Fitness Gifts You May Want to Avoid This Year!

Every year there are new products that hit the fitness market loudly proclaiming that they’re your answer to that all elusive goal: easy weight loss.


How about last yearsNeckline Slimmer, anyone remember that? The product looks like an amped up asthma inhaler that you place under your chin for only 2 minutes a day and whammo, you’ve gone from a saggy chin to a tight, firm, how did you do that without surgery, you look amazing, chin! Amazing indeed.

So this year I decided to point out a few choice products that are most likely (that’s an understatement) not going to get you rock hard biceps, toned tushies or a physic rivaling that of Heidi Klum. Don’t despair though, there are ways to get these things and more… you just have to turn off QVC, dig out your exercise pants and prepare to sweat off the pounds for at least 30 minutes a day, on most days of the week. Something you can easily do for under $20 a month. (Doesn’t that seem more financially appealing?)

Before I do though, please remember there are still some great fitness gift ideas out there. HERE are some of the best!

Ok, so now here is my short list of products you’re better off without. (And if you already have these products, please, share your experience with them to me, I would love to hear about it!)

1: We’ve all heard about the Shake Weight, right? I’ve even written a post on it a few months back. This product is so utterly useless that you should never consider it an option as a great gift idea for a friend or relative, unless of course its sole intention is to be used as a gag gift! Otherwise, leave it on the shelf in the store; better there than on the shelf in your closet. However, beware of copy-cat products. There are similar shake weight products out there disguised as something else. I introduce to you the Bodyform Fitness StickShake your way to better arms is its catchy little tagline. (Some of you have just gotten a case of amnesia and are thinking, hmmm, shake my way to better arms, that sounds just like something I could use. If you’re thinking that, go back to the beginning of this paragraph and begin re-reading it again.) This is just another gimmick and if you think the model on the cover of the packaging used the Bodyform Fitness Stick to get her perfectly toned arms, you got another thing coming to you! Ditch the stick (and the weight) and invest your $20 in a monthly gym membership.

2: Shape-Ups. Really? A shoe is the answer to all my weight loss prayers? A shoe is going to be the thing that tightens my butt? A shoe is going to improve my strength and posture? A shoe? That’s the great mystery to easy weight loss… the shoes I’m wearing. (If you can’t notice, my tone here is one of utter disbelief heavily laden with sarcasm.) 9 times out of 10, people have bad posture. If I for one second thought that this product was going to help some of my clients have better posture, then I would be the poster child for this product. Instead they have Joe Montana standing up for the product (I’m sure a few grand helped sweeten the deal.) So forget about doing the hard work like squats and lunges that actually do work your glutes and strengthen your butt, just lace up these winners and you’re on your way to a firmer butt… or messed up feet, ankles and joints. Your call.

3: ROM – The 4-Minute CrossTrainer. This one has actually been around for some time but I’ve never seen it before or heard about, and forget purchasing one, the price tag is over $14,000. But I must say, the product looks outstanding! (Check out the photo above of this product.) The creators behind this one are true entrepreneurs and boy, it looks almost as magical as Santa’s sleigh. And all you need is 4 minutes a day! 4 minutes and you’re done. Heck, I don’t even think you have to do anything, just plop your butt down and this thing looks like it will strap you in, shock your body and self eject so as to not keep you longer than the required 4 minutes.

Seriously however, I’m extremely wary of anything that promotes weight loss in as little time as possible, and especially something that has you sitting down most of the time. I think the price alone will keep many at bay, hopefully!

There are always going to be new and wild claims about losing weight in only 2 minutes, 4 minutes, maybe even 30 seconds a day. If you are serious about weight loss, then invest your money wisely. Hire a personal trainer or join a fitness program where individual attention can be given to you, because every body is different and requires different techniques. Don’t believe the hype and always remember the old saying: “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is!”

Happy shopping!

Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at or (914) 841-1121.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo