Disclaimer: This post is intended to be fun and make you smile. Not everything should be taken super-seriously. That being said, we hope this post makes you chuckle today.
The Shake Weight
Okay, the Shake Weight is kind of an obvious place to start, but we had to include it on our list, so why not start with it? First, the “tool” weighed a whopping two-and-a-half pounds (or five, if you opted for the “men’s version” – yes these were gendered based on how much, or little, depending on your perspective they weighed) and was found to burn fewer calories than walking 3 miles-per-hour by a 2011 Consumer Reports study.
Aside from being ineffective as a fitness tool, could anyone actually own one of these things seriously? I mean, we wonder what percentage of sales were gag gifts and what percentage were serious purchases. Does anyone have that data?
Vibrating Weight Loss Belts
We’re going way back for this one. We’re all familiar with the image of the smiling 50’s housewife standing on a small platform with a wide vibrating belt around her midsection vibrating away her excess weight.
The problem is that it’s been long documented that these devices are completely ineffective. So why do they continue to flourish? As recently as 2009, marketers were forced to pay out $7 million for exaggerating claims involving the “Ab Force” fitness belt (Source).
Our best guess as to why this one keeps resurfacing is the promise of results with little to no effort on the part of the “exerciser” – a six-pack while I sit back and watch t.v.? Sounds great! But like most things that sound too good to be true, it really is too good to be true.
The Ab Roller
If you’ve been into fitness for any period of time there’s a good chance you’ve been on one of these contraptions at some point in your life. This little rocking device sits on the floor and “cradles” your neck while you rock and roll your way to a killer core, right?
Well, not so much. Really, it just puts pressure on your neck (which it actually claims to be preventing) while minimizing the effort required of your core by creating momentum and reducing the actual exercise happening in your abs.
Now, to be fair – this one’s not totally bunk – it COULD be used safely and effectively. The problem is that it’s not designed to ensure that it’s used safely and effectively by the majority of people who will be using it. It requires far too much focus and body awareness for the average user to get real results without risking harm in the process.
Power Balance Bands
Remember these? Surprisingly still available for sale, these bracelets (usually bracelets, but also available in other forms) most often featured a holographic sticker that claimed to do something along the lines of aligning your energy fields, increasing your athletic ability, or decreasing cravings, or some other complete and utter nonsense with absolutely NO credible proof of efficacy.
What amazes us most about this particular trend is not how something that made such ludicrous and unfounded claims could become so popular but how something so cheap and unattractive could find its way onto so many wrists.
Instagram Fitness Coaches
Our final, and least favorite trend, is social media fitness coaches. That attractive influencer who posts all those thirst traps and inspirational quotes. And every now and then in between the shirtless gym pic and the shirtless protein shake in the immaculate kitchen pic they post something that makes them look incredibly down to earth and relatable, almost human. Then, BAM! Shirtless in a … is that a coffee shop? Are they shirtless in a Starbucks???
As questionable as some of their photoshoots may be, there’s no question that they’re in great physical shape. They’ve earned the right to show off, right? Then they start posting about how they can help you get great results. Maybe they post pics of their friends that they helped get into amazing physical shape. Next thing you know they’re selling you a program.
Here’s the problem: you’re downloading a program that’s not customized, that comes with no supervision or oversight and that has very little or no opportunity for course correction. You’ve essentially bought a PDF document and the “privilege” of messaging with an influencer who’s going to provide you with some pretty hollow and vapid advice.
Our advice? Spend your hard-earned money on a personal trainer. Get the customized program with supervision and accountability that can be adjusted as you go to get you real results. At the end of the day, that certification and education go a lot further than those thirst traps, trust us …