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10 Worst Fitness Fad Products of All-Time Featured

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Electronic Ab ExerciserMost fitness fad product ideas come and go, while the really good ones stick around for awhile until fitness trends fall by the wayside. It’s hard to tell the difference between fad and fitness, which ones work and which don’t. So often many people will spend money, time and effort on a fitness product that doesn’t do what it claims. Don’t be fooled by these fitness fad product scams.

Read on to see what we believe are the top 10 worst fitness fad products of all-time that did not live up to their promises:

Fitness Fad Product Scam 1: Electronic Muscle Stimulators/The Electronic Ab Exerciser

About this fitness fad product: A machine that sends electric currents to your abs, making them contract and release. These fitness products were supposed to cause you to burn off body fat.  Most electric muscle stimulators sold from $50 to $250 and ranks #1 in the 10 most worthless fitness gimmick of all time.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: Losing body fat requires a combination of cardio exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. You can’t lose weight or fat by spot reducing or without moving your muscles. A machine won’t burn fat for you. The only way to burn fat off is by doing the work yourself.

Electronic muscle stimulators ultimate fate: These machines quickly went to the fitness product graveyard, only to see them now resurfacing on late night TV and in fitness magazines targeting people who are looking for a miracle machine to help them get in shape with little or no effort.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 2: ThighMasterthighmaster-newthighmaster-woman-eating

About this fitness fad product: The Thighmaster was a fitness infomercial product of the early 90’s and may have been the beginning of the "results by association" phenomena which is prevalent in the fitness industry today. The Thighmaster is a foam covered piece of metal with a spring in the middle.  The Thighmaster limited its use to squeezing the legs together from around a 45 degree angle.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: This range of motion of hip adduction does little to benefit strength and absolutely nothing to tone thighs.

Thighmaster’s ultimate fate: Thighmaster sold for $20 that made tens of millions in the 90’s is now available for 99 cents at your local garage sale.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 3: Velform Sauna Belt

About this fitness fad product: The Velform Sauna Belt is a weight reduction product that endeavors to “sweat” away unwanted fat. The Velform Sauna Belt includes a flexible belt with a fastening system, a multi-level remote control, an instructional guide, a free tape measure and a diet plan.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail:What really puts the Velform sauna belt in the hall of shame for fad fitness gimmicks is its true worthlessness. Even the worst of most fitness fad products involved muscle contraction. The Velform Sauna Belt causes no sweating, no inches lost, no fat burned off, nothing. Many consumers have even complained about burning and blistering this product causes after only 50 minutes of use. The Velform Sauna Belt cost around $50.00.

Velform Sauna Belt ultimate fate: Velform Sauna Belt ends up being nothing more than an expensive heating pad. There is no such thing as “spot reduction” in sauna terminology.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 4: Ab Lounge/Ab Rockerab-lounge

About this fitness fad product: The Ab Rocker and Ab Lounge are both small, portable piece of exercise equipment that claim to work the upper abs, lower abs and the obliques all while sitting in comfortably in front of your television.

Why these fitness fad products were doomed to fail: When a product's marketing claims sound too good to be true they usually are.  While sitting comfortably in one of these rocking chairs you probably won’t break a sweat or feel any muscle burn, therefore not working the abdominals. There are over 100 more effective and cheaper exercises to work the abdominal muscles that work. Cost of the Ab Lounge ranges from $129 to $179 and Ab Rocket around $100, which is about the same cost as a multiple month gym membership.

Ab Lounge/Ab Rocker’s ultimate fate: The showings of thousands of parody videos on YouTube demonstrating how pathetic a fitness gimmick these fitness fad products really are.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 5: Six Second Abs

About this fitness fad product: Six Second Abs is massively advertised abs exercise equipment which promises to help you shave off inches off your abs and tone them considerably. The concept of Six Second Abs is it allows you to work the various areas of your abs without lying down. The promise behind this product is that in mere minutes of working out daily, you'll be able to achieve substantial results in a matter of 1-2 weeks.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: The only positive thing about the product is the included exercise and diet program which hints the fact that abdominal exercises alone do not reduce abdominal fat. The actual gimmick product is a very low quality piece of plastic which should have been used to make children's toys. The resistance offered by the bands of the Six Second Abs is very insignificant and offered little, if any benefit. The Six Second Abs cost between 60 to 90 dollars.

Six Second Abs ultimate fate: Six Second Abs got its name from the time in which it takes to complete one repetition. It also takes about six seconds to throw it in the trash along with children’s other broken plastic toys. Coincidence?

