Beware of the Fitness Gadgets

Golden Rule of Fitness: Spot Reduction is False

Have you ever seen an overweight person advertising fitness equipment or programs? No. You know in your heart that the body on the person advertising a gym, a fitness program or new gadgets didn’t happen just by using that gym/program/gadget.

In this article, let’s start with the answer first – To lose fat you need to:

  • Create a calorie deficit;
  • Eat quality foods;
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Put your fitness at the top (3) of your priority list;
  • Focus and plan;
  • Perform high calorie demand exercise involving the large muscles of your body;
  • Train your core, yes, yet learn how to work the entire muscle and those around it, not the fat.

New flash: there is no such thing as spot reduction. It is simply not how your body burns fat and loses weight. Doing 100 crunches a day will not result in 12 pack abs. Getting 12 pack abs is a journey of overall health, fitness, stress management and sufficient quality sleep. Completing 100 leg lifts won’t give youBrazil’s Jacqueline Carvalho’s legs (Carvalho is a 6’1’ Brazilian Olympic Volleyball player).

To get the body composition you want, you need to work. And, you need to work hard. Most important, the level of consistency maintained will suit you and your body well – and it will show.

Your most important piece of equipment will always be you and your own body. Next, comes your attitude toward the exercise. This one element – your attitude – can positively or negatively determine your success. Success comes after you master the art of mixing things you enjoy and things your body needs for exercise.

What successful accomplishment in your life comes without hard work, consistency and focus?

Like any industry, the fitness equipment industry is smart, calculating and wants to sell you just about anything.

Okay, you may have just said, “I don’t fall for that anymore; I don’t buy those big pieces of fitness equipment. They just become another clothes hanger or laundry rack.”

Well, do you travel and use the hotel gym? Or, do you use one at work? Do you think large companies, hospitals and hotel chains believe it will help their business to purchase them – in bulk?

Here are some stats:

  • The fitness equipment market worldwide is expected to reach $11.9 billion by 2020, according to a report developed by the firm Allied Market Research.
  • Of that $11.9 billion, 50% is expected to be reaped from cardiovascular equipment (treadmills, elliptical trainers, spinners, etc.) sales.
  • The purchase of fitness equipment by commercial customers, like hotels, corporate fitness centers and hospitals is expected to increase at a compound average growth rate of 3.95% between now and 2020. The North American region will continue to dominate the market, making up about two-fifths of the market size each year.

So, now we know where the demand lies. The big machines. How does the industry market these machines that range from $900 to $17,000?

The equipment companies already know Americans want to be fit. We also intuitively know getting and maintaining optimal fitness is a tall order. If there were a piece of equipment that would make it easy, wouldn’t we own it already?

Americans are smarter than ever about the benefits of exercise. Our doctor’s routinely tell us, parents envision their children playing about any sport to keep them active, and older Americans are increasingly conscious about its benefits on their minds and bodies.

We continue to hear from clients their doctor wants them to “rest” and “take a break” to resolve the condition of the day. By the time my 9-year old children are in college, doctor’s will only rarely utter those words.

Jim Thomas, a veteran fitness equipment marketer says America has come a long way. The industry no longer feels the imperative to teach the benefits. We already know them.

He says, “You’re not selling the benefits of exercise; you don’t have to convince everyone anymore,” yet he adds, “But now, the exercise business is almost like the entertainment businesses. People are doing it; we’re trying to figure out how to keep them doing it.” Increasingly, maintaining an exercise program, marketers realized, has become a business of digital distraction.

Check out marketing of fitness equipment in the 60’s versus today.

Who is supremely smart at marketing beyond the corporate customer? QVC and HSN.

  • The Home Shopping Network (HSN), the 24-hour television network, is broadcast in 96 million homes.
  • In 2014 alone, the HSN sold over $2.5 Billion in merchandise.
  • QVC — which stands for “Quality, Value, Convenience” — is bigger, serving six countries and 235 million homes across the world with $8.8 billion in revenue.

What does this mean and why is it important to you?

QVC and HSN are two companies selling millions in fitness equipment to the vulnerable public. They are not alone. There is a whole industry out there selling equipment. In fact, it’s an $11.9 BILLION industry.

This year, despite slumping revenue, HSN is hot and, more importantly, knows their customer well. In an interview by Tiffany Yannetta of the Fashion website “Racked”, an HSN company executive Katherine Rush states, “We love her. We talk about her all the time. There’s not a minute of the day that goes by that we’re not thinking about her,” She is a woman over 35 who wants to buy everything from shapewear to a blender, from a microwave to a Fitbit. Everything we do and everything we create is with her in mind.”

The CEO, Mindy Grossman admitted part of the decline in sales (and revenue) was the current change in fitness trends — away from big exercise machines at home — to more social ways to stay fit. This prompted the retailer to shift its product line more toward wearable fitness products more relevant to “community workouts.”

There are still those late night infomercials mercilessly selling the crunch bench and and a variety of contraptions to lure the sleep-deprived to cure the proverbial donut around their waistline. The “Wonder Core” for $99.99 is a personal favorite.

Sadly, the infomercial style advertisement normally targets those who – yes even in 2016 – believe in spot reduction.

Be cautious, if you are wondering why you now have a household of smaller gadgets the fitness industry like any industry knows know how to market them too. If they are a means to motivate you to move and have fun while you’re doing it, then sounds like you’ve made a wise purchase. If it sits on your basement or living room floor gathering dust, its fodder for the yard sale.

Below is our small list of items that could make any fitness program “pop” with fun – adding them to your already beautiful body as your powerful piece of equipment. And, they are all portable.

Mini Band ($3.00-$4.50): A cost effective way to increase core and glute strength and liven up your workouts. Place the band above your knees, around your shins or your feet and march, walk or squat.

Gliding disks ($11.99 at Ace Hardware or $15.00 at Power Systems) Glider disks, also known as slider disks provide your movement with imbalance and an unstable surface to learn how to engage your core and gluts for balance and stability. Use for lunges, planks, push ups, etc. and you’ll definitely know you’ve worked.

Tubing/Resistance Bands ($8.50-$15.00): Resistance bands and tubing are stretchy rubber tubes with cushioned handles. You can use them for upper, lower body and full body exercises.

TRX ($129-$249): Born out of the Navy Seal Training program, TRX is a system that puts the user in control of the intensity and load. It includes two straps attached to an anchor (ceiling, door, wall, tree, etc.). There are literally hundreds of movements that can be done with a TRX.

Kettlebell ($40-$150): Kettlebell is an iron ball with a handle. The beauty of the “bell” is its “lopsided” shape, requiring the ultimate in tension, strength and cardiovascular health. Always consult with a professionally certified Kettlebell instructor before purchasing AND training with them. Done with proper form can transform any fitness level to optimal fitness. Used improperly, like any fitness program, can be cause of injury, and worse, frustration.

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In Strength,
Adrien