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The 25 Biggest Fitness Fads of All Time

The most laughable and most functional fitness fads.

7. 8-Minute Abs

Got 8 minutes? Want six-pack abs? You too can have that washboard stomach you’ve always dreamed about with 8-Minute Abs! Well, at least that’s what the makers of these 1980s fitness fad videos claimed. Here’s a little secret for you, though: Following some cheesy VHS tape of abdominal exercises for eight minutes a day will not give you abs like The Situation. Especially if that’s all you do before plopping back down on the couch for another episode of Jerry Springer. The 8-Minute Abs craze lasted about 15 minutes longer than it should have, but at least it gave us some great spinoff videos (8-Minute Buns anyone?) and a whole lot of awesome spandex-filled YouTube videos to watch when we were bored.

8. Roller Skating/Roller Blading

Roller skating was the thing to do in the 1970s (if you weren’t smoking pot or having sex, that is) and easily made the leap from fun family activity to great way to burn some calories. Rather than head down to the roller rink to kick back and couples skate to a few Journey songs, people were skating hard to keep their legs toned and their muscles strong. The 1990s equivalent of the Roller skating fad took off when Roller blades (or inline skates) were introduced. They were great for playing street hockey, whipping up and down the street with your friends, or doing tricks at the local high school. It appears now that Roller blades are out and the retro skates are back in. Either way, they’re both good workouts and excellent ways to get your body moving. Just remember, it’s always a little more fun when “Don’t Stop Believin’” is playing.

9. The Shake Weight

We don’t think there has ever been a fitness fad that’s gotten the viral attention that The Shake Weight has enjoyed. This hilarious little piece of exercise equipment looks like a dumbbell, but instead of lifting it over and over to tone your muscles, you actually shake it until it starts to vibrate. The oddly phallic and sexually suggestive motion that you must use with The Shake Weight made its infomercial an instant viral hit on YouTube as well as a great target for parody on shows like Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and South Park. Does it work? Who knows? It almost doesn’t even matter at this point. The Shake Weight’s popularity as a pop culture phenomenon and the butt of everyone’s jokes has helped it to sell over two million units. That’s $40 million in sales, people. Who’s laughing now? NEXT: Rolling your way to a six-pack >>


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