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Health and Fitness Products: 6 Gimmicks and Rip-offs

By Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A. (Kinesiology), P.T.S.

Personal Trainer in Toronto


There are numerous fitness and health products on the market that are gimmicks. Just stay up late at night and you may be fortunate enough to see some of these ridiculous tools. They are sometimes laughable. Many of these products are advertised with outrageous claims of rapid muscle building and fat loss. These companies prey on lazy people who are looking for quick fixes. However, instead of having a one sided argument, I will highlight how some of these tools can be effective for certain minute populations.

In no particular order, here are the winners of my Health and Fitness Gimmick and Rip-off List:


Cellulite Cream

cellulite cream

Creams that are used to get rid of unsightly dimpled fat are highly ineffective. Keep dreaming! If anyone finds medical journals proving their effectiveness, please send them to me. Stop being lazy and start moving and lift weights!




Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)

electrical muscle stimulation

These devices are sometimes used in therapies for patients with spinal cord injuries. They send a low electrical signal to pads to your muscles. They help to maintain muscle tone. For the healthy population, I feel this tool is not the most effective means of building muscle. These machines don’t help to develop other components of fitness including: balance/neuromuscular coordination, improved body composition, agility etc. EMS may be effectively used for rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. I have a personal unpleasant experience with one of these devices. I used one in hopes of alleviating the pain from my shin splints. I placed the pads on my tibialis anterior and set the machine to a medium level oscillating massage. Within seconds, I began feeling nauseous and become overwhelmed with extreme anxiety as if I were going to die! Perhaps these machines can affect your body’s natural electrical activity in negative ways.



Shake Weight


This one has got to be a joke! Again, if anyone finds any significant positive results in medical research journals or even with personal experience using this product please let me know! This device is supposed to use dynamic inertia to help you build muscles. I can guarantee the models in the infomercials do not use this tool on a regular basis, at least not for exercise purposes.



Perfect Pushup


The Perfect Pushup is two handles that rotate to stimulate different areas of your chest. The handles can rotate. This is another gimmick and an unnecessary piece of equipment. You can get the same effect if you do push-ups with your hands placed in different positions. You can also dumbbell press with different grip styles. The rotating feature does not make this tool more effective. If you want to save your wrists you can do pushups with hex dumbbell handles or pushup bars.



Toning shoes

shape ups

Want another quick fix to build a nice, firm butt? I am afraid you will not find it with toning shoes. Companies that sell these shoes have been sued for millions of dollars for false claims.



Vitamin Water

vitamin water

Vitamin Water contains minimal, insignificant amounts of vitamins and some added sugar. It is another waste of money. You are better off taking a multi-vitamin/multimineral and drinking pure water with an electrolyte mixture.





Personal Trainer in Toronto

Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A.(Kinesiolgy), P.T.S.

Phone: 416-912-9716


Hours: M-F 6am-8pm, Sat+Sun 8am-12pm


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