This is a re-release of my original abdominal Circle Pro post which I published in 2010 top top a various website.

At the time, the write-up went famous within the fitness industry and was referenced by regulatory organ in Australia, brand-new Zealand, and the unified States.

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In my appearance on TVNZ in new Zealand ago in 2010, I questioned some the the marketing sleights that hand provided by the agency to offer the product come consumers.

The firm wasfined $25 million dollars in 2012 by the Federal trade Commission because that making false insurance claims which eventually added to the agency going the end of business.

I have been asked plenty of times come republish the write-up since the device is quiet being offered on the second-hand market.

Infomercial hype or help?

The abdominal muscle Circle pro is a home exercise an equipment promoted through Jennifer Nicole Lee v infomercials, websites, and also TV shopping networks.

According to advertisements, it combines cardiovascular and ab exercise come target the abdominal, oblique, hip, and also thigh muscles and help you shed belly fat.

The two key exercises shown in advancement materials incorporate a side to next swinging pendulum activity for the mid-section and a forward and backwards motion purportedly for the hips and also thighs.

Promoters insurance claim the product delivers “faster results than anything rather around.”

Emotional testimonials space interspersed throughout the key to additional underscore and personify key marketing messages.

While this renders for reliable sales copy, an live independence (unbiased/non-commercial) crucial analysis of abdominal Circle pro marketing cases is warranted. Therefore, the objective of this testimonial is to:

Categorically evaluate each abdominal muscle Circle Pro case from a science-based perspectiveDiscuss customer complaint recordsProvide an overall an overview of findings and make recommendations

Accuracy of review

To ensure accuracy of marketing claims in this review, i transcribed a 10 minute ab Circle agree infomercial which to be posted come YouTube. All of the following product claims are bring away verbatim native the clip.

Claim 1: “The many innovative item of exercise equipment ever”

It is simply the opinion that the company that this is the many innovative item of exercise devices ever.

No objective scale exists for quantifying the “innovativeness” of a product.

Claim 2: “With the abdominal Circle agree System, us guarantee you’ll shed 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in simply 2 weeks”

The agency was very meticulous v the wording that this claim.

If girlfriend look carefully, they clearly state “with the ab Circle pro SYSTEM friend will shed 10 pounds in two weeks.

According come the website, “the complete abdominal muscle Circle pro SYSTEM consists of the machine, a lessened calorie diet, and express practice DVD.”

However, the infomercial disproportionately promotes the device by mentioning the product by name 28 times (once every 21 seconds), compared to just six times because that the ‘System” (once every 1 minute 40 seconds).

If you’re not paying close attention to the phrasing, you might be led to believe the ab Circle Pro an equipment ALONE will result in 10 pounds of load loss.

Promoters claim you deserve to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kg) in two weeks?

This begs the question: “10 pounds of WHAT?”

Notice the devices of measure room conspicuously absent.

From a legal standpoint, it would be an unrealistic and also misleading statement come say you could lose 10 pounds of STORED human body FAT in two weeks.

Losing “weight” on the range is ambiguous and also gives no indication of the actual ingredient of shed weight (i.e., how much water, muscle glycogen , muscle, and also fat).

Losing 10 pounds that stored human body fat, on the other hand, is an entirely various ball that butter.

As an practice physiologist, I prefer to usage numbers to illustrate the challenge of FAT loss.

One lb (~1/2 kg) that stored body fat = 3500 calorie (14,700 kJ) worth of save energy3,500 calorie x 10 lb the fat = 35,000 calories (147,000 kJ) in 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of fat35,000 calories ÷ 14 work (2 weeks) = 2,500 calorie (10,500 kJ) deficit forced per day

*Metric conversion: 1 calorie = 4.2 kilojoules

Based top top this calculation, you have to expend (via physics activity) secondary 2500 calories (or eat 2500 less) over and above the amount of calories you require to keep your existing fat stores EACH day because that 14 job in bespeak to lose 10 pounds of stored human body fat.

