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I saw an advert on late night TV for one of these Ab Belts, and even as I watched these buff, toned people prancing about, I knew it was all down to hard work and actual exercise rather than some belt that is meant to tone them. Saying that, I still thought I would give it a go because, well, you never know unless you try it yourself and find out do you?
It is an attractive purple belt that attaches to you using Velcro so it will fit most size people. It also comes with conductive gel, which you must use, if you don't it is very painful I can vouch for that. You have a choice of three settings, low, medium and high. The low is not worth bothering with, the medium is ok and bearable, high is a little intense 15 minutes (which is the recommended time to use it) is about all I could cope with though. I did use the high level as I thought, getting a six pack while I am washing up or watching tv, a little pain is the least I could do. I wouldn't really say it was painful per say, feeling your muscles tense and having no control I weird to say the least. It is meant to be like doing 100 sit up, although it may have been similar, I can do 100 sit ups and this was nothing like that at all.
I have used this and have had no results to report. My stomach is no more toned than I was before I started. Although the muscles may contract, it doesn't do anything else, no matter how long or how many times you use it. I used a similar machine (tens machine) when I had my son, that was also a waste of time and didn't help in that situation either. The only way to guarantee a six pack and toned muscles, is the actually do some proper exercise and stop expecting miracles.
I know there is many a way people will try to help them lose weight, get in shape and tone up their muscles and skin. I myself have tried many different ones over the years, and probably wasted a lot of money on these random products. One of the many items I have tried is the Ab Belt.
Most people will have at least seen something along these lines, and these Ab Belts work by basically using electrical pulses to contract your muscles in the same way they would if you were using the muscles yourself during the workout. The adverts say that just a few minutes a day using this Ab Belt is equivelent to doing hundreds of sit ups.
It appeals to the lazy people, as it shows these wonderful looking people on the adverts, with great bodies and amazing tans. It tells you that you can look just like these people with this belt, only a few minutes use a day, and it is simple, easy and painless. It looked like a great idea at the time, and I wanted to tone up my stomach the easy way. I went and bought one of these, from my local Saturday market and I couldn't wait to use it.
The AB Belt comes with a conductive gel, which you place on the belt in a thin layer before putting it on. You just put the around your waist, placing it on the exact spot of your tummy you wish to work. It fixes in place with velcro strapping, and it holds on quite well. The belt is quite big, so most people should be able to use it.
You use the belt by the electrical settings on the belt, which can be set with three different intensities. There is a low, medium and high setting on the belt, and I tried each one in the hope of finding the right one. The low one is more of a tickle than anything else, and I did not feel it was giving me any benefit of any kinds. Medium does make an effect on me, and it is like a hard tickle, but it is copeable. The high setting is quite harsh, and it almost feels like my tummy was being electrocuted!!
I kept the belt on medium setting when I was using it, and I used this twice a day for 15 minutes a time. The belt automatically turns off after 15 minutes, so you can not over use it and cause yourself damage. It says on the box that you should see results after 30 days of constant use, but 30 days of use came and went, and there was no change what so ever. I kept on using it for a bout another 2 or 3 weeks after that but I saw no change.
I gave up after this, and I have since come to realise that there is no substitue for hard work, good diet and high amounts of excersize. I know a few people who have had one of these Ab Belts, and they have had the same results that I have. It would seem they do not work for anyone, and I do not recommend them, unless you like feeling electrical pain in your abdominal area?
I give the Ab Belt a 1 out of 5 stars, as they do not work and I would not recommend spending your money on them, it would be a total waste. Sorry to say, but there is no easy way to get a great figure, it has to be worked for.
I always saw on TV about the AB Belts which work on small batteries Uses electrical impulses. One day i went to a shop and saw it there and i was interested wanted burn the unwanted fat. I purchased it and used it for two weeks but not worked at all and i got pain in my stomach on which part i used it. I found that it is not useful and dangerous, because it uses very high electrical impulses, as i think that it will damage our internatl system of the body because electrical impulses will not burn any fat but will cause in killing the live cell of the body and will damage our skin and inside because it uses very high electrical impulses. If you want to slim your body just go for walking and some stomach exercise, exercise is the best way with no side effects.
Id consider myself a fairly active person. I take part in martial arts and kickboxing classes, I also practise yoga at home, swim frequently and play basketball and ride horses on the weekend. The one thing I hate however, is working the old stomach muscles. I do crunches in a way that strains my neck and back, and no matter how my tae kwon do teacher tries to advise me how to do them properly, I just end up with a terribly sore neck when I do them. As bad backs run in our family, this makes me understandably paranoid about doing crunches or sit-ups. I also find repetitive muscle training; like pushups and pulling weights, deadly dull. Although yoga is pretty good for sculpting your tum, it doesnt seem to give your ab area that feeling of a vigorous workout. So I thought Id try the lazy approach.
Ab belts use electronic signals to cause your muscles to contract rhythmically, mimicking the way your nerve endings do naturally This is known as Faradic muscle stimulation, and this form of passive exercise has been used for 30 odd years buy medical and sports therapists. In ten minutes you can exercise your tum muscles around 600 times how many sit-ups would that be???
