Hall of Shame!

Hey Folks, I need your help with this one. Please scan and send me your favorite deceitful, outrageous claims by advertisers of supplements/fitness products so we can give them the ridicule they deserve. Each month I will choose one particularly greedy, deceitful company and expose their product. This will be a lot of fun and maybe, just maybe, we can keep some kid from wasting their hard earned money on some useless/dangerous product.   Please email me your suggestions at admin(@)scoobysworkshop(.)com. Here is the ranking system:

One thumbs down.  A waste of space, money, and the planets resources.  Probably works but there are very inexpensive alternatives which are better.
Two thumbs down. Basic lies and bullsh*t.  Unsubstantiated claims.
Three thumbs down. Complete and total steaming bullsh*t!  Probably dangerous.

In my own little way, I’m going to try and shame these conscience-free product pushers into some truth-in-advertising. As a reward for being honest, I will remove products from this Wall of Shame when they either eliminate their ridiculous, un-supported claims or back them up with solid scientific studies.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against buying stuff if you can afford it as there are some very good products and information out there but if you *do* buy something, make sure you are getting your moneys worth. Read reviews. Ask people who have used it. Critically examine their claims, are they reasonable? If its information you want and my free website doesnt have what you are looking for then please check out one of my recommended books as I have read all of them and can strongly recommend them.

Without further ado, here are some of the worst fitness products I have ever seen:

"Shocking" Shortcut to Sixpack abs discovered by Chinese "scientists" - photoshop!

Sixpack Shortcuts $97 - P.T. Barnum who coined the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute” would be very, very proud of YouTube entrepreneur sixpackshortcuts who in my opinion is the modern day equivalent of the 20th century snake-oil salesman. He is the king of the asterisk and the “your results may vary” disclaimer. Clever - promising nothing for $97 makes great business sense. P.T. would smile at his ridiculous promises of babes, “shocking shortcuts” and this:

“Scientists in China have discovered a revolutionary shortcut to six pack abs”.

Is the “revolutionary shortcut” from the Chinese scientists photoshop, body paint, or air-brushing? I’m no expert but that image looks fake to me.  He is getting rich telling people what they want to hear, that they “don’t have to do cardio”. There are no shortcuts to sixpack abs but you can get rich by pretending to have the secret! In my opinion, his anti-cardio sales platform is irresponsible and goes against the recommendations of the American Heart Association that daily cardio is indeed part of a successful weight loss program as well as being critical to good health. He’s all about cosmetics, do you want a body for go or show?  Mike Chang and his marketing antics has given me lots of fodder for mock infomercials, check out my videos Insta-Abs and Big Muscle Shortcuts!

Mark Rippetoe in Fitness Hall of Shame

Mark Rippetoe, Starting Strength $29.95. It pains me to include Mark Rippetoe and his book “Starting Strength” in my Fitness Hall of Shame because its basically a good book. The problem is the wild, irresponsible, and exagerated marketing claims that Mark makes in promoting the book. The problem is, if the author is willing to use deception to sell the book, how can you possibly trust what they have written? You can’t, either the author has integrity or not and in this case he does not. Had I seen his wild claims beforehand, I would have never ordered his book. He claims that its reasonable to expect 31lbs of LBM gain in 11 weeks using his program, this is pure fantasy and its a cruel trick to mislead teens to think they can achieve this.

mensheath

Men’s Health Magazine.. Check out their advice on how to gain a pound of muscle a week and you will see why this horrible magazine is here. What kind of legitimate magazine on “Health” would tell you how to gain 52 pounds of muscle a year? As Kyle, one very humorous Facebook fan said – “It’s not BS, it actually works. I’ve been doing the program for 5 years and have put on over 250 lbs of pure muscle!” LOL!

