YES…YES…YES…NOTHING BETTER THAN TO FIND AN ARTICLE THAT NAILS A FITNESS ISSUE…MACHINES DON’T GET RID OF VISCERAL (BELLY) FAT…OGGIES DO…SIMON COWELL COULDN’T LEVEL A MORE DEVASTATING CRITIQUE THAN TO SAY “BURNS NO MORE CALORIES THAN A BRISK WALK…”…YIKES…YOU HAVE TO WORK THE PROGRAM AND EAT THE RIGHT FOODS WHILE KEEPING TOTAL CALORIES UNDER 2,000 PER DAY…MACHINES THAT YOU BUY OR USE AT THE HEALTH CLUB ARE WAY OVER-RATED…READ BELOW….
….Consumer Reports assembled panels of testers. One group looked at the ads, used the devices and reported their experiences. Consumer Reports then measured muscle activity and calories burned by another group, whose members worked out on some of the machines and also on a standard treadmill and did traditional no-cost calisthenics such as sit-ups and lunges for the lower body. Here are the findings:
Ab Circle Pro Abdominal Exerciser
— Cost: $200
— Description: a bowl-shaped piece of equipment with two cups that you kneel on while holding the handles.
— Claims: It will “firm and flatten your stomach in just weeks” and “takes just three minutes a day.”
— Reality: Three minutes a day? That probably won’t tighten your abs very much. The device engages core muscles but burns no more calories than brisk walking.
Bowflex TreadClimber TC5000
— Cost: $2,500
— Description: a combination treadmill and stair-stepper.
— Claims: Burn up to twice the calories as on a standard treadmill at the same speed.
— Reality: At speeds of 2 mph and 3.5 mph burned twice as many calories as on a flat standard treadmill at the same speeds. At 4 mph it was equivalent to running 6 mph on a flat treadmill. A good way to burn calories, but watch your step: Tripping is possible.
— Cost: $100
— Description: a mini-trampoline for bouncing, aerobics and running in place.
— Claims: “Sculpts your entire body. In just 10 minutes a day, you’ll build lean ripped muscle and develop a tight sexy body.”
— Reality: It takes more than 10 minutes to burn lots of calories. Time to lose one pound of fat: seven weeks, if you use it for 15 minutes three times a week.
Perfect Pushup Original
— Cost: $30
— Description: two rotating handles.
— Claims: Engages more muscles. Helps reduce strain on the wrist and elbow. Helps stabilize and strengthen the shoulder joint.
— Reality: Some panelists could do standard push-ups, others couldn’t. One said that it allowed him to do deeper push-ups than usual and that he could do them without wrist pain. Other panelists said they preferred doing push-ups on the floor. Good upper-body workout for beginners and advanced exercisers who want to add variety to their push-up routine.
— Cost: $60
— Description: an adjustable door-frame pull-up bar that swings out for three exercise positions.
— Claims: Rotating handles engage more muscles and reduce joint strain. Do pull-ups and chin-ups together for the first time.
— Reality: Some panelists were strong enough to do standard pull-ups, others weren’t. Good upper-body workout for beginners and advanced exercisers who want to do a variety of pull-up exercises.
— Cost: $200
— Description: a floor-standing ballet bar with attached mat.
— Claims: Get the long, lean look of a dancer’s body in just two 30-minute workouts a week.
— Reality: The advanced workout burned fewer calories than a no-equipment circuit-training routine of lunges, crunches and modified push-ups on the knees. A pricey but potentially enjoyable alternative to strength training, plus stretching. Its heft could make it hard to store.
— Cost: $200
— Description: a stair-stepper that also twists the waist while the legs move up, down, in and out.
— Claims: Burns fat, firms body and helps carve leaner, sexier abs.
— Reality: Burned the same amount of calories as on a flat treadmill at 3.5 mph. Provides variety to a cardio workout, but test results show you’ll get more effective abdominal and leg workouts doing conventional exercises.
Tony Little Rock ‘n Roll Stepper
— Cost: $60
— Description: a stair-stepper with side-to-side rocking motion.
— Claims: Great butt, great legs and great weight loss.
— Reality: Burned the same number of calories as on a flat treadmill at 3.5 mph. But less effective than conventional leg exercises in our test. Not great for toning the glutes, but a fun cardio workout for beginners who can stay balanced on it.