ACE and Consumer Reports Magazine Review the Latest Infomercial Products

Posted: Feb 25, 2004 in

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Dec. 16, 2003 – The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s nonprofit fitness advocate, applauds the January 2004 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine that features research that tested the claims of twelve infomercial exercise products. The chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise served as an expert consultant to the Consumer Reports staff who evaluated each of the products for safety and effectiveness.

Types of equipment involved are aerobic devices, strength trainers, abdominal devices, and bun and thigh devices. The machines range in price from $80 for the Bun and Thigh Max to $2000 for the TreadClimber by Nautilus.

According to Consumer Reports, “Few, if any, infomercial exercise machines live up to all of their hype. The more expensive one – Bowflex, CrossBow, Total Gym, and the TreadClimber – come closest. The cheaper ones were generally not very effective. And even those cost a lot for what they do.”

Products Reviewed:

  • TreadClimber by Nautilus TC3000
  • Bowflex Power Pro XTL
  • Tony Little Gazelle Free Style Elite
  • Crossbow by Weider WESY5983
  • Total Gym XL
  • Gyrotonic Transformer 1500
  • Body by Jake Total Body Trainer
  • Body Dome
  • Ab Swing
  • Emson Smart Abs
  • Body by Jake Bun and Thigh Rocker
  • Bun and Thigh Max

The study results confirm ACE’s opinion that in general these types of products often over-promise and under-deliver on their health and fitness claims.

“Infomercial claims are frequently overblown and some products are not very safe or effective,” said Dr. Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist and vice president of educational services for the American Council on Exercise. “As with any piece of exercise equipment, ACE encourages you to try it out before you buy, especially when a significant financial investment is at stake.”

To obtain additional information and tips on selecting exercise equipment, consumers should visit the ACE Web site at or call (800) 825-3636.

About ACE
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Authority on Fitness, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

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