e mërkurë, 13 qershor 2007

Infomercials: Friend or Foe?

It is hard not to be swayed by the media today since there is so much concentration on the ideal figure of a man or a woman. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, I’m sure you’ve looked at a magazine or a T.V. commercial of a ripped or slim model fantasizing it was your face on those bodies rather than theirs. This is healthy but only to a certain degree, as too tight of an attachment to those figures will undoubtedly blur your line of fantasy and reality. Infatuated people start their workout with aims of the bodies they see on T.V. or magazines and are discouraged that their initial gains or results seem so minuscule compared to those portrayed in the media.

Consider this, a 30 second infomercial, is not going to spend its airtime speaking of how much labor and work it took their models to gain their amazing physiques. Workout infomercials follow the three E’s when it comes to marketing towards you. By this I mean they market there products as Efficient, , and Effortless. They want to endorse their products as the most EFFECTIVE way to workout, showing and boasting results by showing ripped and slim models using their products. They want to portray it as most EFFICIENT because they want to convince you that the workout time for an amazing body can be achieved by using their products 10-15 minutes a day. And their last strategy, showing EFFORTLESS models performing exercises with the greatest of ease with no grimace of a grueling workout to ever grace their faces during the infomercial. No matter what fitness infomercial you encounter(ab slide, ab lounge,Total Gym, or BowFlex) they follow the same formula while targeting eager and desperate consumers. And it works.

Why? Well because naturally we all look for the easy way out. An easy way out of our fitness woes and into the rock solid bodies on the screen. People become infatuated by the bodies on screen, infatuated by the products beside them whether if it's a ripped guy on the Bowflex or toned and slim chick showing how easy it is to use the Ab Lounge. It's the fact that they use them so effortlessly, so efficiently and so effectively that it mesmerizes us. After the infomercial is done telling you about the extra BowFlex DVD's or the extra fitness guides for the Total gym its’ going to toss in, people are already seeing the product as the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not until after they buy it that they see that the tunnel only gets darker from there.

I'm not bashing fitness products all together. In fact, I will have another blog to review the usefulness of some of these products such as Bowflex. But the way these things are marketed, I cannot help but poke some useful holes in these infomercials that you may or may not realize.

You may have seen the models claiming they achieved their bodies by following the product’s simple (and ridiculous) guidelines for workouts. Yes, the model could have used the product for 15 minutes a day, 3-4 days a week, but little is emphasized on what activities they are doing during the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of their day. Bowflex's 6 week challenge is a great example, it says directly from their page that the two subjects worked out for "20 minutes a day, 3 times a week" and the claims are almost as equally wonderful, losing from 16.15 lbs of fat to 27.49lbs of fat.
For all we know, the model could very well follow other programs, much more painful and grueling programs. Infomercials never say their models do partake in more intense programs, but they never say they don’t, which leaves it up for speculation. To lose that much fat simply by using their patented Bowflex system is simply laughable. To any person that's been around the fat loss corner they know the only way to go is cardio. That's the simple truth.

The idea that professional help could have assisted in their transformation should also not be ruled out. They could have very well had a health nutritionist, a personal trainer, a dietitian a fitness consultant, all supplied by the company endorsing the product.

I do not think all these speculations escape people’s minds when their picking up the phone and dialing the number on the screen,I believe that if people want to be physically active and physically fit, they should train their brain first, and although it’s not scientifically a muscle, it’s a good place to start.

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