Best Informercial Workouts

People spend more than five billion dollars a year on products they see advertised in TV infomercials. Consumer Reports just tested a dozen exercise machines ranging in price from 80 dollars to 2,000 to find out which live up to their hype.

If you want to slim down, shape up, look better, and feel better, now there's a faster easier way to do it."

The TreadClimber promises a great aerobic workout.

And machines like the Bowflex claim to pack a whole gym into one machine.

"You could get results like you see here."

Consumer Reports' Tom Mutchler just evaluated 12 of these "as-seen-on-TV" exercise machines.

This test was designed to see how thorough a workout you get from ones that promise aerobic conditioning.

"The metabolic gas analyzer measures heart rate. It also measures the volume of gas that you breathe out."

It turns out the Nautilus TreadClimber TC3000 performed pretty well. It gives you an excellent cardio-vascular workout and puts less stress on your joints than a treadmill. But it does have a steep price tag. This TreadClimber will run you 2,000 dollars.

Testers also looked at five
muscle-building machines.

"For strength trainers we look at the variety of exercise that it offers, how much resistance it gives you, how good of a workout you'll get."

The Bowflex Power Pro XTLU turned out to be an effective
body-building machine. But it also has a hefty price tag — it costs 1,750 dollars.

Testers say another good one is the Crossbow. It works like the Bowflex — providing a variety of body-building exercises. And at 700 dollars it's less than half the price of the Bowflex.

So while you may not end up looking like this, these machines will provide you with excellent workouts. The rest is up to you.

Consumer Reports says if you’re thinking of getting one of these machines, be aware the price in the infomercials may not include shipping. For large machines, like the TreadClimber, that can add another 200 dollars to the cost.

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