Fitness Equipment Scams: Why Do People Buy This Junk?

Dear Penthouse, You're not going to believe this, but I bought a Bowflex and two weeks later...
Dear Penthouse, You're not going to believe this, but I recently bought a Bowflex and two weeks later...

Here are some of my favorites:

The Bun and Thigh Roller

The Gym Form Duo

6 Second Abs

Japanese CowGirl Crotch Exerciser

The Cardio Twister

What the ??? – Gotta Love the Italians

The Ab Coaster

Okay, this actually looks kind of cool

The Bender Ball

The One Gym

And finally, China gets ready to take over the world…


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  1. Haha! Yeah, that “Gazelle” is hilarious.

    Wow, this was some great stuff.

    First, the Bowflex photo is awesome.

    The Bun and Thigh Roller? Squats and lunges can save you $79.95.

    I LOVE those electric muscle twitchers. I would say the worst idea in fitness ever.
    In 2nd place, the italian vibrating belt.

    The Cardio Twister?!? Have you seen this?

    If I saw the Ab Coaster in the gym, I would actually use it. I like doing leg lifts to work my lower abs, but I don’t like hanging from a bar, or putting all of my weight on my elbows.

    The Bender Ball video is great!

    The One Gym… I love using cable machines, but this looks like a piece of crap.

    That park in China looks incredible.

  2. OMG, it’s absolutely true. I often laugh when I see these things at the stores and wonder who would buy them? But it’s sad that people actually do – they’re just looking for any quick fix. Great post!

  3. Indeed! Some of this stuff costs a fortune too. It then gets used as an expensive dust collector.

  4. Everyone looks for the short-cut to success, even though they’re actually taking the short-cut to stupidity and poverty.

  5. I dunno, it seems to me the Italians have it right. Raise the Heart Rate of the men before they even buy it! Viva Italy! It’s almost as good at the 20 min workout. Men watched it at 5 AM every morning and lost weight.

  6. I’ve had the six second abs and thinks it works you just have to stick at it, The electric muscle stimulaters do work they just tone up muscle and flab. And I’ve never bought or used the bowflex but I think people buy it because of the girls on the adverts, like the girl in the pic come on if I sold you a computer with pictures like that on it your more likely to buy it

  7. These aren’t quick ways but people don’t like doing it the old fashioned way so this makes it look like you don’t have to but lets be honest you’ll try something that looks fun right?

  8. When I watch some of these videos; it dawned on me that people will do anything for a quick fix.

    As we all know, there is no quick fix; fitness is a way of life and at the end of the day; if you’re fat and out of shape, don’t buy theses items; begin to walk and then ride a bike and go to the gym for an hour and a half five times a week.

    When I started ten years ago, it was hard but I stayed with it.

  9. What is the bowflex girl doing with her left hand and does it have anything to do with fitness?

  10. OMG … This stuff is crazy. There’s also the shake weight, which is being marketed to women. I guess we have such puny upper bodies that we are incapable of lifting hand weights at the gym for more than 24 minutes a week

  11. I tried the Ab Coaster (or something similar to it) at Fitness Depot. That’s the only one in the list that I’d consider buying.

    On second thought, maybe I’d go with the Bowflex too. It seems to be working wonders for that lady.

  12. I am not even sure people are always looking for the shortcut. I think a lot of time and money has gone into marketing this stuff. It is the same reason that people are ready to try the newest “diet” regimen out there. Plus wonder gadgets aren’t unique to fitness.

    People get bored easily. They like something new and different, something sexy. I don’t know about most women, but I can’t remember the last time I worked out in heels and a bikini. Still marketers know what we want and they are selling an image, an image of beauty and health.

    I do think deep down people really do care about their health…and not just for aesthetic reasons. There is a great book out their called Predictably Irrational written by a sociologist, I think. It talks about how we make decisions and exactly why people do buy this stuff, among other things, and it does go beyond just looking for the easy way out. What’s really sad is it makes getting a good message out there even harder.

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