Do Fitness Programs & Gadgets Really Work?
Fitness programs and gadgets will always be around because deep down we all want to be healthy and at our best. Some will promise quick results, others will target a specific area, and still others will try to get us to believe that the process will be effortless. But do any of these programs and contraptions actually work?
Overview of Fitness Programs
Since the dawn of human civilization man has always strived for that perfect body. The reason is that as we become more civilized, we move around less and less. The more technology advances the less we have to do hard manual labor, or to work very hard to get from point A to point B. Many of us spend the entire day not moving around at all, either parked in front of a computer at work or a television at home.
This is why the makers of fitness equipment and programs run advertisements on TV and make flashy websites. There know where to reach us. They know what to say to us to break down our defenses and judge the product with an open mind. It’s a fine line we must walk as consumers, letting our guard down just enough for the good products to make their way into our lives keep the bad products at bay.
You’re probably well aware of the cookie-cutter infomercials these manufacturers use to promote their products. They show you the wrong way of working out the causes all the problems, then they show you the right way to work out with their new product, and then they try to make the price is attractive as possible.
Our Review Process
We sift through all of the products out there and measure them against all of their competitors to see which ones you should try out in your own home and which ones you should avoid entirely. You could spend hours building through all of the data that exists on all the fitness products out there, but since we’ve already done it for you why would you?
Although we put a lot of effort into our reviews, there’s no saying that something that we review negatively will not work for you, or something that we give a positive review to will definitely work in your situation. That’s why it’s always best to go with your gut and make up your own mind using our recommendation to perhaps slant your decision one way or another.
Product Review Recaps
Ab Glider Recap
The Ab Glider is pushed and promoted by Elizabeth Hasselbeck, whom you may recognize from The View. She’s got an amazing female 6 pack and touts the Ab Glider as what gave it to her. She definitely didn’t invent this machine, she is just endorsing it as the spokeswoman, and most definitely she is following a strict diet and doing other exercises besides using this.
By combining both a side to side and up and down motion, the makers of the Ab Glider have really stumbled on to something here. But can it really give you that midsection you’ve always dreamed about?
Get the full review of Ab Glider
Bender Ball Recap
The Bender Ball has been around for several years now and is the brainchild of fitness legend Leslie Bender. The ball itself is not so ingenious, but the exercises she has come up with that utilize the ball make the real difference. She has found a way to work most major muscle groups in a comprehensive workout plan. These exercises incorporate unique ways of getting you off the couch and moving your body.
This program is great for women who are relatively fit already as a way to break through a plateau, but is it suitable for beginners or those that currently lead a sedentary lifestyle?
Get the full review of Bender Ball
10 Minute Trainer Recap
The lure of 10 Minute Trainer is its brief time requirement. Hosted by fitness guru Tony Horton, each 10 minute segment is designed to work a different part of your body. You can also decide whether you want to do cardio or more of a strength training routine. They really do clock in at 10 minutes flat.
If after 10 minutes you feel like going again you are welcome to combine routines or do the same one twice. This is one benefit of doing a 10 minute session, it is likely that you won’t to stop with just one. But is 10 minutes enough, or do you have to subject yourself to more if you want to see results?
Get the full review of 10 Minute Trainer
If you’re not familiar with what a kettlebell is, it’s basically a cannonball with a handle on it. The makers of Kettlenetics want to make this weight a little more accessible to the masses, because kettlebells are a great way to build muscle and get the heart rate up. It’s always best to use caution when using kettlebells, as they require some getting used to at first.
By manufacturing their own plastic-coated kettlebells, and coming up with exercise routines that are safe yet effective, they are hoping to establish themselves as the premiere kettlebell system. Find out if they have succeeded or failed.
Get the full review of Kettlenetics
Walk Fit Recap
It’s hard to stay on any sort of exercise program when each step you take hurts. The Walk Fit system is designed not only to alleviate foot pain, but also to align your body so that everything you do is easier. Orthotics are nothing new, but having these in your shoes might make walking, running, and other sports and activities more fun, which would enhance the likelihood that you’ll stick with them.
It’s getting good reviews from those that have used it, but does it deliver on its promise of pain-free feet and back? Find out how these stack up in our extensive review.
Get the full review of Walk Fit
Yoga has been around in many forms for thousands of years, and is still being practised today. IT’s definitely withstood the test of time and many swear by it for stretching the body, improving clarity of mind, improving flexibility, and having an overall greater sense of well-being.