Alternatively, you can eat 2,500 calories every day less than your daily power requirements – or a combination of moving an ext and eating less.

According to associate Professor Amanda Salis from the college of Sydney’s Boden academy of Obesity, Nutrition, exercise & eat Disorders,“the typical 140-pound (64 kg) mrs needs approximately 2500 calories per day or much less to satisfy her power requirements (and therefore maintain her weight), therefore this doesn’t leave much lettuce to gain every day.”

Safe and also healthy fat loss need to be approximately 1 to 2 pounds (about ½ to 1 kg) per week achieved by decreasing day-to-day food input by around 250 calories and increasing power expenditure by 250 calories every day.

As a general preeminence of thumb, countless health practitioners discourage fast weight loss and generally introduce dieters not mitigate calories to much less than 1,200 calories every day without supervision through a qualified medical professional or registered dietitian.

Calorie counting aside, even small dietary alters can have actually a lasting effect on weight loss.

“If you reduced out foodstuffs or caloric beverages you consume once you’re not physically hungry, and also if her diet is reasonably healthy and balanced (i.e., it has adequate fruits and also vegetables every day), then you will immediately start losing excess weight at a safe and also healthy rate.

It’s vital not come eat as well little, otherwise you’ll activate her body’s famine reaction i m sorry will slow-moving your metabolic rate and contribute come rebound load regain,” Dr. Salis adds.

Now let’s look in ~ the actual contribution of practice to the fat lose equation.

The Compendium the Physical activity Codes and MET Intensities from Ainsworth et al. Is a widely respected resource which gives an estimate of caloric expenditure for common exercises.

One MET (metabolic equivalent) is tantamount to approximately one calorie per kilogram of body weight per hour.

So as an example, a 154 lb (70 kg) person doing a 4 MET task would expend about 280 calories every hour.

Looking at the adhering to MET levels of common tasks most human being could fairly be meant to do, you deserve to see it calls for some major time investment and also elbow grease come burn the equivalent power of 2500 calories worth of stored fat by practice alone.

Based top top this, the is evident that to shed 10 pounds that stored body fat in 2 weeks, you would have actually to assist it together with a reduced calorie diet.

METSActivityCal/hour hrs to burn 2500 calories
3.3Walking (3mph, moderate pace)23110.82
7.0Rowing at 100 watts (moderate effort)4905.10
8.0Bicycling 12-13.9 mph (moderate effort)5604.46
10.0Step Aerobics (10-12 customs step)7003.57
**metric conversion: 1 calorie = 4.2 kilojoules

Bottom lineIt is very unlikely friend will lose 10 pounds of STORED human body FAT in two weeks.

Losing 10 pounds that absolute range weight (irrespective the composition) is comparably easier than shedding 10 pounds of save fat. Remember, it took you a life time to put it all on and it absolutely isn’t going to melt away over night.

Any radical palliation in energy intake may activate the famine solution and pressure your body right into fat preservation mode.

Safe and healthy fat loss is a slow procedure and must be accomplished with considerable long-term lifestyle modification.

Claim 3: “…it’s fun and easy, and also takes just 3 minute a day”

According come the infomercial, you have the right to expect incredible results in “just three minutes a day!”

Note the phrasing that this case does not explicitly state three minutes a job on themachine, however in context describes the abdominal muscle Circle Pro device (which likewise includes the reduced calorie diet and also exercise DVD).

I’ll it is in honest, until I went back and very closely reread the transcript, I construed this as “three minute of practice on the abdominal Circle Pro an equipment each day because that 14 days will result in a 10 pound loss of range weight (of unknown composition).

Now, wait simply a second!

I think this legitimate loophole may actually be a hangman’s noose.

Taking the company to job on this claim, doesn’t “it’s fun and easy” describe using the machine?

Are you now telling me that 3 “fun and also easy” minute a work on the abdominal muscle Circle Pro an equipment can strip off 10 pounds of fat in 2 weeks?

After all, how can you do the entire SYSTEM in three minutes a day?

Obviously it would take much longer than 3 minutes to prepare and eat meals, watch your DVDs, and do three minutes of practice on the machine!