 
Flex-Belt

The Flex Belt! Why on earth do people keep falling for these electro stimulation products? This one has olympic athlete Janet Evans touting it as well as former 49er Jerry Rice.  Can you just imagine the ridicule Jerry would get if he were still on the team?  They are very clever in the deception of this product.  To their slimy credit, nowhere do they say it makes you slimmer or reduces your waistline.  All they claim is that it makes your ab muscles stronger.  They continue their deception and give the product an undeserved air of superiority with their silly claim “FDA Cleared for toning, strengthening, and firming ab muscles” and even sillier “patent pending medical grade technology”.  Dont waste your time or money on these electro-stim belts.  If you want a smaller waistline your time would be much better spent walking!  If its a strong core you want, you will get much better results with my rotisserie core workout.

Get Tall 1000

Get Tall 1000 Homeopathic fraud here, this is completely ridiculous.  Check out their unbelievable claim: “In 12 weeks get approximately 3-6 inches or 7.5-15cm taller“.  This is incredible, how are these scam artists getting away with this?  Oh, thats ok because their product is “100% GUARANTEED RESULTS” - ya, right.  Good luck getting someone to answer their customer service number when you call for your refund.  Remember, when something sounds too good to be true – IT IS!

From the proud skam artists who brought you “Get Taller 1000″ comes their hot new homeopathic product, “Get Muscular 1000“.  According to them this is the perfect product for those who want to look muscular and gain weight but “dont have time” to go to the gym.  Wow, it MUST work because it’s “Clinically proven”.  Clinically proven to do what?  Make them rich?  Who falls for this stuff?  I guess enough people fall for their sales pitch to make this worth their while.  I mean, look at the fantastic before and after!  Remember folks, despite what these criminals are promising here, you cant gain muscle just by popping some pills and sitting on your sofa.

Power Spin

Power-Spin.  “Delivers arms and abs to be proud of” - oh really?  I think its much more likely to deliver carpal-tunnel syndrome than muscles to be proud of.  This thing is a round tube with a ball in it and you just wiggle it around and its long duration repititive wrist motions like this that cause bad wrist problems with people.  The idea that this could build muscle in anyone is preposterous.  Here is a ridiculous nonsensical quote from them, see if you can figure out what this means: “isometrically (with Powerspin® for example) is a far faster and far more efficient method than working out isotonically (lifting weights) as your Powerspin® manages to engage virtually the entire mass of each muscle being used during each specific exercise simply by recruiting a far greater number of the fibers in [that] muscle than would occur if you pick up a dumbbell for example.” WTF is THAT suppose to mean???

 Power Horse

Power Horse.  OK, the laughing stock of the internet.  How anyone could consider this an exercise device is beyond me, however, the video is hysterical.  Its even more sexually suggestive than the ridiculous shake weight.  Watch and laugh, just dont buy!

 Ab-Hancer

The Ab-hancer.  OK, this is funny and could make a perfect gag-gift.  The idea is the grate forms your abs into fat rectangles if you wear it long enough and then you put a tight shirt over it an presto – brick abs!   Again, I hop no one seriously considers this for the stated purpose.  Nobody will ever be fooled by something like this, in fact, you would become the laughing stock of the party so dont try it.  This product was such a great idea that it inspired my mock infomercial Insta-Abs!

 Steam-O-Belt

Steam-O-Belt OK folks, you cant lose body fat thru sweat.  You cant lose fat in saunas or hot tubs. You cant lose fat by wearing plastic/rubber jackets or heavy sweatshirts while working out.  You cant lose fat by using sauna suits or fat belts.  All these things do is make you sweat and become temporarily dehydrated – sometimes dangerously so.  You lose water weight which returns the moment you drink anything.  If it were only so easy as steam cleaning your belly button to steam away the fat.  Its not! You want watch this hit Dutch video!  Just silly.  Here are some great quotes from their website:

  • “Sweating without exhausting workouts.”
  • “Steam O Belt can help you to loose (sic) weight”
  • “With the new Steam-O-Belt thermo sauna the kilos melt automatically”
  • “The steam moisture of the Steam-O-Belt thermo sauna makes you sweat and helps to reduce your weight!”
  • “The pores open and the body discharges toxic substances.”
 6 Second Abs

6-Second Abs They started out on the wrong foot with their laughable and unsupported claim “15x more effective than crunches” but they have lots of cool graphics that make it look scientific.  Aargh!  Then just to give you the idea how top secret and desirable their product is, they give you this stern warning:

News Update: Beware Counterfeits! 
Watch out for unauthorized web sites selling illegal conterfeit 6 Second Abs.

