SpinGym Review: Does SpinGym Work or Is It a Scam?

SpinGym Review

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SpinGym: You can’t polish a turd…but you can roll it in glitter

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than the Ab Circle Pro, along comes the SpinGym infomercial (and the Home Shopping Network and QVC UK) exercise gadget to prove me wrong!

The advertisement has all the tell-tale indicators of another typical hokey exercise gimmick which may lead you to think you’ll go from fat and frumpy to sleek fit freak (or dud to stud) in no time.

Because the advertising is so wrought with misinformation, I have decided to write a point-by-point review of the product’s marketing claims.

Before I go on, let me preface my comments by saying I really didn’t want to write a SpinGym review.

But after seeing the company’s website sales copy and YouTube videos, I felt it my sworn duty to both consumers and the integrity of my profession to take a stand against what I consider to be SpinGym’s misleading marketing campaign.

Impression of Spingym marketing materials

Upon review of all the promotional information on the website, in my professional opinion, I believe the SpinGym is just another typical exercise gimmick.

I predict the SpinGym will be yet another “here today, gone tomorrow” gadget which, in time, will ultimately find itself in a dusty grave in the closet or attic.

However, on a positive note, one redeeming quality might be cutting up the product for scraps.

The metal wheel can be used as a door stop, the little hand loops can double as earrings, and the nylon string could be used to tie your bumper back on after a low-speed accident.

Key points

Hyped marketing

The SpinGym marketing, similar to the Ab Wave, Wonder Core Smart, and Liproxenol, is over-hyped, promises quick weight loss results, and has little to nil scientific merit

Confusing babble

Product literature uses invented techno-jargon to confuse consumers

Inaccurate claims

Company claims it works certain muscles which, upon review of equipment demonstrations, does not appear to be the case at all

Beware the guru

Self-proclaimed SpinGym “creator” and frontwoman Forbes Riley (see Forbes’ comments at end of this post) is an actress and hired pitchwoman for a number of other infomercial products (however, I have seen no formal verification of her training in exercise physiology and biomechanics)


Emotive testimonials are used to stir consumer emotion, but testimonials are not proof of efficacy and do not constitute rigorous scientific testing

Wait, who is Forbes Riley anyway?

The SpinGym is fronted by perky self-proclaimed creator and presenter Forbes Riley. 

When I first saw the name Forbes Riley, I had to ask myself, “who the heck is Forbes Riley anyway?”

Her previous (now defunct) Wikipedia profile stated she was a TV actress who has made a few extra bucks backing infomercial products.

While I certainly can’t deny she’s a delightful and lovely pitchwoman, I found nothing attesting to her formal credentials as an exercise expert.

Now look, I’m sure Forbes Riley is a nice person and I don’t want to begrudge her for making a living, but I think she should take a stand and protect what’s left of her reputation by not lending her name to this kind of pseudo-scientific nonsense.

Claim 1

Techno-jargon: “Gyrotronic” Resistance Training?

The promotional materials appear to use made-up techno-jargon which has no basis in reality.

The announcer states: “This unique combination of precision engineered weight and high performance nylon wound together gives you proven gyrotronic resistance training like nothing else….our modern award-winning German design takes the physics of Gyrotronic Resistance Training to a whole new level. “

I take particular issue with the phrase gyrotronic resistance training

In my view, this is complete rubbish and only confers a deceptive scientific-sounding stamp of approval.

In over two decades in the exercise industry, I have never heard of any such thing. 

I did a Google search of these terms and nothing comes up. Why?  Maybe because it’s marketing jargon to make the product sound more impressive than it is? 

Good luck finding the terms “gyrotronic resistance training” in any exercise physiology text book.

Award winning German design?  “…takes the physics of Gyrotonic Resistance Training to a whole new level?”  Please enlighten me.  What award-winning design are we talking about?

SpinGym’s marketing materials claim this is a rehashed version of a children’s button on a string toy.

And what is the specific name of this award to which you refer? 

The onus is on SpinGym to be honest and forthcoming with its customers.

Claim 2

SpinGym for a chest workout?

The SpinGym infomercial host, Forbes Riley, says (and I quote), “ For your chest, it’s the best. You’ll feel the burn through your entire upper body.”

However, as she’s saying this, the infomercial shows a buff guy with pillowy pecs pulling on the strings and activating his back, shoulders, and neck – which makes me question if the SpinGym execs even understand what muscles their own product actually works.

Unfortunately, most consumers are not biomechanists or personal trainers and are left to take the infomercial’s word for it.

Claim 3

“With up to 20 lbs of resistance with each pull, you’ll feel the SpinGym® effect instantly and you only need 5 minutes a day to see a noticeable improvement.”

Five minutes a day? 

As much as we’d all like to believe you can get the body of your dreams in 5 minutes a day, don’t hold your breath.  In all my years of working with clients and patients, the only people who ever got long-lasting results were people who regularly put in serious time doing their exercise routines, were consistent about it, made healthy dietary choices, and overhauled their lifestyle habits independent of structured exercise.

Ah, but I note they sell DVD workout videos with it. 

So wait, if the SpinGym did what it was supposed to in 5 minutes per day, then why do you need to give customers these DVDs?  

I think this is because if customers get results from doing the add-on DVDs then they may potentially ascribe the benefits to 5 minutes on the SpinGym.   

Look at most infomercial gimmicks and gadgets and you’ll see the fine print which says something along the lines of “use in conjunction with a sensible diet and regular exercise.”

Claim 4

For athletes–SpinGym is a powerful warm-up for explosive sports like tennis, baseball and volleyball–and great to carry in your bag before a night of bowling or a round of golf.

I believe this claim is really making a stretch, like a drowning man grabbing for any passing driftwood that will keep him afloat.

The metabolic pathways and biomechanical movement patterns of these sports are markedly different than those provided by the SpinGym.

If you watch the SpinGym video you will see that the movements they demonstrate are anything but explosive in nature. 

This gives me the impression that the manufacturers really don’t know much about exercise physiology or basic biomechanics.

Given the company’s vast knowledge of so-called “Gyrotonic Resistance Training,” not to mention the accolades of an unnamed award for product design, I’d have expected they’d know better.

Claim 5

SpinGym® cardio and kickboxing classes are starting in gyms worldwide

I have not seen any spin gym cardio and/or kickboxing classes anywhere, and I’m confident I have a reasonably good pulse on what’s happening in the global fitness industry.  

Can any other exercise professionals out there enlighten me here? 

Note: Since I originally wrote this , not one fitness professional has mentioned to me their use of the SpinGym with either their personal training clients or group classes

Claim 6

“…we provide a 30 day money back guarantee AND a lifetime waranty*…. Don’t be fooled by SpinGym’s size, you will feel the results in less than 30 seconds!”

This string of words is wrong on a number of fronts. 

First, I believe the 30 day money-back guarantee, while I’m happy they offer it, is a classic cop-out for these types of products. 

Many people lead busy lives (hence the reason they purchased a product touting quick and easy “results”), but whether they get around to packing it up, carting it over to the post office, and standing in line for a half-hour to mail it back is an entirely different story. 

At $29, it could cost more in lost time, wages, and productivity than it’s worth going through the trouble of returning it.

Second, a lifetime warranty makes the assumption the company will be around for the lifetime of the product. 

While it’s remotely possible the company could be around in 30 years, looking at many infomercial products of yesteryear, most pack up shop when the product runs its expected lifecycle and sales dwindle (now on HSN clearance as of Jan 2013).

Third, “feel the results in less than 30 seconds?” 

This claim appears to pander to the typical “pleasure seeker, pain avoider” mentality.  

When people think of exercise, it conjures up images of the drill sergeant, caricature-like trainers on the Biggest Loser barking in the faces of contestants grimacing in pain as they futilely attempt a push-up or sit-up. 

The obvious implication in this claim is that exercise is tough, if not damn near impossible, so buy our product and you can get the body of your dreams in 30 seconds instead of 30 months.

SpinGym Testimonials

No exercise gadget infomercial is complete without enthusiastic or weepy-eyed testimonials attesting to how the product has transformed their lives from a frumpy toll-booth attendant to cat-walk supermodel.

Consumers need to understand that an infomercial is explicitly designed to do one thing, and one thing only:  sell product.

Testimonials allow companies to get away with murder because ultimately, no matter how over-the-top and sensationalised the testimonial is, the company can always go back to the “they said it, we didn’t.”

A main limitation of infomercial testimonials is that, from a science-based perspective, personal experience does not separate cause and effect from coincidence.

In other words, if the person was using the SpinGym at the same time they were walking six days per week and living on nothing but quinoa and alfalfa sprouts, there is no way to conclusively ascertain whether they lost 10 kilos (22 lbs) as a result of the SpinGym or regular real exercise and healthy eating habits.

