Where there’s a strong desire there will be plenty of products. In the world of fitness, there is no stronger desire than getting flat abs. This is why many sports stores carry a number of abdominal exercise machines and why the Internet and shopping channels are inundated with advertisements for these contraptions.
No one knows how much money is spent on ab machines, but it’s likely many millions annually. Is it worth it? I doubt it. Here are 6 reasons to not buy an abs machine:
1. Cost A Lot Of Money
Prices of abdominal machines run the gamut from a few dozen dollars to over a thousand (though some of these machines are bought by gyms, for the most part). The price can commonly be over one hundred dollars. Let’s consider the alternatives for spending this kind of money: you can buy some dumbbells, jumping rope, exercise mat, and other cheap fitness gear that will give you more exercise options.
2. Dubious Claims Not backed By Real Science
Many abdominal machines sport fancy advertisements and infomercials which cast a spell over viewers, wowing them with special effects, before-and-after pictures of soft abdominals hardening quickly, sexy models, and over-the-top claims. The goal is to overcome your skepticism and press your desire-buttons, turning you into a crazed, trigger-happy buyer.
The claims that are made, or which are insinuated, on these ads are often outlandish and seldom supported by real science. This is why many of these products, when they fall under careful scrutiny, are lambasted by reviewers. The case of Consumer Reports and the Ab Circle Pro is just one example.
Don’t be quick to believe the claims that you see on ads. They may turn out to be as far from reality as Mars is from Earth.
3. Easy To Break, Hard To Fix
One of the reasons why I like dumbbells is that they hardly ever break. How could they? They’re a lump of metal (which is why I dislike plastic or coated weights). They can serve you for decades, making their initial price a bargain as it’s spread out across many years.
With ab machines that you shop online or through a shopping center, this may not be the case. Often, these machines are made with less-than-stellar material and craftsmanship. This contributes to a shorter lifespan and a high malfunction and breakage ratio. To add insult to injury, getting these machines fixed is often very hard: you need to ship them to the manufacturer or buy additional parts. This adds to the initial cost and is downright infuriating.
4. Not A Hard Workout
I’ve tried various ab machines over the years and none has given me a hard workout. I can do a much harder workout at home with bodyweight ab exercises, which cost nothing. Only energy and will are required. You don’t need a machine to work your abs. In fact, it may make your workouts less effective. More exercises can be found here.
5. Motivation Destroyed
Here’s your frame of mind: you buy a machine based on the extravagant claims made in the ads. You get the machine and your fingers are tingling with excitement as you assemble the machine. You hop on it and start exercising. You only need to do this for a few minutes a day, the ad said so. A month goes by and you see very little results. You feel deflated, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you achieve success? Maybe it’s simply impossible? Maybe you’re destined to be overweight and flabby.
You see how quickly your motivation and self-confidence can crumble? This is what happens when you have exaggerated expectations. Looking for the culprit? Look at the ads for fitness products.
6. Don’t Burn Belly Fat
The sad truth is that abdominal machines don’t burn belly fat. No abdominal exercise does. You can’t decide to burn off belly fat. You need to eat right and train your whole body with intense exercises to get rid of body fat and tone your abs. A machine will not do that for you.
The bottom line is that abdominal machines rarely provide good value for their cost. They are not the cure-all for abdominal fat. They may even cause your workouts to be less effective. So, think twice before purchasing any. You may end up with a lemon.