10 Pieces of Exercise Equipment You Might Buy at 3am5
By Joy Williams
10 Pieces of Exercise Equipment You Might Buy at 3am
The weight-loss quick fix. At some point we have all fallen victim to snake-oil promises: magic pills to burn off fat, sticky salves to melt away the dreaded orange-peel look, minimalist diet plans to crash off the pounds. Of course, there’s always a new exercise gadget to feed our addictions for a lean and toned physique. Like the masses who line up to buy merchandise from motivational speaker Luke Vincent, as seen in the series Luke, many of us rush to purchase the latest piece of equipment that promises to quickly fix our problems, especially when its spokesperson is energetic and convincing. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but in retrospect you may wonder what you were thinking when you fell for one of these contraptions… unless, of course, you continue to really use it.
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1. The ThighMaster
Mention exercise gadgets and the first piece that comes to mind is the ThighMaster, along with its spokeswoman, Suzanne Somers. Who can forget all of that smiling and squeezing? The original ThighMaster promises full-body results. The ThighMaster Gold works abs, upper arms and inner thighs. The ThighMaster LBX works the outer thighs and rear. There’s even a DVD with 12 exercises to help you “squeeze your way to a shapely figure.” Squeeze and smile. Squeeze and smile.
2. FaceMaster Facial Toning System
What good is all that squeezing and smiling if your face is out of shape? Thanks to the FaceMaster, “Suzanne Somers’ No. 1 Beauty Secret,” you can look as good from the neck up as you do from the neck down. Its micro-currents of electrical energy will “stimulate and strengthen” your facial muscles.
3. The Power Plate
The Power Plate resembles a gigantic bathroom scale and promises everything from improved circulation and decreased cellulite to increased strength, flexibility, and bone density. Tennis champion Serena Williams and actor Mark Wahlberg both endorse the enormous vibrating platform, which has made its way into fitness clubs across the country. Trainers can assist clients in using the Advanced Vibration Technology for a total body workout. Cardio and weights or 30 minutes of high-speed vibration? You decide.
4. Jillian Michaels Ultimate Weighted Forearm Sleeves
From diet pills to NordicTrack, Jillian Michaels’ name is everywhere. Now it’s on your forearms, thanks to this pair of weighted sleeves. Why? To “burn calories, build muscle strength and lose weight” during your day-to-day activities, of course. Each two-pound sleeve has a pocket for your iPod or Wii controller, in case you want to carry around a recording of Michaels bellowing at you to do more reps. Wear a pair of Jillian Michaels Ultimate Weighted Calf Sleeves to complete your outfit and increase that calorie burn.
5. Tony Little’s Gazelle Edge
Glide your way to fitness as you swing your legs back and forth on the Gazelle Edge, brought to you by Tony Little, the king of late-night fitness infomercials. The Gazelle Edge promises a challenging, low-impact workout for your upper and lower body. When your workout is over, you can burn a few more calories by folding the Gazelle and putting it away.
6. Tony Little’s AB Lounge Xtreme
Why stand to exercise when you can do it from a reclining position? Also from Tony Little comes the AB Lounge Xtreme. Instead of lying on a mat and doing crunches, you can “cradle yourself in padded comfort” in this folding chair. Strap in, adjust the pedals and jackknife yourself to carve out your six-pack.
7. Shape-Up Shoes
Blame Reebok, Skechers, MBT and others for selling us on the expensive idea that shoes can supposedly reshape our legs and butts. With their balance pods, rolling surfaces and curved soles, these shoes promise results that used to require actual exercise. Caveat: You have to walk in them — meaning do some actual exercise — to get results.
8. Hawaii Chair
The Hawaii Chair is an “automatic exercise machine,” meaning you sit and it does all the work. Their demonstration videos show us how easy it is to trim fat and tighten our lower bodies while the chair’s seat spins. In what is supposed to replicate a Hula dance, the chair rotates counter-clockwise for two minutes, then clockwise for two minutes. Speeds are adjustable. Satisfaction guaranteed.
9. Ab Circle Pro
Jennifer Nicole Lee made the transition from overweight and out of shape to a lean, mean workout machine and household name in fitness. Now, she’s the spokeswoman for the Ab Circle Pro, a bizarre contraption that promises to burn fat and whittle your waistline with its “Circular Force Technology.” Climb aboard, assume the kneeling position, and swing your body from side to side as the kneepads roll left and right. Remove the pin and scissor your knees to work those buns and thighs.
10. Shake Weight
The Shake Weight hypes itself as a “revolutionary new way to shape and tone your arms, shoulders and chest.” It weighs 2.5 pounds and promises incredible results in six minutes per day, thanks to increased muscle activity. Build beautiful triceps and biceps by simply shaking a light dumbbell and letting the springs on either end move back and forth to “create a wave of energy.” The Shake Weight comes with a How To guide and bonus DVD to work your other body parts.
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Joy Williams is a freelance writer and interviewer who works in the entertainment industry. She holds a degree in English from an East Coast university.