or back that you are to get ripped abs. How about doing a few core exercises on a stability ball instead.
3. BodyBlade: Cost: $50-$200: This contraption claims that instead of using resistance training or free weights, the vibrating blade is all you need. Supposedly it works all of your muscles by vibrating 270 times per minute and helps improve your coordination and balance. I can’t see how this thing can have any significant effect at all or why anyone would buy it. Makes no sense to me….
4. Electronic Ab Belt: Cost: $30-$60: Electronic impulses are sent to your abdominal muscles and produce contractions, which in turn will build strength and improve fat loss. This is one of their claims. Hmmmmm. The only exercise you will get with this thing is from the amount of work it takes to take it out of the box and figure out how the heck it works.
5. igallop: Cost $250-$600: The igallop is meant to emulate the motion of riding a horse, in some bizarre fashion. As it turns out, sitting on a $12 stability ball is just as effective, but not quite as cool. The only silver lining is that this product is NOT sold by Tony Little….
6. The Lovehandler: Cost: If it’s more than free, I don’t care: Twisting and turning to reduce those unsightly love handles is the pitch for this gem. Has the CEO of this company ever heard that spot reduction IS NOT possible??
7. Red Exerciser: Cost: $55-$90: The last time I checked, this was called a chair…This is nothing more than a round seat with handles. It’s designed to work your core and there is some mumbo jumbo about pilates, but let’s be realistic….it’s a chair.
8. Neckline Slimmer: Cost: $10-$20: This also has the added benefit of being sold used on Amazon.com. Now you can have some stranger’s chin grease at no extra charge! According to the product creator, the neck and jaw muscles should be exercised with resistance just like every other muscle. “Regain your youth without surgery” is their slogan. It’s basically a spring loaded handheld device you press down on with your chin. I have also read multiple complaints about misleading information regarding shipping costs as well as being overcharged or sent additional products. What a shocker!
9. Sauna Suit: Cost: $10-$40: This has to be my least favorite of all due to the negative impact on your health. They are basically selling dehydration. If you want to sweat more, work harder. If you want to drop 15 pounds of water weight and gain 16 pounds back, buy this! Unless you are a wrestler and your coach is making you drop a bunch of weight quickly, forget it.
10. Shake Weights: Cost: $20: In just 6 minutes a day, you too can shape that body. Who wouldn’t want that? Apparently it also increases muscle activity by more than 300% over traditional weights. It was even mentioned on the Ellen DeGeneres Show so it MUST work, right? If you think this is at all possible, please stop reading this blog and never return……
11. Slendertones: Cost: $100-$150: This is another belt designed to provide Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS)-doesn’t that sound official?? This belt claims to work the outer and inner muscles of the core and is backed by 40 years of applied use in hospitals. I have to wonder just what type of “hospitals” they are used in..
12. Power Plates: Cost: $300-$7,000: This machine is actually getting quite a lot of attention these days. It’s popping up in gyms all across the country. Call me a skeptic, but I’m not a believer. The claim is that a 10 minute workout on a vibrating plate or disc can replace a traditional 60 minute workout.This is possible due to your muscles contracting up to 50 times each minute. Still not buying it… I have read that it is beneficial for people with multiple sclerosis, but for the general population, just use a BoSu for a great stability workout.
I realize that this article has focused entirely on the negative side of this business, but I just HATE, HATE, HATE frivolous fitness gimmicks. To be fair, all of these products have SOME redeeming qualities. If you want to buy any of them click HERE. Just kidding….
I also realize that if I keep this pace up, I may never be able to earn a living via this website because I will have eliminated all of my potential sponsors.