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Home » Cycling » The Tread Climber and 5 Hr. Energy Commercials, Decoded

The Tread Climber and 5 Hr. Energy Commercials, Decoded

April 2012
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A commercial parody:

5 Hour Energy: “Because it will give you the energy to get the job done”… Uh, yeah, the job was taking a phone call and pulling a pencil briskly out of a pencil holder! WOO! Where can I get some of that!  I need to stack boxes rapidly!

Actually, the stuff works. I call it 3 or 4 hour energy, but that’s splitting hairs. The only time I ever used it was last summer, when my wife and I split driving duties to get to Florida (with two young kids) in 24 hours.  My second shift started at around midnight – and it absolutely kept me up and alert.  Being an addict of epic proportions, however, I find it best not to allow something that will make me feel more alert – artificially – to become regular in my life.  Fair warning: Do you remember that part in Jackass, where the Dave England eats a dried piece of horse s#!t, then chases that with some beer? Yeah, 5 hour energy tastes just a shade better than I imagine the pooh would.  Think cough syrup, and then make it taste bad by concentrating it.

The Tread Climber… Let me set the table, Bow Flex has a fancy tread mill that combines a stair climber, and a tread mill… A once fat person says “I don’t ever have to run again”, then the camera cuts to a different angle and she says something to the effect of ‘when I heard low impact, I was hooked’. Thus Bow Flex skirts the fine line of implying that running is high impact and therefore bad while leaving a possible out, because the implication will sell tread climbers, but to people who believe the myth that high impact is bad. This is a brilliant editing trick that preys on gullible or ignorant people who don’t know any better.

In fact, here’s the extended commercial, fast forward to 0:56

In the extended version, they switch the order from the TV spot, “I don’t ever have to run again” is after “when I heard low impact on the commercial”…but just so you don’t miss it, the announcer guy says (beforehand) “without the stress that running can put on your joints”.  I have written detailed posts on this before – studies show that stress on your joints is necessary.  Our knee cartilage contains cells that sense the impact and repair/build more – without the impact, knees can actually deteriorate faster.  As proof, scientists tracked distance runners for decades and found they developed knee arthritis at a lesser rate (30%) than their control group that didn’t run.  In addition, the impact triggers the brain to increase bone mass density – without that trigger, bones can deteriorate – and even worse, if all of the cardio and strength training is low to no impact, they become brittle.  The low/no impact myth is only used to sell stuff you don’t need nowadays.  Now, if you’ve had an injury that changes how your legs perform the task of running, as in Carl’s case (in the commercial), then you do need the low impact – but that’s hardly what the commercial suggests.

Allow me to fill in the blanks in a non-politically correct manner: I don’t ever have to run again…when I heard low impact on the commercial, I was hooked because I’m really looking forward to my old age when my bones will be so brittle they’ll snap like dry twigs and I have arthritis in my knees because I concentrated only on low impact cardio in my younger years! That’ll be awesome!

Now that’s not quite as sexy, is it? It is the truth though.

The moral of the story is this:  Do that which needs be done to get off the couch.  If you don’t like an activity, move on to another until you find something you like to do and concentrate on the enjoyment and exhilaration that comes with setting your endorphins free – just throw in some jogging (even I struggle with wanting to run sometimes) to get some impact in there – it’s what you need.

When starting out, it may be wise to ask oneself, what’s more fun?   A treadmill; or a mountain bike, road bike, running shoes, running/cycling clothes, cycling in a pace line, joining a running club, doing triathlons, riding in the trails and riding with friends.

The middle of the road tread climber costs more than all of that stuff put together.

And that’s why they use the “low impact” boondoggle.


2 Comments

  1. […] everything is up for debate.  I have written about the benefits of running as it pertains to bone mass density, providing links to studies that demonstrate my point exactly, and even providing a personal story […]

  2. […] And this in April:  “I have written detailed posts on this before – studies show that stress on your joints is necessary.  Our knee cartilage contains cells that sense the impact and repair/build more – without the impact, knees can actually deteriorate faster.  As proof, scientists tracked distance runners for decades and found they developed knee arthritis at a lesser rate (30%) than their control group that didn’t run.  In addition, the impact triggers the brain to increase bone mass density – without that trigger, bones can deteriorate – and even worse, if all of the cardio and strength training is low to no impact, they become brittle.  The low/no impact myth is only used to sell stuff you don’t need nowadays.  Now, if you’ve had an injury that changes how your legs perform the task of running, as in Carl’s case (in the commercial), then you do need the low impact – but that’s hardly what the commercial suggests”. […]

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