14. Power Plate
One of the more recent additions to the fitness fads list is the Power Plate. Essentially a large, expensive, vibrating platform used as an exercise machine, the Power Plate has a vibrating base upon which you’re supposed to do more traditional exercises like push-ups and squats. The makers claim that the vibrations from the machine cause an involuntary reflex muscle contraction twenty-five to fifty more times per second than by doing these exercises without the Power Plate. The makers claim that only ten minutes of exercise on the Power Plate can provide increased strength, power, and definition. Oh, and they promise that you’ll be able to shoot rainbows out of your fingertips. Ok, maybe they don’t, but they do have celebrities like Clint Eastwood, Madonna, Sting, and Hilary Swank singing their machine’s praises. If that’s not enough to get us vibrating the day away, we don’t know what is.
Developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates of Germany, Pilates is a physical fitness system that was designed to strengthen both the mind and body. Somewhat similar in concept to Yoga, but requiring a range of different apparatuses to guide and train the body, Pilates requires a strong core to perform specific controlled movements. Contemporary Pilates even incorporates weighted balls, foam rollers, and resistance bands. This fad has been one that’s had the power to stick around throughout the years and now boasts more than eleven million people practicing the art which many have claimed has both meditative and rejuvenating qualities. Personally, we could never keep ourselves on the apparatus long enough to find out.
Raise your hand if you know somebody who has a NordicTrack machine in their basement currently being used as a neat place to hang clothes? Wait, is that everyone? Oh, ok. So basically everyone that’s breathing. Founded in 1975 by Edward Pauls and acquired by CML Corporation in 1986, NordicTrack is best known for their Cross-Country Skier machine that quickly became the fitness machine to have back in the late 80s and early 90s. Like most bulky fitness equipment, however, the NordicTrack became synonymous with people buying it, using it for a few weeks, and then turning it into a clothes hanger. By 1995, NordicTrack began losing money and soon found their way into bankruptcy. They closed all 300 of their retail stores in 1998, but continue to make more traditional exercise machines (like treadmills and exercise bikes) to this day. Oh, and they still have that one Pro Skier model available for anyone who wants to take a trip back to the 1980s.
17. Couch to 5K
The Couch to 5K fad has become so popular recently that even celebrity talk show host and comedian Jimmy Fallon has decided to get on the plan. One of the newest fads on our list, Couch to 5K is a program designed to get even the starchiest of couch potatoes off their butt and running five kilometers (or thirty straight minutes) in a set amount of time (often around nine weeks). The program itself is common sense approach to starting small and gradually working your way up to five kilometers by alternating walking and running as well as adding time and distance. It’s exactly what anyone with a brain would do when starting an exercise routine (if we weren’t all so eager to get that quick fix right away, that is). While Couch to 5K is fairly common sense, it’s not harming anyone and it is (along with the many smartphone apps dedicated to the program) getting a whole new generation of lazy folks off the couch and onto the road. And for that, we dig it. NEXT: Drinking the Kool-Aid >>