In one testimonial, a lady says, “I just had surgery and I need to work out my right arm. ”  

To which I respond, even if you’ve had surgery, you still need to work out your entire body, as it is one big connected kinematic chain.  If you only work out your right arm, then you’ll end up looking like a human fiddler crab.

In short, when you see an infomercial, always disregard all testimonials and look closely at what they’re telling you.

How much does it cost to buy SpinGym?

The SpinGym sells for $29.99 USD or $49.99 USD to ship to international locations.  

It is also available in the UK on Amazon under the moniker JML Forbes Riley SpinGym Silver for £24.99, or on QVC UK for £28.86.

While still a relatively cheap price (which makes it an attractive offer), let’s not forget the SpinGym is comprised of a block of metal, two loops, and some string.

I can’t imagine that costs much to make one. 

So at a price of $30 per unit, that’s an absolute killing for the marketers provided they sell a few hundred thousand units.  

I’m guessing this might explain how they’re able to offer “free” shipping. 

Even more laughable is the additional $20 charge to ship to international locations, but then right next to it is the phrase “free shipping.”  You do the math.

Closing thoughts

It’s obvious I wasn’t very nice to this product.

However, I feel it is important to point out that the marketing is, in my view, misleading to consumers because the claims are not substantiated by any independent peer-reviewed research.

My views expressed herein are my own and are not influenced by any ulterior motives or industry payouts. 

My opinion is a qualified opinion based on university qualifications in exercise science, nutrition, and business, as well as my 25+ years experience in this industry.

In closing, I believe the SpinGym, much like the Ab Circle Pro or Liproxenol, is just another over-hyped gimmick which over promises but, without reducing calorie intake and increasing your overall daily activity, will unlikely deliver any substantial or lasting health benefits.

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103 thoughts on “SpinGym Review: Does SpinGym Work or Is It a Scam?”

  1. I would love for you to contact me personally — while I appreciate your comments that I am delightful etc (and thank you), I am also a qualified fitness expert with more than 30 years as a Broadway dancer, 26 years as a martial arts, licensed massage therapist, certified personal trainer and a 2010 inductee into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. SpinGym is not just another spokesperson job, but my creation. And while you might have some issue with the infomercial that was initially tested for the product, my big question is – have you ever tried SpinGym — all those videos on youtube are real —
    I just received this statement from a noted Scientist who states, “SpinGym is fascinating. As the central weight spins, it establishes an angular momentum. Any physicist will tell you it becomes the equivalent of working with much heavier weights”

    Do you think Bob Proctor, successful speaker and star of the movie The Secret would endorse something that he didn’t believe in

    so I challenge you to try this product.

    Forbes Riley
    CEO and Creator of SpinGym

    1. Dear Forbes,
      I am tickled pink that you took the time to visit my site and write me a lovely letter. As I said in my article, I can’t help but love you and your bubbly personality. I probably would have bought a SpinGym too had I not had formal advanced training in exercise physiology. That said, I’ll still be happy to take you out for a gluten-free fish taco and low-carb beer next time you’re in town, though:)

      I admit my review was not very flattering of the SpinGym, but I was extremely diligent in my transcription of your promotional video so as to ensure that I was accurate in my analysis. I raised a number of very crucial and critical points which you failed to address in your response and I think consumers deserve this information in order to make a fair and unbiased decision in their purchase.

      In response to your points above:
      1) You mention your accolades as a fitness expert. If this is so, then you should know that the SpinGym only works in limited planes of movement. In your advertising, you also state that it’s working the chest when in fact the model demonstrating the product is working the upper back, neck, and rear deltoids (shoulders). Moreover, the motor unit recruitment patterns in the sports you mentioned (in the advert) are markedly different from anything provided by the SpinGym.

      2) Re: your role as creator, I have revised this in my article. Nevertheless, I believe this product was already invented a long time ago as a children’s toy.

      3) Regarding the infomercial, this is the information that is out there. If you put it out there for the masses, then you can’t expect it to be immune from scientific scrutiny. The points I raised are valid and have been supported by numerous high-level colleagues in the global fitness industry. It is unfortunate that the “5 min of exercise” myth is still finding its way onto the airwaves and providing false hope to people who are desperate to lose weight. I should make you aware that I have worked in the clinical setting with numerous obese patients with MAJOR health problems over the years, and I can assure you, no responsible health professional would stake their reputation on any “3 or 5 minutes of exercise a day for health” platform. It is just egregiously irresponsible and provides false hope to those that need the most help.

      4) Re: a noted scientist. Please provide this scientist’s name, credentials, organizational affiliation, and any other supporting documentation. You see, every infomercial product on the market has their “experts” and “renowned scientists” towing the company line, but rule of thumb is to never believe your own marketing. In most cases, the “experts” are only self-proclaimed experts that no one in the responsible scientific or fitness community has ever heard of. In all fairness, I would certainly be open to doing my own investigation on the noted scientist you mention. I’d like to make up my own mind.

      I should also mention that, to the best of my knowledge, there have been no peer-reviewed scientific studies published in the medical literature on the efficacy of the SpinGym. As of this writing, it is merely a rehashed version of a children’s toy, packaged, branded, and marketed according to the classic infomercial script. You owe it to your consumers and your reputation to put some substance behind the product you’re selling.

      5) Regarding anecdotal testimonials, no one is denying that these words are their own. However, my contention is that an anecdotal testimonial is not scientific in nature and does not separate cause and effect from coincidence. However, this may be viewed as the impetus to guide further research into the efficacy of the spin gym. From a marketing standpoint, your infomercial is the equivalent of consumer carpet bombing by interspersing what I consider to be unscientific marketing script with emotional testimonials. Does the product “work” the muscles, yes but critical thinking must be employed here. Remember that if you take someone who is COMPLETELY deconditioned, who’s done no exercise over the past 30 years, and you make them lift bricks, they will get stronger. It’s basic exercise physiology 101. So the question is, even if consumers use the SpinGym and develop a modicum of limited muscle development in their arms and upper back (not a complete workout by the way), is the SpinGym any different than a $1 brick or cinder block? Add in diet and a walking regimen and the picture grows more confounded (was it the SpinGym or brick? Or was it the diet and walking that contributed to the weight loss?).

      Bottom line: Do consumers need to spend $30 on a SpinGym? I’m not convinced this is the case when they can get the same results or better lifting bricks, taking a walk, and eating healthier.

      6) Bob Proctor is also a smooth marketing guy. Heck, I can’t say I don’t like Bob, what with that folksy style of his that just endears me to him in a grandfatherly kinda way. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, Bob Proctor is not a qualified exercise physiologist either so I can’t say that his endorsement really holds much weight. I understand that the average consumer will pay attention a little longer due to who he is, so clearly a stroke of marketing brilliance.

      7) On the question of science versus business, I think this is the crux of it all. Never let the inconvenient truth get in the way of a good marketing strategy. Again, if you are the qualified fitness expert you claim, then I’m sure even you can see the gaping scientific holes left in your marketing strategy. My life ambition is not to sit around waiting for infomercial gadgets to pop up on the market just so I can ceremoniously execute them with my literary guillotine. However, I have invested SERIOUS time, energy, and income into my professional education and training over the past two decades and when you or anyone else comes down the road perverting my profession and industry into a metaphorical circus side show for a buck, then you can bet I’m going to have something to say about it. I’m not a vindictive Dr. Evil high atop his lair, looking to pounce on infomercials. I’m actually a pretty easy-going, level-headed guy. So when something like SpinGym pushes my buttons, writing a comprehensive fingertips of fury debunking only takes me an hour or two out of my day.

      8) In closing, I challenge you, Forbes Riley, to accept responsibility for the SpinGym and address the numerous points I brought up in my article. I’ll gladly change my views when you can provide independent scientific (not testimonials) evidence that health can be attained with 5 min of exercise on the SpinGym. Until then, the only option I am left with is to stand by my work as it currently appears.

      Yours in health,
      Bill Sukala, PhD
      PS, keep in touch and I’ll take you out for that fish taco I mentioned.

      1. I just have to laugh out loud. You actually reviewed a product via youtube? You never actually tried it yet you reviewed it? Now why would someone take the time to respond to a plethora of questions from someone who does not have the common sense to put the product in his hands before reviewing it? I think you just might be surprised. Simple, definately. But it is quite a work out.

        Fad? Hmmm I think the 35,000 people that have bought one SO FAR today on HSN’s todays special can’t be wrong.

          1. Joyce Pellegrini

            I have been using the Spin Gym now for 4 weeks. Not only does it work,it is fun, fits in your purse, and my gym is with my 100% of the time. Forbes’ knowledge of nutrition is amazing, she not only teaches you to eat to live a healthy life style which most people over weight do not do, but also is a master at finding the ROOT cause to her clients mental emotional issues of why they continue to sabotage themselves and inspires them to be first on their list. What are you doing to address OBESITY??

