Vanity, thy name is gym queen. We consider it an entertaining fact of life that in the 21st century, men have become as body-obsessed as women used to be. After all, why should they get all the body dsymorphia fun? In our pursuit for washboard abs and superhero pecs, we’re just as susceptible to the greedy marketers who want us to spend our hard earned money on fitness equipment and pills. Meet the gym equipment and fitness supplements that are a total waste.
The Elliptical Machine
Oh, how it calls to you– the elliptical. Go to any gym and you’ll see dozens of them lined up in front of flat-panel displays broadcasting Ellen and CNN. But do you know why the elliptical machine is so easy? Because it’s a crappy workout, is why.
Better choice: The Rowing Machine. You know why it’s so hard to use a rowing machine? Because it’s burning fat.
When I first started working out, I was all about the creatine. Hey, if you can take something that’s not really steroids and achieve more muscle mass, wouldn’t you? The problem with the supplement, besides the fact that it’s not FDA-regulated and hurts your kidneys is that most of that increased mass is water, not muscle. If you’re goal is to get toned, creatine just bloats you up like a water balloon.
Better choice: Protein shakes. You can overdo these babies as well, but the first twenty minutes after your workout are a critical time for your body and giving your tired muscles a boost of protein is just what they need.
Dumbbells Under 10 pounds
Like the elliptical, lightweight dumbbells only give you the illusion of working out. Even when you do many, many reps, you’re really just wasting your time and energy for minimal results.
Better Choice: Heavy Dumbbells. We get it– you want to look good at the gym and huffing wind and barely completing a set isn’t going to land you a gym date, but if you want to see results for all your hard work, pick up the heaviest dumbbell you can lift and start from there. It’s supposed to be hard.
The Perfect Pushup
First off, how much can you expect from a device that doesn’t know that it’s spelled “push-up”? The Perfect Pushup claims that it’s patented swiveling rotators will give you perfect form, but in fact, it weakens the power of one of the best exercises for your body by relieving your back from a lot of the stability work it’s supposed to be doing.
Better Choice: A Real Push-Up. If there’s one exercise you should do, it’s the push-up. Learn the proper form, keep your back straight and throw in variations, which can range from elevating your legs to inserting a hand clap in between each set and anything else you can imagine.
The Wii Fit
If you can combine video games with exercise, how can you go wrong? Actually, from experience, the Wii Fit is entertaining, but hardly a work-out. If you go the gym even semi-regularly, you’ll find Nintendo’s bid to dominate the home market to be embarrassingly easy. It’s not even worth using as a supplement to your regular workout.
Better choice: Running. If you really need to exercise away from the gym, grab on a pair of sneakers and do some cardio. The only reason you should see dancing balloons or hearts and stars floating around you is if you’re about to pass out from heat stroke.