Fitness Fad Product Scam 6: Vibration Machines/Power Platepower-plate

About this fitness fad product: Vibration fitness machine that claims to help do everything from toning muscles to improving strength and bone density. The person using the equipment merely gets onto a platform. They can stand, sit, lie down, or even focus the platform on certain body parts. This platform creates a vibration, which is sent through the body. Ultimately, the makers of the equipment claim that it will help increase range of motion, coordination, posture, bone density, and even decreases cortisol, the stress hormone.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: Remember back in the 60s vibration machines were all the rage. Only those machines worked where you would put a strap around your butt and the machine vibrated like crazy! Eventually those were pulled from the market when hundreds of people had developed serious organ complications, resulting in death in a few cases. This machine has basically brought back that idea in a different, hi-tech package. Another thing to consider is the hefty price tag. Vibration exercise equipment starts at over $2000, and goes up dramatically from there depending on the model and manufacturer.

Vibration Machines/Power Plate ultimate fate: OK, you have about $2,000 you want to get rid of. Your choices are; buy this machine or flush the money down the toilet. Flush the cash or spend it on a gym membership or hire a personal trainer. That way you won't have to look at this hideous reminder of your bad decision, and you'll avoid the discomfort and possible safety concerns of all those vibrations.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 7: The 24-Hour Arm Workout

About this fitness fad product: The 24-Hour Arm Workout was designed to make you gain 3/8 of an inch on your arms in 24 hours. You were given a specific carb diet to follow along with a special workout to do each hour.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: After performing such a high workload, your muscle fibers become highly damaged and inflamed, and along with increased carb diet you take in extra water which will lead to a fuller look. The 24-hour arm workout may leave your pipes looking larger and fuller than before, but the muscles themselves are not getting any bigger.

The 24-Hour Arm Workout ultimate fate: People who have given this workout a try realize its results are short-lived. In order for your muscles to grow, they need time to recover. If you want bigger arms, it’s going to take dedication, persistence and time. It will not happen in 24 hours.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 8: Shake Weightshake-weight

About this fitness fad product: Shake Weight claims to use "Revolutionary new technology called dynamic inertia" which is a statement that probably has Galileo turning in his grave.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: The problem with the idea is regardless if the weight is shaking or not, it is still a static contraction which only has affects at that joint angle. You could hold the same angle without any shake weights and contract your muscles to get the same muscle work.

Shake Weights ultimate fate: While shake weights may not be 100% worthless everything claimed in their marketing is complete utter nonsense. The videos basically say you’ll look like their models using the Shake Weight just 6 minutes a day. This is the classic way to sell fitness products to the ignorant man or woman sitting on the couch with a remote control and a credit card. For everyone else, we know better!

Fitness Fad Product Scam 9: Fitness Disk/Ab Circle

About this fitness fad product: Fitness Disk and Ab Circle are both rotating disc you stand on with a bar that’s split in two to hold on to. Fitness Disk and Ab Circle are marketed to be a "full body" or "total body" workout that targets problem areas, including trimming fat from waste and removing cellulite.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: Abdominal training is simply not going to give you a cardio workout or a "fat burning" workout. The abdominal muscles just aren't big enough to do either.  You have to train larger muscle groups (like legs) to really burn fat and get a cardiovascular workout.

Fitness Disk/Ab Circle’s ultimate fate: After dishing out cash for these overprice disks ($80 for Fitness Disk, $200 for Ab Circle) with receiving very little benefit, they will most likely either be stored in the attic or kept around for children to use as a miniature merry-go-round.

Fitness Fad Product Scam 10: Toning ShoesReebok-toning-shoes

About this fitness fad product: Toning shoes are sneakers designed with an unstable sole so leg muscles have to work harder to maintain balance during everyday activities. Skechers markets its Shape Ups shoes to "get in shape without setting foot in a gym." Various other companies' claims range from reducing back pain, reducing cellulite, improving posture to promoting weight loss.

Why this fitness fad product was doomed to fail: Podiatrists, doctors, trainers and the American Council on Exercise all found that toning shoes failed to live up to promises made by their manufacturers. Toning shoes do not deliver the fitness or muscle toning benefits they claim. Findings demonstrate that toning shoes are not the magic solution consumers were hoping they would be, and simply do not offer any benefits that people cannot reap through walking, running, or exercising in traditional athletic shoes.

Toning Shoes ultimate fate: After dishing out 100 bucks and shortly after putting the toning shoes on you’ll then realize the shoe’s awkwardness, instability, ineffectiveness, looks and the possibility of suffering an injury. These toning shoes now will end up being just an expensive athletic shoe gathering dust in your closet.

Bottom Line on Fitness Fad Products

Manufactures will keep making fitness fad products as long as people will spend millions of dollars a year buying into their fitness fad product scams. Manufactures are banking on the laziness and naiveness of millions of people who are looking for easy ways to exercise and lose weight. When will people understand, there’s just no substituting for real exercise and a proper healthy diet!

Last modified on Monday, 27 May 2013 23:44
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