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Buyer Beware Of Fitness Fraud From Ab Machines

Flip through the channels on a Saturday morning or most any late night and you’ll find no shortages of fitness infomercials selling ab machines and gadgets.

Savvy marketers realized years ago that ab equipment makes for great infomercials. Why? Because these products sell off emotions and nothing plays on your emotions quite like an infomercial promising you a flat stomach.

Look at when the infomercials run for some clues…late nights and Saturday morning. Trust me they’ve done their homework. They know when you’re most likely to be sitting on your couch feeling depressed and when you’ll be most vulnerable to their seductive promises.

Here are some tips to help you recognize the scams.

“Lose weight in just minutes a day!”

Sure there are some things you can do in just minutes a day, but losing weight wih an ab machine certainly isn’t one of them. If you see an infomercial making this promise or any other extravagant claim of weight loss with little or no effort, do yourself a favor and turn the channel immediately.

Abdominal exercises don’t burn fat from your midsection anyways…this is a myth. I can assure you the models shown in the videos didn’t get their washboard abs without lots of hard work and dieting.

“Doctor Approved”

Smart marketers know the power of credibility when it comes to persuasion. Put someone in a white coat with a stethoscope and all of a sudden they become a trusted expert.

The reality is the person you see may not be a real doctor at all. And even if they are they’re probably far from being an expert on fitness or fat loss.

Check to see what kind of promotion for the product the doctor is giving. The most trusted testimonials will always be about their observation and experience with patients not specific claims of the product’s effectiveness.

“Proven With Clinical Research”

A lot of ab infomerical products will make claims that their products are proven through clinical research. What exactly does that mean? All research studies are not the same. What kind of results do you think a research group is going to find when the study was funded by the manufacturer of the product? Give me a break.

This happens more than you think. Just because it appears the study was completed at some prestigious university doesn’t mean it’s going to be truly subjective. Look for peer reviewed research that is published in credible publications like the Journal of the American Medical Association.



If they don’t make specific reference to where and when the study was published, chances are it was nothing more than a case of the best research money could buy.

“Results Not Typical”

If you can read super fast and see very small print you might catch this phrase shooting across the bottom of the screen. Look for this disclaimer and others like it particularly during testimonials. This is a huge red flag. They’re coming right out and telling you that results like you’re seeing on the infomercial are “not typical.”

Translation: don’t expect the product to work the same for you, these people were exceptional.

Bottom line is if any product looks to good to be true it probably is. There is nothing quick and easy about fat loss or getting six pack abs. Achieving a lean, fit body will require the same things it always has…hard work and effort.

If the product promises quick and easy with no effort required…it’s always suspect in my book. Look for products that line up with your common sense. You want instruction and guidance, not false promises.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, author and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. Learn how you can receive a FREE no obligations trial of his Charleston personal training programs. You can also check out the video library for hundreds of functional and strength training exercises.

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Category: Fitness Training.