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Is Everyone Obsessed with Abs?

Created on Wednesday, 02 September 2009

I used to think that some people were losing sleep because they were so upset about having flabby, slack abs. How else would you explain all the late night infomercials for ab equipment, airing when most people are, or should be fast asleep in their beds?
Now it seems that any time of day or night you can flip through the channels and find an extended commercial for the latest "Ab This n' That." Is the whole world obsessed with exercising their abs or is it just here in the USA where levels of obesity are still climbing fast?

I'm sure you've seen plenty of the commercials I'm referring to. They all seem to have the same scenario: some poor sap struggling to button up a pair of jeans that are 2 sizes too small; the same or some other misguided individual "wasting time doing endless crunches" which they are shown performing with the worst possible form; animated graphics such as red flashing pain points on someone's neck and back illustrating the pain caused by "conventional ab exercises" (no kidding, when you consider the terrible form the actor is using). Then it introduces the savior to all things exercise and fitness- The All New, Amazing "Ab Blah Blah Blah"!

And just like the commercials' format, the equipment all seems to have the same similarities: "It works all areas of the abs!"- even the mythical "Lower Abs"; it alone can “replace thousands of dollars worth of commercial gym equipment”; it can “sculpt a sleek, sexy set of six pack abs, effortlessly in just minutes a day”; you can “watch the fat from your midsection melt away from this one easy exercise done in a fraction of the time most ab workouts require" (playing not only on the spot reduction myth but also the instant gratification factor); and best of all "It easily folds away", so you can stash it under your bed and forget about it, or tuck it into your closet until next spring's garage sale. The last reason is a very important feature because most people that buy these ab gizmos wind up not using them. Some don't even open the package, or they open it up, discover it requires some assembly and never put it together. "What, this thing requires effort from ME?!?! That's not what the commercial said!"

Why don't people use these ab miracle machines if they are so wonderful (which they must be, look at the results they show, right)?

For one, other than the Bowflex, most of the exercise equipment sold by way of television informercials are just novelty gadgets, a flashy way of doing one those "worthless conventional ab exercises." Some are just downright useless.

My main theory is that the people who are buying them are doing so out of desperation, and the marketers know it. The target demographic has one thing in common- past failure at exercise, and extreme frustration because of it.

What is unfortunate is that this will continue to go on. Misled consumers will continue to make multimillionaires out of the "Ab Machine Pimps" who are selling junk based on nothing more than people's dreams of finding that miraculous magic bullet for fat loss. What is even more unfortunate is that the secret formula, the miracle, or the secret to getting those shapely abs is well known and proven. Plus it does not have to cost you "Three easy payments of $XX.95, plus shipping and handling".
I'm sure you know what it is.

To get a great ab workout you do not need any equipment. As a matter of fact, you can exercise every part of your body without the need for equipment. But if you insist on buying exercise equipment to train your abs, why not get something that allows you to train all of your other muscles too?

I'd like to know:

1.Have you or do you know of someone that has bought an ab exerciser from a television ad?

2. If yes, do you, or they, still use it? If not why not?

3. If you are outside of the USA, how often do you see ads on television for abdominal exercise equipment?

I look forward to your comments.



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# Aaron 2014-03-04 19:55
Thank you Joanne.
I'm glad you enjoyed the post.
Please share it with your friends!
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# Aaron 2014-03-21 20:18
You're welcome Jocelyn. Thanks for the compliments.
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