Originally Posted by VegaSinclair
Most of the stuff you see on TV is pretty gimicky. I think the shake weight is one of the funniest commercials I've seen. Some of the stuff does work that you see on TV but basically what they've done is repackage exercise routines that have worked for decades and made them look new. For instance the bowflex stuff is similar to exercises you could do with free weights and barbells. It just looks cooler than a barbell.
Yes, the bowflex looks cool, but that's not the really great thing about it. The actual exercises are nearly identical to ones you can do with barbells and gym equipment, what is revolutionary about it is the weight of the equipment itself. My parents put one in an upstairs room that never would have supported a full set of weights or a piece of weight equipment.
My dad likes the occasional piece of gimicky workout equipment (hence the bowflex). At one point he and I had a talk about which ones were good and which ones were money down the john. His basic argument was that it didn't matter to him what it cost, if he did the workout for 5-6 months and gained ground, at least he was working out the whole time. He just knows himself well enough to realize that he like a new toy now and then, and that it motivates him to workout.