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What's the scariest fitness trend or trick you've ever seen?

Oct 29, 2013

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"The scariest fitness trends we have seen are celebrity workout programs! Some of these include Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino Protein-Infused Vodka, Madonna's hard candy workout, Rebecca Romijn's Hot Yoga Workout, Alison Sweeney's Couch Workout, and Lady Gaga's Workout and Diet."

Stacy Adams
FT Central Georgetown


"The 7-Minute Workout!  ABC News featured this workout on our local news hour and one of my client's mother's tried it.  The basis of the workout is high intensity training: quick explosive movements, guaranteed to get you results in seven minutes.  The foundation of the workout is OK.  The problem is, the majority of people looking for a quick fix are NOT ready for high intensity training.  So, like my clients' mother, after doing one lunge jump she put herself out before she even got started.  

"The take-home message is that there are plenty of ways to get fit that do not require hours at the gym.  However, everybody is different and there is no "one size fits all" approach to fitness.  If you're a beginner exerciser, the 7-minute workout will likely put you out of commission in seven minutes or less rather than giving you the results you are looking to achieve."

Ryan Fernandez
FT Cold Spring Hills


"In my opinion CrossFit because it ends up hurting shoulders and knees."

Sue Teoli
FT New Canaan


"Toning pants!  The web site instructs for the best results the user should work out for 30 to 60 minutes daily.  These pants trap more heat than regular pants, thus you lose more fluids and actually weigh less after a workout.  However, fluid loss does not equal fat loss and you can't spot-reduce fat!   If these pants worked, we would all be in the gym in our full-body vinyl sauna outfits.  Remember, Martin Lawrence passed out and went into a coma from heat stroke while wearing one such outfit.  I bet he lost a lot of weight, too!"

Billy Pratt
FT Avon


"Anything blatantly unsafe is scary to see. The first images that come to mind are pictures I've seen of people trying to do squats while standing on a stability ball, sometimes with weights! Not only does common sense dictate the danger inherent in an exercise like that, but research in motor learning has been pretty clear that there is virtually no carryover to any activity of daily living or sporting move that such exercises can help with more than the safer, basic strengthening moves can, unless said activities involve specifically squatting on a ball or doing those specific movements.

"As a personal trainer and fitness coach, safety must always be paramount in the list of priorities when designing and implementing sound, intelligent exercise programs.  So when I occasionally see examples of such obviously dangerous exercises being performed, "scary" is a term that comes to mind."

Vanessa Ocasio
FT Auburn


"First thing that came to mind was that ThighMaster.  Talk about spot training stupidity!

"But currently, CrossFit is the scariest trend. Not that all of it is bad, but the way many of these boxes are doing it is pretty scary, cultish, and just plain unsafe for the majority of the population.

"I actually think it's a great thing for Fitness Together. There are at least four of these boxes working an eight-mile radius of my studio. It think it's driving more people to us to be honest. Not everyone is interested in blowing knees, shoulders, and throwing up after their workouts."