Fitness Find or Fitness Flop? You Decide!



Electric Shock
Physical therapists sometimes use electrical-stimulation devices to rehabilitate damaged or weakened muscles. There are professionals and companies outside the therapy world who claim that electrical stimulation can also help individuals develop “six-pack abs.” Devices come in various forms, from patches to belts, and promise users a nonexercise method for dropping weight. But do these tools live up to the claims? According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, the answer is yes and no.

The scientists electrically stimulated the abdominal regions of 24 adults 5 days per week for 8 weeks. The goal was to determine the extent of abdominal muscle activation and any resulting body composition changes affecting muscle definition.

Upon study completion, all subjects reported that their abdominals felt “toned” and “firmed,” and 54% “felt that their posture had improved.” “There were no differences in body weight, body mass index, or skinfold thickness over the course of the study.” stated the study authors. However, subjects experienced a 58% increase in abdominal strength and a 100% increase in abdominal endurance. What do you think? Do these devices follow through on their promises?



Guide to Healthy Eating
In a world where food choices are many and your selections can hurt or help your body comes the latest edition of Eat This, Not That! by Men’s Health editor in chief David Zinczenko. The book is marketed as offering “The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution.”

Eat This, Not That! is designed as a guide for people concerned with choosing healthy foods while dining out or navigating grocery stores. Zinczenko points out lower-calorie options and gives nutrition content for items offered at popular restaurants like Applebees and Subway, at sports venues and in frozen food aisles. “With this simple illustrated guide to thousands of foods—along with the nutrition secrets that lead to fast and permanent weight loss—you’ll make the smartest choices every time,” states the publisher. According to the same source, the book has caused restaurants such as Outback Steakhouse and Macaroni Grill to reduce the caloric content of some menu items.

Does this book deliver the goods? You decide. For more information on Eat This, Not That! visit www.eatthis.menshealth.com.

Note: This column puts the power of deciding what and who is hot or not in the industry in your hands. The list will also be compiled on the IDEA website at www.ideafit.com/find-or-flop. Check back each month to see the running tally of products, people and initiatives.

At the end of the year, we will have a poll on our website for IDEA Fitness Journal readers to choose the top Fitness Find and Fitness Flop. We will then publicly announce our awards, showing the good judgment, advocacy and expertise of IDEA members!

We’d love to hear from you about your favorite finds and flops. Send all comments and nominations to Ryan Halvorson at rhalvorson@ideafit.com for consideration. Please do not expect a response.

For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.

August 2010

© 2010 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

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