When I’m doing my cardio workout on the elliptical machine at the gym, there are a number of wall and ceiling mounted televisions tuned to different channels within line of sight. Some of the ellipticals come with TV screens mounted on them, but I prefer not to have the distraction. That said, I do look around the gym during cardio and notice what’s being displayed on the TVs I can see.
Today (as I write this), I noticed a commercial for a product called the Ab-Carver Pro. Commercials don’t come with closed captions (the TV sound is off so the hard rock beat of the music blaring out of the speaker system can be heard without competition), but I can get the gist of what’s being promoted.
One of the “success stories” being offered for this device on TV was Rey’s. You can find out the particulars about Rey at this web page along with the success stories of a number of other people. As you can see from the accompanying photographs which I reproduce here, Rey not only built up his abs but lost 20 pounds, dropped four inches off his waist, and seems to be generally more toned.
All from a product that works the abs?
I looked up Ab Roller exercises at Bodybuilding.com and although they demonstrate a different product, the mechanics of using an ab roller seem to be the same. The information on that page says that ab rollers primarily work the abs (what else?) but also the shoulders. It really doesn’t say anything about the rest of the body, so it’s difficult for me to imagine Rey improving his overall physique with just one exercise device.
And he didn’t. If you look at the fine print below the slideshow images of all the success stories at the Ab-Carver site, you’ll see a statement with an asterisk next to it which says, “Results achieved with exercise and a reduced calorie diet. Your results will vary.”
Legally, this company has to make such a disclosure, lest they be accused of saying their product alone without any other changes in exercise or diet, resulted in these people making such improvements to their bodies.
I looked at some of the other images and noticed that while each person registered some improvement, the results didn’t look particularly unrealistic. In fact, while Alana (for example) showed improvement in her “after” photos, she still didn’t have a “perfect” body (based on the “ideal” of fashion models, Hollywood starlets, and comic book super heroines). I also noticed that all of the success stories were of people who looked relatively young, probably in their 20s and 30s. Certainly there were no people in those photos in their 40s, 50s, 60s, or beyond. There was also no information about how often each person used the Ab-Carver Pro per week and how long it was between the “before” and “after” photos.
I’m not saying that this product won’t do what it’s supposed to do and I can see that it could be beneficial, but there are a large number of other ab workouts to choose from, and many of them require minimal or no equipment at all.
If you belong to a gym, you’ll have more than enough of what you need to work your core. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the Ab-Carver Pro and do some of your ab work at home, but it’s not particularly necessary either.
For anyone, including we seniors, getting in better shape requires exercising the entire body in a planful and effective manner, which includes resistance training, cardio, and stretching, along with a proper diet and dietary supplements. We also need to get plenty of rest, drink a lot of water, and generally live our lives in and out of the gym, in a way that promotes our physical, mental, and emotional well being.
At best, products like the Ab-Carver Pro are one tool to help work the abs but they aren’t the whole toolbox. Don’t believe everything you see on TV or the Internet, or at least do a little research before making a decision on any advertised product.
Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t sell out.