Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fad or Flop: Fitness Trends That Are Here To Stay and Which Ones You Should Stay Away From

Between CrossFit, the Thighmaster, and no-carb diets, it’s pretty apparent that we’re not lacking when it comes to fitness fads. As soon as word spreads of a “revolutionary” new exercise regime or some incredible diet that guarantees weight loss, most people are eager to be the first to try it out and see real results. However, between the perceived notions of ripped abs and toned legs that you can achieve in eight minutes, how many of these fads are actually effective or even encourage a healthier lifestyle? We did our own research and compiled a list of fitness trends that are proven to deliver results when you put in the work, as well as those that are just a bunch of empty promises.


Fitness Flops


Toning shoes – Exercising requires you to commit a chunk of your day to fitness, so it’s only natural that everyone hopped on this fad in an effort to get their workout in as they went about their daily lives. Specially constructed with a rocker-style bottom to help you improve muscle tone and strength as you walk, toning shoes became an instant hit when they first showed up on store shelves. Most people probably chose to ignore the ugly and bulky design of shoes like Skechers Shape-Ups in hopes that the results would make up for having to be seen in them.

Sadly, recent studies have shown that toning shoes do nothing in terms of making the walking you already do any more intense, and are actually responsible for causing instability in some wearers. As such, it’s best to forego these and opt for a nice pair of sneakers instead.

Almost everything you see on TV – Television is a great way to engage the masses, so it makes sense that so many exercise products are advertised to people on a regular basis, undoubtedly to more than a few couch potatoes who are willing to pay the extra buck for a quick-fix fitness solution. While products like the surprisingly popular (and regularly spoofed) Shake Weight or the Ab Lounge promise to get you in the best shape of your life with minimal effort, advertisements like this are filled with misinformation, and typically avoid making the point that a toned body requires a balance of strength training, cardio and a healthy diet.

Before you reach for the phone to order this season’s “most effective fat-burning 1-minute workout,” check out some fitness fads that are actually proven to improve your physical fitness.

Fitness Fads


Bodyweight training – While there’s plenty of equipment out there that you can use to get fit, bodyweight training is a convenient and effective method for exercise. Using little to no equipment, aside from the occasional weights, this workout trend requires you to use your own bodyweight to build muscle, improve strength, boost cardio and lose weight. Familiar exercises like crunches, lunges and pushups can all be a part of a bodyweight workout, and with its growing popularity, there are countless variations and exercises that you can perform in combination to keep your workout from feeling stagnant.

HIIT – High-intensity interval training is a great way to pack strength exercises and cardio into a short time span. Especially if you can’t find time to commit to an hour on the treadmill, HIIT can get you in and out of the gym within about 30 minutes. This fitness trend combines short bursts of exercise, typically about 30 seconds to 1 minute, with brief periods of recovery in between. High-intensity drills for a short amount of time force you to train harder, and the short stints of rest give you just enough time to catch your breath before jumping back into the exercise, working on your cardiovascular capacity and burning more calories.

What fitness trends have you experimented with? Let us know in the comments below!