Update - June 20, 2002

The Awards Show That Never Was (But Should Have Been)

At my May 16 seminar, I had the opportunity to meet a few hundred people looking to re-shape their bodies. Thankfully, they are well on their way!

I'm often complimented for the "incredible results" I bring to people, and I'm careful not to accept the credit. All I do to help people change is . . . I give them clarity. Then they can do it themselves!

Clarity is the missing element in every failed fitness attempt. Most people attempt to change their bodies with approaches that are guaranteed to backfire. That's why I begin my seminars by exposing some of both the common and the outrageous claims for nonsense being sold as solutions. At the end of the last seminar someone told me I deserved an award for ethics. I'm thankful that I've received scores of awards, plaques, and commendations mentioning ethics . . . but my response was, "The greatest reward is not in an award, but in knowing the people at this event are finally going to achieve the results they always wanted." He responded, "You're right. Maybe the award should go to those rip off artists for the masterful scams they pull." It started me thinking.

Join me for an awards presentation that may or may not ever happen (more likely not, but it's fun to imagine). You have a front row seat and I'm up on the stage wearing a tuxedo. We begin with an all-star kick-off. Richard Simmons gets up there in a chicken suit and screams with the oldies at the top of his lungs. That sets the tone and it's time for the awards ceremony to begin.

It's time to introduce the categories and the winners!

The First Category: The Slickest Rip-Off Award

We introduce the first award category by showing a heart-wrenching video of seven women . . . seven women who have contacted me in hopes of regaining their money or at the very least rediscovering their pride. They all bought into a FREE infomercial product. The product was sold using models with wonderfully toned bodies, a professional voice-over person who was born to speak, and a script created by copywriters trained in the science of getting people to respond. On video, the women are crying, expressing how disappointed and hurt they were, and sharing a common frustration in that they couldn't even track the company that literally stole their money.

Why am I not naming the product? Because I want people to read this! In two separate incidents, the distributors of two mis-marketed products, two products that I addressed at my site, had their legal agencies contact me with serious threats. While their threats, according to my attorney, were unfounded, I was advised to remove the product names from my site as the names were trademarked and it might be construed as manipulating search engine listings by including popular product names. If you've been exposed to this "award winning" product, you'll recognize it by my description. If you haven't, you'll recognize it if it ever shows up on your TV screen.

The product is a mix of caffeine and ephedrine, two addictive stimulants. Of course, they don't mention the ingredients on the infomercial. They just make the promise "guaranteed to help you burn fat and drop pounds like crazy." The thought process that governs the producers of the infomercial is . . . "if we call it FREE . . . and people respond and try it . . . and get hooked on it . . . they'll buy it again. We'll offer it for free but we'll jack up the shipping charges to cover all of our costs (a one time shipping payment of just $6.99)." This company is notorious for testing products in select markets, billing credit cards, shutting down their 800 numbers, and leaving customers in the lurch. For that, they deserve the Slickest Rip Off Award.

Accepting the award will be . . . nobody . . . I couldn't reach them. They changed their phone number.

The Second Category:

The Most Outrageous Claim Award

I hesistantly grant this award to the wonderful ab belts that have taken over the infomercial airwaves for the last 8 months. Why hesistantly? Well, the FTC stopped them from making fraudulent claims . . . but because they had the nerve to completely fabricate information, to present a medical and physical therapy aid as a fat loss device, and to claim, despite research proving otherwise, that electrical muscle stimulation leads to great abs . . . they win this category hands down. The infomercial clearly claims that you will lose 2 inches in 30 days and that using the belt for minutes a day is equal to 600 situps. That's quite a stretch from the reality. The reality is, you will lose 0 inches and using the belt for 600 days probably isn't equivalent to even a single sit up (not to mention that sit ups are a contraindicated movement for most).

Adding to the outrageous nature of the claim is the underhanded trick of providing "pills" as a bonus . . . pills that contain those pesky little addictive stimulants, ephedrine and caffeine. Everyone seems to be jumping on the opportunity to sell "legal speed" under the guise of fat burning.

In the past I've debunked this "EMS reduces the abs" myth by referring to Dr. John Porcari's study which revealed absolutely no evidence of improvement following the recommended protocol. As I present this award, I'd like to bring up Delia Hammock, nutritionist for the Good Housekeeping Institute. Delia conducted her own study. The Ab Energizer was given to seven volunteeers. While none reported any fat reduction or increase in abdominal definition, there were reports of burns and in one case, broken skin at the placement sites. Anyone who can sell a device that hasn't any potential to deliver the promised result, can package it with addictive stimulants, and can produce high quality infomercials making the product look like the next miracle deserves an award. Especially when people are getting burned . . . literally!

Runner up in this category was the 2-Day Juice Diet where water loss is used as a trick to create expectations of losing 10 pounds in 2 days . . . as if there's anything healthful about dehydration.

