The health and fitness industry has always been happy to make a quick buck from fads and gimmicks that make huge promises but time and time gain fail to deliver.
Click on any fitness infomercial or visit any large fitness equipment outlet and you’ll find fitness trends sold to you by snake oil merchants who play on your weight loss dreams and the frustrations you have of not being able to reach your goals.
In this article we take a look at some of the craziest and downright stupid fitness trends that have worked their way into modern fitness culture.
Do you want to know which fitness trends to avoid this year?
Take a look at our naughty list…
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Fitness Trends Might Seem Cool… But They Don’t Always Work
Being athletic, lean and curvy will always be fashionable. There’ll always be millions of women, just like you, that want to look and feel their best.
And rightly so.
But let’s face it. Achieving a body to be proud of isn’t easy.
Being able to hit the gym a few times per week and watch what you eat might sound like a simple task, but it’s really not that easy if your mind isn’t in the game.
And that’s where the problem lies.
Because many women avoid the sweat and the effort and seek the easy option instead.
Only it doesn’t really exist, no matter what people tell you.
It’s easy to get attracted by the newest gadget or the coolest type of exercise class that everyone seems to be doing right now. Especially when they’re advocated by some pseudo-celebrity who guarantees results themselves.
Yep. That’s pretty normal practice when it comes to weird fitness trends.
The industry knows this is all bullsh*t too.
But with clever wording, beautiful models and poor science, it can entice you to believe the hype very easily.
They usually package it up as ‘the next big thing’ or ‘the secret that the pros don’t want you to know about’.
But we know that they’re just weird trends you need to avoid.
Top 5 Weird Fitness Trends to Avoid
In a world where pressure to look your best gets greater each year, it can be tough to not be at least interested in the latest uber-cool training method, diet or equipment.
But we know what works (and what doesn’t).
These are our top 5 weird fitness trends you should stay clear of…
#1. Waist trainers
This is just the most stupid thing to hit our gyms since we can remember. And we’ve seen it all!
Waist trainers were made popular by various celebrity endorsements – and that’s always a red flag for fitness products that make promises that aren’t delivered.
Now don’t get us wrong.
Even though the Kardashians are vile, money-grabbing people, we respect them as women. They’ve built an empire on savvy business decisions and clever marketing. Who else could form a multi-million dollar brand based off the back of a poorly-delivered blowjob?
The waist trainer pitches the idea that you can lose weight by wearing a corset-like belt that cinches your waist and ‘trains’ it into an hourglass shape.
Makers claim that because it generates heat, it burns more fat and reduces appetite. Some even suggest that it removes ‘impurities’ too, whatever that means.
So why is it a weird fitness trend to ignore?
Waist trainers are basically a crush injury waiting to happen. They’ve been found to cause serious side effects such as breathing difficulties and high blood pressure.
Some women have even had their internal organs shifted around their body, such as kidney displacement and lower rib crushing.
It really is the most weird thing we’ve ever seen. Avoid.
#2. Shake weights
Vibrating weights that help you lose fat and get fit! Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
That’s the basic the idea behind shake weights. That in just 6 minutes per day you can trick your body into more muscle tone, less body fat and better fitness levels.
Shake weights are a bit like dumbbells. Only they vibrate and pulse at high speed in order to use ‘inertia technology’ that tones your arms and shoulders.
But if vibrating helped you tone up, women that rode the bus would be jacked. Your electric toothbrush would have your jaw looking huge. And those that liked a little bit of personal time with their favorite gadget (if you get what we’re saying) would have lady parts with super-impressive strength and performance.
It doesn’t work like that.
The thing is though that high-frequency oscillation has been shown to elevate muscle activity in a lab. That’s why vibration training is used in elite performance under supervision of a trained coach.
But a cheap, handheld dumbbell does not have the same effect.
#3. Squat magic
This is one of the newest (and dumbest) weird fitness trends to grace our 3am infomercials and social media feeds.
What is squat magic?
Well, imagine a pogo stick. Only you don’t wrap your feet around it, you sit on it.
Squat magic claims to be a revolutionary device that allows you to harness the power of it’s squat assertive technology (or SAT for short, which is a cool pun of an acronym to be fair to their marketing team).
It uses a pneumatic seat to support you on the downward phase of your squat, and assist you on the way up.
The idea is that it helps you squat easier, and as such can transform your butt from saggy to peachy, without the hard work of squats.
Erm, okay then.
What’s wrong with regular body weight squats, or getting under a heavy bar and smashing out a set of big squats to build that luscious booty up?
Making exercise easier won’t help you get better results. That’s like designing an automobile that drives slower but gets you to your destination faster.
Why is the squat magic a weird trend you should avoid?
This machine basically makes your body weight squat easier by unloading some of your own weight. We’re not entirely sure how that stacks up to make gains.
Nope. In the bin with you please.
#4. Power breathing
Power breathing is a technique where you take long, drawn-out and purposeful breaths that last around 20 seconds or so. It originated in Russia but is becoming popular again in the US for some reason.
A few years back there was a scientific paper released that showed what actually happens to fat when you use it for fuel.
It highlighted for the first time that when you oxidize fat during exercise you breathe our around 75% of it. The rest you just secrete via sweat and urine.
Some genius somewhere had the idea that if you breathe out more air, you’re also breathing out more fat.
But they missed one point entirely. Physiology doesn’t work like that when it comes to fat loss.
Breathing is just the process of elimination. Yes, when fat breaks down it oxidizes into hydrogen, oxygen and carbon.
But to burn more fat you have to stimulate oxidation in the first place.
Breathing drills are great for those with high blood pressure or limited health. But it has no effect on fat loss whatsoever.
#5. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS)
The last gimmick on our hit list is EMS training. This is a relatively new method of exercise to hit the boutique gyms and studios across the US.
It hopes to improve muscle tone and fat loss by using specialized suits that send electrical pulses through your skin to your muscles.
The general premise behind EMS suggests that it by shocking your muscles with a small electrical current you can simulate what happens to muscle fibers during exercise.
Combined with a workout, the EMS is said to make exercise more efficient by increasing muscle activation.
But here’s why EMS is a weird fitness trend that you need to avoid.
Just because a muscle fiber is activated doesn’t mean it will tone up. In order to grow muscle or increase strength, their has to be an element of whats called progressive overload too – you essentially have to fatigue the muscle fiber, not just activate it.
And the science that’s been done on EMS and fat loss has found absolutely no link whatsoever. Nada. Zilch.
Much like the other trends on our list, it’s just bullsh*t wrapped up in a nice marketing system, hot fitness models and blatantly poor science.