Are We Fitness ‘Fadded’ Out?

From big box gyms to boutique fitness studios. From hot yoga to cold workouts. From barefoot to maximalist running shoes. From quality of life to quantified self.

No matter which way the pendulum seems to swing, we never seem to tire of chasing after the latest fitness fad. And while each new twist on tradition is encouraging — it means that the general population recognizes the importance of being active — I can’t help but think that the more we’re consumed with distracting ourselves from the actual task at hand, the more we’re missing the point.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for keeping fitness fun and mixing up workouts to make things more interesting. But where’s the line between science and marketing, safe and potentially dangerous, effective and inherently counterproductive?

Case in point: ThighMaster, Shake Weight, 8-Minute Abs, Ab Roller (and countless more). ‘Nuff said.

Sure, fads can be fun; I’ve tried my fair share over the years. But when they derail you from legitimately pursuing better fitness, they do more harm than good.

So how do you avoid getting scammed? I’ve got five tips for deciding whether or not you should jump on the bandwagon or throw in the towel when it comes to that next trendy workout:

  1. Don’t believe all the hype. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Take celeb endorsements with a grain of salt. They’re paid to tell you that!
  3. Remind yourself that there’s no quick fix. Real, lasting results take time and effort.
  4. When in doubt, do some digging. Is there scientific proof behind the claims?
  5. Invest only in what works — for you. There’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all answer.

As your body evolves so will your fitness program, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

The secret to getting fit — for good — is actually a lot more simple than you’d think: Find and do what works best for you.

Are fitness fads our friends or foes? 

2 thoughts on “Are We Fitness ‘Fadded’ Out?

  1. I’ve used an ab wheel at the gym (and used someone else’s ab roller). Damn. No way I’d do that every day. I do own (and use) Zumba DVDs (I’m a ZIN member) and several pieces of small equipment. I just got a Fluidity (yay, Craigslist!) and am really excited about how versatile it is.

    Some of these fads did adapt–Jazzercise moved from the realm of aerobic queens into using weights and yoga stretches. I say anything that gets you up and moving is a good thing. Heck, I have a friend who still works out to Callanetics because she enjoys it.


    • Very good point – it’s more about finding what works for you, regardless of what it is! I’m still a huge fan of some of the Beachbody DVD’s – I’ve found P90X & Insanity to be super effective. Have yet to try Zumba, though, although it looks like a blast!


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