Ridiculous Fitness Gadgets

Many of us watch late night T.V and/ or the shopping channel from time to time.  One thing that has always reigned supreme is the late night infomercial.  It’s astounding how many anti-aging, weight loss and fitness novelties there are.  For me, I watch these for entertainment; and that exactly what I want this post to deliver to you.

So without further ado, lets take a look at the latest gizmos for you to waste your money on:

1) iGallop


This one came out a couple of years ago but they are still raking in the bucks from benighted buyers. The electric iGallop claims to target your core muscles by simulating the motion of a horse.  It shapes hips, thighs, and waistlines.  Well, there is no doubt that it stimulates your core muscles (from laughing violently) but there is no way this resembles being on a horse. First I should point out that I’m no horse rider, but my girlfriend who was an accomplished competitive equestrian has a few things to say about the subject….

. . . This machine fails to mimic riding a horse in several ways.  Firstly, riding a horse is not about tensing the muscles or gripping tightly in order to stay on.  Riding a horse is, first and foremost, about balance.  Each part of the rider’s body (hands, arms and legs) must move independently.   The lack of stirrups prevents the “rider” from putting the weight into their stirrups, which is an important component of maintaining that balance.  Secondly, it puts the “rider” into a “chair seat”, sitting back on the butt with the feet in front.  Most self-respecting riders (the English disclipine at least) work very hard to avoid this position. . . . 

 Ok so it isn’t a horse…but can it change your body into a leaner and more muscular one?  Now my intention isn’t to review this product but rather point out its misleading claims.  The fact is that most people could get on this thing and master it, on all of its levels, pretty fast.  Even if you find it challenging you’ll probably find that after you’ve used it a couple of times you now longer “feel the burn”- because you’ve adapted to the stress. Furthermore if you do find this gadget challenging you really need to stop horsing around and get on a real strength program because you are out of shape.  It should be obvious that this activity can easily be replaced with a more natural and enjoyable act that doesn’t involve being alone and it too has varying levels of difficulty, not three ( as this product offers)  but an unlimited number of options that your imagination can construct!

Look it’s even fun for your pets.

The cat’s expression echoes my sentiments exactly…..

[jwplayer mediaid=”3632″]



 2) Shakes weights- for men and women

 Now I’ve seen so many products over the years try replace or perfect the traditional barbell and why do they always fail? Because, used properly, the barbell will always offer the user the most bang for your buck.  The Shake Weight is one of the more suggestive exercise gadgets, and is available for men and women. The weight shakes and the user must hold it steady while the weight jerks.  Now there are so many problems with this that I’m unsure where to start.  I’ll spare you the exercise science lesson and stick to a few notable problems:


Problem 1 : Muscles are mainly built with high loading.  This product uses low loading.

Problem 2 : Low loads + no skill acquisition = little to no strength benefit

Problem 3:  The muscle are loaded unevenly and in some cases in opposition to the muscle’s line of pull = lack of potential to develop the muscle fully

Problem 4 : Offers only 1 type of muscular action; you will need many to develop your body fully.

Problem 5 : You are going to look stupid using them and feel stupid for wasting your money.

Believe me, these are just a handful of problems and I feel that I cannot waste any more time with such an obvious waste of money.  Why is it that these products always have sexual suggestions attached to them?  Because we love sexy things, we are almost hypnotized by images of lean, firm and attractive bodies.

 3. Taizo the robot.



Okay, now I know my job is in jeopardy. In late 2009 researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) unveiled a new humanoid robot designed to lead the elderly in physical exercises.  He is dressed in a velvety space suit and sporting a goofy grin, the 70-centimeter (28-in) tall robot, named “Taizo” has a friendly appearance.  Although Taizo does most of its exercises while sitting in a special chair, it can also stand up to perform some activities.  I don’t think I have to say a thing about this one.  I have many seniors for clients and I can tell you that researchers don’t give them enough credit if they thought this would ever work.  This population needs personal attention more than any other…. enough said

These products and those like them only serve to distract you from what really works.  It doesn’t come from a machine or gadget, it comes from you understanding how to exercise and applying the principles to your own program.  Spend your money wisely and stick to time tested solutions, not quick fix, pie in the sky fantasies.


 If you laughed as much as I did or if you’ve used these products leave a comment .


Craig Simms

Craig Simms

Craig Simms is a personal trainer and weight loss coach in Vancouver, B.C. Craig has been a fitness leader for over 21 years and has amassed over 25,000 hours of personal training experience in that span. He specializes in personalized weight management programs.
Craig Simms
Craig Simms

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