Sept. 1 2010 12:00 AM

There's a product for everything in the fitness industry, and no one knows them better than the people who use them! PFP asked readers to share their thoughts on the products they love and hate for our August issue... We received too many responses to print them all, but we wanted to share with you a more complete list.

From the results, we've learned that almost everyone loves the BOSU ball, kettlebells are getting mixed reviews, no one likes ab machines, and no one understands Shake Weights.

What product or piece of equipment could you not train without?
Dumbells 
FT360 functional trainer by Cybex. So versitile 
My PDA, so I can log my workouts and my clients' workouts 
Tubing based equipment, kettlebells, medicine balls 
Free weights, stability ball, bpm music 
I can train without them but I do very much like the dual adjustable cable machine and dumbbells
My body :-) 
resistance bands 
medicine balls, kettlebells 
Weights, bands, BOSU, cables, medicine ball 
Stability ball, Jump rope, Kettlebells 
I really depend on a good stopwatch! 
Swiss ball 
free weights, resistance bands and tubing, my ballet barre, weighted bars, BOSU, Triadball, and my weight bench 
free weights 
Stability ball and mats 
An adjustable bench  
My bike, my inline skates, my shoes, my Yoga/Pilates mat, my dumbbells and my exercise ball 
BOSU Balance Trainer 
StairMaster climber or Stepmill 
A stability ball and TRX 
I love toys. Doing this job daily for 17 years I personally have to mix it up. Bosu, resist a ball, kettlebells and for cardio the Cybex Arc Trainer 
Free Motion machine 
Decent shoes, quite honestly 
My TRX, or as my clients call it, my T-rex!! If I have nothing else besides that and my Lebert Buddy system, I am giving a top notch workout to my clients. and with the buddy system, I get in on the fun as well! 
Do I speak for the majority when I say that the kettlebell is fantastic?! I mean, I can travel with it and get or give someone a good workout in little time. 
Tubes, or bands! It allows me to get my clients outdoors and still incorporate strength training into their routine.
Fit Balls; medicine balls; dummbells; elastic bands and tubes
Handle bands, stability balls, free weights and dynabands
The stability ball. I incorporate it so much in my clients’ programs. It is so versatile and so convenient when I am training a client in their home!!
The BOSU. An absolutely amazing and simple product that adds depth and new levels of difficulty to old exercises, while creating a whole set of new, unique challenges! A second great product is the TRX. Versitle and extremly portable! What a workout it can provide!!!
Foam roller-hands down

2. What product have you been most disappointed with?
Balance Trainer
NRG Ball 
selectorized equipment 
Les Mills classes: very few safety instructions, hazardous for a novice. Les Mills music: screechy and NOT motivating
The Slide, but that was a long time ago 
most gym 'machines' for weight and resistance training 
foam roller 
back extension machine 
teeter board
Exercise bikes 
Tread Climber -- it is not made for people six feet tall or taller
Less expensive, non-name brand weighted bars. They didn't hold up well, the ends fell off, and the foam ripped off the bars. Next time I would buy Body Bars. I have a few and they hold up much better.
Elliptical 
Strive Heavy Ball - major electrical issues 
I'm most disappointed with ellipticals. People with knee issues really feel the knee shear the elliptical motion creates.
Sleds 
Balance disks
Many of the "diet", fat- burning pills
The ab roller. It's a wheel with small handles that very few people (at least in the gyms I have worked) use. It's not even the best abs exercise. Heck, it's not among my top 10 abs exercises. 
Machines for muscle isolation
I haven't used a product I've been disappointed in. Usually I don't try it if I think I may not use it.
I haven't gotten much use out of my balance disk but it may be because I do not have elderly clients right now. I tend to use it in place of my BOSU ball for older clients.
Kinesis
Ab lounger
Supplements in general

3. Is there any product that absolutely baffles you? What is it?
What's the deal with this tractor tire stuff? What's with hitting with the sledge hammer?
The weighted fork and spoon 
Kettle weights
The TRX Trainer
Are any of the products as good as body weight exercises and isometrics or do they just promote people doing something?
Cable machine
The BOSU Balast ball 
Shake weights 
Those crazy home use ab workout gimmicks 
I don't understand why people still want to train on weight machines that move only single joints, work isolated muscles, and take no core strength since you are sitting on a stabilized surface. 
Those ab roller things
TRX. Seems too cumbersome and not practical for in-home personal training 
The foam roller. I love the product. But, I continuously ask myself why didn't I think of inventing this for my 8th grade science project years ago? 
No. The key to using a new product is to take it home and use it yourself before using it on clients. Most of the time products are pretty easy to figure out.
Vibration blades and machines
Power Plate
All the crazy ab gadgets
Kettle Bells. I haven't been trained on this equipment and some of the movements I have seen seems to compromise some to the joints of the body (Knees and Shoulders)
I love all new ideas. My ideal job would be tester for all new fitness equipment.
Weighted hula hoop
The big promise supplements

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