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Exercise equipment


Elaborate, expensive exercise equipment is not needed for martial arts training. As usual, there are lots of equipment on the market that will “make training easy,” “increase your flexibility”, etc. but none of it is needed. Some of the equipment may help, but even if it does help, it’s usually expensive and you can make your own version of the equipment to see if you will use it and to see if it is worth spending your money on the commercial version.

Chceck Consumer Reports

Before making any major, or even minor, purchase, always check out Consumer Reports to see what they have found out about the product. Consumer Reports runs surveys and tests each year to evaluate exercise equipment. The tests usually show that the hype and promises made by companies are not backed up by reality. Some results of their findings are as follows:
  • Sit-ups beat ab machines. Simple floor abdominal exercises are more effective than ab machines, and they are free.
  • Walking is better than most machines. Some machines only burn slightly more calories than simply walking or running, and any gains do not justify their cost.
  • Upper body devices may help some. Pull-up or pushup devices may increase upper body strength, but this same effect may be gained using simple things found around the house. For example, rather than buy pushup devices, perform your pushups while gripping dumbbells to increase the depth of your pushup movement.
  • Diets included. All the claims made by the makers of these devices include their diet plans, and most of the plans are nearly impossible for most people to maintain.
  • Results not typical. This is always in the fine print. It means the results they are claiming are seldom, if ever, achieved.
  • Total cost. The advertised cost does not include shipping, handling, and sales taxes, which may sometimes double the advertised cost.
  • Money-back guarantee. Even if you can get a refund, it does not include the initial shipping and handling, and you will have to pay a shipping and restocking fee to send it back. Many devices cost substantially less than the handling and restocking fees, so even if you can return the item, the company still makes a profit.
  • Not sold in stores. Many times, the products are not sold in stores because if you were able to see, touch, and check out the quality of the product in person, you would never buy it. Also, stores don't want to deal with the many returned items.
  • Better Business Bureau. Simply being a member of the BBB means little. Check with the BBB in the company’s area and see what complaints they have had filed against the company.
  • Internet ordering. Before ordering from a website, check the site for a customer service number and call the number to see if you can get a live person. Most rip-off companies never reveal any phone numbers other than the ones used to order.
  • Check address. Use Google maps to review the location of the company. It may be someone’s garage.
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