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by Jordan Shakeshaft, Greatist.com

Between Shape-Ups, sauna suits, and the infamous Shake Weight, it seems there’s no gizmo, gadget, or get-skinny-quick gimmick we won’t try. In fact, Americans spend upwards of $30 billion a year on weight loss products (clearly those late-night infomercials are doing something right). But as the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read on to see how Greatist ranks the biggest fitness flops, fails, and what the f*#!s?! of the last few decades— and how to avoid getting duped.

Do Not Try This at Home — The Flops

1. The Shake Weight
 Spoofed by Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and South Park, the wildly suggestive Shake Weight needs no introduction. And while the benefits of spring-loaded 2.5-pound dumbbell remain questionable, more than 2 million units sold in its first year on the market, and sales have more than doubled since (making our gag gift theory a bit of a stretch).

2. The Free Flexor

If the Shake Weight is rated R, the Free Flexor gets a big neon XXX. With its patent-pending Circular Strength Technology, the world’s first (undeniably phallic) flexing dumbbell is said to set the forearms ablaze and “make your muscles cry.” Not exactly our idea of a happy workout. (NSFW: Best spoof ever.)

3. Vibrating Platforms
 Can couch potatoes really shake themselves stronger, healthier, and slimmer? Yeah, we didn’t think so[1][2]. And while some athletes might show improved performance after stepping off shaky ground, the jury’s still out on whether shelling out thousands for platforms like the Power Platewill bring better results than other conditioning methods.

4. Sauna Suits 
No, that’s not a trash bag. We’re just happy to smother you. These rubbery waterproof suits are designed to make people sweat out several pounds per session. Problem is: There’s nothing safe about that (think: heat stroke, muscle cramps, and fainting). What’s more, those lbs are typically gained back immediately after eating or drinking.

5. 8 Minute Abs 
Don’t kill the messenger here, but eight minutes cannot a six-pack make (no matter how serious that spandex is). The 80s “8 Minute Abs” craze was essentially just that. Crunch all you want, but a washboard stomachrequires full-body conditioning including strength training, cardio, and a healthy diet to match.


6. Exercise in a Bottle
Yup, that’ll be the day. And the Federal Trade Commission was just as disappointed as we were. In 2000, Enforma, the company behind Exercise in a Bottle and other weight loss “miracle drugs,” was forced to hand over$10 million as consumer redress. Do not pass go, do not get America’s hopes up.

7. Toning Shoes 
Tried wobbling around town with the best of them? Turns out these unstable, curved soles are little more than a fashion faux pas (honestly, no real woman looks like this in Reebok Easy Tones). Recent studies reveal that “toning shoes,” including these and the original Sketcher Shape-Ups,don’t help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories, or improvemuscle strength and tone.

8. Power Balance 
For $29.99, this performance bling claims to improve balance, strength, and flexibility through special hologram frequencies. The reality: Studies have found that Power Balance bracelets actually work no better than a placebo[3]. So any improvements to that game are, as they say, all in the head.

9. Ab Rocket 
Five minutes a day to “sizzling rock hard” abs? After a $14.95 30-day trial,some users beg to differ. And while the Ab Rocket might do something for that midsection, the neck and back supports aren’t exactly cushy, and the whole “workout-plus-massage” part? Talk about failure to launch.

10. Big Wheel Skates 
Whoever said bigger is better wasn’t referring to the in-line skates on Venice Beach. Still, monster-wheeled Chariot Skates and LandRollers went big, making those trips, slips, and falls 900 percent more embarrassing (and likely more painful).