But what does science say? Find out if there is scientific evidence that yoga provides all of these benefits, or if it is just a lot of third party testimony. Is yoga just a placebo, or can it undergo the scrutiny that all of these other fitness programs went through?
Get the full review of Yoga
Contour Abs Recap
Contour Abs is one of the many electric abdominal belts that are on the market that say you can get an ab workout without doing sit ups, while you’re sitting and watching TV. Can this really be the end of doing traditional sit ups?
These sort of belts have been around for a long time and they involve sending electric pulses to your ab muscles that makes them contract. It’s not really conclusive how safe or unsafe they are to use, but many people are still willing to give them a try in hopes that they don’t have to do crunches any more.
Get the full review of Contour Abs
Air Climber Recap
Air Climber is trying to bring a climbing machine like the ones you find in the gym, to your home. It’s a rather low-tech gadget but it seems like it can help you work both your leg muscles, and your arms because it has the workout bands to get your entire body into it. This could make the machine even more effective than the ones at the gym.
Some people say that have tried Air Climber say it works, while others say it doesn’t so we had to delve further into this to see what the real verdict is and whether or not it gives a solid workout or not.
Get the full review of Air Climber
Air Alert Recap
Wanna have the ups? Air Alert promises that you can increase your vertical leap using their easy-to-follow steps. This would be great if you want to make the basketball team at school or just to be more athletic overall. By taking a strategic plan to jumping higher they say that you’ll be able to see measurable results. It focuses on a combination of tested methods that are known to work.
But can you really get mad hops by following their program? There is a lot of contradicting feedback from users so this product needed some extra attention. Find out if we discovered if it works or doesn’t.
Get the full review of Air Alert
Perfect Pushup Recap
The Perfect Pushup seems pretty basic, it’s just a couple of handles that swivel, but it puts you in the proper position to do push ups and also makes sure that you work out the entire chest muscle. By swivelling it rotates your arms so that you get a good burn in your shoulders and triceps as well.
Many people have expressed that this works, so much so that they now have an advanced model that you can buy, and they’ve also spun off other products in the same line. Does the original model work, and is it just as good as the new one?
Get the full review of Perfect Pushup
Perfect Sit Up Recap
Is there such a thing as the perfect sit up? This is bar far the most hated of all exercises and many people would rather have a fat flabby midsection than do sit ups to get rid of it. The Perfect Sit Up hopes to change all that with a simple contraption that allegedly puts you in the right position to do sit ups the right way.
There are so many products out there that try to have you avoid doing sit ups that it’s strange that a company is making a machine that encourages you to do sit ups.
Get the full review of Perfect Sit Up
Can you take on the Insanity workout and come out the other end? This is some serious fitness training, and not for the weak willed out there. You almost have to work your way up to working out with the Insanity system. There are lots of different routines to choose from based on which areas you want to train.
So will this get you fit in a hurry, the way it claims? If you can stick it out and complete some of the sessions you are on your way to a total body transformation because this works both for strength training and cardio at the same time.
Get the full review of Insanity
Kettleworx is just one of several different programs that are trying to make kettlebells fun. This is a big job to accomplish because kettlebells are not very user friendly, by their nature. But if you can get past the learning curve the exercises they want you to perform they should be effective in getting you toned.
Kettlebells will get you fit because they not only make your muscles stronger but they also get your cardio going at the same time. This is a sort of double whammy and with the video training included you can’t go wrong when adding this to your fitness routine.
Get the full review of Kettleworx
Ab Circle Pro Recap
If you’ve ever wanted a lazy way to work out your abs this might be the product for you. It basically gets you swivelling and moving, but in a very low impact way. There are lots of ab products out there so what makes the Ab Circle Pro different is that it doesn’t use an electric charge like an ab belt, and it doesn’t use a lot of big sweeping motions like some other ab machines.
Can you really watch your favorite TV programs and be working out your abs at the same time? It sounds unlikely that you could be able to do this, but user feedback is unanimous. Find out in which direction:
Get the full review of Ab Circle Pro
Flex Belt Recap
The Flex Belt hopes to take ab training to a whole new level of easy. Just strap on the belt, sit back, and let it do the work for you. It sounds plausible, because you’ll feel your ab muscle twitch and flex as the nodes send the impulses to them.
But if you don’t combine this with a proper diet and other exercise for the rest of your body, then you might not see any visible results. Many of us already have a strong abdominal wall lying under a lot of fat, the trick is getting rid of the fat which Flex Belt doesn’t really address.
