Reebok Settles Lawsuit for $25 Million Over Easy Tone Shoes. Skechers and Ryka Could Be Next.

Easy Tone Shoes Have Rocked Their Way Out Of $25 Million 

Reebok settled for $25 million out-of-court with regards to a lawsuit that claims the company exaggerated the effectiveness of their toning shoes.  Reebok’s ads for the toners said that the shoes would increase muscle strength in the hamstrings and calves by up to 11 percent and consumers could see up to a 28 percent increase in the buttocks.

The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on the grounds that the commission had received consumer complaints about the Easy Tone shoes and that the results of testing done on the shoes did not support the advertisements.

According to a news article in the Global Post, Dana Barragate, an FTC attorney involved in the case said, “We think this is a real victory for consumers,” “We hope it sends a message to businesses that if they are going to make claims they must be justified.”

Apparently, other companies that manufacture toning shoes and make unsubstantiated claims could be facing similar scrutiny including New Balance, Skechers, Ryka and Avia.

Reebok settled out-of-court to prevent a lengthy legal battle.  The $25 mil will go to consumers that are unhappy with their toning shoes. If you’re one of them, you can apply for a refund here: Reebok Refunds

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Fitness Magazine’s Workout That Promises To “Sizzle Mega Calories” Sets People Up For One More Failure

Burn Baby Burn

Save Me The Word Salad, Please

I really don’t mind magazines or web sites trying to help motivate people to exercise or lose weight.  Heck, that’s what I’m doing.  But I think it’s a disservice to announce that “this workout is going to melt fat and rev up your metabolism.”  The workout on Fitnessmagazine.com goes like this:

“Our supersculpting workout helps you sizzle mega calories even while you sleep. (Yes, it’s scientifically proven.)” — Fitnessmagazine.com

What this sentence suggests is that if you do the strength training workout on their web site slideshow you’ll build enough muscle to increase your metabolic rate.  I did look at the slideshow and the girl is doing some basic moves using what appears to be five pound weights. I’m pretty sure there is no “mega calorie burn” going on during sleep after this workout. Besides, how many calories need to be burned to be considered ‘mega’?

So why do these claims bug me so much? If they help motivate someone to do the exercises, isn’t it worth it?

What it really does is set people up for failure.  Articles that make claims that are not true trick people, desperate to find the secret to quick and easy weight loss, into thinking this stuff works.  In the end it does them more harm than good.  When the mega calorie burn doesn’t take place, they’ll be discouraged, disappointed and feel even more hopeless about achieving the perfect 10.

What Does Flab-Melting Mean? 

This particular article in Fitness Magazine uses phrases like, “most flab-melting routine ever,” “lab-tested toners”, no sweaty cardio”, “torch a third more calories each minute”.  Pa-lease! There is just no real scientific proof to any of that.

Tons of research has been done on how many more calories a pound of muscle burns compared to a pound of fat and the scientist haven’t been able to prove just exactly how much it is. This particular workout is definitely not going to build muscle mass that will “torch calories while you sleep”. (By the way, what is lab-tested toners? )

This business of building muscle to boost metabolism is hard work and requires some serious lifting time in the gym.  It takes a commitment that includes both weight lifting and cardio workouts, along with a low-fat, high-protein diet regime.

Let’s stop trying to kid people into thinking it is going to be quick and easy.  This would be no different than writing an article that says, “follow this plan and you’ll be able to run a marathon in three weeks.”  Everybody knows that’s not true.

The exercises in the slideshow are absolutely fine and, if done on a regular basis for several weeks, will increase muscle tone and definition.  I wish the article would say something like that and do away with the far-fetched word salad.

 

If These Shoes Are a Rockin’ and Weights Are A Shakin’ Keep Moving.

My last blog discussed fad diets but as you know, not all gimmicks are in the shape of a diet pill.  Let’s talk about the Shake Weights and Rockers that are trending right now.  Are they the ‘the real deal’ or just another gimmick?

Let’s start with The Shake Weights.

The web site for The Shake Weights claims that the handheld object will do the following (BTW – my comments are in parenthesis):

  • Dramatically increase muscle activity (doubtful)
  • Contract muscles up to 240 time per minute (that depends)
  • Build definition, size and strength FAST! (no way)
  • Weighs only 5 lbs. (true but that’s not enough for actual for results)
  • Provides incredible results in 6 minutes a day (waste of  six minutes a day)
  • Etc.  (blah, blah, blah)

Let’s take a look at the principles taught in Strength Training 101:  To gain muscle mass a muscle must be overloaded with a combination of weight and repetition so that tiny, microscopic tears occur in the muscle.  The muscle then goes to work repairing itself and becomes stronger in the process.  This is why people that lift heavier weights have bigger muscles.  The heavier the weight, the more the muscle breaks down and therefore more repair has to take place.  The end result is an increase in muscle mass for the targeted muscle group.

Now, let’s look at the principles of Shake Weight 101: The back and forth movement of the Shake Weight does not take the muscle through a range of motion specific to any one muscle group, plus it only weighs five pounds which would only cause minimal increase in muscle mass even if it did work.  My advice is save your money and your six minutes a day.

There have been numerous articles written on the pros and cons of the Shake Weight.  I like to refer to WebMD on controversial topics such as this one.  They have published a very thorough review on the Shake Weight on their web site.  Bottom line here is it would be better to invest your money in a set of dumbbells that allows you to load or unload plates so that you can overload specific muscle groups.

I found an inexpensive set at Wal Mart. I can load up to 40 pounds and have used them in my home gym for years.  I have a feeling the Shake Weights will go the way of the ‘Shaking Machine’ I used to see my mother on when was a little girl.  The machine had a big black belt that went around her butt. When she turned it on it shook her hips around and all that shaking was supposed to reduce her butt fat.  Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?

If these shoes are a rockin’ . . .

Toning Shoes or Rockers, like the Shake Weights, have been around for awhile but are still very popular.  Toning shoes claim to trigger different muscle groups to fire above and beyond the muscles that are at work when you walk in regular shoes.  From this extra muscle action you’ll get tighter legs and butt, burn more calories, etc.   To someone like myself that has had to do five to six high intensity workouts a week for years to keep my legs and butt toned up (and even now there are several spots back there that are questionable) this just wouldn’t be fair.  My common sense alone tells me it cannot be this easy.

Anyway, again I consulted the experts at WedMD and they agree with me.  Oaky, really they just confirmed what I already knew.  Studies have been done to test the shoes and results show that there’s no extra muscle toning going on.  The results of the workouts were the same as with regular tennis shoes. I guess I won’t cancel my gym membership yet.

But here’s an idea:  Take a nice brisk half-hour walk or steady jog followed by a 15 – 20 minute strength workout at least five times a week.  This is the activity that will see some results!