For the full list of fitness fad flops, go to


  • Great Britain lowered its security threat level from “critical” to “severe” on Saturday, Prime Minister Theresa May said. >> Read more trending news Earlier, police hunting a suspected network behind Salman Abedi, the bomber who killed 22 people on Monday night during a concert in Manchester, said they had made two further arrests overnight as they closed in on other possible cell members, Reuters reported.  As a result, soldiers who have been assisting police would be withdrawn from Britain's streets at midnight on Monday. 'A significant amount of police activity has taken place over the last 24 hours and there are now 11 suspects in custody,' May said. May cautioned, however, that the lesser threat is still a dangerous one. 'The public should be clear about what this means. A threat level of severe means an attack is highly likely,” she said. “The country should remain vigilant.' The threat assessment has returned to the level it was at prior to the Manchester attack. In Manchester, events planned around the spring bank holiday will go ahead with additional security, including a significant number of armed officers, police said. British officers do not usually carry guns, CNN reported. Events include the Manchester Games, the Great Manchester Run, and a stadium show by bands including The Courteeners, all of which are likely to attract big crowds. This weekend also marks the start of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, CNN reported.    
  • A Cobb County mother was jailed after her 5-year-old son said she beat him with a belt and a broom, hit him in the head and stomped on his stomach. Nakeisha Lashay Logan of Mableton faces first-degree child cruelty, battery and family violence charges in connection with an alleged May 17 attack. The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile victim, said during a forensic interview that he tried to hide under the bed to avoid the “terrible” beating but Logan beat him with a broom and threw a box of toys at him, a magistrate court warrant states. RELATED: ‘I’m going to rape you’ man allegedly tells mother in front of kid Mom, friend jailed after child suffers broken bones, electrical burns Babysitter charged after 5-month-old breaks 4 bones After the box of toys hit the child in the shoulder, Logan grabbed his head and smashed it repeatedly on the floor, according to the warrant.  The warrant adds that Logan stomped on the child's stomach, making him feel nauseous.  The warrant doesn’t state who called police, but by the time an officer arrived the boy’s bleeding cheek had scabbed. His face was still red and swollen, Officer Sydney Tschappat wrote. Police took the boy to a nearby hospital and arrested Logan. She was being held in the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on a $50,000 bond. In other news:
  • Police say a metro Atlanta couple locked the woman's 86-year-old mother in her room and used furniture to block the door closed. Katie Son and her husband are both charged with cruelty to an elderly person. Officers say 86-year-old Bong Le managed to escape out a front window. She was found a couple of blocks away, wrapped in a blanket and sitting under a tree. Investigators say she smelled like urine and feces. Her daughter and son-in-law, who are now out on bond, told Channel 2's Tony Thomas that they were just trying to protect her from herself. 'Did you lock your mom up?' Thomas asked. 'No. No sir,' Son replied. Gwinnett police say they found tables, chairs and other items stacked high against the door of the downstairs bedroom in the home. 'It looked quite unusual,' Cpl. Michele Pihera said. But Son said it was all to keep her mother safe. She said when she and her husband went to work each day at a Hall County nail salon, her mother couldn't be trusted alone in the house. 'They told our officers that the reason they had stacked up the furniture was to prevent the mother from going into the kitchen to access the stove or access any kitchen utensils,' Pihera said. TRENDING STORIES: Police search for teens accused of setting off fireworks inside grocery store Watch your step! Snakebites on the rise World falling in love with Georgia father's letter to Ariana Grande Deputies still have questions. 'It's very possible they were trying to prevent her from getting into the food or any kind of items to eat,' Pihera said. She says the state of the room was disturbing. 'They found human feces and what looked like human urine that looked like it had been smeared into the carpet or never even cleaned up,' she said. She said that, combined with the furniture, led to the arrests. 'You combine the lack of access to food and water and the living conditions and that's what led our detectives to take out warrants for their arrests,' Pihera said. Neighbors didn't want to talk about what happened, but said they recognized Le as the woman who didn't really have a memory and would get lost easily. She's now in the hospital. Her daughter and son-in-law have been ordered not to go near her.
