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I am so angry at the Ab Circle Pro people…

August 21, 2009

According to Consumer Reports, “Few, if any, infomercial exercise machines live up to all of their hype. The more expensive one – Bowflex, CrossBow, Total Gym, and the TreadClimber – come closest. The cheaper ones were generally not very effective. And even those cost a lot for what they do.”

I try to steer clear of commenting on all of the ‘get fit quick’ exercise equipment sold in infomercials because they make me so angry.  I have been angry for the last couple of days since this post about the Ab Circle Pro.  I am angry because I want to believe that the world is not made up of greedy, opportunistic, pathological liars, but when I see product after product that doesn’t live up to its promises, and more and more outlandish claims, I have a hard time believing this.

I suppose that many people aren’t speaking out about the Ab Circle Pro or the Ab Doer because they are afraid of lawsuits, or because they have no platform to speak from, but unfortunately it appears  as if NOBODY CARES ABOUT UNFIT PEOPLE.  They think ‘you are fat and lazy and you just want to sit on the couch, watch TV and magically be fit, so if someone takes you for a couple of hundred dollars, you deserve it’.  Every time I mention that I am upset about this issue, people tell me to just let it go and ‘if people are stupid enough to believe the claims of getting fit in 3 minutes a day, then they are getting what they deserve’.

I don’t think that is the case, but aside from that I am sick to death of seeing these crappy exercise products on my TV.  Did you know that the makers of the Ab Circle Pro, Fitness Brands, Inc. (according to their website)  also made: The Ab Roller Plus*, The Ab Sculptor, Ultra Toner, Instant Ads,  Ab Shaper,Perfect Abs, The Ab Doer*,The Ab King Pro and The Urban Rebounder, producing more than 1.5 billion dollars in sales.  Apparently Fitness Brands Inc is the Justice League of ‘Ab’ devices (or the Legion of Doom depending on how you look at it).  They have been perfecting their sell over the years and have reached the apex with the Ab Circle Pro.

They have all the tricks to sell hundreds of thousands of these units.

If you have been reading glowingly positive reviews for the Ab Circle Pro, you might have come across an affiliate marketing system (see this point to learn more).  If you want what appears to me to be real reviews read here, and here.  There are so many affiliate reviews on the internet regarding this product you are hard pressed to find anything else.

As well, what would they be if they couldn’t reach you directly with that great marketing strategy?  Let me ask you, what do the AbAway Pro, AB Circle Pro, Ab-Doer, AbRider, AbKing Pro, AbKing Pro Platinum, Ab Revolutionizer, AbSculptor, AbShaper, and AbSlide all have in common?  I am betting you were going with the word Ab, and you might be on to something there, but the other thing they have in common is Tara Productions.  Yes, this one company is responsible for most of the  late night and midday Direct Marketing products that you are aware of and wish you weren’t.

Please people, I don’t want to see another Ab item grace my late night TV-It makes me question humanity and reduces my faith in people.   This will only happen if we stop buying these exercise items and help others see real reviews and opinions (I could ask them nicely to stop but I don’t think that will work).  Help get word out regarding these devices.  Please Tweet the real reviews of these products and your opinions.  According to the American Council on Exercise:

The study results confirm ACE’s opinion that in general these types of products often over-promise and under-deliver on their health and fitness claims.

“Infomercial claims are frequently overblown and some products are not very safe or effective,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist and vice president of educational services for the American Council on Exercise. “As with any piece of exercise equipment, ACE encourages you to try it out before you buy, especially when a significant financial investment is at stake.”


15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2009 8:35 am

    Hey, good views, I agree with you.

    You would hope that these get fit quick system are just a little fade in the fitness world, but that might not be the case.

    People aren’t educated enough to understand that just using a ab machine is going to get them results. These companies should have a bit more responsibility with their claims.

    I think an super easy alternative for these companies is to include a small brochure or info package with the ab machine explaining proper diet and other exercise that’s needed.

    That way they can also market their ab machines as more of a total package, and hopefully people who buy them will start to understand that their diet is even more important in order for them to get healthy.

  2. YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
    September 7, 2009 6:39 pm

    Hey Tyler,

    Thanks for the awesome idea. Being I am one of those people who bought a fitness device to start exercising-to force myself to actually start, and when I didn’t start I ended up selling the machine, I am aware of why people buy these machines. Education on exercise and proper diet would definitely help, but if people would exercise and eat well, they wouldn’t need the ab device. The report on the Ab Doer by ACE is an example of an ab device by these same manufactures that actually does less than sit ups.
    Would you buy a hammer if you already had one and the person selling you the hammer for $250 told you that the hammer they were selling is less useful than the one you already have?
    I agree you with you 100% though. We have all been pretty clear that diet and prolonged exercise are the keys to being fit but we didn’t charge $250 for that information.

  3. Dahveed permalink
    September 23, 2009 1:19 pm

    Yes, the ab circle people are a part of the MANY people that take advantage of people’s weight problems to make a buck. Ultimately, the choice is each person’s to become fit and quit being a victim of all these marketing campaigns.

