IF YOU’RE thinking of buying fitness
devices which promise to burn calories and give a toned body, read first the following information.

Slender bottom toner

The claim: The machine can tone and strengthen one’s muscles even without exercising. Just attach the electrodes to your triceps, biceps, buttocks and thighs and the electrodes will help your muscles to contract without moving the body and lifting weights.

The truth: A study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) compares the use of Slender Bottom Toner for 30 minutes, five times per week for six weeks versus three sets of 10 quadruped hip extensions with each leg for six minutes per day, five days a week in six weeks. Study shows that using the machine was as effective as doing the quadruped extension exercise, though there were no significant changes in the subjects’ weight and hip circumference.

The verdict: Will you spend P10,000 for a machine that will strengthen your buttocks or do a six-minute hip extension exercise five days a week anytime, anywhere? This type of machine is used for rehabilitation, to delay atrophy of patients suffering from neuromuscular condition. The result of the study shows one can achieve more with exercise given the same amount of time that one uses a muscle stimulator machine. If you do a 15-minute body weight resistance exercise plus 15 minutes of cardio exercise, you will improve not only your muscular strength and endurance, but burn more calories as well.

Vibration plate machines

The claim: The latest vibration machines can give you an hour of workout just by using it 15 minutes a day. The machine’s oscillating vibrations will work your muscles since it causes a rapid muscle contraction of 30-50 times per second.

The truth: A 2009 study presented at the European Congress on Obesity shows that the use of a vibration plate machine can help overweight and obese people trim significant amounts of abdominal
fat when combined with a calorie-restricted diet.

The study compared four groups for six months. One of the groups did dieting
only. The exercise group did three 60-minute exercises per week, consisting of cycling, running, swimming and strengthening exercises, plus diet.

The vibration and diet groups did an average of 11.9 minutes (30 seconds for each of the 10 exercises) on the vibrating plate machine while doing lunges, calf raises and push-ups in the first three months and progressed to 14.2 (60 seconds for each of the 22 exercises) minutes during the last three months. Results show that the machine can be an alternative for strength training workout but not for an aerobic exercise.

The verdict: This machine, called the “lazy person’s workout,” can cost you almost P75,000. Will you spend that much to say goodbye to a traditional weight training workout? Studies show that it can shorten your 45-60 minute strength training workout to 15 minutes.

There’s no harm in trying new fitness technology, as long as you don’t abandon your complete fitness routine consisting of aerobic exercises like jogging or cycling and flexibility exercise. Any type of physical activity will help you achieve your fitness goals provided you’re consistent with a healthy eating and active lifestyle. Real and lasting results will never be achieved by shortcuts.