Pros: Inexpensive, durable, easy to learn and use, use it anywhere, effective
Cons: Isn't a high tech gadget and won't perform miracles
Sometimes simple things really are the best. In this day and age where new exercise equipment is being churned out every day (and I am buying most of it) and when everything is high tech and computerized, its comforting to know that an old friend of mine albeit with a few improvements and add ons is still just as good as it ever was.
Remember the Thigh Master? All the girls had one. I used to use mine all the time until I heard it could hurt womens ovaries and possibly caused infertility. That proved to be completely bogus but I moved on to more high tech pieces of equipment.
A few months ago, I was digging around my basement and found my old Thigh Master. It was well worn and looked like it had a bite or two taken out of it by my resident rubber eating dog but workable. I tried it. I liked it. I really liked it!
Ironically, Home Shopping Network had a daily special soon after that for the Suzanne Somers Toning System which is, essentially, the Thigh Master Gold, the new Thigh Master LBX, and a 10 minute workout video. Of course, I ordered it. It brought back memories of spandex tights, leg warmers, and LA Gear sneakers!
What is the Toning System?
This is the official word from www.hsn.com where I got my system:
Why travel to the gym, when you can have a home fitness experience with this Suzanne Somers Toning System? This set of equipment is designed to help you start living a happier, healthier lifestyle and includes Thighmaster Gold, Thighmaster LBX resistant coils and a workout video. The portable design of this set allows you to pack your toning system with you on vacations for anytime, anywhere workouts. Features of this system include:
* Red foam-handled Thighmaster Gold - uses a squeeze/release motion
* Blue foam-handled Thighmaster LBX - uses a contract (push apart) motion
* Workout video demonstrates 12 upper/lower body exercises using both coils
* 90-day manufacturer's warranty
My Experience with the Thigh Master Gold
I had no idea what the Thigh Master LBX was when I ordered the system. I just wanted a new Thigh Master that wasnt so beat up. Now that I got the system, I am very glad I have both pieces.
Essentially, the Thigh Master Gold is a thickly foam covered spring unit that has a rubber covered hinge in the middle. You squeeze your thighs together, using the resistance, then release. Over and over. You can also use the Thigh Master Gold for working your arms, butt, abs, and chest.
I noticed right away that my new Thigh Master was much harder to squeeze than the old one I had. This takes some strength and, after several squeezes, I did feel a burn in my inner thighs. I used the unit holding onto it above my head and squeezing it closed and slowly releasing it for a great chest stretch that I did feel. I also used it against my side, pushing one handle down to firm my arms.
It isnt a miracle. And no, you wont suddenly be fit and firm after using this little unit, but for those of you who have flabby thighs (or who want to ward them off), arms, or want a good chest stretch that isnt too taxing, the Thigh Master Gold really does work.
I found that the next day after using the new Thigh Master Gold, my thighs ached and even my arms -- that I work out all the time -- knew I had been messing with them.
The Thigh Master Gold is so simple to use that anyone can do it. Place it between your thighs while seated and squeeze. Then do that again. And again. And keep going until you tire yourself out. There are a total of 12 exercises that can be done with this unit but the one that shows results most is the one for the inner thighs.
The most fun about this is that I can do it while watching TV or even typing this review. (Ill never tell if I am using it or not right now!). And it really does help to firm up the body, especially those hard to firm inner thighs.
I have incorporated the Thigh Master Gold back into my workouts now. Its like 20 years ago all over again except I am not wearing leg warmers and I have a kid practically 20 years old now. But the simplicity and the functionality are still there.
My Experience with the Thigh Master LBX
I had no clue what this LBX thing was. It is blue (as opposed to Thigh Master Gold red) and looks like an inverted Thigh Master. Rather than being opened and needing to be squeezed shut, it is tightly closed and needs to be forced open. The beauty of this foam covered, spring-loaded gadget it that you can now work the outer thighs and butt much more effectively than with the Thigh Master Gold. This little extra unit is not easy to open and, used with the Thigh Master Gold, you really can work those saddlebags, your butt, and even your chest. The principle is the same as the Thigh Master Gold, only backwards. Using resistance, you push the unit open with your thighs (or hands if using it for your chest) and then close slowly. There are a variety of exercises you can do with the LBX to target all the areas of the thighs and glutes. Is it great? No. Is it a good add on to the Thigh Master Gold? Absolutely. I use it in conjunction with the Thigh Master Gold and feel the burn. Its not going to give you a perfect butt or completely banish saddlebags but it will tone you up and is fairly pain free and fun to use.