Folks, you cant get abs in 6 seconds.  A caloric deficit is what gives you abs, not any silly machine.

Mark Wahlburg is the poster boy for GNC’s new “Marked” line of supplements.  I desperately want tested and safe supplements for folks to use but I am not convinced they are providing them. They make all kinds of claims that are unsupported which kinda bugs me:

  • “MARKED products have been tested for banned substances”.  Then where are the test results?  Why aren’t they online? What are the mercury and lead levels in these products???  Is every batch tested?  When was the last test done?
  • “MARKED products are developed by a team of dedicated scientists and nutritional experts“.  Who are they and what are their qualifications?
  • Every raw material that goes into a MARKED product is tested to guarantee that the final product contains authentic ingredients. Extensive tests are used to determine the purity of the raw ingredients.”  Again, why are these test results not published on their website?  How often are these tests done?  On every batch?  What are the mercury, lead, and arsenic levels?
I applaud GNCs efforts to make quality products but just making claims of quality without backing it up with some proof isnt sufficient.  They will have to excuse us for being a bit skeptical after their competitor bodybuilding.com got fined $7,000,000 for laced supplements.

Magnet Fat Reducing Ring You really gotta be desperate to try this magnetic fat reducing ring!  It makes a lot of promises.  According to them, wearing this ring:

  • Thumb: reduces fat of the face
  • Index finger: reduces fat of the arm
  • Middle finger: reduces stomach
  • Fourth finger: reduces fat of the waist
  • Pinky finger: reduces fat of the thigh

Whats worse is their dangerous and ludicrous promises of magnets curing cure arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome,  cerebral palsy, and high cholesterol.  This is downright criminal even implying this stuff.

 

5-hr Energy has completely crossed the line with their latest ridiculous advertising campaign where they give they work hard to give the deceptive impression that their product is recommended by doctors.  Energy drinks are NOT recommended by doctors, period.  In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that if 100 people asked their doctors if they should consume more caffeine or less, their doctors would say unequivocally – consume LESS caffeine.  Excess caffeine causes sleep problems, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and any number of other problems and most Americans consume too much caffeine. Getting enough quality sleep is one of the most common ailments of Americans and caffeine, even in the morning, can interfere with sleep quality and quantity. Here is what they claim:

3000 doctors reviewed 5 hr energy,over 73% said they would recommend a low calorie energy supplement to their healthy patients who use energy supplements.

Thats certainly not a medical endorsement of 5-hr energy!  All they are saying is that drinking water is better than drinking sugar water.  Shame on 5-hr Energy!!!  I wonder if they are owned by the same company that makes the sleeping pills like Lunesta and Ambien, great business model, make money waking them up and then make a killing selling them prescription meds to let them sleep.  Caffeine is  an important bodybuilding supplement but its got to be used properly.  Please read the link to find out how to do it.

Pushup Pump

The Pushup Pump for just four *easy* payments of $24.95! Watch their video for a hoot! When its fitness equipment from As Seen On TV offers, its gotta be good!  What does the pushup pump do?  Well according to their ad, it makes your stomach flatter!  LOL! Go figure, pushups make you stomach flatter!  The infomercial is worth watching for laughs, its like one of my mock infomercials but in this case, its not a joke … or it is but the joke is on the customer.  Why?  All this device does is allow someone who is too weak to do a pushup to do one.  Can we think of something simpler?  How about a knee-pushup?  Works just as well and saves you $100!

bodybuilding.com

Until now, my fitness hall of shame has been reserved for individual products but in the case of bodybuilding.com I am making an exception.  I am inducing their whole company into my Fitness Hall of Shame for their continued pushing of untested supplements and their incredible greed.  The FDA fined bodybuilding.com $7,000,000 for selling laced supplements but its still cheaper for them to just pay the hand slap fines than it is to test the products they sell to insure they are safe.  Congratulations bodybuilding.com!  You could have lead the industry to successful self-regulation but now you have doomed it to FDA control.

