Do you remember this?
What was it that made this “fat-jiggling slimming machine” a trend back in the 1960’s? Why is it the butt of every fitness joke today?
While the Belt Vibrator started off as simple massage device for spas, it quickly morphed into a machine that promised body fat spot reduction and muscle toning. It wasn’t popular because it worked; it was popular because it was marketed very intelligently and targeted to people who desperately wanted a cure-all to trim down.
When you are shopping for a new loveseat or flat screen television, you don’t necessarily have to do research. No . . . other than possibly exacerbating a sedentary lifestyle, those products don’t have to be thoroughly vetted by you to ensure that you won’t succumb to repetitive motion injuries, or that the product won’t fail under the stress of the wear and tear that comes along with exercising on a static piece of equipment.
How about this?
Curious reader, do you think we have learned our lesson today, and the fitness industry is now only comprised of products that are vetted, and do as they are advertised?
After all, it’s the 21st century, and we are exponentially more technologically sophisticated than we were six decades ago. Right?
Well, I hate to disappoint you, but the answer is . . . “nope."
It’s a lot worse today; there’s a lot of misleading – and somewhat comical– products on the market right this minute that are more likely to become a glorified clothes hanger or paper weight, than be the true catalyst for those rock-hard abs you hope to achieve.
Most of these products use the same formula: they are appealing to your desires to have a beach body like the model you see on the covers of those fitness magazines. Phrases are tossed around like our favorite:
"Miracle Fitness Breakthrough!"
The reality is, there’s a lot of research that already exists that you can use to get you to those goals, without spending your hard-earned money on something that promises the impossible.
Here’s the rub. Yes, the research exists, and yes, you can do it. But before you begin, you need to know that weight loss requires two very important things of you: hard work and patience. Be cognizant of those things, and yes, you can get there!
Now if you have been paying attention, you will have noticed something interesting. Hard work and patience are the antithesis of those quick-fix products, are they not? After all, they are marketed to be quick and easy. This is the simple reason why these products do not work. And people fall for it, because they want it to be true.
Now don’t get me wrong . . . there are some amazing new products out there in their infancy, that can absolutely maximize your time. The difference is, you must do the work! I will always advocate for shorter, more intense workouts, rather than longer, steady state sessions. Take the new Octane Max Trainer (now available at G&G stores): the best program you can do on the machine is the 14-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout.
Can you really get an amazing workout in 14 minutes?
Absolutely, but you had better put in the work, and if you aren’t feeling completely drained when that last bell rings, you didn’t work hard enough, and you left something on the table.
Before sitting down to write this, I did back-to-back HIIT workouts on the treadmill (20 minutes) and the Max (14 minutes). I kept my rate of perceived exertion as close as I could on both pieces (around 8-9 for my bursts, and 2-3 for recoveries). My results: 282 calories burned on the treadmill, 275 calories burned on the Max. Shaving six minutes off my workout and not really sacrificing a lot of workout efficiency is a win for someone who needs to maximize their time. Also, I felt much more aggressive posterior chain activation on the Max.
Bio-mechanically, I like the angle much better than other HIIT trainers; my spine was neutral for most of the workout and I didn’t notice myself excessively leaning forward, or a lot of involuntary dorsiflexon, which was apparent on the other Max trainers.
So how can you tell the difference between a fad, and something that is actually going to be a productive tool that you can use to maximize your time and workout efficiency?
My advice is to approach it using three, very simple steps:
- Reach out to an expert fitness consultant, and have a conversation about your goals, your lifestyle, and explore options that work best for you.
- It is simple to set specific targets (HR zones, calorie/distance goals, time goals, etc.). Do the work.
- If the product advertised promises to do the work for you, walk away. A paintbrush cannot paint a canvas without a human doing the work.
Care to share a funny fitness product story?
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