            SPIN GYM will be the next craze like ZUMBA so I look forward to seeing you eat your words!

            I am sure you can afford $30 plus shipping or better yet I will have Forbes send you a FREE SPIN GYM to try and then you can give an accurate opinion – which is again YOUR OPINION.

          2. Hi Joyce,
            Thanks for taking time out to leave a comment. Most appreciated. Look, I have nothing personal against Forbes. I think Forbes is a positively delightful and bubbly product spruiker and, in fact, I have already invited her for a gluten-free fish taco and a low-carb beer. However, she has yet to accept my offer (which still stands). I have not seen any convincing evidence in the SpinGym sales literature or on her website that gives me the impression she has a vast knowledge of nutrition or cognitive behavioral therapy. she is trained as an actress, not a dietitian or exercise physiologist.

            As for what I’m doing to combat the obesity epidemic, I have university health qualifications, can count nearly 23 years of hands-on experience in the health field, including research in diabetes and morbid obesity, plus experience working in a clinical cardiac rehab setting, and a university lecturer and international presenter educating the next wave of dietitians and exercise physiologists. Does that meet your criteria for combating obesity?

            As for SpinGym being the next Zumba, I’m afraid you’re information is a bit outdated. Where Zumba is still on an upward trajectory, SpinGym is now a clearance item on the Home Shopping Network. .

            Your final line gives me the impression that you and Forbes are old buddies. Given your shining testimonial and the final comment, I am suspicious of whether or not you are also spruiking the product. Nevertheless, in an effort to exercise diplomacy, I am letting your comment stand as is.

        1. Actually, I was ALMOST THE 35,001ST to purchase it. It looked so nice, I called in, but then checked for the reviews on the HSN webcite and guess what? – they did not exist. Instead there was somewhat of a letter of apology from HSN to it’s customers – really, check it out. SO I called back and cancelled my order. Wow I dodged that bullet. I’m going to go out and take a walk now.

          1. Actually as of today (Sunday, February 24, 2013) there are reviews up at the HSN site. Not nearly as many as there should be but they are there.

      2. At the end of all this, you’re still horny for her LOL… Is it really any different than a strength band? Really same difference.

      3. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this outstanding analysis. As a consumer who has bought, and donated to the Salvation Army, numerous exercise gadgets, a knowledgeable, well-written, and honest review is welcome. I do not begrudge sellers of products for trying to make a living, but the products themselves as well as the methods used to sell them can be self-defeating to all businesses. When merchandise is over- and incorrectly-hyped, the disappointment it creates lowers the willingness of the consumer to take a chance on the next best thing that comes out.

      4. I bought a spin gym, and Love it, I have had my spin gym for 3 years.. I have seen a difference in my arms, stomach & back, it is quite a work out, get some music on n spin, there is a slight learning curve, a bit of coordination, but once mastered it is a fun workout. It gets you moving, nothing wrong with that. As far as HSN discontinuing it, all products on HSN have a limited time for sales, just because they are discontinuing it doesn’t make it a bad product. I applaud Forbes for her enthusiasm & her great Excersize CD it keeps you going. I’m not a friend, coworker or associated with her in any way, just a loyal customer who loves to do my Spin gym workout.

      5. As a disabled man in mid seventies I find the Spin Gym to be the ideal product for my arthritic shoulders it really does help with the pain better than anything else I’ve tried and it’s portable, try getting a Bullworker in your pocket.

    2. I Love the results Ive been seeing using my spin gym I have carpel tunnel it has been at least 2 years since I was able to do push ups or use hand weights. In 2 weeks I am already seeing definition in my arms and tummy. I am so grateful to Forbes. I have not changed my diet in any way (unfortunately.) I may be seeing greater results if I did.

  2. Well done Bill. There are FAR too many of these ‘fads’ floating around in infomercial land, trying to make a fast buck off desperate, overweight, time-short people who are sucked in by the ‘5 minutes a day’ spiel.
    As a fitness professional I am dedicated to getting the truth out to people – that to lose weight and get fitter and healthier requires dedication, commitment and a lifestyle change. Not cash for a ‘toy’ that will invariably end up gathering dust under their bed/s, and only increase their feelings of hopelessness.
    With you all the way,
    Aviv Danin
    New Zealand

  3. Thank you Bill for your very informative critique of this product. I (like many others)would love to find a ‘quick fix’ way of improving my level of fitness, something which would fit into my busy lifestyle and give me results in a short time span. Thankfully I like to do some research before I allow myself to be seduced by the infomercials and gimmicks and thus have come across your website. I certainly won’t be wasting my money or time on this product. In addition I have just caught sight of Forbes Reilly on a tv show hilighting people who have gone from rags to riches in their lives – I’m sure she spares no thought for those who have been taken in by her glossy product advertisements and gross exaggerations as they part with their money, except perhaps to laugh all the way to the bank. Judging by the lifestyle she now leads she should be feel shame by how she has achieved this – selling false hope to others. I hope you read this Ms Reilly, no amount of wealth will ever make you a class act.

    1. Hi Anne,
      Thanks for taking a moment out to leave a comment. As you’ll see from her comments above, she was not too pleased with my review (naturally), though I did give her a fair opportunity to provide more proof/evidence other than contrived sales script meant to move product. As of this writing, no response whatsoever.

      You are correct in you observation that there are no quick fixes. Any product that is offering quick easy results is, in my professional opinion, blind to legitimate science, devoid of ethical responsibility, and only serving to profit off of a public desperate to lose weight and/or improve their health. I’ve been in the health field long enough to know that safe, lasting results come from making small changes you can live with and then repeat it on a regular basis for life. Products such as the Spin Gym only provide false hope. And to be particular, it is not a well-rounded workout anyway and only works the body in very limited planes of motion. In short, it should remain a children’s toy and never have been morphed into a piece of “exercise” equipment. Thanks again for visiting my site and for your kind words.


  4. FYI- Mrs. Riley was recently interviewed by the St Pete magazine to discuss the SpinGym. In the interview it is noted that she is not the “creator,” but that a man in England developed the prototype, lacked the ability to market it, and somehow crossed paths with Mrs. Riley. Subsequently, Mrs. Riley bought the worldwide licensing rights and launched the SpinGym commercially. This may be semantics, but I found it worth noting. Above mentioned interview is printed in the Oct.-Nov. edition of the St Pete Magazine vol. 2 ed. 3 (and probably ran in other similar local mags).

    1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I was initially under the impression that Forbes Riley did NOT create this, but in her response to my article she explicitly states, and I quote, “SpinGym is not just another spokesperson job, but my creation” (see comments above). I then changed the post to reflect this in an effort to be as honest and forthcoming in my own investigative journalism. I have gone back and changed a couple lines in the article to reflect this and it now reads something along the lines of “self-proclaimed ‘creator.'” Agreed, it is semantics, but it is also a character flaw in that if she can’t be honest on all fronts, then why should we believe what she says in her marketing. My personal opinion is that the product is nothing more than a hokey gimmick and the ONLY way it can be sold is by duping people with misleading marketing scripts. Very sad and only appears to be taking advantage of desperate people trying to lose weight. If only the world was a dictatorship and I was the dictator…It would be a beneficial dictatorship with health for all! Thanks for your comment!

    2. Children in West Africa have played with a toy like this for years, and I mean YEARS! Sure it doesn’t look like the Spin Gym, its made out of two soda bottle caps (what is called ‘counters’ over there) and some strings. So neither Forbes Riley nor Some British gentleman had the original idea. Most people in the western world do not realize this but until you’ve travelled and/or lived somewhere else, you don’t realize how many ideas from third world countries are ‘pirated’ and the credit, never given to the country of discovery!

  5. Dear Dr. B-o-H, I found a spingym at a thrift store. I knew exactly what and how to use it. Unaware of age of the toy and how current the topic is. This is what I know. The original cord shredded within 20 minutes of operating the toy. I have very aggressive actions using the toy. Altering the cord length is quite simple an will constrict other muscle groups and by re-posturing the activity. Curls- jab punches- overhead , behind neck will kill you. I cannot get up to five minutes consecutive playing with this toy. My hands are strong and I need ex large glove size so the original ring grips are my only problem with the toy. But I only paid 99 cents. I was LOL when I see that they retail @ 30 bucks. I hope you get a chance to play with one of these and recommend other operational positions for TONING some of the “show off” muscles that this toy will work. Also as a self protection weapon with nun-chuck type strikes may help the sorry souls feel better about the expensive toy. How many replacement cords have been sold for 9.99 ? I use a boot lace. I will warn any readers who change the cord length, it will tangle and pull out any hair, long, short, face, head, neck or arm pit …Thanks for your consideration. Cary

  6. Well, I believe it works well.
    But the socio-cultural judgements of particular [people can cause them not to believe in our stuff even when it works for the too!

