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My Top 10 Most Useless Pieces of Exercise Equipment – #2 The Ab Lounge

May 14, 2011 0 Comments

(This is a 10 part series in which I am reviewing some of the products sold as exercise equipment, fitness solutions, etc. on infomercials, magazine ads, and cable shopping networks.  Unlike most of the ads for these products, this isn’t based on a double blind, major university backed study.  It is simply my professional opinion based on my fitness experience and knowledge in the hopes that it will save you some time, aggravation and money.)

abloungerThe Ab Lounge

I confess.  At times, I enjoy doing nothing.  When it comes time for vacation or just those few (and I mean few as the father of a toddler) moments, I’m content doing absolutely nothing.  Vegging out, perhaps some reading, or just catching some zzz’s. But never, ever, would I consider not remaining active or consider exercise and lounging to exist concurrently. Let me introduce to you the Ab Lounge.

Not Your Typical Lounger

When I think of the word lounge, I think of putting my feet up, sitting back perhaps with a beverage, or just laying around doing nothing remotely physical. When you say lounge, the farthest thing from my mind is exercise. At first glance, the Ab Lounger looks like a state of the art lounge chair more for the beach, pool, deck, or campsite. Actually looks quite comfortable.  Throw some cup holders on it and we’re good to go.  But exercise on it? Are you kidding me?

Exercise and Lounging Simply Don’t Mix

Yet again, the deception and mockery of fitness to the public continues. The concept of spot reduction is a recurrent theme in all of these “poor excuses” for exercise equipment, and sad to say it doesn’t make a difference because it just doesn’t nor will it ever happen. It doesn’t matter how much you train the abs, feel the burn, or create so much soreness you can’t laugh for days, the abdominal fat will remain right there insulating your midsection.  The good news however is if you’re dedicated and successful at eating well, follow an intense cardio interval and weight training program, you just might find some success. But lounging, or “crunching more effectively” or as the TV personality says in the video “go faster in the fat burning zone” as what the Ab Lounge promises, might as well enjoy a pint of ice cream while you’re there because the result is going to be about the same. I’m waiting for the Ab Couch to come out that burns calories while you watch TV cuddled in your Snuggie.  Truth be told, for the believers of the “fat burning zone” (that magical heart rate zone where you burn fat) sitting on the couch fits right into their mentality. I challenge you to see how far that gets you.

My Advice

I try to not be so cynical when it comes to these things.  Obviously, someone put a lot of money into the development of this product and consequently I imagine made a lot of money too.  That doesn’t make it right and it makes the concept of exercise and fitness just that much more confusing to the people who would benefit from it the most.  Mom always said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Take home message: Don’t buy into the gimmicks; buy into the mindset that fitness is a lifestyle and unless it becomes that for you, you might just as well lounge because the result is going to be the same.

So we have come to but one left on my list and I have a little proposition for you. If you can correctly guess what my number 1 Most Useless Piece of Exercise Equipment is before I post it, I will happily send you a free copy of my e-book, “How to Read Food Labels”.  No catch, just some good clean fun.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

In case you’ve missed them, here are My Top 10 Most Useless Pieces of Exercise Equipment so far:

#10 The Jump Snap
#9 The Thigh Master
#8 The Ab Roller
#7 The Red Exerciser
#6 Leg Magic
#5 The Ab Circle
#4 The Bender Ball
#3 6 Second Abs

About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

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