Free Flexor

Free Flexor for $49.90. I am truly speechless.  Do they think we are complete idiots?  “Circular Strength Technology™” Ooooh!  That must be good! This thing is hysterical!  Move over shake weight!  All I can figure is that they know this is white elephant gift exchange time of year and they know it will make the perfect gag-gift.  Too bad we are strip-mining our planet to make crud like this.

The Rack

The Rack“, or should we say “The Walker”?  Although not dangerous or harmful, this is just a complete waste of money.  Yes you can use it for working out but you could use grandma’s walker to workout on too.  Watch their video, its a hoot! The poor guy who had to demo this must have felt like an idiot.


Bio-Synergy Skinny Water increases fat burning and helps reduce sugar cravings.”

LOL! I suppose people who fall for this deserve to lose their money. Yes, water is very important for weight loss but tap water works just as well and you can save about $100/day :)

Vince DelMonte - “41 pounds of solid-steel muscle in 24 weeks! And I did it while spending only 3 hours in the gym each week.”, what a crock of BS! The title of his expensive eBook “No Nonsense” is quite ironic indeed!  Its just not possible to put on muscle that fast without steroids and its completely irresponsible in my opinion to suggest it! If someone exaggerates/lies in their ads, how can you possibly believe anything in their book?  This is a perfect example of the type book that you will NOT find on my Good Fitness Books page.

Watch me use this butt belt vibrator from the 50′s, then watch this ridiculous Hawaii Chair. When will people learn? Passive weight loss does NOT work. We just keep repackaging the same stupid thing decade after decade and people keep buying it!

Shake Weight. I sat speechless with my mouth open when I first saw their ad. I thought surely someone would interrupt it and say “Welcome to Saturday Night Live”. This can’t be a real commercial I kept saying as I watched in complete disbelief. They claim “Scientific studies prove that the Shake Weight™ increases upper body muscle activity by more than 300% compared to traditional weights” – what a crock of bull!

ANR Muscle Maker Wow, where to start on this! This is clearly a magic potion. They claim “Rare Plant Extract Increases Muscle Growth by 700%” – wow, a “rare plant”! I’m impressed, are you? Lets start with the completely ridiculous claims:

  • adds 27lbs in 7 weeks
  • add 5″ to arms in 7 weeks
  • 100% safe, natural and legal

Sound too good to be true? It is! They wont even reveal the contents of the bottle and have never had it tested for toxicity and they expect us to believe that its “100% safe”???

Fat Loss Secret!!! What a bunch of sensationalistic, tabloid garbage! – “Shocking proof of the real reason you are fat! Its critters living in your gut! Would you trust anything living in your bowels that has teeth but NO eyes?”

Ab Circle Pro I found their late night infomercial very entertaining and it gave me tons of ideas for my own mock infomercials. Because their infomercial was SO entertaining, I only gave them one thumbs down rather than the two they deserve. They claim that this silly thing provides a good cardio workout – only if you are 95 years old! Want a much better workout than the Ab Circle Pro provides? Do crunches and go for a walk!

The Ab Rocket. There is just no end in sight to all these ab machines. They are no better than the standard crunch, they take up room, they cost a lot of money, and their ridiculous claims cause people to stop their fitness programs after a few weeks. The ab rocket claims “Melts inches from your waistline” – WRONG! All ab exercises do is make the waistline LARGER because its making the muscles bigger. If you want the waistline smaller then you have to eat less and do more cardio.

Slender Shaper Their completely unsubstantiated claim is “oscillating system helps ‘melt’ away unwanted fat!“, what a crock of bull!  This is hysterical!  Its a portable version of those wall-mounted vibrating belts that women used in the 50′s!  Watch this very funny video of the slender shaper in “action”.

