The One Fitness Product Worth Buying?
Category : Muscle Building
If there’s one thing I make sure to tell every training client it’s to be on time. If there’s two things I always make sure to tell every training client it’s to be on time and to not waste money on useless fitness contraptions they see advertised on infomercials.
Nearly all of these fitness products are advertised using deceptive means. Next time you see an advert for a fitness or weight loss product pay attention to how many times the ad tells you what you “might” be able to achieve. Add enough maybe’s and might’s to a sentence and you can claim nearly anything without technically being inaccurate.
“You might lose up to 50 pounds by making one simple change to your diet.”
“You can add up to 10 pounds of muscle by doing this one exercise.”
“Lose as much as 12 inches off your waist by simply avoiding this one food.”
None of these statements can be said to be inaccurate as they simply hint at possibilities and don’t actually make any concrete claims. Unfortunately, too many people read claims like this and whether due to optimism or ignorance actually believe that they will attain these kinds of results.
The other element of deceptiveness found in these ads is that they often imply you can achieve better results with less work. This, from a physiological standpoint, doesn’t make a lot of sense. Generally speaking, the amount of calories one burns doing a particular exercise is a function of how much energy is expended doing said exercise. That being the case, how could one expect to burn more calories while expending less energy? As soon as I figure that one out I’ll be sure to publish “How to Get Ripped Sitting on Your Couch” and collect my 1 billion dollars. (stay tuned)
Now that I’ve sufficiently trashed most every fitness product on the market, let’s talk about one that might actually be worth buying, or making if you’re the DIY type.
The ab wheel. Cheap, effective, challenging and, dare I say, fun. The main selling point of the ab wheel is that it hits your midsection like not much else will. Unless you are part of the hardcore calisthenics community, your ab training likely consists of doing boring, repetitive crunch marathons or maybe just avoiding your abs altogether. Either way, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Doing a large number of reps with very low weight can be effective for building size over time, but it is not an effective way to build strength or improve functionality. The musculature of the midsection functions much the same way as the musculature of the rest of the body. Just as you would not do 1,000 curls with a three pound weight in order to build strength, your ab training should match the results you hope to achieve.
Using the wheel will place a lot more tension on the abdominals than a lot of people will be used to. This means three things: 1) it’s not easy 2) it’s effective 3) you won’t need to do a lot of reps.
The primary function of our abdominal muscles is to resist motion. The ab wheel, as opposed to crunches and sit ups, actually challenges the abdominal muscles in this capacity. As the hands travel out away from your core, your abdominals are being tasked to maintain stability against steadily increasing tension. Using an ab wheel is essentially a more dynamic, challenging, and engaging version of the plank.
Quick tips for those new to the Ab Wheel:
-Don’t try to go all the way out on your first attempt. If you can only go halfway in the beginning, that’s fine.
-Try completing 3 sets of 5 reps, with 1 minute rest between sets.
-Keep your back start the entire time!
-Have fun and enjoy the burn