Late night TV is a great source for some nice products. However, it also features some pretty farfetched and even funny items, especially in the fitness field. Some of these products become best-sellers, others fade to obscurity, and some get listed in posts like this one.
These products show both the extent of human creativity and how far people may be willing to go in order to get a better looking body. I bring before you some of the craziest (or simply most creative) fitness products in history.
1. The Dumbbell Phone
Ever wish you could workout while building powerful biceps?
The Dumbbell Phone, a prime example of Japanese ingenuity, may be the solution you seek!
Or it may not be.
This is probably the craziest fitness gadget I have ever seen. Not only does it make you look like a fool, it also has no chance of actually doing anything for you. I have no idea whether this product was successful or not but it sure is good as a joke-gift.
I think that the next logical step is to invent a 20 lbs TV remote. That way, you can be a couch potato and still build ripped arms.
The Man In the Iron Mask is a movie which I greatly enjoyed. It shows a man who is the twin (or simply an exact lookalike) of the King Of France. The king orders this man to be placed in a dungeon with an iron mask on his face to hide him from the world.
Today, masks are used to much better purposes: to make you facial skin look tighter and firmer. This is what the Rejuvenique face mask is designed to do.
Rejuvenique is a mask that sends a 9-volt electric pulse against your skin. This is supposed to tone your skin and reduce wrinkles.
Does it work? There are mixed reviews.
What is certain is that this is one of the scariest products I’ve ever seen. Sort of reminds me of the first time I watched Friday the 13th.
3. Gustav Zander’s Fitness Contraptions
The Swedish inventor Gustav Zander is known as one of the first inventors of fitness machines. He did his work in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th before passing away in 1920. He invented a large number of fitness contraptions which today seem very strange.
However, his designs do bear a resemblance to some contemporary fitness equipment and he is considered a pioneer in the field.
4. Osim igallop
If you like riding horses, then this product may appeal to you. It’s the Osim igallop and it features one of the raunchiest infomercials I’ve ever seen.
The Osim igallop is designed to help you tone your buttocks, abs, back, and thighs. It simulates how riding a horse should feel. The ad claims that horse riding is one of the best forms of exercise there is and that this product delivers the same benefits for those who simply can’t experience the real thing.
The Space Age brought with it the prospect of a world rich in magnificent inventions which will make life for all of us much easier. The Trim-Jeans from 1970 were said be a “Space Age Slenderizer” that can help you lose 6 to 9 inches of your abs, waist, and thighs in just 3 days!
Talk about an extreme solution. The product does look a bit alien and it was probably our disenchantment with space exploration that undid the appeal of the Trim-Jeans.
However, in its time, this product gained quite a bit of notoriety and was even made into a funny skip in one of Monty Python’s shows.
In the video below you can see a segment from what the UK comedy super-group called “Trim Jeans Theater” which, they say, enables you to enjoy fine theater while losing unsightly tummy fat.
6. Hawaii Chair
The Hawaii Chair is a special kind of office chair, the kind that every respectable company would be proud to give its employees. What this chair does is rotate beneath you (in what may be similar to an Hawaiian Hula, perhaps) and so it builds your ab muscles. In the meantime, you can do paperwork, talk on the phone (with or without a dumbbell), or just hang on for dear life.
I have no idea whether the Hawaii Chair gave anyone flat and trim abs. However, it was the focus of one of the funniest TV moments that I’ve seen over the past few years:
7. 3 Minute Legs
This is one of the least-crazy of the fitness gadgets that I bring before you today, but it is still somewhat weird and quite suggestive.
The 3 Minute Legs machine is supposed to help you do squats and lunges in a better way by providing you with balance. However, it is unclear why this product is required. It doesn’t help you to do squats with better form.
The infomercial features sexy models who use the 3 Minute Legs in quite a suggestive way. However, instead of the infomercial, I chose to bring you another video from the TV show Ellen in which the host tries to use this product:
8. The Shake Weight
The Shake Weight is a remarkable product. The shaking dumbbell could have easily turned out to be one of those crazy fitness products that drift to obscurity and end up on lists like this post. However, a suggestive infomercial followed by intense and widespread media coverage (the show Ellen was a big part of this too) turned the Shake Weight, and the male version, the Shake Weight For Men, into a huge success. As I understand it, over 500,000 items were sold already and it is still going strong.
What is yet unclear to me is whether people buy it in the belief that it will really make them fit or whether because it seems like a fun product which may earn them a few laughs. There are conflicting views as to whether this is an effective product, but there’s little doubt that it has earned a place of honor in this list of crazy ones.
9. PC Walkstation
In a previous article I wrote about how sitting too much can be bad for your health. The guys and gals from Steelcase Walkstation have a solution: it’s a treadmill tucked under a workstation so you can type away on your computer and get a workout at the same time. It sort of reminds me of that classic Charlie Chaplin movie in which he works at an assembly line and there’s a machine that attempts to feed him so his hands can remain free.
It does seem a bit risky to both walk and type, though I imagine that taking phone calls will be safe enough. I wouldn’t want to work in the same office with 10 other men and women who are all sweating from their workout while doing their paper work. However, you can watch the video below and judge for yourself:
10. Vibration Belts
Vibration belts that somehow melt the fat away have been popular in one form or another for decades. Even today there are various ab belts and other electric stimulation products that claim to be able to provide a terrific workout experience just by pulsating against your skin.
A few decades ago this was a real craze with actual businesses which catered to the many women who wanted to slim down with no effort.
It was, and still is, an ineffective way to lose fat.
What makes this crazy is not just the product itself and the wild assertions that were made to market it. It is the way these women all appear in the photo together, as if this has suddenly become a new social meeting place, like the hair salon or the gym.
It seems that some things never change. Our desire to be thin and beautiful exposes us to many shady and crazy fitness products. This isn’t likely to change in the near future. I hope that this post has put a smile on your face.