    1. Thanks for expressing your opinion. Though it is my duty to let readers know that you are a marketer spamming the product. I have removed your website URL because I do not give back links to spammers.

  7. My grandmother use to make us this toy using string and a big two hole button. She told my brothers it would give them muscles if they kept the button spinning. I ordered the Spin Gym and it’s fun! I have noticed a big difference in my upper arms. No other upper arm exercise has given me faster results. I am very pleased with this ‘fad gadget’.

  8. I appreciate your break down of what you observed in the infomercial, and it is an accurate assessment of most marketing ploys, but your review would hold more water if you actually had used a spin gym yourself to give a first hand review of the product, not of how it is marketed. It’s like if you gave a negative review of a book based on the write-up on the back or because you didn’t like the cover art.

    Now, I happen to agree with you that this is very likely a member of the large family of gimmicky fitness garbage aimed at folks looking for a quick fix, but I tend to value Consumer Reports type reviews, not just an opinion based on appearance and a google search. I have an opinion and I can google with the best of them. I need someone like you, educated in fitness, to actually use it and give me their experience with it. Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need to touch water to know it’s wet, but it would help you sound less contemptuous of informercial marketing and more contemptuous of the device itself. 🙂

    1. Hi Barbara,
      Thank you for posting. I think you make an interesting point, but as you rightfully mention, you don’t need to touch water to know it’s wet. I do agree that my review could be viewed as polarized, however the purveyors of this product use what I consider to be deceptive advertising based on either non-existent or junk science. My article is merely providing strong points to counterbalance misleading nonsense. This is one of those products that you don’t have to try to see that it provides an extremely limited and compartmentalized movement pattern which has very little translation (carry over) to most real life actions. Ask yourself the question: what DO I do in my daily living that mimics the movement pattern of the Spin Gym? Moreover, the fact that it uses small muscle groups (arms/shoulders) means that it would burn considerably less than movements like walking which are practical and use the large muscle groups (which would burn more calories and, consequently, more fat). Again, thank you for taking time out of your day to leave a comment. Most appreciated. Kind regards:)

  9. Thanks for expressing your opinion. Though it is my duty to let readers know that you are a marketer spamming the product.

    1. Hi there, your post is amusing but unfortunately 100% wrong. I am NOT selling anything on this site, much less something like a Spin Gym. However, Google Adsense does generate a few peanuts which help offset the cost of the hosting etc, but what appears is dictated by your browsing habits and content. Could just be bad luck, but rest assured, the last thing I would sell is a Spin Gym!

  10. Chris Treadwell

    I have just seen the infomercial on a UK TV channel and I have to say that I burst out laughing – I couldn’t contain myself £29.99 plus £4.99 carriage. When we were children (some centuries ago) we not only had the button on a string but we made cardboard disks with coloured segments. As the disk span, the colours blurred into one and it was cited by an srt teacher as one method of describing colour mixing

  11. You don’t actually say how the product does not work. I’m no exercise expert and I do believe the claims you can change your body in 5 min a day are a gimmick. It takes more than just the spingym to get in shape. And the infomercials are rediculous But your review just trashes the spokeswoman and the “science” behind the product. I would like to know HOW it doesn’t work.

    1. Hi Selene,
      Thanks for your comment. In answer to your question, the pitchwoman Forbes Riley claims that the SpinGym is a chest workout and that “you’ll feel the burn through your entire upper body.” However, as this is being said, the infomercial shows a guy pulling the strings and, in fact, working his back, shoulders, and neck with no emphasis on the chest. As for the science behind the product, I am aware of no independent, objective peer-reviewed research that supports the product as an overall well-rounded upper body exercise. Moreover, it is more economical in the weight loss/weight maintenance game to work the larger muscles of the body from the waist down. Working just the upper body alone through a very limited range of motion (as with the SpinGym) is unlikely to translate into any appreciable energy burn as could be achieved through higher intensity aerobic exercises which maximize use of the lower body musculature.

      Hope this helps.

      yours in health,

  12. I have throughly enjoyed your article – was thinking of getting one but have decided not to waste my £29.99 afterall.

    I will be looking in on your site a wee bit more me thinks!


  13. I was drawn in by the T.V. ad and thought I would check it out online. I did think the claims made on the T.V. seemed too good to be true. Thank you for enlightening me and saving my money!

  14. I had the button on the string as a kid also and it was fun but definitely not worth 29.99 or thought of as a 5 minute exercise! I also have more recently bought these for great nieces and nephews that are made of a plastic disk on a string that also lights up making it even more fun! This version is much less expensive and probably mostly exercises your smile muscles!

  15. SpinGym Review by Exercise Physiologist is indeed a welcome jolt to reality ( at least in some sense). While all these gadgets could certainly have some benefits, such articles do bring us back to ground and are a necessity.
    The string of comments are also great if taken in the right sense. Finally its for each to take their own call. now no excuse to complain “”OH I didn’t know..”” if one gets carried away by the hype. Maybe if it was marketed a a simple gadget just for fun and maybe some more it would not have attracted so much interesting perspectives to be aired. makes things interesting.
    Thanks to all,
    PM Menon

  16. I can’t give you all the technical reasons why and how spin gym works, don’t care, I just know it works for me and I Love the product! As a breast cancer survivor, it has taken some time for me to regain the ability to slowly begin an exercise regime to regain the strength back in my arms, back, chest and abs. Spin Gym works for me, getting results and that’s all that matters! My question to you sir…have You tried the Spin Gym???

  17. Dr. Bill

    There is no doubt that you are a smart man, that is one of the reason I was a big
    fan of yours, but I am deeply disappointed on your review on the Spin Gym. In my
    opinion no matter how educated your are, if you have never used/tried/tasted
    something you can’t give ur best opinion on it. For Example: If I say I dislike
    the way a Sloppy Joe sandwich looks and pass up on it before even trying it is
    foolish right– Its like when you tell kids at least try it than if you don’t
    like it you don’t have to eat it. So try the Spin Gym then comment.

    Also you quoted saying

    ” I have seen no formal verification of her training in exercise physiology
    and biomechanics)”

    If something works it works. You certainly don’t need to be a personal trainer
    in order to be an expert in fitness,Arnold doesn’t have a PHD in fitness but
    has 7 Mr. Olympia Titles. Would you rather listen to some one who got there
    info from reading a book or some one who actually got out there and did it.

    I’m not Doctor, but I am a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) World Middle Weight
    Champion. A friend of mine asked me to try Spin Gym to see if it would help
    me rehab, my front delt, I brushed it off at first that it wasn’t for me. Long
    story short I tried it out and it really works great, I was a little embarrassed that
    I fatigued a few mins into using it. I use it now to warm up before training. It
    may look like a simple exercise gimmick but its not in the looks its in the

    1. Hi Keith, thanks for your comment. I can appreciate your perspective, just as I’m hopeful that you can appreciate mine. I have been in this field for over two decades (hands on, not just reading books) so I believe I am qualified to provide a voice of reason to over-blown advertising. The purpose for most of my consumer advocacy-type articles is that people have both sides of the issue before handing over their credit card details. In the case of the Spin Gym, I would simply like to see proper research done to substantiate the marketing claims. Furthermore, based on my observations, the majority of the advertising is misleading on numerous fronts. If any product is worth its salt, then they should have independent research and not have to resort to questionable promotional techniques. Just my perspective. Thanks again for writing.

    2. Keith,
      Arnold also took steroids to win his 7 Mr. Olympia titles and definitely did not win it by using the “SpinGym”. “Getting out there and doing it” is always fun but it is a lot easier if you have knowledge of what you are doing which sometimes comes from reading and being knowledgeable in your chosen field. A blind man throwing darts is likely to be constantly missing the dartboard. Bill has years of experience, knowledge, and “getting out there and doing it”, which allows him to hit the bullseye more often than not on topics such as this.

      Congrats on the MMA world title Keith anyway.

    3. I am convinced that commenter “Keith” is a shill, and I believe the majority of the other “positive” comments are also from shills.

      When people buy a product and are happy with it, that’s usually the “end of the story.” People generally only seek out reviews of something BEFORE they buy, not after. That makes these SHILL comments really stand out.

      I find it hard to believe that a “martial arts world champion” would dedicate his time to searching for, and commenting on, critical reviews of this piece of string.

      I bet he has “Forbes Riley” on speed dial, or maybe she has him on hers.

      “Forbes Riley,” the so-called “actress” and “expert,” claimed here to have CREATED this piece of #%@&!. Well, if she did not, does that not make her a liar?