Get the full review of Flex Belt
Hip Hop Abs Recap
Hip Hop Abs combines a fast-moving aerobic workout with the fun and beat of hip hop music so that you won’t mind doing exercise and you will be able to stick with it long enough to get some good results. At the same time you might pick up a few dance moves to break out the next time you’re at the club with your new body.
It is hosted by the same guy that runs the Insanity program, so you can use this as a way to build up to that training and get used to the instructor.
Get the full review of Hip Hop Abs
Shake Weight Recap
You may have held back a laugh the first time you saw an ad for Shake Weight, but many people ordered it and put it through its paces due to a successful advertising campaign. But can something as silly looking as this actually give you a workout, or strengthen your upper body the way it claims?
People have been rating this at our site, and the feedback has all been the same. You might be surprised by what they’re reporting, as this may be one product that turns skeptics into believers one person at a time. Or not… Find out now!
Get the full review of Shake Weight
P90X is hosted by Tony Horton and is designed to keep your muscles guessing as you progress through the different levels. It does this by stepping things up and trying not to do the same exercises too many times in a row. Start off with level one, and use a different workout program depending on the included schedule.
This system gets you to move and thoroughly works your entire body, using unique movements that aren’t included in other fitness programs out there. If you can stick with it, you can expect to see solid results, especially if you follow a healthy diet in conjunction with it.
Get the full review of P90X
FlexShaper seems simple enough, it’s just a contraption that provides resistance as you bend it, and products like this have been around for at least the last decade. But with this one they are saying they’ve engineered it so you can do lots of different exercises, and work four major muscle groups.
They claim you’ll be able to work your back, biceps, triceps, and thighs by positioning the device in different ways. They also say that this can replace the gym. We sized it up and took a detailed look at the claims versus reality and have a full report on how effective it is.
Get the full review of FlexShaper
Turbo Jam Recap
Feeling good is what it’s all about, and with Turbo Jam they’ve tried to make getting fit as pleasant as possible. They’ll get you moving, and bouncing around to the beat, so all you have to do is pop in the DVD and follow along. This is another offering from the team at BeachBody, so you know it will be produced well.
They claim that you can burn up to 1000 calories an hour, which would definitely get you in shape in a hurry, and allow you to shed the pounds. That would create a caloric deficit in most people, so if you follow a healthy diet, this could be a one-two punch.
Get the full review of Turbo Jam
Pushup Pro Recap
Pushup Pro is similar to the Perfect Pushup, and came out after. It basically tried to incorporate the same features, putting your body in the proper push up position, and allowing your shoulders to rotate so you get a better range of motion. They came into the market competing on price mostly, and undercut the Perfect Pushup price considerably.
So only one question remains: should you pay more for the Perfect Pushup, or do you get the same quality and benefits from Pushup Pro. We’ve got the answer for you.
Get the full review of Pushup Pro
Power Half Hour Recap
Power Half Hour is hosted by one of my favorite fitness gurus, Tony Horton. Sure, his jokes are a little bit cheesy, but his form is always perfect so you know you’ll be doing the exercises correctly. He’s also good at motivating you, helping you stay positive, and recommending that you go at your own pace.
All of these traits are important in a fitness instructor, so if 30 minutes sounds like the perfect amount of time for you to workout, then you should probably give Power Half Hour a try. If you end up liking Tony Horton also, there’s plenty of other workout programs to try with him as the host.
Get the full review of Power Half Hour
The Asylum is supposed to be an add on to the famous Insanity workout, and is supposed to be for those that need to be committed to an insane asylum for putting their body through so much. There’s no denying that both Insanity and Asylum will get you to a new level of fitness. The only question is, can you handle it?
If you remember to go at your own pace, and don’t try to keep up with the models or the instructor in the videos, you’ll do just fine. If they can do 10 repetitions, and you can only do 2 or 3 at first, that’s fine. You’ll eventually get there. See our full report for the details.
Get the full review of Asylum
Chest Magic Recap
Even though it’s called Chest Magic, you’re supposed to get more of a full upper body workout out of it. Push ups work out your chest muscle, but they also work your shoulders, back, triceps, biceps, and core. Plus you can use this machine to do flys, which works out different chest muscles. You can also use it to do dips, and to brace your feet for situps.
No one is saying that this can replace a gym workout, but find out whether we think this could be a good stand-in for rainy or snowy days when you just don’t feel like leaving the house.
