“What are your thoughts on some of the various fitness products advertised on late night television? Do any of them work? Are they all crap? How can you tell the difference? – Frank M., Union City, NJ
We’ve all seen ads for “miracle” fitness products that sound too good to be true. “All you need to do is buy the Super-Duper Ab-o-Matic and all of your dreams will come true. Once we process your credit card information, you are guaranteed to lose 15 pounds of fat and gain 10 pounds of lean, toned muscle IMMEDIATELY. No need to spend hours at a time in the gym. Eat what you want. But wait there’s more—we guarantee that in just 90 days you’ll meet the man or woman of your dreams, add a zero to your net worth and inspire awe and envy in everyone you meet. Literally everyone.”
Sound too good to be true? As a rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.
That being said, there are some fitness products that are worth purchasing.
Kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, pull up bars, jump ropes, stabilization trainers like a BOSU disc or Swiss Ball are all time-tested effective products—that is, if you USE them.
You’re only going to use them if someone shows you how, if you incorporate them into a program specifically designed FOR YOU with your fitness level and goals in mind, you also might need a supportive person to hold you accountable.
Well, I just happen to create customized online programs using minimal equipment that can be done in the privacy of your own home. It’s not “quick” or “easy,” or “too good to be true.” But it works!
I don’t have an infomercial running on late night TV at the moment but if I did, it would probably go something like this:
(LIGHTS UP on a softly lit, TV studio in LA. An audience filled with aspiring actors getting paid to scream enthusiastically as we announce our host, MARIO LOPEZ.)
MARIO: Hi, I’m Fitness Icon, Mario Lopez. You probably know me as AC Slater from TV’s SAVED BY THE BELL or by the short-lived daytime talk show that was an all-male answer to THE VIEW… You know the one with Danny Bonaduce? No? Nothing. Okay… I’m Mario Lopez. You know me as AC Slater from SAVED BY THE BELL and only as AC Slater from SAVED BY THE BELL.
(The audience earns every cent of their $50 stipends as they applaud with excitement.)
MARIO: I’m so excited to be here because I want to introduce you to a fitness product that actually works. I know what you’re thinking, “But Mario Lopez, aren’t most products sold on late night infomercials complete rip-offs preying on the impaired judgment of the sleep deprived? And aren’t fitness products promoting miraculous results and miracles the biggest offenders of all? Yes, yes, they are. But this one’s different. And it’s with that that I’d like to introduce to you, the innovator of this fine product, my good friend and fitness guru Michael (Mario squints, struggles to read the teleprompter) Michael Barkley!
STAGE MANAGER’S VOICE (FROM OFF SCREEN): Buckley!
MARIO: My fitness, guru, my guide, the Sherpa as I scale the mountain that is my fitness journey and, frankly, one of my best friends in the world Michael… uhhhh--
STAGE MANAGER’S VOICE: Buckley!
(I make my entrance. AC and I “bro shake” into a “bro hug,” exhibiting an onscreen chemistry that would make Mark Paul Gosselaar jealous.)
MARIO: So, tell me about how these programs work.
ME: Well, they’re ongoing monthly programs. I send you 3 workouts per week designed specifically FOR YOU.
MARIO: Based on your goals, your needs and your current fitness level.
ME: I was just gonna say that.
MARIO: Yeah, actually that was your line. But, honestly, it means more coming from the host of the syndicated tabloid series, EXTRA.
ME: Fair enough. I take the guess work out of the entire process. Each workout---
MARIO: includes detailed charts, pix and videos. Sorry. Finalist on DANCING WITH THE STARS. And that’s it! That’s how you provide miracle results. Guaranteed!
ME: Miracle results? What? No. Results, yes. But there are no miracles.
MARIO: Come on, man. It’s 3 AM. You’re talking to stoners and insomniacs. They’ll probably believe anything you tell them. And they will definitely believe the star of the 2009 TV movie, THE DOG WHO SAVED CHRISTMAS.
ME: But there are no miracles. There are no shortcuts. I have a system. It works.
MARIO: But how?
ME: Honestly? I think it comes down to accountability. You text me after each work out to hold you accountable and I personally text you back. And I personally send you a weekly check in email and I use that to create the following week’s workouts to keep you on track and keep you going.
MARIO: You mean your “people” text them back and send them an email?
ME: Dude, I wasn’t a student at Bayside High. I didn’t play Vince Fontaine on the live international broadcast of GREASE LIVE! and I have certainly never won a TEEN CHOICE AWARD. I’m just a guy with a proven track record and a ton of experience in the fitness industry trying to help people meet their fitness goals.
(Mario stops, pauses, considers every career decision he’s ever made that led him to this moment; an existential reckoning. With a tear in his eye, he starts a slow clap. The audience, little by little, follows. People leap from their seats, fists start pumping, strangers start hugging each other in a moment of spontaneous, human connection. A chant fills the room.)
THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE: BARK-ley! BARK-ley! BARK-ley!
MARIO: It’s Buckley. (quietly, to himself) Buckley… You changed my life, man.
(Mario bear hugs me. I console him as he sobs into my arm pit and uses my t-shirt as a handkerchief.)
ME: Just remember to text me after each workout. It’s gonna be okay, man.
For more info, on that click here.
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