      Thanks for your on-point expose of this nonsense, Bill.

  18. I am 65 years old…purchased the spin gym several months ago.
    I love it! Use it once a day…doing 100 reps in 4 different positions. My upper body has become toned and I can now open jars with my bare hands…(most of them).
    Don’t knock it till you try it!
    Thanks Forbes….would like to get the pink one too!

  19. Some things are just too simply excellent to be appreciated by those who prefer to complicate for a living.

  20. Thank you for writing this article, I literally had it in the shopping basket but thought I should read some reviews first before parting with my hard earned money. You are totally right, I’ll just stick to the weights that I already own. If something is too good to be true, then it usually is, especially when the company have to finance a 25 minute advertisement for the product with a smarmy, patronising old lady to front it – thanks Bill!

  21. I just purchased this from HSN. I will give it a try but I will come to my own conclusion regarding this item. It is returnable so what do I have to lose…. return postage. My choice, my money.

  22. I just saw this item being pitched by its “creator” last night on HSN and immediately recognized it for the scam that it is. I’m not a physical therapy or exercise specialist, but I have my masters degree in Biochemistry. I have had enough background courses to know the claims about the spin gym truly laughable. I am also recovering from a severe car accident and had plenty of physical therapy.

    Any repetitive motion will tone your muscles. In the hospital I was asked to squeeze a 99 cent rubber ball to help strengthen my unused muscles. There is a real therapy device I used similar to the spin gym, but much cheaper. My therapist referred to them as “therapy bands”. They were lengths of rubber bands about the length of spin gym roughly 3 inches wide. They came in different colors for different resistance and allowed you to do all the same exercises hyped on the infomercial… And they cost pennies each.

    Perhaps the real exercise professionals can give the proper name for these bands and where to find them. In that way, people serious about returning lost muscle tone, and willing to work at it longer than just “minutes a day” can find them and not be tempted to fall prey to the scam of the spin gym.

    1. The brand name is Thera-Band and their website is http://www.theraband.com. I’m sure ou van get Thera-Band tubing and/or banding elsewhere including from your PT—every clinic I’ve been in has a full selection of rolls to cut lengths from as well as various bits tied to table legs, doorknobs, etc… For use in-clinic.

  23. Review from a “regular” mom, not expert: I appreciate the reviews and feedback on both sides. I am hesitant to buy any quick-fix… and I am skeptical of the claims most of these devices make. (My favorite one right now is Sensa, paleeeze, but I will go see what they say about that next). About spingym… I watched the recent HSN show selling this and was amazed that people believed that the buff “attorney” got her muscles from this device. She may use it so she isn’t lying, but that is definitely not what made her body ripped. Her body is the result of serious body building, it is very obvious. It is also obvious that when she pulls the spin gym cord to demonstrate, that she is flexing her muscles to make it look like that is the result of pulling the cord of the spingym. Try it… put your arms up, flex your shoulders, flex your back muscles (latissimus dorsi & trapezius I think I remember from H.S. biology class). You can make these flex without anything in your hands at all. Now, if you are pulling on the cord thing it could make you do this harder), but that woman’s muscles are not a result of just pulling on the spin gym… it is a result of serious workouts that are done regularly and not 5 minutes a day! I work out 1 hr a day and no way look like that! IF and that is a big IF I purchased this spingym toy, it would be for my son to play with. If he gets a little bit of exercise playing with it, then that is great. Keep him busy on a long car ride? Great! OH, and the thing that would make me buy it… if it was $4.99 or less. Thanks for the professional reviews and opinions for us moms trying to keep in shape with our busy lives! And congrats to the marketers for “selling out” on HSN… now you get to go on the long vacation in the Riviera… enjoy! And just remember the poor suckers who paid for it and probably are at home eating an oreo with every stretch of the toy.

  24. Kristi LaForest

    Forbes Riley claims to be an attorney now too? Isn’t it strange how every snake oil salesmen, used car dealer, and conman just happen to be a lawyer too? I suppose that’s a good thing. If their career selling swampland in Florida or swindeling a plastic ball on a string as therapy device on HSN should ever fall through, they always have that career in law to fall back on.

  25. interesting article and comments. the bottom line is, Spingym works for a lot of people whether you agree with the biomechanics or not.

    As the creator of (product plug removed), I know how difficult it is to develop a product that both appeals to a mass audience, is simple enough to develop and use, and actually works. SpinGym in my opinion fits all of those aspects. Everyone is entitled to their opinion though

  26. I can see that you could do the exact same thing (and more) with an exercise band at a fraction of the cost. Also, the exercise band has no weight for travel.

  27. Dr. Sukala, you’re indeed correct in stating that this device was created long ago as a toy. I remember my mother making me one from kite string and a large button. It would make a whir-whir-whir noise as I pulled it in and out, and quickly lost interest in it.

    I think you’re also correct that the device illustrated probably primarily affects the arms and shoulders, with perhaps a small effect on the wrists, hands, and chest. I’ve seen other devices that also brag about core work which has nothing to do with the device, but merely the way one stands–or is advised to stand–while using the device. My guess is that the device and its use, in and of itself, does nothing for other areas.

    That being said, I do remember that the old toy produced a surprising amount of resistance. My guess is that this was due to the need to fight the centrifugal force of the spin. I can see that it might be effective for the areas you pointed to: arms and shoulders.

    Note, however, that I used the term “might.” This is because I have not used the device. Nor, apparently, have you. In short, you haven’t tested it. And to make claims about what it can and cannot do from looking at pictures is the height of non-scientific dogmatism.

    Your analysis may be right. I don’t know. But your hiding behind your claim of science without performing the basics of real science–actual research–is reprehensible and an embarrassment to the entire scientific community.

    If you want to claim you represent real scientific thought, if you want to have readers believe that the letters after your name mean something, spend the damn $30 and do a bit of research before acting like a fundamentalist religionist who announces that some book you read years ago says it couldn’t work, you believe it, and that settles it.

    C’mon, doc! Be a real scientist instead of a fake. What’s the difference between emotive testimonial that “I haven’t tried it but I know it cannot work” and the infomercial’s emotive testimonials that “I have no training, but I tried it and it works?”

  28. I have purchased several SpinGyms–first for myself then for friends and family. I not only have worked core, abs, chest, back, arms and thigh muscle groups with the SpinGym, I have done so with a certified personal trainer and have had several certified personal trainers, doctors and chiropractors try this product since I’ve purchased it. All concur that the product successfully works all of these muscle groups, regardless of fitness level.

    As for your odd “brick” analogy, I’m pleased to carry a SpinGym in my purse and computer case at all times, allowing me to get in a workout wherever I might be. I would be far less inclined to do so with a brick. Overall, I find this wordy review of yours to lack any evidence to back up your claims of the product’s ineffectiveness and “scam” related to the muscle groups it works.

    What ethic is there in reviewing a product that you have not used and instead you’ve base all of your conclusions on surmises and a critique of a commercial? By the way, what are your qualifications as a media critic since that indeed is what you are doing with this review–critiquing a commercial?

    I, along with more than 30 other people whom I know personally of varying degrees of fitness levels, use the SpinGym almost daily and have personal evidence of its effectiveness, and do verify that it does exactly as the advertisement claims.

    I recommend that in future reviews, you actually use the product. It might help you in avoiding these types of erroneous conclusions.

  29. Dear Sir,

    I don’t generally take my time to comment on anything I read that is not fair and balanced. I’ll guess you are going to delete my comment negating your post as you deem positive responses toward this product as spam. In essence I see nothing but negative comments agreeing with your opinion. I have spent a lifetime as a healthy, thin woman until two years ago when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. I quite smoking and gained 40 pounds. Not only did this effect me physically, but I felt a very low sense of self-worth emotionally. I tried diets, exercise programs, hypnosis and the like with little to no success. Two years later, enter Forbes Riley. Yes, I met her personally and my first reaction was, “there is no way this can work,” however, I had nothing to lose. I decided as a last ditch effort to try her product. I think what you are missing as the underlying tone and foundation for what this product can do for you is the side effect of raising your self-esteem and confidence to make life changes. No road to health is ever accomplished with an easy fix, Unfortunately, people believe they can undo years of damage to their bodies with that type of quick fix. That, Sir, is a common thread in a country of major obesity issues. I started out using the SpinGym as prescribed and within about a week began to see a slight change in my arms. This was an instant motivator for me. I took a closer look at my eating habits, my exercise regimen and my overall state of mind. When I weighed it all out, I realized what “I” was capable of and began to make serious life changes as well as using the SpinGym many times a day (my choice to speed up the process), because it was not only doing what it professed to, but it’s fun. In essence, having a product that opens the door to better health is profound. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone smile and have a great time while working out. It actually is quite painful and daunting; I know, I’ve been there. I suppose you could negate fitness clubs the same way you negate the SpinGym, because it comes down to the same concept. You can go to the gym all you want, if you don’t do EVERYTHING necessary to create a body and mind change, it’s not going to happen. Finally, I place your analysis on the same level as I do on critiques of all sorts. I cannot with a clear conscience support or agree with someone that tells me something negative, or positive for that matter, without having personally invested the time to use said product and then make a fair and justified decision on its validity. I would be glad to show you my before and after results, five weeks into using the SpinGym. I would venture to say that it is quite easy to provide this kind of negative commentary on someone you’ve never met and a product you’ve never tried. How interesting would it be for you to make that effort and for us to see if you would have enough integrity to write a retraction. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion on your platform.