    Its really sad, but people that are overweight are victims of the consumer society we live in. Advertising sells you the unhealthy food experience and then advertising shows you a way to look like the fit people used in advertising. They both create and then show a solution to a problem, though their solution involves selling you more stuff not eating healthier or less. Think of the food advertising you see. Restaurants show generous portions of fatty foods being consumed by skinny people all enjoying their friends and family. And its not just the advertising as all sorts of food related TV programs celebrate the consumption of hugh quantities of unhealthy foods (Man vs. Food, etc). The message is clear; you can eat here and have it all – health, friends and happy family.

    The result of a constant barrage of these food messages is a fat population. The companies that profit from a fat population include the ab circle people, but also pharma companies (from the resulting illnesses of being obese), insurance companies, diet companies (jenny craig selling you diet food), etc.

    I think fit people somehow are not as exposed to all these messages. They just go about their lives somehow missing all the unhealthy advertising messages and therefore don’t end up thinking that eating at Outback Steak House makes your family happy.

    There are a few TV programs that support healthy eating, but they are the small minority in a sea of large portions of unhealthy foods.

  4. Julie permalink
    August 7, 2010 7:10 am

    I agree with many of your comments, but I really like my machine. I’m moderately fit- I run three to five miles three times a week, hike, bike, swim, kayak, ect. At night I like to watch a little TV. I use the AB Circle Pro while doing so. I admit my expectations were relatively low, but I have seen results in both my abs and my upper arms. I typically use it for 20 minutes, almost three times as long as they suggest, and I have made some concious changes to my diet since adding the machine to my regimen. Having the AB Circle Pro in my home encourages me to “work out” when I would otherwise be sitting on my can, and for that reason solely I think it was worth the price.

  5. Kristy permalink
    August 22, 2011 5:36 pm

    I know I sound like the people on TV but I’m not. Believe me or not. I sometimes struggle to use it and get time. But when I’m on a roll, just like with the gym, when I actually use it…IT WORKS. I am really loving the toning up results right now. Nothing huge though just like the gym and it takes lots of hard work and getting your heart rate up.

    I admitt thought the company sucks. They charged me twice and I had to follow it up. But the product can work. I purchased back in Feb by the way and its taken me 6 mths to get into it.

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      August 26, 2011 10:12 am

      Hey Kirsty, Thank you for the comment. I am surprised to hear you defending the Ab Circle Pro. Not only did they charge you twice, but they have you using a relatively ineffective exercise device. How long do you use the Ab Circle Pro during a workout? The requisite 3 minutes that they suggest or more? Were you overweight or are you just looking to tone up and get fitter? The reality is, almost anything can work to get someone fit. I call it the ‘Jared Fogle principle’ of fitness. Sure, walking to Subway and eating a 6″ veggie sub for a long time worked for him, but so far as I know it only worked for him. Spinning around on the ab circle may work for one person (although I have yet to actually hear of that person), but why wouldn’t you (anyone) pick from an activity that worked for a large number of people… In any case, I am glad you are enjoying the Ab Circle Pro, but quite honestly a MUCH better piece of exercise equipment is the Concept 2 Ergometer (rowing machine). If you are wed to working out at home on a machine, this is the best piece of equipment out available.

  6. September 12, 2012 12:22 pm

    I have had my Ab Circle Pro now for 2 years. It has done nothing for me, my Abs or others. In fact the only thing it has done for me is run the rubber rollers down along with some of the circle disc. I can not use it anymore because of fear to will bust completely while in use. I use to use it every single day for 30 minutes each time and as stated has done nothing for me. Buying this product was nothing more then a heart break for not standing up for what it was advertised to do and the overall cost of a bit over $249. and change. My husband told me it was not going to work but hard headed as I am I purchased it and learned the hard way.

    What am I to do with this trashed up thing? It is inoperable, I am out the funds and the item, it has made me so sick for ever trying this thing and not listening to what my husband told me not to do!

    • YouAreNotAFitPerson permalink*
      September 12, 2012 3:17 pm

      Hey Sherry, I feel for you, I really do. These ads really make you feel like this is the item that will get you fit. I bought a concept II ergometer years ago (a top notch rowing machine) and that is a machine that fit people use to get fitter. It really works, and still it didn’t work for me. Home machines almost never work. They are a huge waste of time and money, but expert marketers prey on our hope and make them seem easy and guaranteed to produce results. I am sorry that you wasted your time on one of the most useless exercise devises as well. You can rest assured that millions of people have fallen for this scam though, you are certainly not alone. And don’t beat yourself up for trying to get fit and actually sticking with a program. You can start right now on the free “couch 2 5k program” (just google it) and it only requires a 30 minute commitment per session. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you. I certainly can’t get rid of the piece of junk in your living room (although someone needs to come up with a website with ideas for alternate uses for these pieces of crap before we end up with a million of them in our garbage dumps), but if you would like a copy of my book or any advice, let me know. Also, when your husband says I told you so, thank him for his help, and remind him, you were just trying to get fit.

  7. Unhappyconsummer permalink
    June 15, 2013 8:30 pm

    It’s a pretty interesting machine. I bought it a while ago to simply do ab work. I am not overweight. I used it for about 2 weeks doing probably 3-5 minutes a day and the bolts in the middle started coming loose. I tightened them up. They stay tight for about 10-20 reps and then they start coming loose. The machine has done no more than weeks worth of work with the above mentioned duty cycle. It s now a dangerous piece of rubbish which will be a part of out next trip to the tip. It did not last and is dangerous. Don’t go near it.

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