ROM – The 4-Minute CrossTrainer © For the low, low price of $14,615.  Are you serious??? Fourteen thousand dollars for a piece of cardio equipment?  How about a $130 bicycle instead?  Complete bullshit, they claim a “complete cardio workout in 4 minutes a day”.  The only thing their USC “Study” proves is that 4 minutes a day of cardio is better than 0 minutes a day.

touts: “Never Do A Painful Crunch Again!”. Just strap on this electrical stimulator. If it getting 6-pack abs were as easy as strapping this $200 thing around your waist, wouldn’t everybody have great abs??? Wisely they have changed their marketing campaign to be a bit more honest, at least now they admit that their weight loss program requires “eat, exercise, and eStim”. I have a secret folks that will save you 200 bucks – to lose weight you just need to do the first two :)

$48 Strike Trainer I am somewhat speechless after watching their promotional video.  I had to check out the website several times to make sure it wasn’t someone’s idea of a joke.  You gotta watch their video, its a hoot!  $48 for a piece of foam that you stick to the wall with a suction cup.  A Richard Simmons aerobics video is much more effective than this thing.

$215 Red You can swivel your way to health!  NOT! Its an overpriced barstool! They claim this thing gives you 6-pack abs – what?  You would see much better results from walking than from using this overpriced dust collector.

Power Plate

$4230 PowerPlate. Their completely unsubstantiated claim is that “Just 10 minutes on the Power Plate® is equivalent to 60 minutes’ conventional exercise. And, you don’t even need to exert yourself – just 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week can be enough.” What a crock of sh*t. With this product you can vibrate your way to health, ya right. A modern version of those ’50′s wall mount vibrating belts. This product might be useful in some situations for some people but lets cut out the ridiculous claims people. $4230?? You can buy a lot of fitness for $4230. Probably a better use of that money would be to hire a personal chef for a few months to prepare you nutritious, low fat, well balanced meals.

LoveHandler They tout: “The best way to sculpt your abs, trim your waist and lose your ‘love handles’” - I don’t think so!  Remember folks, there is no such thing as spot fat removal! The only way to trim your waist and lose love handles is thru eating less and doing more cardiovascular exercise.

Foldaway elliptical strider.  Here is a good example of a completely ineffective piece of cardio equipment.  To lose weight you need to get your heart rate up and to get your heart rate up you need to do work.  In an effective piece of cardio equipment, there is a method of converting your work into heat somewhere in the device.  In a simple bike, it is a brake pad scraping on a rim making the rim hot.  In most modern exercise equipment there is a generator which turns your work into electricity which is then dumped into a resistive element which gets hot.  In these modern devices, the electrical resistance can be varied which changes the intensity of the workout.  You will note that this device has no method of converting your work into heat.  Sitting on the sofa and flapping your arms would give you about the same workout as this device.

from MuscleTech claims: “The most powerful DNA-activating muscle size and strength product ever developed!” . Huh? What the heck is DNA-activation?  They further go on to claim: “Genetically triggers rapid and dramatic muscle growth“.  Proof please!  They claim:”Anator-p70 is the result of over five years and over a million dollars in research at the University of Nottingham by Team MuscleTech™ and the leading authority on muscle metabolism research, Dr. Paul Greenhaff“.  OK, if you have done a million dollars of research then show us the results published in a reputable journal supporting your claims!  If you take a look at Dr. Paul Greenhaff’s web page you will see that he did research funded by MuscleTech but in his list of publications I don’t see any articles supporting any of the above claims.  MuscleTech, am I missing something?  If so point me to the research supporting your claims and I will gladly remove you from this “wall of shame”!

$1999 “core trainer“.  There are much less expensive ways to train your core and they don’t take up half the room! To their credit they don’t make any unreasonable claims.

$99 The Ab Lounge.  “Testing proves the Ab Lounge 2 is more effective than standard bent knee crunches“.  Oh really, what testing?  How was it done?  Hey folks, you do not need any piece of equipment to exercise your abs – just a carpet.

$89 Ab chair delux.  “In just minutes a day, you can transform flabby abs into sexy swimsuit abs“.  Really?  Prove it!  The only thing that will get rid of flab is diet and aerobic exercise.

You know, I made the following mock infomercial but many of the above products are even sillier than mine!!!!!!  In particular, the “strike trainer” I find even more ludicrous than the Abduminator :(