  30. So – will it work for the arms and shoulders, then? I am starting to have shoulder and elbow joints problems and am now limited in what and I how I can lift. Will this be a possibly nice addition to my treadmill/elliptical trainer exercise to target my shoulder, arm and neck muscles?

    1. Dear Kora,
      Thank you for leaving a message. I would suggest contacting a qualified exercise physiologist (university-trained) and discuss your specific shoulder and elbow problems. You would need a well-rounded program to ensure that you 1) do not further aggravate these problems; and that 2) you can move in a positive direction to improve the situation. My concern with many of these infomercial products is that they are not a complete or well-rounded workout and, due to their limited range of motion can, in some cases, actually cause muscle imbalances which lead to further pain/discomfort. If you let me know which part of the US you’re located, I can put it out to my network and see if we can get you someone in you area who can put you on the right track.
      Kind regards,

  31. I actually have one and I love it. I didn’t buy it to be an all-over exercise miracle. It was bought to supplement my current program. I find it fun and a great stress reliever. One thing I have found out about myself; the more fun a tool or routine is, the more I’ll do it.

  32. I purchased the spin gym and received it last week. I’ve done the exercises every day since then and I can say, with certainty, that my arm muscles have gotten a workout. Do I believe that it will tone the entire upper body…maybe not…but I am primarily interested in toning my arms.

    I think your critique of the product, especially since you’ve never actually tried it, is unfair to your readers.
    In my opinion it’s a great device for toning the arms…and would be helpful for those who can’t do more extreme forms of exercise.

  33. I’ve left a couple of directed comments (replies) to other posts on this page but would like to post a more rounded reply.

    First of all I’m just a “regular Joe”—not a lawyer, personal trainer, fitness expert of any type, etc… I’m simply a person who happens to have a, well, extraordinary amount of time to spend with the TV on and thus happened to run to theSpin Gym on HSN. I immediately caught onto the sales gimmicks used for *every* piece of exercise equipment—the equipment must be used along with a sensible diet and overall exercise program/lifestyle changes, individual results may vary, all positive claims asterisked with, “Not typical results. Individual results may vary,” etc… While I think it very fair to bring to light the use of these sales tactics in the Spin Gym ad I take issue with signaling out the Spin Gym because it uses the same sales tactics as every other piece of sold-on-TV exercise equipment. (Interestingly enough even the Total Gym—which I’ve seen/used in every PT clinic I’ve ever been in—advertises in the same manner—x minutes, x times/week with an asterisk remaining consumers—at the bottom of the page/screen—to follow the included diet and exercise program.)

    Bill, I agree with the others who say that you should have shelled out the $30 ($25 from HSN just now) for a Spin Gym before reviewing it. While I’m sure it wouldn’t change the portions of your review that stem from the advertising tactics you might have found some positive aspects to the product—somewhat akin to the lady who compared it to Thera-Band.

    While I have no professional qualifications I have been 23 years as a spinal PT patient which has provided me with some perspective on exercise both as therapy for a particular injury and overall. No single piece of equipment will provide you with everything you need—even a Total Gym doesn’t provide cardio (unless you whip through the exercises without stopping). However it’s the current state of American fitness (or lack thereof) just about anything that gets people up and moving is a positive product. And, hey, if an overpriced takeoff on a child’s toy gets even, say,100 people into exercising and thinking about their diet than IMHO it’s a worthwhile product. Yes I could have saved my pennies and kept reaching for the Thera-Bands but the fact was that I wasn’t. Further as my spinal problems preclude a large variety of the total body exercises my preference is the use of a variety of “games” on my Wii (especially with the balance board) to exercise. However just now I’m pretty much flat on my back awaiting surgery—even 5 minutes on my little stationary “peddler” isn’t possible. However McKenzie exercises are “in” and when combined with using the Spin Gym to get my arms going I can actually “exercise” while flat on my back (or sitting on the edge of the bed). The SpinGym certainly isn’t giving me a full-body work-out (and no cardio) but at least it provides some exercise (and entertainment) to supplement the McKenzie ab routines and make me feel a bit better about myself.

    I guess my points are:

    (1) Spin Gym does nothing in its advertising that any other piece of equipment does—it’s up to the buyer to exercise common sense asto whether the product will actually fill their individual need;
    (2) Try it before you knock it. While I certainly don’t get a full workout in five to fifteen minutes it’s surprisingly challenging and I do get a good workout in a half hour or so while watching TV—or, for that matter, reading your web page;
    (3) There’s nothing evil about Spin Gym or the people bright enough to reinvent a child’s toy and market it. The disclaimers are all there and for those of us too uneducated (in the world of fitmess) or simply unaware enough to buy (and learn to properly use) a set of Thera-Bands Spin Gym is a great alternative;
    (4) If starting to see some toning/weight loss results with the Spin Gym gets even a mild number of Americans motivated to make other healthy lifestyle changes then it’s a product that’s served an important purpose in today’s market.

    Caveat emptor.


  34. PhD Sukala has written a long and exhqaustive review. But his comments are false reasoning.

    Without going into each problem, I would like to explain why I feel the spin gym is well worth the price.

    I am a 64 year old woman who has not exercised in many years.

    First, I am been using the product since Christmas. It has done exactly what I wanted it to do: stregnthen my upper arms and add muscle tone to the forearms and upper arms.

    It has firmed up the muscles under my upper arms. Not to the way I looked 54 years ago, but enough to see a difference.

    Next, I didn’t buy it for the cardio promises. I bought it for the arm toning.

    And it works perfectly for that.

    But I give you a challenge. Buy a spin gym. (Now that it’s on sale you have no excuse.)

    Then try to keep pulling in and out for ten minutes straight. I doubt you will be able to do it for the whole ten minutes.

    Then, tell us how your arms feel. And see how they feel the next day.

    Oh, and try to put two 5-pound weights in your jacket pocket and walk around all day without the pocket ripping.

  35. I could use more exercise, but I bought it as a shiny toy. I used to make these out of buttons or wood disks when I was young. It is fun to play with it and use as a demo to get kids interested in science.
    As an exerciser, I have found it mostly useless. I can get more of a work out doing isometrics against a wall.

  36. I was given the spingym as a gift by my mother for Christmas 2011. I have never seen an infomercial for this product and just went on line to see write ups about it. So I’m unable to speak to the hype that may be around it.

    What I can say is that the spin gym has been very helpful for me and not so helpful for my mother. My mid thoracic vertebra have ben very unstable. When I use the spingym on a regular bases my back pain is significantly reduced. I am thankful for this as a tool for my back pain. On the other hand my mother never could figure out how to use the darn thing.

    With that said, I’m disappointed in reading a review by someone how has not used a product. If you use commonsense you can see that you will not get a whole body work out from this, but it does have some value.

    I would suggest that instead of offing Ms. Forbes to go out to fish tacos, you ask to use the spingym with her. It would give you a lot more credibility in speaking about the product.

    I would have never used the product if it was not for it being a gift from my mom. I would still be trying to make Thera-Bands and other forms of exercise get that spout in my mid back stable. You may find that the spin gym has some unexpected effect that you could not see from the infomercial or you may not like using it at all, but at least you would be able to say you know how it feels when you use it.

  37. I have fibromyalgia so I’m not able to use most of the weights at the gym. This is the PERFECT piece of equipment for me. I have been using it for months and love it. The muscles in my arms, shoulders, and back are finely getting a little definition. It took about 10 times to get the hang of how to use it but once you got it it’s great. So did you actually use the product or just give a review without even trying it yourself. If you never tried it, I must say your review is not valid at all.