  • Ty Blach pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and gave San Francisco's struggling offense a boost with an RBI single during a three-run fourth that helped the Giants snap a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night. Nick Hundley homered and drove in three runs and Brandon Belt added a solo shot against Mike Foltynewicz (3-5) as the Giants' bats broke out after being held to six runs during the four-game skid. Blach (3-2) struck out four of the first eight batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning. He allowed six hits and two runs in 7 2-3 innings and didn't allow a runner to reach third until the eighth when Atlanta scored twice to end his night. Derek Law got the final out in the eighth and Mark Melancon got two outs for his 10th save in 12 chances. Hundley, getting the start behind the plate to give Buster Posey a rest, opened the scoring with his first homer of the season in the second. He added two more hits, including an RBI single in the eighth. The Giants broke the game open with three runs in the fourth, starting when Belt led off the inning with his 10th homer of the season. San Francisco added four straight two-out hits, getting an RBI single from Blach and a run-scoring double from Denard Span to make it 5-0. Foltynewicz allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: 3B Adonis Garcia (Achilles strain) went 1 for 3 with a run and RBI in seven innings in his second rehab game at Triple-A Gwinnett. Giants: OF Jarrett Parker took live BP for the first time since breaking his left collarbone April 15 and is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week. ... OF Hunter Pence (left hamstring) also took BP and could begin a rehab assignment in four or five days. ... INF Conor Gillaspie had an MRI after having a setback in his rehab when he complained of tightness in his back after a swing. HOME COOKING Blach, who stepped into the rotation after ace Madison Bumgarner got hurt in April, has been stellar at home. He has a 1.87 ERA in five starts at AT&T Park. RARE LEFTY This marked just the fourth time all season the Braves faced a left-handed starter, fewest in the majors. Danny Santana got the start at third base in place of Rio Ruiz to get another right-handed bat in the lineup but it didn't help. Santana went 0 for 3 against Blach and Atlanta fell to 2-2 this season against lefties. UP NEXT Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3-3) takes the mound for Atlanta in the series finale against Johnny Cueto (4-4). ___ More AP baseball: apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Adam Wainwright kept up his mastery of the Rockies by scattering three hits over seven innings, Tommy Pham hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat Colorado 3-0 on Saturday night. Wainwright (5-3) struck out six and retired the last 10 batters he faced as he moved to 10-1 with a 1.56 ERA over his career against Colorado. Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a run-scoring single in the third. Pham had the big blow in the fifth, when he lined a slider from Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland (5-3) into the left-center seats. The Cardinals withstood a scare in the eighth, with Trevor Rosenthal working his way out of a bases loaded jam by getting Carlos Gonzalez to ground out. Seung Hwan Oh pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances. Freeland lasted six innings and gave up three runs for the NL-leading Rockies. He couldn't follow the lead of fellow rookie Antonio Senzatela, who threw eight shutout innings the night before. Wainwright & Co. wore camouflage green hats and matching socks for Memorial Day weekend. He confused the Rockies all night by mixing his hard-to-hit curveball with a cutter. And this was definitely more like the Wainwright of old, not the one who struggled through April with a 2-3 mark. He's gone 3-0 in May and rediscovered the touch on his curve. That was apparent in a 10-pitch at-bat to Gonzalez in the fourth, when Wainwright threw seven curves, including the one that finally struck out Gonzalez. Wainwright also froze Trevor Story in the same inning with a 92-mph fastball. Freeland worked his way out of early trouble courtesy of two double plays. St. Louis has now hit into six double plays in splitting the first two games of the series. TRAINER'S ROOM Cardinals: 2B Kolten Wong was a late scratch from the lineup with left elbow stiffness. ROSTER MOVE The Cardinals purchased the contract of RHP John Brebbia from Triple-A Memphis and designated lefty Miguel Socolovich for reassignment. Brebbia turns 27 on Tuesday. THIS & THAT Wainwright made his 330th appearance for the Cardinals to tie Larry Jackson (1955-62) for 10th on the team's all-time list. ... OF Ian Desmond had two singles. ... The Rockies were shut out at home for a third time this season. ... The attendance was 48,106, the highest since the home opener. MABRY INFLUENCE Mark Reynolds credits St. Louis hitting coach John Mabry for revamping his swing when he was with Cardinals in 2015. 'Really changed my mind from an approach of all-or-nothing to keeping my barrel in the zone as much as I can,' explained Reynolds, who's hitting .316 this season. 'It's what I've been trying to do the past couple of years.' UP NEXT Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (4-2, 2.53 ERA) is holding right-handed hitters to a league-low .124 average. Rockies: RHP German Marquez (3-2, 3.86 ERA) will be the third straight rookie the Rockies have sent out against St. Louis in this series. He's 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA over his last three starts. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • After another grueling concert on the road, U2 can be forgiven for acting in mysterious ways. The Irish rock ’n’ roll band finished their show in Houston on Wednesday night and decided to eat at a local Whataburger, KDFW reported. >> Read more trending news After arriving, members of the band posed for photographs with some police officers, including Adam Clayton, who was wearing a kimono. Larry Mullen Jr. also posed in the photo. A Twitter user, Boomcha, posted “Meanwhile at Whataburger,” along with a photo of the police posing with band members. There were no photos of Bono or Edge, but perhaps they still hadn’t found what they were looking for inside the fast food restaurant.