Which Fitness Fad is Right for You?

By Chris Mah |
FWX FITNESS

So you let the summer go by without acquiring the beach body you resolved you’d get back on New Year’s Day. Don’t fret, there’s still time to jump on the latest get-fit-fast craze (and even time for a brand-new one to take hold, then quickly fade into obsolescence) so that you can go home for the holidays, and finally win back your ex, or at least keep up with her when she tries to run away. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some training programs to help you get fit, fast.

CrossFit: CrossFit’s tagline reads “Forging Elite Fitness,” which practitioners achieve through a combination of dead lifts, grunting and wearing Vibram Five Fingers, all under the close supervision of a highly qualified trainer who slept through most of CrossFit’s two-day certification seminar. Even if you have never touched a weight in your life, all you need to get started is several hundred dollars and an intuitive knack for performing Olympic–style power lifts with impeccable form. Ignore the critics who cry foul about high rates of injury; they are just jealous of your newfound ability to effortlessly move truck tires around.

Bikram Yoga: Like normal yoga, except performed in sub-Saharan conditions. The idea is to rid your body of toxins, as well as every last drop of water it needs to function normally. Upon mastering the 26 fundamental poses, one enjoys greater core strength and restored spiritual well-being, and is indistinguishable from a sun-dried tomato dressed in Lululemon spandex. Dehydration is a risk only if you’ve forgotten to drink one of the three bottles of kale-and-eucalyptus juice that comprise your weekly sustenance.

P90X: In just 90 days, practitioners gain strength, improve flexibility and lose weight by watching a series of hour-long infomercials on DVD. P90X works by utilizing a variety of exercises to prevent the body from adapting and plateauing, a concept Tony Horton, P90X’s shockingly 56-year-old founder refers to as “muscle confusion.” Most likely because your muscles have no idea why you’re doing this to them.

Pole Dancing Aerobics: Don’t be so quick to delete that Groupon for pole dancing classes. With hard work and consistent practice, you too can develop the flexibility, strength and aerobic capacity of an elite, Olympic–caliber adult entertainer. One of the most accessible exercise programs available, you’re all set to go, even without a class, as long as you have a local fire station and no sense of inhibition.

Russian Kettlebell Training: The sign outside the kettlebell gym in my neighborhood reads, “Kettlebell training is the answer.” The question is, “What’s the easiest way to throw out your back?” Used for training by the Soviet army in the early 1900s, kettlebells have exploded in popularity among people who are training to join the Soviet army. For maximum results, grip the heavy steel weight by its handle and swing it vigorously in random directions, being sure to lock your knees and hyperextend your back as much as possible.

Common Sense: Fringe health enthusiasts have begun adopting a lifestyle of consistent physical activity and a balanced diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. This method is to be used only by eccentric masochists who enjoy engaging in torturous daily routines over the course of their entire lives, such as going for runs in nature and eating single portions of unprocessed food. In order to find the time to do these things, they must forfeit other things, like talking about how great they feel after cutting out everything but ginger root and cayenne pepper from their diets. Consult your doctor before deciding if this approach is best for you.

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