  38. Christina Baker

    Dear Sir, I do not know where you got your experience of the SpinGym however I KNOW this product is great for everyone but especially for those of us who have a disability and cant do most other workout programs. If you can’t go to the gym or stand long periods of time etc your workout choices are VERY limited. The SpinGym helped me take back my life from a debilitating condition. It also helps my son with the PT and OT he needs as a burn patient. After skin graph it is important to keep the graphed area stretch and the SpinGym allows him to do this by himself and in ways we could never do before. I would be more than happy to show you how to properly use the SpinGym and then maybe your opinion would be based on real investigating instead of just watching an infomercial and calling a item (that helps so many) a turd. Seems like someone trying to ride the SpinGym’s success into the spot light. I, as a VERY happy consumer (who has bought 4 and turned friends and family members on to the SpinGym,)am very thankful Forbes did not give up.

  39. Bill,
    Just a few lines on my use of spin gym. I started using it in Sept. 2013. I weighed in at 305 lbs with high blood pressure and COPD. Now one year later my weight is 239 and dropping my pressure is 140 over 80 and my oxygen is in 95-98 range. I only came across your site when I loaned my gym to a friend and he wanted more info on it. I use it every day when I watch TV, whenever a commercial comes on, I think you would surprised how calories you can burn and improve your breathing and heart rate. A LITTLE WORK OUT IN BETTER THAN NONE.
    I will write to next Sep when the scale is below 200 and I want you to know I’am 77 years old GOD WILLING

  40. I agree with Cheri… if you haven’t tried the product you have no business reviewing it. To publicly denounce without any experience with it is presumptuous and reckless and only ruins your cred.

    Anyway…could you be wrong? In fact, I’ve tried the product. I enjoy it. It WILL give you a workout while you’re watching TV or walking or whatever. It’s great for old people and those with physical limitations. It’s not dangerous like some equipment.

    You WILL feel 5 minutes a day. It WILL raise your heart rate. It’s a lot better than doing nothing. It’s cheap. It’s well made. It’s easy to take anywhere.

    What’s your problem with it, again?

    Oh, yeah. The way it’s sold. The words they used. Well– keeping in mind that you’re a hammer looking for a nail– your review is a good example of how NOT to offer criticism, so I guess you and Forbes are even. Heck, you’re practically in the same business. She’s the positive, you’re the negative.

    And BTW, you market yourself the same way she does.

    1. Hi Dave, thank you for your comment. Whilst I appreciate your enthusiasm, I’d like to know why you have not disclosed in your comment that you designed Forbes Riley’s website. This appears to be the case since your website lists her website as one of your web development projects. Perhaps this may have coloured your comments a bit?

      You can make comments about who is positive and who is negative, but the reality is that you don’t know me personally. I have nothing for sale on my website and there are no vested interest or conflicts of interest to bias my comments. If you read my review in the spirit it was intended, you will see that my attack is not personal on Forbes Riley herself (I think she’s lovely), but is geared towards what I consider questionable marketing practices. This applies not only to the SpinGym, but also other infomercial gadgets that go to market without research and invented marketing puffery to make the product into more than it actually is.

      What if I “invented” a “fitness brick” that looks just like a common red clay brick? It costs me $1 to make and I can retail it for $180. If I polished it up and put enough of a marketing spin on it, I could convince you and thousands of other consumers that it was the latest greatest of fitness equipment. And it’s true, if you lift it enough times, it’ll probably make you stronger. Sure it’s a gimmick and it gets you off the couch, but is it going to eradicate obesity or cure cancer? Unlikely.

      The point is, consumers are free to make up their own minds as to what they purchase, but that decision should be based on both sides of the story. I provide the other side of the story that is conveniently neglected in most advertising hype.

      Remember to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.

  41. You are very wrong about the spin gym, you keep rolling out all the old cliches about exercise, fitness and SLIMMING (note I didn’t use ‘losing weight’). I just wish that all the professional trainers and nutritionalists would get up to date and live in the real world of today’s women. Please use the spin gym, it will tone your bust, arms and back in a short time, you can fit it in with your life style, I have been helping ladies to better fitness for over 25 years, we are not Men, we do not need or require Men’s exercises. Women want to look like women, toned and slim. Thank you. Joyce

  42. Hi

    I have trained for many years in the gym both for cosmetic reasons and for sports related / functional fitness.

    I however have the classic weightlifters injuries – bad back – from doing sit ups to create the 6 pack (i have now realised those exercises only stressed L4 / L5 – per McGill); and a bad right shoulder.

    The bad back has been managed with an exercise programme. I was offered but refused back surgery as IMO the risks outweigh the potentials rewards. I do not have siatica so the surgery would have been a fusion.

    The shoulder problem was a combination of SLAP 4 (which was fixed in one keyhole surgery – but which did not resolve the symptoms) and three years later a more major operation to correct structural defects.

    I have a “burn machine speed bag” a “Flexibar” and numerous bands. The bands and light weights i use for external and internal rotation exercises. I have used all of these items to try to rehab my shoulder since the last op in Feb 2014.

    And so to the Spingym. I bought one of these literally years ago (10+). I cannot remember Forbes Riley being involved but she may have been, in any case i couldnt ge th thing to work and i couldnt be bothered to get a refund so it sat in a drawer gathering dust.

    A few days ago i happened on FR advertising this on a UK Home Shopping chanel. I looked at an instructional you tube vid, dusted it down and tried it out.

    While I concur that SG is not going to make you look like Ronnie Coleman, for Rehab it is very good. I work it until my shoulder(s) tense and it seems to exercise the shoulder complex including all the rotator cuff muscles quite well. Of course thats my anecdotal experience i cannot say for sure since to confirm this i suppose there should be some scientific study done.

    I imagine that someone who has never lifted a dumbell may find it works ok for them to. As you say its unlikely to burn fat and build muscle to any noticeable degree but it may help some peopld get some toning / definition.

  43. HI there! I would like to say how there is always certain products and brands that appeal to some and that goes for everything. We can cut things up and my opinion on something will be totally different from someone else right down to how we enjoyed the experience. Some may find certain things to be of value and I don’t always put a price on everything. Its the experience and how I felt inside. I like Classical music, and I like Hard classic rock. So I got my hands on Spin Gym 4 years perhaps 5 years ago, before any of the colour ones where available. I travel a lot for work and never liked going to the gym. I made it a point to reach out to Forbes and thank her for putting something I could use, something that was Portable, Light weight, could store easily, fits in my hand bag, something That I could travel with and use to warm up my muscles or go hard and do a total body workout. I could also find benefits in it to de-stress and something that was Fun and Easy to use. Its also Sleek and Stylish and Ideal for any age Group. The first Fitness Excuse Buster! I loved the product so much people where asking me to try it. Now I am more then confident that the revolutionary New way to get fit, stay fit and have fun is in the front line of a really Cool thing. I never liked those Latex Thera-Bands.
    Spin Gym was such a success with me, I had people coming up to me and asking what type of exercises I was doing for my arms…you should have seen them after 2 days. I only use SpinGym!!! I love this product! I have been fortunate to help people out with this product. Remember the PoGo Ball and the PoGo Stick? what were your thoughts on those? they were fun, more like a silly toy. Spin Gym has so much potential, so much life to it, but its all in your own views and opinions! I use it Always, and now I sell it! I have turned this into a profitable business and get so many thanks! My favourite part is they now come in so many colours. Next time your in line at a grocery store and you just stand there, I like to say “hey want to see something really cool” then I give them my number and say the Spin Gym meet up is at my place, for those who want to have fun, burn some calories, try something new and different and create a memory! I love you Forbes!

  44. I’m watching HSN right now. It’s Feb. 20, 2015 and the spin gym is selling for $24.95, free shipping. Looks like they took it off the discount shelf.

  45. Brandon McCormick

    Track you, Sir, for your thoughtful dissection of the advertising. I found one of these at a thrift store and bought it as an adult version of a 2500 year old toy. When I went to the site, I rolled my eyes at the jargon enough to burn 300 calories… I use it as a fun little resistance exercise anyway. As to her invention… In the 80’s my family HAD an exercise ‘buzz saw.’ It had a weighted plastic wheel about 7 inches in diameter and full size ‘ergonomic’ handles.
    If you ever get your hands on one, please give us a run down of what muscles it does work, Thank you.
    PS- I use it with the sensory integration and Autism Spectrum children I work with, not as exercise, but as gross motor control and bilateral symmetry practice.

  46. Thanks Bill for giving this a realistic review. I happened to run across this on a website that has nothing to do with fitness. I can barely take the comments about the chest muscles and tricep work from this piece of string. You can pull this lame resistance all day long and the most achieved will be cramps. Consumers, please stop looking for a gadget to change your physique. It will take real exercise for real results.

  47. The tired old comments that say “Don’t put down products that you have never tried,” just shows how little people understand about physical science. For example: I don’t have to go to the moon to prove the possibility of the journey, even if it has never been done before. I just need to be an expert in that area. If someone understands the physical components of the SlimGym, the structure and movement of the human body and what is necessary to cause an effect on the human body, then they can make an accurate statement about SlimGym. They don’t need to use the product. Any male physician will be able to give a very accurate account of what a woman is going to experience when they give birth. They don’t need to become pregnant.

