Yesterday night, one of my best friends sent me a text:
"Joe why do you even do fitness coaching? Couldn't you just sell the thigh eraser?"
Attached to his text was a pretty hilarious - but unfortunately serious - video of a woman using a device called a "Thigh Eraser" which she claimed as the reason she doesn't have cellulite anymore. Now, my friend was being sarcastic, but it brings up a good question of why these products even exist. Why do we go looking for shortcuts? Is it that we think they work? Is there not enough information out there on how to improve your fitness and change your body if you want to?
No, I don't think the answer to this question is quite that straight forward. The truth is we all look for shortcuts - the real question is, why do we do that?
From the Flex Belt to the StabilityPro, companies have been selling "muscle stimulators" promising to give you chiseled abs in no time for many years. I can remember as a kid, literally 20 years ago, seeing ads for various stimulator belts that guaranteed six packs with no effort. The Thigh Eraser is no different - it is a device with no true science being sold by someone with good genetics telling you that to look the way you want to, you need to buy this.
On a completely different note, where do people get the idea that you should look the way they say their device is going to make you look? I've come to truly hate this idea of one kind of body being the best kind of body. What I want my body to look like shouldn't influence what you want your body to look like. Muscle magazines and fitness influencers have been building businesses for years on this sentiment of "look how I look" and it's never going away - but I wish it would.
On one hand, the answer to that question appears to be yes. These companies keep popping up, so clearly there is money to be made in this industry. As social media has grown and we see so many people with incredible physiques, it's only natural for more and more people to also want those looks.
At some point, it's likely that people believed these devices worked. There wasn't so much access to information and it was more common to believe what an influencer promoted on their account. Nowadays, that isn't the problem. The problem is we simply are not realizing the value of the hard work and the journey.
For many people, they may not know how to begin working toward body composition goals. They may not understand how to eat well, what exercise program they should be doing, or how to find a coach to help them reach their goals. Maybe they've tried a big box gym where they wound up on a treadmill slogging away for hours at a time and not certain about why nothing was changing. So this looks like an easy button - and emotionally we convince ourselves that this fad, this device, this easy button will finally be the thing that gives you the results you're after.
Just like new shoes and perfect equipment won't get you fit, no single device is going to magically give you all the results you want.
I think you know that.
Somehow, we manage to convince ourselves, however, of otherwise. We make silly decisions - the newest tracking device, the next fad program we see on Instagram, another different diet - because we want it faster. Also because no one sets our expectations.
There's a reason coaches exist, but if your coach isn't honest with you about how long you should expect to work before you see real results, that's on them. It's not your fault. What is on YOU is to follow the plan. The plan can't be fixed if you don't follow it, and no one works magic.
Deep down, we all know that anything we truly want comes from hard work and dedication. The promotion at work doesn't get handed down for free - you work for it. You don't become an amazing parent without practice - you do it from having hard conversations with your kids and leading by example. It is no different with your fitness goals. You know that, so resist the urge to press the easy button. It isn't real. It's taking your money and it's taking your will power.