Avoid Tricky Marketing For Fitness Resolutions


Don’t count on gadgets

It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you can’t sleep.  You’ve tried warm milk, non-caffeinated tea, and just about every remedy you can think of to find slumber before your work day begins.  Your last resort is to turn on the television with the hope you can find something other than old Bonanza re-runs.

As you surf the channels you stumble upon an “infomercial” that shows an extremely fit and physically sculpted man or woman hawking the benefits of an outstanding fitness product.

At this moment in time, the Latin adage, “caveat emptor”, translated as “let the buyer beware” should be screaming in your ears.

Every year, I am equally impressed and disgusted at the power of effective marketing in the arena of the countless fitness products that prey on the innocent buyer.  This is a combination of both psychology and vulnerability.

According to a Reuters report, the fitness industry is forecast to generate over $3 billion of dollars in revenue this year.  While many of these products are well made and qualify as legitimate devices (tread mills, elliptical machines, rowing machines, and weight-lifting equipment) an equal number seduce the vulnerable buyer for all the wrong reasons.

As a professional fitness trainer, I cringe when I see the deception at work that makes fitness product marketing such a  successful industry.  Some of my observations that might help a person separate those “chotchky” products from the good ones and avoid the power of suggestion include:

 Marketing Magic – Any product can be “dressed” up based on colors, lighting and the the narrative sound of someone with a professional voice hawking a products benefits.  This is exactly why there are companies dedicated enhancing the appearance of fitness products.  Once they’re in your own personal living space, you will notice they just don’t look quite as enchanting as they did on television.

Product Quality – Many products that you see on television appear to be made out of metal or a heavy material.  Often, black plastic is used in product construction because it looks like metal on television.  While strong plastic and polymers have a place in product construction, they don’t provide the weight and structural support for repeated cycles of body weight stress. For any doubters out there, just go to a few garage sales to see how many are on the way to the graveyard.

Body Double – The seduction of watching an extremely fit person using a particular product insinuates that they developed their physique using the product that is featured.  If I were a betting man, I would say that the majority of fitness models representing equipment, built their bodies from hours in the weight room and a super-clean diet. Naturally, the message that “you can look like me if you use this product beckons. Don’t bite.

Ab-stract– Remember that when it comes to abdominal strengthening, there is no such thing as isolated reduction of fat from exercising the muscle underneath, also known as “spot reduction.”   While increasing muscle mass underneath fat will displace the fat, it won’t  eliminate it.  The bottom line is that for great looking abdominal muscles, a person needs to begin with decreased body fat.

Time Bandits – Beware of statements that suggest that only “20 minutes per day” will get you the body of your dreams.  Often, underneath these statements are fine-print captions that make use of phrases like “independent testing agency” and other disclaimers.  Once again, the assumption by the viewer is that the fitness model developed their physique with just 20-minutes of effort per day is simply not true.

As you ring-in the New Year and your fitness resolutions, commit yourself to avoiding any product that even remotely suggests the device will practically do the work for you.  Should you make those “3 easy credit card payments” you stand a good chance of ending up with  another device to dry your clothes on.


Bill Victor

Bill Victor, M.S. Exercise Science is the President of Victor Fitness and Performance Training. He and his team of trainers are dedicated to bringing the fitness experience, and the self-confidence that comes with it, to the citizens of Clark County. He can be reached through www.victor-fitness.com or his email, bill@victor-fitness.com.

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