It’s easy to see how big a role abs play in our appreciation of a human body when you look at the covers of magazines and see how much emphasis is given on the abs of both male and female models.
The desire for flat abs is so big that the market is full of abdominal exercise equipment and products of all nature. Some of the more popular ones include the Ab Circle Pro, the Total Core, and the Slendertone Belt, and there are many others. It seems that each month, more and more such products are released on the market.
In this article I want to share my opinion of this whole realm of abdominal exercise equipment. I won’t review specific products here but share my general recommendations about buying ab exercise equipment and how to really get flat abs with… or without it. This article can save you hundreds of dollars, so please read it all the way through.
I’m a Skeptic
I have to warn you right off the bat that I’m a huge skeptic when it comes to these types of products. I’m not fond of the way they are advertised and marketed and that’s putting it lightly. It seems that all you need to have a great selling ab machine these days is to design one that looks great, have it made cheaply for you (in China, most likely), create a well crafted infomercial with a lot of hot models (who probably had their perfect body before they even heard of the product they’re modeling), make bold promises, and charge a nice chunk of cash for each item.
When I see a new machine coming out, I keep my guard up. It takes some doing for me to become convinced that such a product is really worth its price. I’m not totally against abdominal exercise machines but I have seen my share of useless products. I urge you to exercise the same healthy skepticism when you find yourself drawn to buy one of the products.
Does ab exercise equipment offer any real added benefit?
This is the question that you need to ask yourself each time you see a new ab fitness product. The truth is that you can get an effective ab workout at home using your own body weight only or a stability ball (which is much cheaper than most ab product). The implied added benefit of ab machines is vastly overrated in most of the infomercials I’ve seen. Often, the claims are so outlandish that you wonder where the advertisers get such audacity from.
Before you rush to buy into the latest promise of the best and fastest ab workout experience ever created, try to do a real, hard ab workout at home. Most likely you will find that you’re far from exhausting all the possibilities regular exercises provide you.
The reality is that you can get a much cheaper but just as effective (if not more) workout at home then you could ever hope to have with any ab machine.
Why Even Good Results Are Suspect
Many of the ab products today come with some sort of diet manual. Usually, you’re required to eat a low calorie diet and encouraged to do regular cardio workouts. Using the machine itself is limited to minutes a day, as the infomercial promised. If you start getting results you will likely conclude that the equipment you bought is the reason for this. Most likely, it is the diet and the cardio that’s causing you to lose pounds, not the actual product you bought.
While the product advertised and sold to you for a hefty price is supposed to be the new miracle product, the truth is that with a good diet plan and regular cardio workouts you are going to lose weight. It has little to do with the 6 minutes a day you spend working out with a costly fitness machine. Even if I sold you a rock and told you that if you sleep with it under your pillow, limit your calorie intake to 1,500 calories each day, and do cardio 4 times a week, you will probably lose some pounds. But the rock would have nothing to do with it. It is an illusion.
But selling an abdominal exercise equipment item is easier than to try and market an abstract eating and workout plan. So, this is what you’re offered.
The Root Cause
The biggest problem with ab exercise machines is that they do little to help you burn belly fat, which is the main thing you should do to get flat abs. There’s a reason why you’re given a diet plan and other exercise tips with these products. They can’t work otherwise. You have to do intense workouts and to eat right in order to burn fat and get lean. But most people want to buy the easy solution, so they fall prey to exaggerated marketing claims and never take the right kind of action to get flat abs.
What the right kind of exercise equipment can do is help you strengthen and tone your abs and not lose belly fat. This is still useful but doesn’t require a $200 ab machine to do. An affordable stability ball and/or ab wheel will suffice.
Before you rush to spend money on any abdominal fitness equipment, ask yourself whether it’s really worth the money, be skeptical and critical of what you’re promised and don’t rush to buy anything. In all likelihood, you don’t really need it. You can get flat abs without it.