I acknowledge that the company is NOT promising 10 pounds that fat lose using only the machine, yet I think that is important to know what contribution three minutes ~ above the an equipment makes to the daily energy balance equation live independence of diet changes.

If you to be interested in burning the equivalent power in 10 pounds that stored body fat (35,000 calories) how numerous weeks would certainly it take doing three minutes of practice per day?

In all fairness to the abdominal Circle Pro, because this an equipment is not yet listed on the Compendium of Physical tasks list, let’s cede the advantage of the doubt by casting a broad net and also choosing an exercise modality carry out at an extremely high intensity.

For illustration purposes, I have actually chosen running at 10.9 mph (or 17.6 kph) i beg your pardon constitutes a 5.5 minute every mile speed (very fast) and is the highest possible intensity practice on the list at 18 METs.

This would certainly subsume any kind of other exercise of reduced relative soot which, in my expert opinion, would include the abdominal Circle agree machine.

Just how many weeks would certainly it take it to shed 10 pounds (4.5 kg) the fat act 3 minutes of practice per day?

About 79.4 weeks!

Consider the following instance for a 154 lb (70 kg) person:

18 METs = 18 calories every kilogram of body weight per hour, so:18 calorie x 70 kg (154 lb) person = 1,260 calories expended every hour1,260 calories ÷ 60 minutes in one hour = 21 calories expended per minute21 calories every minute x 3 minute = 63 calorie per three minute practice session per day35,000 calories ÷ 63 practice calories every day = 555.6 job or 79.4 weeks

Moral that the story: Doing 3 minutes of exercise per day, it would certainly take friend a little over one year and seven month to lose 10 pounds that fat (with no nutrition modification).

Clearly the family member contribution of 3 minutes of also extremely high intensity exercise is quite little and would be significantly smaller for a beginning of the person who have the right to only tolerate very low come moderate intensity exercise.

It is obvious that the remaining 2,437 day-to-day calories (2500 – 63) would have to be compensated for by diet.

As a health care professional, I think a correct calorie palliation of this magnitude would certainly be unsafe for many people.

Bottom lineI am came to that the infomercial mentions the maker 28 time (once every 21 seconds) compared to only six times because that the collective abdominal Circle Pro mechanism (once every 1:40 seconds).

This is an important point due to the fact that I believe it offers consumers the impression that 3 minutes a day on the exercise maker will provide these good results.

Moreover, it doesn’t mention the extr time it would require to implement the rest of the ab Circle Pro device in their lives.

It is feasible the supplementary resource materials introduce doing an ext than three minutes a day, however this is not mentioned anywhere in the 10 minute infomercial I regarded – i.e., you should buy the product first before they spill the beans that it’ll take more than three minutes a day.

Claim 4: “…ordinary equipment just goes earlier and forth however doesn’t burn fat!”


This insurance claim is unsubstantiated and highly misleading.

Any exercise, even classic crunches, will burn calories and contribute to the all at once caloric deficit compelled for reducing body fat.

In exercise physiology laboratories, we use the “Respiratory Exchange Ratio” or RER to recognize the loved one contribution that fat versus carbohydrate charred during exercise.

Very simply, one RER that 0.7 indicates fat oxidation, 1.0 shows carbohydrate use, and also 0.85 is around a 50/50 mix of both fuels.

As a basic rule, lower intensity tasks measure closer to 0.7 (fat burning) and also move increase the range towards 1.0 (carbohydrate burning) with raising exercise soot (i.e., huffing and puffing).

Now, salary attention due to the fact that this is whereby it it s okay confusing for countless people.

You may have actually been command to think that the fuel used throughout exercise is all the matters in the fat loss equation, but this is not necessarily the case.

For example, while it is true that very high strongness sprinting will certainly burn primarily carbohydrate (sugar) as a fuel source DURING exercise, the is false to suggest it will have no impact on stored body fat – seen any obese sprinters lately?

