totally scientific research confirms those thigh machines are a scam

So, I’m taking a couple of days off running while I wait for a new pair of running shoes to arrive. I waited way too long and I can’t run even five more steps in my current shoes so I’m kind of screwed. I know everybody else is all fancy and has 18 different pairs of running shoes, but I’m, I don’t know. Cheap? Stupid? I run in one pair of shoes.

My god, she only has ONE pair of running shoes?

My god, she only has ONE pair of running shoes?

I’m not a big deal runner anyway and I think I can get by on my 35 miles a week in one pair of shoes. If I decide to run another marathon (doubtful), I’ll probably have to rethink this strategy.

So until Thursdayish, I’ll be doing a little halfhearted weightlifting and some pool swimming, at which I suck. Other swimmers have tried to give me pointers, probably because they see some kind of raw talent in me they think they can mold. But I’m perfectly fine being a terrible swimmer, so I just thank them politely and go back back to gasping, thrashing, kicking, flailing and sputtering.

dog paddle

I’m slightly more capable of not making a fool of myself in the weight room than I am in the pool. I’ve grown accustomed to my routine of weight machines and free weights, and I also incorporate some of the squats and lunges I’ve ripped off from Jillian Michaels. I use the adductor/abductor machines simply because I’ve been using them since the beginning of time, but today it occurred to me that they are such a scam. And once I started thinking about it, it seemed obvious.

Now, I’ve never been one to source or research things I write for this blog, I think my intuition and my animated gifs are credibility enough.

fuck yeah dementia

But today, just to confirm my suspicions, I put my question to the twitterverse, which everyone knows is the best way to get reliable information from qualified experts. And 75% of respondents agreed with me.

anecdotal evidence is still evidence!

I always knew I felt ridiculous, sitting there with my legs spread, trying to look like it wasn’t a big deal. And now I feel so, so validated.

If you’re not convinced yet:

A. I have never seen a guy use these machines. Ever.
B. Which leads me to believe these machines were created solely to take advantage of women’s insecurity about our flabby asses and thighs and they are utterly worthless.

The first rule of science: correlation equals causation. 

So I think, without presenting any real evidence at all, I have shown some pretty conclusive evidence that these machines are criminally horseshit.

Thoughts? What other machines at the gym do you think are useless? How many pairs of running shoes do you have? 

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30 thoughts on “totally scientific research confirms those thigh machines are a scam

  1. OK, my theory is that you can’t do much with the add/ab machines because they attempt to isolate those muscle groups – you can’t use enough weight to make a difference. Stuff like weighted lunges, side lunges, deadlifts, squats, will do more because all your leg muscles are working together and can get more shit done, if that makes sense.

    Also when I did the add/ab machines I always felt like I was bearing weight/stabilizing with things I shouldn’t be bearing weight/stabilizing with like ankles and knee tendons. And also it was like, “HELLO here is my vag.” Awkward.

    TLDR, do some squats.

    • That makes sense to me. Judging by the way I want to collapse and cry after doing weighted lunges indicates to me that they’re more effective than the machines. And nobody has to see me flapping my vag, so everybody wins.

  2. I feel special because I was in on your scientific research. 🙂

    I have about 12 pairs of running shoes in the back of my car I need to donate. I’m currently running in only 3 I tihnk. I have a new pair coming this weekend. BUT I work at a running store so I haven’t bought shoes in, like, 5 years.

      • What size shoe do you wear? I sometimes get offered Saucony but turn them down. If it’s an 8 (my size) I’ll grab ’em next time they’re offered.

  3. Yeah, I only have one pair of running shoes at a time, too. I’m not that fancy, why would I need multiple pairs? I’m glad you posted that, since I run fewer miles per week than you. So if you only use one pair, then I’m ok.

    • I think (in my completely unqualified opinion that I’d be ok if I didn’t run them into the ground. After my last run, every inch of my legs were sore and I shouldn’t have pushed it to that point. So yeah, don’t use me as a gauge unless it’s for what NOT to do. Or if you’re wondering if you might be an alcoholic. =)

  4. I’m rotating 6 pairs of shoes. Pretty sure it’s more than I need to be rotating. I’m trying to “use up” a few pairs before I rotate in a new pair, and eventually stick to rotating 2-3 pairs at a time.

    • Yeah, I think that’s reasonable. I need some new trail shoes too but I’m holding off because I don’t trail run as often so I think of that as more of a luxury than a necessity. (Although I might go more often if I had some trail shoes…) Sidenote, I love that you can track your gear on Daily Mile. That’s been a big help, even though it didn’t prompt me to buy new shoes 3-4 weeks ago when I should have.