  48. Hi all,
    I have met Forbes many times as I work in the home shopping industry. I can honestly say that based upon my interactions, I feel as though she is in deep financial trouble from heavily investing in Spin Gym – essentially a fad fitness gimmick – and her “zest” (acting skills) are what really require applause as she has recently been fleecing entrepreneurs on a made-up show (facing litigation under various business incarnations) where she claims to want to “feature amazing new products”. The only thing is that you have to pay her and producers thousands of dollars “for her to choose your amazing product to feature on TV!!!!” – which ultimately never sees any TV air time – only youtube. Sad. Very sad. One glance at her Twitter account shows thousands of presumably purchased followers…since overtime she posts, fewer than 2 people ever seem to like or comment. She’s a blight on the home shopping industry, but an absolutely amazing self-promoter and slick talker! Too bad reputations follow you around the business and sadly, she needs our sympathy as a woman struggling with many, many moral, ethical, business and legal issues.

    1. Dear Susan,
      Thank you for your comment. Very interesting information. Whilst I can’t say I’ve seen that side of Forbes, my concern is (and has always been) the promotion of gimmick products such as the SpinGym. I’m amazed it’s still going to tell you the truth. Whilst I don’t wish bad on anyone, I wouldn’t lose sleep if the SpinGym was a casualty of her legal issues.

  49. Hi Bill, I found this post after trying to find a genuine review of (a different) SpineGym: search google for ‘Indiegogo + SpineGym’. This one is not for weight loss but to try and heal chronic back pain and is rather more expensive. Any thoughts on it?

    PS. I found this whole comment section hilarious. I can’t help but think of the time sink it has been for you though. It seems like debunking things takes up more time than it takes to make up a new scam!

  50. I recently used one in a road rage incident, very effective a bit like a modern day version of those Argentinian Bolas the Gauchos used to throw at cattle. I keep one in my car they’re better than a baseball bat and are legal to carry. As for a piece of gym equipment they’re about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

    1. Yes, they’re very handy for those daily road rage incidents. And if you have a fender bender, you can use the rope to tie your fender back on until you get to a panel beater to fix it up for you. Rage on, soldier!

  51. Dr Bill Sukala,

    You haven’t purchased or tried the product. I can now ignore your entire article.

    Being that I’ve actually purchased the product myself, I’ll leave a real review here. Being a travel writer, I am constantly looking for ways to make fitness portable. Aside from my TRX & resistance bands, the spin gym fits nice and snug in my purse or luggage. I use it in the airport, I use it at the carwash, I use it while I’m watching tv – heck, I use it wherever I’m wasting time. It has great resistance and even if you believe it is useless, you have to admit that some movement is better than none. But trust me, 30 reps and I’m already feeling it. I’m already seeing a difference in my arms in just two short months. Also, It surprises me that you would complain about a $30 price point. That is a small price to pay for portable fitness equipment. People spend more on one meal.

    My opinion is that you should try what you review. It’s like reviewing a restaurant you’ve never sat in.

    1. Hi Melody,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your viewpoint, but I think you should also take a closer look at some of the points I raised regarding what I consider to be overblown and deceptive marketing.

      “Gyrotronic resistance training?” Really?

      Forbes who claims to be the creator of the product and an exercise expert thinks her own product works the chest (i.e., “…for your chest, it’s the best!”). Newsflash: It doesn’t.

      You’d think someone who hangs out a shingle that she’s an exercise expert would understand this.

      Five minutes a day? Based on what research? Why not four minutes? Why not six minutes? Seven minutes? Anyone? (…crickets chirping…)

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know everything about everything and I’m not beyond changing my views in light of any compelling evidence. But since I started in the health field in 1990, I have seen an ENORMOUS number of wacky products come onto the market with all kinds of idiotic advertising behind them, much of it confusing, misleading, or just plain wrong. The real issue here is that misleading advertising confuses people and leads them down a path of quick-fixes and gimmicks that are highly unlikely to result in someone losing 100 kg (220 lbs). And sadly, as quickly as these products arrive, they disappear into oblivion after they’ve run their marketing cycle (only to reappear with a different name at a later time).

      As for the argument “anything that gets people off the couch is a good thing,” on one hand, yes, I get it, but on the other hand, many products are just overhyped distractions that keep people from making and sustaining any real, lasting lifestyle changes.

      Another product that was massively popular for a few years was the Ab Circle Pro (https://drbillsukala.com/ab-circle-pro-review/). They used the same line that “hey, it gets people off the couch,” but my expose on their deceptive claims led to the company being flagged in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States for deceptive advertising. If the “results are not typical” then they’re deceptive. The company was eventually fined $25 million dollars by the feds and driven out of business.

      The larger issue with infomercial products, supplements, and detox teas etc (that many people are not aware of) is the fact that they all undermine responsible public health messages and make it difficult for health professionals to stem the tide of obesity and associated cardiometabolic disease (diabetes, hypertension etc). People come to me with distorted images of reality and think they’re really going to “detox” and “lose 20 pounds per week.” Why do they believe this? Where did they get that idea? You guessed it: marketing.

      In your particular case, I’m sincerely happy that it’s something you find useful. You could also buy resistance bands for a fraction of the price and get the same effect. Point is, there’s nothing magical or mystical in the Spin Gym except for magical or mystical thinking.

      I’m sure you’re a nice enough person and not beyond reason, and I acknowledge your opinion and take it on board. But if you take a step back and look at the sheer volume of predatory products out there (body wraps, detoxes, ab blasters), I’m sure you can see all the hype and hoopla which can be detrimental to people with serious obesity and other health problems.

      In closing, I should add that I present my articles for free, with no hidden agenda, with the hope they help people make an educated buying decision based on BOTH sides of the story. Some people say my articles are “biased,” but, in fact, they actually provide much needed balance for biased and deceptive marketing that preys on the public’s lack of basic scientific understanding. If after reading my article someone wants to buy the product, by all means, go ahead so long as it’s an educated purchasing decision.

      Thanks again for taking the time to leave your comment.
      Kind regards,

  52. Trish Roberts

    I just bought a SpinGym and I have to say, I love it. I have used it only a few times, and after getting the hang of it, I am already feeling “the burn” in my arms and back. Also, I can already see my arm tone gaining definition. I am THRILLED by the almost immediate results of this product and intend to order another as a back up. I feel that basing the review of this product on an infocommercial is bad form and extremely misleading. Really, all you did was critique the infocommerial, but without giving the actual product a fair chance, you are leaving out the most important information — this thing WORKS!

    1. I agree. I used to weigh 656 pounds and only able to exercise from a chair. I used the spin gym religously everyday along with walking and of course eating a healthful low carb, high protein diet that I split between 3 meals and 3 snacks. I built upper body strength and created enough combination weight resistance and cardio exercise that aided in the loss of over 300 lbs.
      I built yes shoulder muscles, traps, and neck as the article said along with biceps, triceps wrist and firearms. I soon after looking enough wait was able to stand while working out and began realizing that when doing so it worked my chest and entire core. Now with that being said I need high reps to muscle exhaustion when using it. You have to use it to its full potential. I didn’t worry about watching the clock or the number of reps I focused on reaching the muscle exhaustion state before moving to a different exercise on a different muscle set. This works. You can take with you to work and anywhere really. I lost mine not long ago in a move and I am buying another. That is how I found this article. I am looking for the website. I recommend it highly. It helped me change my life.

  53. So it’s years later after this article first came out…and guess what I found in a thrift store? So for the dollar it probably cost me (it was in with a bunch of other stuff)…and after entertaining it for some time…I can review and say this much:

    1. You must have zero muscle tone in your entire upper body for this to improve anything. If you came out of a 400 day coma, maybe this would help…but only with regaining range of motion.

    2. Nothing about this creation is remotely tiring…I have found better challenge to my chest muscles (resulting in fatigue and soreness) with a pull start weed whacker or lawn mower.

    3. Absolutely a waste of time. I know for a fact I’d get a better calorie burn coming off a treadmill and also work more muscle groups. I don’t need to be a fitness expert, just an average human who’s tried a treadmill before. Why would I waste even five minutes? Why even tote this ever so small and travel friendly device? I can simply do 5 minutes of jumping jacks, squats, pushups, or any combination….they can be done without anything but myself…

    So to the silly spingym I say…It’s been fun…but you ain’t the one…

    1. It’s the ol’ package-up-a-garden-brick, call it fitness equipment, and then use the apologist disclaimer “Well hey, anything that gets people off the couch, right?” It’s just too bad these things are so pervasive and available for people desperate to get healthy.

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