The Third Category: The "How Could Anyone Believe This?" Award

Body wraps are making a huge comeback. Whether they promise to wrap you in herb soaked bandages or mummify you with large leaves from some mysterious secret valley, proliferators of the "let us wrap away weight" promise are making lots of do-re-mi from Y-O-U. You'd think by now people would understand that these wraps, at best, can lead to short term water displacement, creating the illusion of lost inches. And there's another issue. What do they mean when they say, "Bonnie Brown lost 28 inches in her first session?" 28 inches from where? After displacing water they measure every part of your body . . . 1/2 inch here . . . 3/4 of an inch there. The more measurements they take, the greater the grand total! The science says . . . measure all you want . . . body wraps do NOTHING to reduce fat. Accepting this award on behalf of all of the body wrap sellers . . . The Mummy.

The Fourth Category: The "Expert Du Jour" Award

Richard Hatch. His new book teaches people how to lose 100 pounds. Do you know Richard? He's the guy who won the first Survivor, and in that pocketed one million dollars. He was stranded on a tropical island with very little food. What's the secret? It doesn't matter. He's an instant celebrity . . . why not write a weight loss book. It's guaranteed to sell!

The only question one would ask is, does starvation for $1,000,000 make someone a weight loss expert? Apparently it does, so Richard gets the award.

The Fifth Category: The "Legit If You Can See Through The Hype" Award

I don't want this award ceremony to be a total slam, as there are some legit products out there. Several of the products that are sold on infomercials are actually viable products sold on TV with an infomercial twist. I've been impressed by the versatility and the challenge provided by the Total Gym. I've seen favorable strength increases with Bowflex. And believe it or not, while I don't believe the Gazelle Glider is "the only exercise you need to do," and while it's not really accurate to claim "it works every muscle in the body," it is a viable piece of cardiovascular equipment for the home.

Of course, it's essential to understand that these only "work" if you integrate them into a sound and effective program based on a true technology of physical change. It's also important to understand that you don't NEED any piece of equipment. Thousands of people on my programs have achieved phenomenal results with nothing more than a couple of pair of dumbbells and a good pair of running shoes.

So ends the Award Show. Will it fly? Probably not unless we get Michael Jackson or Madonna to appear. I guess we'll have to wait until one of them decides it's time to go the Suzanne Sommers route and delve into the land of infomercials.

What can you do now? Lots of things.

You can sign up for what promises to be my most powerful, most exciting, and most life-changing seminar ever . . . the explosive "Breakthroughs" seminar. Want details? Of course you do. Click here.

If you won't be in South Florida any time soon . . . get the book that shares it all!

The testimonials keep coming.

"Unbelievable! That's all I can say. I know in your book you explain that results shouldn't be unbelievable, but should be expected. In my life I've started and stopped at least 50 different programs, each one making promises. Your program was the first one that went beyond the promise and made sense! After dropping 68 pounds and finding a body that I never even dreamed I could have, I'm just echoing what people say who haven't seen me in awhile. Unbelievable! I can honestly say, the Best You've Ever Been changed my life!" - Craig Kraemer, Boston, MA

Find info and ordering details by clicking here.

If You Haven't Been There Yet:

[ Fitness Superstore ] [ Site MENU ] [ Seminars ]

Previous Updates:

Update 5/11/02 - Miracle GH, What "Works"

-Update 3/25/02 - Women on Steroids and More on Core Training
Update 2/15/02 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Fitness
Update 1/14/02 - Counting Calories
Update 12/28 - 'Twas the Night Before New Years
Update 12/8 - The New Electronic Ab Offerings
Update 12/12 - The "Magic" is Within You
Update 11/20 - Holiday eating!

Update 11/3 - Weight Loss Bread and other Nonsense!
Update 10/29 - Supplement Values
Update 10/3 - Getting Back to Doing What We Do
Update 9/19 - Tragedy and Love, RE: Sept 11
Update 8/15 - Myths, Fallacies, False Beliefs
Update 8/1 - The Internet, Leptin, Steroids, and more
Update 7/9 - The New Supplements
Update 6/14 - Seminar offerings and clarity on "Brownies"
Update 5/29 - Lose Weight, Eat Brownies?!?!?
Update 5/1/01
- Pizza, Beer, and Fitness
Update 4/7/01 - "Phil-osophies" and Rip-Off Realities!
Update 4/1/01 - Gourmet Recipes!
Update 3/15/01 - Research Has Proven?
Update 3/1/01 - Preparing for The New Infomercial
Update 2/1/01 - Time, Space, Matter, and Energy
Update 1/15/01 - Atkins hits the UK
Update 10/7/00 - Supplements, Additional Clarity
Update 7/27/00 - The Experts Round Table, Almada, Colgan, Parillo
Update 7/3/00 - Core Training & Metabolism Boosters

[ Home ] [ Site Menu ] [ For Fitness Professionals ] [ Superstore ] [ Update Menu ] [ Ask Phil ]
[ Small Group Workshops ] [ Programs ]

This site is designed and operated by Phil Kaplan
Phil Kaplan's Fitness is located at
3132 Fortune Way, #D1
Wellington, Florida 33414
The TOLL-FREE Product Order Line is 1 800 552-1998
The Direct Office Number is 561 204-2014
The Fax Number is 561 204-2184