- June 20,
The Awards Show That Never Was
(But Should Have Been)
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!
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.
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
It's time to introduce the categories
and the winners!
The First Category: The Slickest
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
If you won't be
in South Florida any time soon . . . get the book that shares
testimonials keep coming.
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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
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