What they look like
The Rio ab belt is basically a big fabric strap you fix around your belly, with markings on the inside to show you where the pads go. The pads are black rubbery things, and there are three of them. A battery attaches to the Ab Belt, and a little green light comes up to show you the thing is working. There are two positions for the pads, one for working your inner stomach muscles, and one for your obliques.
How they work
While exercising, your nerve endings send your muscles little electrical signals to stimulate a contraction. Once a muscle has contracted and the nerve is no longer sending a signal, the muscle relaxes. Body toners mimic these signals repeatedly to reproduce the muscle contractions of physical exercise.
Using them and ease of use
There are three pads that come with the ab belt, which can be fixed in one of two positions, to work your inner or outer ab muscles. You connect these pads as you wish, and then slap a decent amount of conductive gel on to each pad (the gel makes the belt more comfortable to use and stops you getting big red sucker marks on your stomach), and the wrap the belt around your tummy, and attach the battery. You then press programme button once to turn the belt on, and again if you want to change the programme. The belt also has plus and minus buttons for turning up the power, thus causing stronger muscle contractions.
The Rio Ab Belt is pretty easy to use, however it doest come with any instructions, just a sheet telling you the correct way to hook up the pads. Unfortunately this means its impossible to tell which programme you are using, which is a bit of a pain in the behind, however I have worked out that the first programme is muscle toning, the second shape and trim, and the third shiatsu.
What it feels like
The conductive gel you have to splash on the pads is extremely cold and its rather uncomfortable when you first wrap the belt around yourself.
The first programme is muscle toning (Ive worked this out from a friend who has a different kind of passive exerciser). Basically it involves feeling your muscles expand and contract rhythmically. The belt starts on the lowest setting and you can up the ante as much as you feel comfortable with. This programme isnt the most comfortable in the world, but its bearable and a lot less agonising than 300 sit-ups in a row, and at low levels its actually quite comfortable, unfortunately if you want a flat tum quick you probably need to turn up the belt some!
The second programme is shape and trim. This one contracts your muscles slightly, and then harder and then eases off again, whilst giving you a slightly tickling sensation as well. This is easily the most comfortable programme to use and is actually quite pleasurable, almost like a massage. Even at high output levels this programme remains quite comfortable.
The last programme is Shiatsu massage, which I suggest you avoid at all costs! Im not sure exactly what this is supposed to do for your muscles, but it hurts like hell! It feels like someone flicking millions of tiny elastic bands on your stomach all at once. I suppose its meant to be good for you, but sticking your tongue in a wall socket is more comfortable!
Comfort factor- programme 1- 3/5, programme 2- 5/5, programme 3- 0/5
How often should you use them?
You are supposed to exercise anaerobically (i.e., exercise your muscles), every other day, so Im sure the same applies here. When I first got this belt I used it daily until my abs were as I wanted them, now I use the belt three or four times a week. Every other day is probably quite sufficient.
Are they expensive to run?
According to the website, if you use the belt every day for an hour, it costs less than 1p to run. The one thing I dont like is that the belt runs off batteries. Being a bit of a greenie, I would much prefer if there was an optional adaptor included although I suppose it might be quite inconvenient having your stomach hooked up to a plug for an hour a day! However, I use rechargeable batteries with this belt and they last a good few months before they need recharging, and I use mine for nearly 2 hours three to four times a week now.
2/5 for requiring batteries instead of running off the mains, however still fairly cheap to run!
The Rio ab belt costs £29.99
The Rio Sport ab belt also costs £29.99 and is supposed to provide a more demanding workout
The ab belt pro costs £49.99 and has six programmes instead of three.
You also need the conductive gel to go with the belt, however my advice is to buy it off Ebay, you can buy tonnes of it for low prices, the official Rio stuff is pretty expensive.
Now the important part: Does it work?
Yes. Most people get these sort of exercisers and abandon them after a day or two. You have to use these regularly and for increasing periods of time (so to challenge your muscles) for them to work. The results are not as fast as if you started a sudden fitness regime, but within a couple of weeks you will begin to see the results, your stomach will feel harder and a few weeks later it should be a belly Britney would be proud of- with half the effort and pain! My stomach wasnt the biggest in the world as it is, but it did need shaping up and this belt managed to pull that off in two weeks.
What the Rio people forget to mention however, is that this belt alone will not give you Britneys tummy. In order to lose the flab from your tum you need to get a good deal of aerobic exercise, as well as working your muscles. A brisk half hour walk every day, climbing the stairs and walking to the next bus stop are all easy ways to get your heart working. No matter how rock hard your muscles are, you need to get rid of the fat on top of them before you can wear those belly tops!
4/5- Sit-ups are faster but this is a lot more comfortable!
Who cant use it?
It goes without saying that pregnant women shouldnt use this belt. Women who have a IUD (coil) should avoid it also. Anyone with diabetes, epilepsy, a pace maker, skin disorders, multiple sclerosis or heart problems shouldnt use the belt either.
It might be the lazy cows way to exercising but at least you can feel more virtuous when you scoff that chocolate bar! I wouldnt recommend it as a total replacement for exercise of any kind, but if you want a flat stomach and cant be bothered with the 100s of sit ups a day needed to maintain it, the ab belt is a pretty good addition to an existing exercise regime.