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?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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