We’ve all been there; while watching late night TV, you’ll catch an infomercial for a miracle fitness device. As you’re reaching for your credit card, you’ll think, “Oh yeah! Rock hard abs, here I come!”
We all know we need to exercise, but when we don’t have time, or just think working out is a miserable activity, it gets pushed to the back burner. That’s why exercise fads have always been a big, and at times, a very weird and hilarious business. I’ve been duped on multiple occasions, but I still think these fitness fads are incredibly awesome, and they must be documented.
These are my top 10 Ridiculously Awesome Fitness Fads:
Why it’s awesome: The name in itself is marketing brilliance. “Blade” is one of the coolest words in the English language, and “Body Blade” suggests that my body will get cut up (in a good way). In addition, the bow and arrow look of the Body Blade sucked me in big time.
Why it didn’t stick: It’s essentially a giant stick, and it failed to sculpt my biceps into carved pieces of stone.
9) Sweatin’ to the Oldies
Why it’s awesome: If Richard Simmons was leading the way into battle, and you’d better believe I’d follow! Is he a ridiculous person? Yes. Is he extremely entertaining? You bet! These videos offer a strangely entertaining dance work-out, and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve given it a whirl.
Why it didn’t stick: I don’t own the appropriate attire to really embrace the power of these videos. I need shorter shorts, bigger hair, and several sweat bands to really get into the spirit.
8) The Gazelle Freestyle
Why it’s awesome: Tony Little roped me in, big time! He rocked a pony tail, no sleeves, and he glided on that Gazelle Freestyle like a stallion. A friend of mine bought a Gazelle, so I got to try it out. I have to admit, it was fun and really did feel effortless.
Why it didn’t stick: Unless you “Gazelle” really, really fast, it’s tough to get much of a workout on it. I have a feeling Tony Little did other exercises beyond the Gazelle to get such a physique.
7) Spin Classes
Why it’s awesome: Spin classes get results, and they’re still really popular. Plus, you get to endure great pain with a group of other people. The social aspect of a spin class is wonderful, and if you stick with them, you’ll get in shape.
Why it didn’t stick: It might be wrong to call this a fad, because people still dig them. But it was a disaster in my case. I took one spin class, and I have to say, my instructor was the most terrifying woman on earth. Granted, I was a terrible spinner, but her battle screams put a fear in me I’m yet to forget. Plus, riding like a crazy person and not moving seemed like a severe waste of energy. Not my bag.
6) Shaking Fat Melters (I’m sure there’s a real name for these, but I have no idea what they’re actually called)
Why it’s awesome: This was a little before my time, but in theory, these machines shook your body and somehow melted all the fat off your body. If you’ve never seen a video of these in action, you’re missing out. They definitely cashed in on the idea of not exercising, but magically losing weight.
Why it didn’t stick: I think the sheer fact that they yielded little to no results hurt their cause. Still, pretty awesome concept.
An exercise program that involves rapid fight moves…yes please.
Why it didn’t stick: If you aren’t coordinated, Tae Bo has the potential to make you look pretty stupid. Plus, in my Tae Bo career, I’ve killed a lamp and crushed my toe when I accidentally kicked the wall. Not the best in-home exercise video.
4) Roller Blading
Why it didn’t stick: Somehow roller blading lost its street cred, and its “cool factor” went in the tank. That being said, there’s an old man that loves to blade shirtless through my neighborhood, and I always salute him. The guy is super fit, and he’s absolutely shameless! I’ve never met him, but man, do I respect him.
3) The Shake Weight
Why it didn’t stick: I’m pretty sure 90% of the Shake Weight’s sales are due to gag gifts. The hilarity of the device far outweighs the merit of the exercise.
2) The Hang Upside Down Sit Ups
Why it didn’t stick: I did one too many sit ups, and my abs got so tired I could no longer reach up to unclip myself. Had I been alone, I might have died hanging upside down. But on the bright side, I would have gone out with shredded abs!
1) Electric Shock Toner Belts
Why it’s awesome: If you didn’t fall for this fad, give yourself a big pat on the back. These belts claimed that you could strap them on, let them shock you to oblivion, and when you take it off, you’re left with a rock hard six pack. Electricity can replace exercise, who knew!?
Why it didn’t stick: Out of sheer curiosity, I bought a used belt at Goodwill. Turns out, it hurt like the dickens, and I’m pretty sure it did some damage to my internal organs. Since mine was used, it’s possible it was defective, but I came to the conclusion that this device is a piece of garbage. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “free” exercise.
What did I miss? What other crazy fitness fads have you tried?