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Ripped Abs or Ripped Off?

Aarti Patel Email Aarti Patel
September 2009
Ripped Abs or Ripped Off?

We’ve all seen infomercials on TV trying to sell us fitness equipment that would give us a fit, lean body with ripped abdominal muscles after exercising for just several minutes a day. Some of us might even have bought the equipment hoping to look like the fitness model in the infomercial, only to end up being disappointed. Billions of dollars are made through these infomercials that promise quick results with minimum time spent exercising. With all the different exercise equipment being pitched on TV, one can easily be confused, misled or even scammed.

Before you are tempted to dial that toll-free number to purchase one of these so-called revolutionary pieces of equipment that will deliver your dream body, let’s analyze some of the claims made by the infomercials:

One size fits all? That might be true for gloves or a scarf or even a woolen hat, but a single piece of exercise equipment for all body types and for toning the entire body? I don’t think so. Overweight and obese people have certain issues such as weak joints, weak lower backs, etc. and are unable to do certain exercises. One piece of equipment will not tone and strengthen all parts of your body while helping you lose weight, as the infomercial might claim. Beware of this. Even if it claims to give you a ‘total body workout,’ it must be properly adjusted for your height and be able to handle your weight, otherwise it can cause injury. Some equipment is constructed poorly and requires the user to be in odd positions, thus placing added stress on joints, mainly the knees and also the back.

Who’s the expert? I hate to say this, but certain ‘fitness professionals’ and so-called ‘experts’ of the fitness industry are clearly out to make a buck. Women are constantly striving for better butts, abs and thighs, and the fitness industry experts know this. Therefore, by inventing gadgets and gizmos that target such problem areas, these so-called ‘experts’ capitalize on vulnerable consumers, luring them with promising words, knowing very well that working out on their device will not produce a lean, toned body – that of the fitness model demonstrating the product. Don’t be enticed by clever marketing; instead pay close attention to the fine print that reads ‘individual results vary’ and ‘results not typical,’ which most likely means you will not get the desired results.

Backed by research; clinically proven! Really? What research? Don’t believe everything you hear in these infomercials, even if it comes from someone in a white coat. Call the company or manufacturer and question them regarding the research. Was the research study published in a journal? Where and under what conditions was the research conducted? Who were the research subjects? If their product is truly backed by research, they will be more than happy to share that with you and even send you a copy of the report. If they falter, well, you know why!

Results in only minutes a day! Maybe for brushing your teeth, but definitely not for building a better body. If that’s all it took, two-thirds of our country would not be overweight or obese. Building a fit body requires ongoing effort and commitment and will not happen in only three to five minutes a day with just one piece of equipment. Yet several infomercials make such a claim – that just a few minutes a day on their contraption will give you a dream body. Now that’s clearly a trap!

Finally, keep in mind that losing weight and getting in shape takes time. Beware of any one piece of equipment that promises to deliver it all. Do some research to avoid being scammed. If the equipment requires you to exercise in an awkward or uncomfortable position, don’t purchase it, regardless of how tempting the infomercial sounds. Remember: achieving and maintaining a fit athletic body requires doing a variety of workouts and different exercises that target all your major muscles. It also requires constantly challenging yourself, giving great attention to your diet and nutrition on a daily basis, and above all making a long-term commitment to fitness. Only then will you achieve your dream body, along with ‘ripped’ abs!

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