This is what I call absolute BALONEY! Since when has ANY fitness model or athlete hopped on a super-machine for five minutes a day and magically transformed their body? IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN! I would assume that EVERY SINGLE ONE of these fitness models didn't get in the shape they are in by using these machines - instead they would use more conventional training methods and get paid a sum of money to promote a product for a 10 minute advertisement.
I read an article in Sunday Life Magazine (January 8 2006) by Steve Dow with the title on the cover "How to get healthy without raising a sweat". This title was superimposed right next to a model in great shape. Now this article does have some good points about general health, stress and general eating habits. But then Mr Dow writes how to "Get a flat stomach" by doing 20 crunches every second day. How easy is this! 20 crunches every second day is all you need to do and your stomach will magically go flat! Let me tell you right now - this is going to do VERY LITTLE for your abdominal muscle development. Plus this will do next to NOTHING for the fat hanging around your gut. Why not? Well, your midsection is comprised of both muscle and fat. In order to get a 'flat stomach', we need to lose the fat first and foremost. Cardio will do this for you - crunches WILL NOT - you cannot spot reduce fat, it's a well known fact (yet a fallacy that is exploited by marketing companies). Secondly you need to EFFECTIVELY work your abdominal muscles so they grow and you achieve your 'toned' appearance.
Unfortunately it's the typical consumer that's uninformed and unaware of how to get in great shape. There's CRAP everywhere you look - some companies will promise a 6 pack in only a few weeks - but bare in mind that "results are not typical". Because we, by nature, prefer to take the easy way out, why would you want to join a gym, renovate your diet and train consistently when all you need to do is pick up the phone and order the latest gimmick out there? 4 weeks later you're probably going to look exactly the same. Maybe you're not doing it correctly - maybe it's your fault - OR maybe you wasted your time and your money on an absolutely useless piece of equipment to only benefit the company that convinced you that it was the greatest thing in the history of fitness. Did you ever hear that saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is?"
Before you go and buy the next big thing out there because the model in the paper looks good, or the host of an advertisement grabs a random passer-by to use a machine and the person says that they "can feel the muscle working" - sit down for a second and have a rational think about the product. First and foremost you need to:
LEARN how to achieve YOUR goals
DO what needs to be done
and NOT opt for the easy (and often useless) way out
I am a big believer that you get out what you put in - so long as you KNOW what you're doing. If you want to achieve a phenomenal physique, you WILL have to make some lifestyle changes, you WILL have to raise a sweat and you WILL have to put in some effort.
Look at my results over the 12 week BodyBlitz challenge that I won. How did I achieve them? No, I didn't go and jump on the latest ab machine - I learnt HOW to train properly and then I got my butt into the gym and trained HARD. Now I'm not saying that training to your physical and mental limits is appropriate for everyone (there are always medical and lifestyle factors to consider) - I am however saying that you cannot just sit down with a smile on your face, able to hold a conversation with the person next to you and expect to get a 6 pack in a couple of weeks.