My World

The world according to me!

Keep Fit

I love infomercials. It’s an early morning ritual for me, turn on the TV find something interesting to watch, mostly infomercials. However I’m not just watching any kind of infomercial, mostly the fitness ones.

I’ve had issues with my weight for as long as I know myself. So I’m drawn to the “fix it” premise behind these programmes. To be honest I love the hype and the potential for doing something for yourself, and it be something healthy. Also the makeover potential appeals to me.

However I’m picky about the type of exercise infomercials I like. First and foremost, I love toys: balls, steps, rubber bands and trampolines. Anything to make the work seem more like fun I’m into. Also I believe in cardio/ weight programmes are the best for weight loss and all round health.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate gadgets that are too big, and look cheaply made. The “toys” have to be practical, and not too bulky or mechanical. So mini-steppers (which we’ve had in my house), ab-machines or waist trimmers are out. 

The programme has to make sense. I hate the gimmicky shows that obviously don’t. Don’t tell me I’ll lose weight by breathing and pulsing various muscles, I won’t buy it.

I like programmes where the fitness expert demonstrates their system with professional and un-professional models. They explain that you’ll have to exercise three to four times a week, and demonstrate the “new” equipment or theory. Those I like, I’d buy the stuff because I believe they could work.

So what are my favourite infomercial products?

  • P90X – I love how this is just a fitness programme, with weights, stretch, and cardio. I love how there’s a routine, and you have several programmes, so you’re not doing the same routine over and over.
  • 10 Minute Trainer – I’d probably buy this one though. P90X seems a bit hardcore, this one is more moderate, but still contains the elements I like. Like Tony, I believe flexibility is essential to fitness, and I love that he has a full stretch programme in his series.
  • The Wave by the Firm– Weights + cardio = Rapid Weight Loss. Firm took this concept and ran with it. The Wave is an updated Step programme. It works because it forces you to work to find your balance,  a situation which develops the deep abdominal muscles, typical crunches can’t reach.
  • Bender Ball – I love stability ball workouts, so the Bender Ball I like because, as far as I see it’s a variation of a theme. I don’t know if I believe the extention +flexion theory they posit, but the workouts look good, especially the lower ab exercises. I especially love that they have a pilates workout, I prefer it to yoga.
  • Stability Ball Series, Stott Pilates – I love pilates, and I think that a complete exercise programme needs to include weight training, cardio and flexibility exercises. So while I’d buy the entire Stott series, I really like the Stability Ball series and would buy it first. I think ball exercises are so much fun and I’d really like to try these.
  • Element: Pilates Weight Loss for Beginners–  I started doing pilates using Brooke Siler’s books, so I trust her system. I would buy this DVD just because of her.
  • Fluidity– I don’t know about the  wieght loss claims, but I think this would be a great strengthening, flexibility enhancing workout. While the fluidity bar satisfies my “toys” requirement, it’s big which is a bit of a downer. But if you’re serious about fitness, and were probably doing some cardio as well, I think this would be  agreat buy. I’d probably purchase it myself if it wasn’t so expensive.

So those are my favourites. I did manage to sneak in two non-informercial exercise programmes, but I simply couldn’t leave them out of my list. I do have some honourable mentions, like Billy Blanks’ Tae-bo workouts, Chalene’s Turbo Jam, Michelle Khai’s Kettleball Workout and the Yoga Booty Ballet systems.

Basically I like the systems that don’t hide what they are, and look like they could provide a great workout. I like them to be fun, or at least interesting, so you could be proud of accomplishing something. In exercise I need the kind of gimmicks that keep you from getting bored while doing some serious work.

So I haven’t actually tried these systems, but I would.

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