      • I’m doing a trail half in Michigan in August, so I’ll probably buy my first pair of trail shoes in May or June. Oh great … another pair of shoes!

      • Yay, I’m excited for you! I’ve only done two trail races but I really enjoyed them. They must keep them on the DL because I never hear about them until it’s too late.

      • Yes! What is up with that? I’m always hearing about trail races AFTER they happen. Maybe I should pitch myself to them as a marketing consultant … but that’s probably intentional as they always have low caps on the number of runners they can have at those races.

  5. Stationary recumbant bikes. Have you ever seen anyone doing any kind of real workout on those? Mostly lazy chicks reading a book on their phone or some shit.
    I have 2 pair I rotate for most runs, with one pair slightly older than the other. And reserving the newer pair for long runs and races. And 1 pair of light weight shoes for short runs and races (5k and under).

    Also, I want to pick your brain sometime for beer in Indy/Muncie area. I’m doing the Muncie Half Ironman in July. And I will need to drown my DOMS sorrows after the race before heading home to Nashville. Any cool breweries I can get beer to bring home that we can’t get down here?

    • Oooh, half ironman? You badass. I wish I could be cool and give you some insider info on Muncie, but I’ve never been there! However, I did look up ‘craft beer muncie’ on Yelp and the top two places were Heorot and Savage’s Ale House. Many people used the expression “hands down” in their reviews, so they must be reliable. My current favorite places in Indy are Fountain Square Brewing, Flat12 and Sun King. Sun King has $5 growler fills on Fridays! Also check out hoosierbeergeek.com.

      • Awesome! Thank you so much!! We finally just got Flat12 distribution here a couple months ago, yay. But other than them, I didn’t know any other Indy area breweries.

        And I’m no badass!

      • I’m probably out of the loop since having the kid, but HBG will have some other fun options. Good luck on your HIM!

  6. Yeah those machines are junk. So are any other machines that target tiny muscles like the triceps. I just do about 7 total lifts ever, and it covers all the muscles I care to think about. But before I read some books, I used to use those ad/ab machines like it was my job. I also did hundreds of crunches a day when I was a teen. If only that’s all it took to have a 6 pack. You also need the shake weight. Duh.

    I have one pair of shoes. I have extras because I am a hoarder/stickler for a good deal, but I only run in one at a time. Hobby jogger 4 lyfe.

    • I’m a running shoe hoarder too. I’m probably doing irreparable damage to myself by pushing them too far every time, but I hate spending money on what’s essentially my dumb hobby. I tried to donate a pair once and they told me they were too trashed. (“The poor don’t want your muffin stumps!”)

      • I know what you mean about not wanting to spend money on yourself. But girl you gotto switch between shoes even within the week. Its best that way. Science says. So get two pairs now, not one.

      • i was afraid someone would tell me that, I know you’re right. I actually ended up getting two pairs because they were on total crazy liquidation at runningwarehouse.com and then they had a facebook coupon code for another 15% off. So they were $55 each. BOOYAH.

  7. I have zero pairs of running shoes. The only bigger scam than those machines is running! LOL.

    I recently started doing P90X and I’m fucking sore as hell lately, but that usually means it’s good for you.

  8. I actually don’t completely hate those machines. I mean, I do, because the one where I have to squeeze my legs together makes my inner thigh fat jiggle like crazy as I struggle, and it’s really awkward/reminds me how fat I am/reminds me how much I hate my thighs….But if I actually set the weight high enough and do enough sets, yeah, I feel something. The outer ones are good for me too but that’s only because I have extremely weak and shitty hips.

    Luckily, these offensive machines at my gym are facing the mirror rather than the rest of the population, so it’s really only me who has to witness such a horrid sight.

    You make me want to hop on that shit right now. The machines, too.

    • Yeah, the weight’s probably a big part of it. I swear whenever I used them, it was almost always at 30 lbs. I might as well just sit there flapping my knees back and forth for all the good it does. And I’ll leave you with that mental picture. ❤

  9. HAHAHA “I always knew I felt ridiculous, sitting there with my legs spread, trying to look like it wasn’t a big deal. And now I feel so, so validated.” Thank you so much. This is so true. F*** those machines. I’m much more interested in squatting, and now I feel 100% secure in ditching those leg-spreaders forever.

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