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The Craziest Workout Trends of 2013

It’s nothing new that people will do just about anything for their health. Some people have no limits! We are constantly being told about new trends for working out, and we’re always looking for something new that will help us stay fit, or in my case, get fit in the first place. From products to exercises, there is no end to the things people come up with to get in shape.

There have been some crazy workout trends in the past year. The kicker? Some of them actually work! The others, however… the only thing they’ll do is make you look silly. Here are some of my favourite crazy workout trends from the year, and just incase you partake in any of these, I’ll let you know what you’re wasting your time with.

Let’s start with some of the crazy products people have come up with. These are always entertaining because you really get to see the extent some people go to in order to avoid going to the gym.

Here are my top 5 favourite weird products of 2013:

1. Vibration Plates – I saw one of these pedestals that you stand on that vibrate under your feet at my gym one day, and spent a good half hour of my treadmill time trying to think of what it could possibly be used for. Then, a few days later, I saw an older man using it, and it was so loud and obnoxious I couldn’t think of what that possibly could do for your body. According to ABC News, the base is actually vibrating under your feet, which forces your body’s muscles to contract to keep your balance while you do exercises on it. If you want one of these badboys for yourself, you’ll have to fork over about $2,500. There’s a chance it might help with your circulation and bone density, but it won’t help you with weight loss, especially if you’re using it to shorten your workouts.

2. Sound Wave Technology – There is a product called Vaser that uses sonic waves to get rid of your unwanted belly fat. It acts like liposuction and sucks it out. According to ABC News the cost for this procedure ranges from $8,000-$20,000. Sure, it works, but for that much money you’re better off just getting liposuction in the first place, which has long-term proven results.

3. Leg Weights – Apparently you can tone your legs while walking around the office or at work with the invention of leg weights. They are basically weights that wrap around your ankles or calves with the intention of giving your legs a strength workout while doing everyday tasks. Do you really want to walk around all day with weights on your ankles, though? Skip these, especially if you work a job where you sit the majority of the time.

4. The Treadmill Bike – Just incase you can’t decide between running and biking, you can now do both at the same time!  The treadmill bike is exactly what it sounds like: a treadmill on a bike. The bike looks like a giant scooter with a treadmill where the seat and pedals would be on a bike. The bike will cost you roughly $2,000CAD or $2,450USD, which is significantly more than a gym membership or running outside, and the medical bills this dangerous contraption might end up costing you are even higher. The best part of this, though, is that there is a side attachment you can get to “walk” your dog beside you.

5. The Entertrainer – According to Daily Life, this contraption is something you strap to yourself while you’re watching television. It monitors your heart rate, and when your heart rate drops too low, it shuts the television off until you do enough exercises to get it up again. These are perfect for those who can’t pull themselves away from the television for more than half an hour. It costs $139.99 on their website, which is less than the cost of your television, but this product is priceless for any couch potato.

Some people like to do the lazy version of things. That’s why we are hearing about products that shorten your workout time and use minimal effort to get you fit. But some people take it to the next level.

I am now going to share with you my 5 favourite crazy and weird exercise trends of 2013:

1. Backwards Running – This needs no description. Shawn Radcliffe of Men’s Fitness says that some people have reported that running backwards uses 30 percent more energy than facing the right direction. It’s also 100 percent more likely to get you seriously injured. And don’t try this outside.
2. Working out Barefoot – This has been a subject of much debate in 2013 especially, as more and more people are trying to live “like their ancestors did” or “as minimal as possible.” Working out in your bare feet is supposed to strengthen the muscles in your lower leg, feet and ankle as well as increase your balance. If you’re willing to get past the germs, bacteria, and overall dirtiness that comes from being barefeet in a public place, that is. Personally, I’d rather not put my barefeet on a disgusting gym floor just to increase my balance.

3. The High Heel Workout – According to Christine Egan of Blisstree, this workout is led by a professional dancer who leads you through a series of workouts while everyone wears- you guessed it- stilettos. It’s supposed to help you improve leg muscles and posture. To me, it’s just asking for a broken neck or ankle. If I can barely walk in stilettos I’m not going to risk injury (and loss of dignity) exercising in them.

4. Doga – Doga, or dog yoga, is apparently a real thing where people bring their dogs to yoga class. The dogs can either choose to participate or run around knocking the zen out of everyone. Shawn says that people who attend these classes claim that the dogs bring a sense of fun and lighten the mood of the classes. Just make sure you bring a poop bag.

5. Flirty Girl Fitness – This is the ultimate workout if you want to piss off a feminist. In these classes, which have been described as a “showgirl workout,” stripper poles are used as an accessory. Other accessories, according to their website, are pink feather boas and kitchen chairs. These classes teach you moves you’ll be able to practice at a nightclub if that’s what you like to do for fun.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering if there are some crazy exercise trends that actually do work. The answer is yes, some people aren’t just crazy- they’re actually getting a good workout! Here are some of the crazy workout trends that actually do work, if you can get past how strange they are. Try them out yourself and see how sometimes these crazy people are really on to something.

One of my personal favourites is drum fitness. Not just because I’m a musician, but because my personal workout mentality is that a workout needs to be fun or I’m not doing it. Drum fitness oozes fun from the name alone. In these workouts rhythmic drumming is combined with aerobics, like squats and lunges. It’s a full body workout focusing on your arms that’ll give you killer results (and a super fun time). If you’re interested, “Drums Alive” and “Pound” are the most popular drum fitness classes and you can look them up to see how you can get involved.

Jungshin is another of my favourites. It’s a martial arts workout that uses a sword. How can that not sound awesome? It’ll give you an amazing strength workout as well as a full-body aerobic experience. On top of the amazing results you’ll get, it will make you feel like a warrior and a badass. Who doesn’t like feeling like that? You can hit up their website to find out more information.

One of the most effective weird workout trends of 2013 is tabata training. Tabata workouts can be completed in 4 minutes. That’s right, you’ll have no excuse for not being able to fit it in. In the time that it would take you to drive to the gym you’ll have already completed your workout. Sounds crazy, right? The key is that tabata training uses high intensity interval training, or HIIT. HIIT is an effective way to structure your workouts because your body burns fat at such a high rate you’ll continue burning fat after you’ve stopped working out. This particular Japanese workout consists of 20 seconds of intense training, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated over 8 rounds. To find out how you can get in on this quick workout, visit their website.

The biggest workout trend this year has been mashing up different workout classes. You’ve most likely heard of piloxing, a mix of pilates and kickboxing. Then you’ve got zumba, a mix of latin dance and aerobics, and buti, a mix of tribal dance and yoga. Aqua spinning is another, which mixes swimming and spinning. These are awesome workouts because they change things up and give you something new to try.

Who does single-type classes anymore, anyway? That was so 2012.


Lesley Cornelius

Lesley Cornelius lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. She is a graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, with a double major in journalism and history. She writes for both publications at Goddess Connections, “Women Who Run It” and “How to Put the Fun Back Into Dating,” and is an expert on dating and relationships, health, fitness, and nutrition. Lesley writes novels in her spare time and hopes to one day become a successful author, writer, and journalist. For now, she enjoys exploring her interests, playing and watching ice hockey and living every day to its fullest potential. You can contact her at lesley.cornelius6@gmail.com.