If in ~ the finish of the day over there is a calorie deficit (i.e., you shed off an ext calories than you ate), then her body will certainly pull fat the end of warehouse to justify this caloric deficit regardless of whether of i m sorry fuel to be used during exercise.

Bottom lineWith regards to this certain claim, the agency should be organized accountable to federal regulatory organ to administer supportive, separately corroborated proof that:

a traditional crunch “does not burn fat;” andthe ab Circle Pro maker is exceptional to similar exercises.

Note: in 2012, the machines of the ab Circle agree were fined 25 million dollars by the Federal trade Commission which eventually led come them gift shut down.

Claim 5: “These equipments burn fat however won’t flatten her abs!”


This case is also very misleading and is couched in the myth of “spot-reduction”—the id that you deserve to selectively piece off specific parts the the body.

The treadmill and stationary bicycle (shown in the infomercial) perform not particularly target the abdominal muscle musculature every se, but they carry out burn calories and, if carry out regularly, will add to the in its entirety energy deficit necessary for reducing body fat – including abdominal fat.

For example, also if you performed no abdominal exercises whatsoever, you can still lose inches about your waist noted you’re burning enough calories each day.

On the various other hand, you might do 1000 sit ups a work yet never see your abdominal muscle muscles until you (eventually) lose the subcutaneous fat between the skin and also muscle.

Bottom lineOverall, this insurance claim misleads consumers into thinking other creates of exercise have no useful value whatsoever, and also that the abdominal Circle agree is superior in some way.

“Ripped abs” are merely the illustration of chop skin over muscle and are a combined function of diet, exercise, and also overall calorie deficit (and genetic and hormonal factors) than “miracle breakthrough” exercises.

Claim 6: “In fact, 3 minute on the abdominal Circle pro is equal to end 100 sit-ups!”


This insurance claim is misleading because it is declared as if it were an irrefutable fact written in stone.

However, over there is no cite of just how this to be determined.

What are the devices of measure up for comparison?

Did lock look at the variety of calories burned?

Did they usage electromyography (EMG) to compare levels that muscle activation and also motor unit recruitment patterns?

This is one “apples come oranges” comparison.

The traditional crunch featured at the 1:19 time rubber stamp is perform in the sagittal airplane (forward flexion) whereas the abdominal muscle Circle agree is a side to side motion which occurs in the frontal airplane (lateral spinal flexion).

They’re fully different activity patterns.

How do they correlate the 2 to make a trusted comparison?

Bottom lineThis case raises an ext questions than answers.

The manufacturer have to be organized accountable to marketing regulation agencies worldwide to produce objective independent proof to support this claim.

Further come my discussion above, even if three minutes top top the device was same to end 100 sit ups, a level belly is still a duty of all at once daily power balance.

Claim 7: “…get your cardio and abs workout all at once. It’s choose a treadmill for her abs. And best of all, it just takes 3 minutes a day!”


I do not doubt the ab Circle agree can carry out some sembeant of a an unified cardio and abs workout.

But simply as 3 minutes of practice alone is i can not qualify to an outcome in any type of appreciable calorie deficit (see above discussion), neither am I convinced this term is enough to induce any far-reaching cardiovascular maintain effect.

In fact, this insurance claim confounds responsible health and wellness messages from reputable wellness promotion organisations.

The updated share American university of sports Medicine and also American love Association guidelines for physical activity and wellness recommend at least 30 minute of collected moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days every week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 times every week.

Bottom lineFor plenty of exercisers, the very first three to five minutes room spent warming up, permit alone together a complete workout.

Again, that is possible the company’s source materials could advise users to job-related towards much longer exercise durations, yet such recommendations are conspicuously missing from the infomercial.

Claim 8: “…the mystery is the ab Circle Pro’s unique circular motion that supplies gravity to assist you swing her torso. Instead of having actually gravity working against you, currently it’s working v you.”


This statement relies on faulty logic.

Gravity “working versus you” have the right to actually it is in a great thing. In exercise physiology language, the “overload principle” holds that in order come effect adjust in the body, there should be a stimulus inserted on it in ~ levels above and beyond that which that is generally accustomed.

