The BionicGym looks like Vibration Plate meets 6-pack ab pad, but creator Louise Crowe says his leg-shaking wraps and the 500 calories per hour they can burn as you Netflix it in your easy chair or FPS game it at the computer is no quackery, and no joke.
I've watched several BionicGym demo videos, including the one in the gallery above of Crowe wearing the wraps and showing his heart rate climbing, breath quickening, and sweat dripping as the minutes pass. And I still can't accept that the BionicGym works.
If it does work, I want one.
The BionicGym is designed to stimulate your leg muscles in way that mimics shivering. Crowe calls this "nature's way of burning calories without doing anything." A control unit placed inside a pair of leg wraps generates electrical impulses at a frequency of 7 to 8 Hz for optimal energy burn per muscle fiber. The impulses trigger continual muscle contractions, which then demand more oxygen and fuel to continue their effort. This increases your heart rate and, if you keep on going with the BionicGym, ultimately makes you breathless. And delivers a workout.
With adjustable levels - at low ones the BionicGym is fairly easy, and at high ones it's Jell-O-for-legs hard - Crowe says almost anyone can use the BionicGym. He claims to have used it himself to train for a marathon from him his couch, saving his joints from repetitive pounding, and the rest of his body from...having to get up off the couch.
Additional science - or science-y-sounding explanations - behind the BionicGym, as well as pre-ordering information, can be found on the nutty piece of fitness gear's IndieGoGo crowdfunding page.