Get the full review of Chest Magic
Iron Gym Recap
Iron Gym hangs in the doorway and is supposed to allow you to do pull ups from it without damaging your doorframe and without falling to the floor. You can also take it down in seconds and put it on the ground so you can stick your feet in it and do sit ups. The remarkable feature is that you don’t need to screw it into the door to get it to stay.
You may be skeptical that this could work, especially if you’ve seen other similar gadgets that involve screws and bolts and marring up your door’s molding. Find out if you can trust the Iron Gym.
Get the full review of Iron Gym
Wii Fit Recap
Wii Fit got a lot of attention when it first came out, so much so that they came out with a follow up, the Wii Fit Plus. The idea is that you’re supposed to follow along with the exercises, and it will keep track of everything you do by the sensitive board that you put on the floor. It can track your weight very accurately, and it will record all of your progress, and show it to you in charts so you stay motivated.
People are having a lot of fun with it, but are they losing weight and staying fit? We delved into this very question and came up with the most logical answer.
Get the full review of Wii Fit
Why Are Workout Programs and Gadgets So Popular?
we love our fitness programs. Very few gurus out there have an easier time making sales than those in the fitness industry. People want to believe that they can get fit in short order. They don’t realize that it’s a go long time for them to get out of shape, so it will take a longer time to get back into shape.
This is because good habits are harder to establish than bad habits. It is also because foods that are bad for you taste better than foods that are good for you. If it were the other way around, there wouldn’t be much of the fitness market. The reason we love the thought of a fitness product coming into our lives and making everything better is that we really want some help getting back in shape. No one likes to go it alone, but few people can afford a personal trainer.
We also like the idea that we have a secret weapon our side that no one else is using. We have dreams of people complimenting our newfound fitness level and asking how we did it. In our fantasy it will be up to us whether or not we let them in on our little secret.
Many fitness programs also make traditional exercises seem ineffective, thereby making us feel a little stupid for doing it the wrong way all the time. What this does is puts us in a susceptible state where we start to view the guru as an authority figure with a key to fitness.
The Truth About Fitness Gurus
What makes a fitness guru? It seems that nearly anyone with a cut physique can become a fitness guru. If they look like they know what they’re doing, and have confidence in what they’re saying we start to believe in their claims. We quickly overlook the fact that they have a vested interest in the product and are trying to boost profits by endorsing it or pitching it on TV.
There is no certification process to become a guru of fitness, no test you have to take and pass, which leaves the door open for just about anyone to create and market a product to the general public. It is important not to jump to conclusions and think that a product is either good or bad based on the pitch person.
Things to Avoid
You should avoid any product that makes outlandish claims, but doesn’t seem to be able to back them up or live up to them. Really good products will understate themselves, and let the product speak for itself. Many manufacturers just can’t help it and will make claims like getting fit in a matter of days weeks or even a few months. It would take a very rigorous training regimen to complete these feats, which is probably what the people in the testimonials did. This does not mean the same thing will happen for you.
You should also avoid falling into the trap of paying too much for them at home fitness machine. It plays on your desire to be able to have an at-home workout that is effective as going to the gym for having a personal trainer. But unless you can afford an entire gym for your home there’s no product out there that can give you this type of workout. If you’re serious about getting in shape you should get a gym membership but also have an at-home products to use on days when you don’t feel like going out.
So Do Any Fitness Programs Actually Work?
Many fitness products work, but it is up to the individual to make them work for them. There is not one particular product out there that can give you the body you want by itself. So don’t fall for products that say they are the end-all be-all in the world of fitness. Truth be told you’ll definitely need multiple products, in combination with a diet program that works for you, and a lot of self-determination in order to stay fit.
we have separate sections devoted to weight loss programs, diet pills, and whey proteins, which should all be used in conjunction with each other for an overall healthy and fit lifestyle. You can find out which ones work and which ones don’t, avoiding the major pitfalls, saving some money on wasted products, and saving time on things that don’t work.
What Should You Do?
Set the foundation first by making small, sustainable changes before buying any radical product that is promising a total overhaul. Your body can handle things like not drinking soft drinks, cutting back on the sweets and junk food, or light exercise like taking a daily walk. Continue on with these small changes until they just become a part of your new daily routine. When you feel that you’re ready for a new challenge you can step up your game by getting one of the well-reviewed products featured here and reach new levels of fitness.
Remain steadfast in your search for fitness programs that are a good match for you and your specific situation and goals.