Sunday 18th September 2011 -
Well it was time for another appearance on Something for the weekend on BBC 2 – this time to take a look at some fitness related products and as ever silly & fun was the name of the game. Comedian Jason Byrne was on hand along with the show’s Tim Lovejoy to help out….
The first product featured was the Shake Weight – admittedly not new to the market – in fact these ‘unusual’ weights landed in 2009
The Shake Weight shot to fame following a popular South Park’s parody. But despite its sexually suggestive motion that has been ridiculed on both sides of the Atlantic, it continues to be a very popular piece of equipment, particularly amongst women trying to banish the dreaded bingo wings.
The Shake Weight works by a technique called ‘dynamic inertia’. The product contains two spring-like weights at either end of the device. When the Shake Weight is shaken forwards and backwards, these weights create resistance, working both the biceps and triceps at the same time. The manufacturers claim that this movement works your muscles very quickly as the overall range of motion is very small, and say that results are noticeable with only 6 minutes of use per day.
The women’s version weighs 1.2 kg and is designed to tackle bingo wings, while the men’s version weighs a heftier 2.4kg and aims to build a stronger and more defined upper body.
While it has garnered attention for its unusual and suggestive motion, you can feel the burn after a few minutes and its certainly a lot cheaper and easier to use than most gym equipment. It’s a fun piece of kit which undoubtedly doesn’t create the same results as something as expensive and professional as the Power Plate, but it is a potentially useful exercise product for lots of people, particularly those who would never be seen lifting weights in the gym, or those who will only exercise if they can do it while watching TV!
The set comes with an exercise DVD and wallchart, so you can mark your progress. It doesn’t need batteries and is surprisingly lightweight, so is highly portable.
Power plate – £4995
The My7 is the newest in the Power Plate home gym range and the first to feature expert fitness tuition integrated within the console. The machine features an interactive, touch-screen interface with access to more than 250 full body workouts and over 1,000 individual exercises. Accompanying each exercise is a description of the position and a video charting the necessary movements. This allows even the most inexperienced Power Plate user to start working out with ease.
This is also the first Power Plate to include an embedded cable resistance system. These cables (called proMOTION technology by the experts) allow you to work out your upper body more effectively, toning arms and sculpting the chest, abs and back. On lower resistance settings women can tone effectively, while on the higher resistance men can develop more defined and larger muscles. These cables transfer vibrations more effectively, so you can perform a far wider range of dynamic exercises both on and off the platform.
Power Plate technology was originally developed by NASA to counter the decrease in bone density which affected astronauts in space. The technology in the machine works by transferring vibrations through the body, causing the muscles to contract multiple times per second. This intensifies the results of holding a pose or performing a dynamic exercise (such as repetitions of lunges or squats) and so you can achieve faster results in a shorter time. The My7 contains some workouts that are only 10 minutes long, so there is no excuse for not being able to fit it into your schedule. The vibration technology also stimulates lymphatic drainage by increasing circulation, and so helps prevent cellulite.
You can progress from beginner to expert in each workout to keep you motivated and the machine has a USB socket so you can download all the data to your computer. You can also adapt your workouts depending on whether you want to tone, fat burn, build strength or even relax at the end of a session with a muscle massage. You can also set up multiple users, keeping your own progress separated from other family members.
The Power Plate is undeniably a very expensive bit of kit, but so is gym membership. If a couple pay £1000 each for their gym membership per year, plus an additional £50 a go for personal training sessions, the Power Plate could earn its keep in under 2 years.
The Power Plate is used by celebrities and elite athletes, including international rugby teams, Premier League footballers and famous ballet companies. However, it is also used by people with conditions such as MS, osteoporosis and cerebral palsy. The vibration technology has been proven to increase bone density and is very efficient at building muscle strength in people with decreased muscle function.
Note: Do not stand on the machine with your legs straight otherwise the vibrations can travel up to your head and feel uncomfortable. Always have knees bent when standing on it. Tingling in the face is normal and is because of the increased circulation.
MBT Ari shoes – £269 (not featured due to time )
MBT stands for Masai Barefoot Technology and this principle lies behind all MBT footware. MBT shoes contain a patented Masai Sensor and Balancing Area which induces instability that your body instinctively attempts to correct. This corrective action can help add more movement into everyday life and can also lead to increased muscle activation and can help improve posture and balance
The Ari combines comfort and performance, and its design has even won a coveted Red Dot award for its fusing of form and function. While MBTs always look a bit weird, the Ari (which means ‘Spirit’ in Swahili) is much more attractive than its orthopedic-looking predecessors.
The shoe has a powerful integrated ventilation system that helps keep feet cool and dry. It is built on a contoured last that replicates the shape of a human foot while its biometrically engineered structural pillars offer guidance to the foot during the fall-gait cycle. In addition, Ari’s multi-layered 3D mesh insole is antibacterial, removable and washable, enabling feet to stay cooler and drier throughout exercise. The shoe – MBT’s most technically advanced in its 15 year history – allows an increase in movement and subsequently muscle activation through built-in instability and embodies the spirit and philosophy of the MBT brand.
Brompton Oratory commuting jacket – £250
Brompton’s new Oratory jacket is a unique garment that combines clever cutting, high-tech wearable materials and imaginative detailing to make performance clothing that has the look and feel of classic staple pieces. Produced by the folding bike manufacturer, Brompton’s jacket is designed to be as flexible and multi-functional as its transport solutions. The cord jacket is robust enough for commuting and all day use at work, but could also be worn for more formal occasions.
The two-button cord jacket boasts a wicking bamboo lining designed by Sheffield artist Kid Acne, but it is the jacket’s concealed features rather than its style credentials that really mark it out as an innovative product. The jacket is made of ‘Epic’ permanently weatherproof cotton, meaning you can dispense with a separate waterproof. It features fold down cuffs and a pop up storm collar with reflective panels, as well as ‘pit zips’ for ventilation during the commute. The cuffs are also adjustable and so can be tightened in case of bad weather. Brompton have even adapted the ‘action back’ from shooting jackets to allow the back of the jacket to loosen when hunched over the handlebars, giving more articulation in the arms and shoulders.
It also has useful tech features including a headphones port, cable loops, zip-up pocket perfect for your smartphone, and, most innovatively, an oyster card pocket in the sleeve for easy swiping. As well as the reflective collar and cuffs, the jacket also features a pull out Hi-Viz rear panel, which can be stowed away discreetly within a seam of the jacket during daytime.
HydraCoach Intelligent Water Bottle – £27.99
The HydraCoach Intelligent bottle isn’t just a water bottle, it’s a hydration system designed to monitor your fluid consumption and so prevent you from getting dehydrated, both after sport and throughout the day. It features an on-board computer that continuously tracks your real-time intake of water and reminds you when you need a drink to satisfy your recommended daily intake. The special straw measures how much you have drunk and how close to your target you have become.
The HydraCoach even calculates how much water you should be drinking based on your weight and the duration of your exercise routines, and can be programmed to take into account factors such as altitude, pregnancy and heat.
The clear digital display monitors the total amount of fluid consumed throughout the day, as well as the average amount per hour, and the amount of time elapsed, to encourage proper pacing of water. It compares all of these to your personal hydration goal, so you can stay on top of your water consumption at all times. It measures in metric and imperial formats so you can choose whichever you prefer.