For example, a load lifter need to lift progressively heavier weights to increase strength. A marathon runner should run increasingly longer to boost endurance.

So in the situation of a traditional squat, you deserve to work against gravity top top the lifting (concentric) step or through it ~ above the lowering (eccentric) phase as soon as your muscles are lengthening under tension and must withstand gravity in a controlled manner.

In short, heaviness is not the evil villain self-proclaimed “fitness celebrity” Jennifer Nicole Lee says it is. It can, in fact, it is in an reliable tool for boosting fitness.

In the instance of the abdominal muscle Circle Pro, the pendulum-like motion permits the exerciser to build up momentum on the downward phase and then usage it to swing up the opposite side.

This would show up to alleviate the level of overload since the inert compensates because that the muscles and also reduces demands inserted on them.

According to Anthony Carey, M.A., biomechanist and also CEO/founder that Function very first in mountain Diego, California (, “the only positive advantage to the abs (in lateral flexion only) is the “braking” impact that appears to be crucial at the finish of the variety of motion to reverse directions.”

Although advertisers perform not insurance claim this to be a “functional” movement, the exercise physiologist in me inquiries whether the training result on this device has much, if any, bring over come the real human being or particular sports activities.

The “specificity principle” stop that specific demands elicit certain adaptations in the body.

On the machine, practice is restricted to the exact same guided circular motion.

This raises the question, “what execute you perform in your regular daily life that mimics the abdominal muscle Circle agree action?”

“Ironically, the ease of use of the machine is additionally its greatest limitation”

Biomechanist Anthony Carey, MA

“Because the movement is so stable and also predictable, neuromuscular effectiveness will boost rapidly with linked diminishing return by the user. Ironically, the ease of use of the maker is additionally its biggest limitation,” Carey adds.

Bottom lineOverall, this is a very misleading claim and also displays what I think to it is in ignorance on the part of the agency and Jennifer Nicole Lee towards an easy principles of biomechanics.

In every fairness, the machine may add to in its entirety daily energy expenditure (albeit small) but since of the repetitive/guided motion pattern, don’t suppose the machine to train friend for the upcoming 10K funny run.

Claim 9: (Chiropractor endorsement)“I would definitely recommend the abdominal Circle Pro because it takes all the pressure off your neck and also your low ago and permits your body just to job-related your abdominal muscle muscles and also your main point muscles. That’s why you get results therefore fast.”


This testimonial is ambiguous and must be carefully interpreted.

What go the chiropractor specifically average by “takes all the press off your neck and also low back?”

Any muscle contraction, it is in it isometric or dynamic, introduces tension into the muscle.

By the an extremely nature that the abdominal Circle Pro motion patterns, the unit activates the muscles of the neck and also low back.

First, the arm, shoulder, upper back, and also neck muscles have to fire to help in stabilizing the upper torso when the lower facet of the top body swings next to side.

The heat imaging clip (above) clearly shows the upper trapezius muscles room red which, according to the company’s advertising, indicates the muscles room working.

Second, v regards to the reduced back, the side to side motion pattern of the ab Circle Pro causes lateral flexion the the spine (side bending).

Look in ~ any basic kinesiology 101 textbook and also you will watch that both the quadratus lumborum and the cumulative erector spinae muscle group, both the which have anatomical origins on the lumbar vertebrae, are affiliated in lateral spinal flexion.

Simply, the abdominal muscle Circle pro “pendulum” practice cannot be performed there is no activation of the muscles of the reduced back.

In a recent interaction with Anthony Carey, the expressed the following observations:

“After very closely reviewing the assorted users in the video, you have the right to see the their ability to control their lumbar expansion is questionable as gravity pulls down on the inner viscera creating lumbar extension. For some users, boosted lumbar extension and also hyper expansion will close under the lumbar facets; the joints where later flexion will certainly occur.”