The Enclosed Video Tape
Suzanne Somers has certainly changed from way back when she was when she was Chrissy Snow on Threes Company. In fact, I barely recognized her when she introduced the video. Her lips have swollen well beyond Angelina Jolie and Meg Ryan proportions and she has obviously aged. The cute, innocent act no longer works on a woman her age and, thankfully, she dropped that. The only time we see Suzanne is when she welcomes us to the workout. There is a model demonstrating the exercises and a voice over explaining them. I was kind of hoping to see Suzanne doing them since, after all, this is her system and I wanted to see if her thighs held up over the years. We never see past her neck so either she is hiding something or she didnt feel the need to prove herself.
Anyway, the video is not intended to be followed. That is, it isnt a step-by-step workout. What it is, is a demonstration of the 12 exercises you can do with the Thigh Master Gold and the LBX. It shows proper form and the right way to do the exercises and then tells you to build up to as many as you can. After one viewing, you will know how to do all the exercises and can then listen to some tunes or watch TV and go through all 12 exercises at your own pace.
The video is fine for what it is but I would have preferred a 30-minute real workout video to follow along with. Still, there is enough on the video to give you the needed information to get to work. There is also a little pamphlet enclosed that shows all 12 exercises in case you forget one or want to reference back.
The Suzanne Somers Toning System sells all over the net at places that sell sporting goods and As Seen on TV items. I got mine at HSN.com for $30.00 and that seems to be the going rate right now.
I am not sure if the system is sold in stores but I bet you can pick it up at some sporting good stores or places like TJ Maxx and AJ Wright who seem to have a lot of this type of equipment for sale. Someone told me she saw the system at Wal-Mart but all I saw was the Thigh Master Gold being sold alone. If you are going to get this, get the system. The LBX is a good add on and the cost differential is minimal.
My Thoughts on the System
The Toning System wont change your life, wont take you from flabby to ultra toned, and wont be all you need to get into shape. But the two well made units can help you to firm your thighs, glutes, chest, and, to a lesser degree, arms, with relative ease.
Using both the Thigh Master Gold and the LBX is easy and you can use them seated which is a plus for anyone who hates exercise. No mats, no workout clothes, no leg warmers needed.
Because of its simplicity, I think using the system is fun and can be done any time as opposed to setting aside time to do a video or an extensive workout. This encourages people to actually DO the exercises. I know I often complain about a lack of space or time or motivation. Well, you dont really need any of those things (motivation is a plus though) to use this system. Reach out, pick up the Thigh Master Gold and go to work. Do it while youre on the phone or watching a movie or, hell, even eating pizza. But do it!
Some Precautions and Other Info
You should not feel out of breath or too stressed when using this system. It is not a cardio workout (but could elevate your heart some if you really push for a few hundred reps). Obviously anyone who has never exercised should get the OK from a doctor before starting any program and, if you have specific health issues or injuries, it is always better to check first before delving into a program.
I have knees issues and, even though both units rest against either my inner or outer knees, I have no pain at all during or after using these.
The thick padding is comfortable and even people with the boniest of knees (like me!) will be protected from feeling the metal that is under the foam.
How About Wrapping This Review Up?
I'm getting there! For thirty bucks, these two units are extremely well made and will last forever! My old Thigh Master still is fine. I just wanted a new one, plus those chunks missing made it not as appealing
After all these years, I am still recommending the Thigh Master. Wow.
Now its the Thigh Master Gold and the Thigh Master LBX but the semantics and design have not changed since its inception. Not many products out there can claim the same. This was winner way back when and it still is now.
Its not an all-inclusive system but its a great add on to any workout program or a great start for someone who doesnt workout. Its inexpensive, takes no room, and has no learning curve.
I give this system 5 stars. Not because its fantastic and will whip an out of shape, untoned person into shape in 30 days, but because it stood the test of time and its a good, solid system that works hard to reach areas and is easy enough for anyone to use yet effective enough that even regular exercisers can benefit from it. Didnt anyone see amazon wrestler Joanie Chyna Laurer using hers on the last episode of The Surreal Life? She was having a TAD too much fun with hers though. Your workouts will probably not elicit moans and groans of ecstasy. But you will enjoy the simplicity.
You can read all my workout and exercise reviews by going to my profile page and scrolling down. There I have a list of all my reviews, with links, for you to read if you choose to.