“Another issue for this type of activity is for anyone the has even minor scoliosis of any kind of origin (i.e., functional as result of a useful leg size discrepancy, idiopathic or congenital). Lateral flexion that the scoliotic spine is constantly coupled through rotation. This can be a serious worry forcing movement at spinal segments over and listed below the curve.”

Claim 10: “Just by removed the abdominal muscle Circle Pro’s center locking pin, friend now have a freestyle workout the actually turns the ab Circle Pro into a bun and also thigh machine. By performing the inner and outer motion, you can tighten, firm, and tone your buns, hips, and also thighs.”


This case is not overtly false, but must be very closely evaluated because that what the advertisement says and also what customer expectations might be.

Looking in ~ the biomechanics the the movement pattern in ~ the 6:36 time stamp (right), the lift appears to be accomplished by the combined action of the i know well flexor (iliopsoas and rectus femoris) muscle (the crease where your hip meets her front thigh) and abductor (gluteus medius and also minimus) muscle on the top side element of the hips.

As the hips bilaterally flex and abduct, there additionally appears come be interior hip rotation throughout the concentric part (upward phase) i m sorry would additional emphasize the anterior fibres the the gluteus medius and also the tensor fascia latae.

On the various other hand, the gluteus maximus, the thick meaty part of the hips that consumers invest millions trying to shrink, is virtually excluded – or really minimally affiliated – native the main movement pattern.

Any young hip extension that does occur goes unresisted and also only wake up passively together the hip flexors and abductors occupational eccentrically to reduced your body weight against gravity earlier to the beginning position.

In order come activate the gluteus maximus, you would actually must do the opposite movement (hip extension) of what is watched in the infomercial.

Bottom lineHow ironic this “bun and thigh machine” doesn’t really job-related the buns or thighs!

After careful review that the video, the machine’s activity pattern appears to target the upper front thighs around the inguinal crease and the upper/outer hips, yet not the glamour muscle (gluteus maximus).

Activities together as good old-fashioned walking and also biking do a great job functioning all the muscle of the reduced body through activity patterns the method nature intended—and ideal of all, they’re free!

Claim 11: “It will certainly actually reduced your exercise time in half. And also you’ll get yourself in the target heart price zone much faster than any kind of other aerobic devices in the gym. No other abdominal machines in the human being can give you a cardio workout like this”


Cut my workout time in half?

So instead of my normal six-minute workout, currently I only have to work out for three minutes?

Hmm, i don’t think I’ve seen any kind of compelling proof that even six minutes a day is sufficient to impact any far-reaching improvements in fitness.

Regarding target heart rate, the graph provided to assistance this insurance claim (right) is completely worthless in this context.

The image only screens target heart rates however does not provide any indicators of exercise intensity or time. Therefore, any type of meaningful comparison cannot be made.

The time come reach your target heart price zone is not dependent upon which maker you use, yet instead ~ above the subjective initiative (intensity) the the separation, personal, instance exerciser per unit the time.

For example, regardless of whether of device choice (Ab one Pro, treadmill, bike, etc), if you’re exercising at a slow-moving pace then your heart price will no climb really much.

On the various other hand, if friend crank up the intensity and also start pushing hard in a short duration of time, then her heart price will increase rapidly and also you’ll reach her target heart rate zone faster.

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The assertion the “no other ab maker in the world can offer you a cardio workout prefer this” is simply the opinion of the ab Circle pro company.

By the way, I’m the world’s greatest exercise physiologist – Prove me wrong!

Bottom lineThis insurance claim graphically illustrates the company’s ignorance to basic exercise physiology concepts and also perpetuates the misguided notion that you need to be in her so-called “fat-burning zone” in bespeak to shed weight.

Claim 12: “You’ll obtain the outcomes that you desire in just 2 weeks. In fact, this independent examine proves it. Just listen come this. Sit ups just work your lower and also upper abs. However look, this thermal imaging proves the the ab Circle pro targets your whole core a finish 360 degrees. And also look in ~ this, it fires up quicker than functioning on a treadmill so you burn fat faster. The abdominal Circle agree is choose a treadmill for your abs!”