The Best & Worst Fad Workouts of 2015

“Fitspiration” takes many shapes depending on my mood, the day or how much internet I’ve consumed. Sometimes I have extra energy to burn and need to MOVE or else drive my husband insane with excessive chatter. Other times, I have eaten my weight in goldfish and simply need to burn some extra calories. And then there are the times when I hear about a new workout and am swayed by success stories and pictures of toned arms.

I am the poster child of the suckers who fall prey to fad workouts. If Jazzercise was still popular, it would be my go-to and in fact, I sometimes take a Jazzercise class at a studio in Round Rock (don’t tell anyone). It’s probably the shiny bright object factor or the hope that I will instantly start rocking a six pack that play into why I can’t turn down a 30-day offer from a new studio or gym, but hey, at least it gets me trying new things.

Recently, my fad workouts have ranged from Pure Barre to Orange Theory Fitness to Ballet Beautiful to Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide, with varying levels of success. I’ve ranked them here based on love, like and dislike.

  1. Pure Barre (love): I wrote about Pure Barre here and described how it helped me gain some arm muscle and body confidence before my wedding. I truly LOVED Pure Barre when I first started and that feeling remained for almost a year. While I didn’t notice a huge difference in my overall shape, I felt like I belonged at the studio. The teachers knew my name, I made friends in class and it was a tremendous feeling to go sweat for an hour without the worries of work or errands or my messy house. That all being said, it was $190 a month. Yup. Almost $200 a month to go sweat 3-4 times a week. Eventually,  I lost some of my motivation to go and found myself dreading time in class. It didn’t help that the studio started getting a weird vibe and the teachers seemed to lose interest in teaching or working out themselves, which rubbed off on the students.
  2. Orange Theory (dislike): To shake things up a bit and in search of a cheaper workout, I signed up for three months of Orange Theory Fitness which is basically an indoor bootcampesque workout with half of your time on a treadmill or rowing machine and the other half lifting weights, squatting, etc. As someone who always hated P.E. class, I’m not sure why I thought this would be enjoyable. The first few classes left me with so many endorphins that I thought I had found the workout for me. Turns out, the gruff and overly enthusiastic coaches and sales-y nature of the gym got on my nerves very fast. One coach approached me during the rowing section and asked who taught me how to row because I was doing it wrong. She then walked off instead of explaining how to use the machine properly. That was my last class. Some of my more athletic friends really enjoy the personality of Orange Theory, but it wasn’t for me.
  3. Ballet Beautiful (like): After that debacle, I had a small surgery that kept me out of any kind of studio for a month. With strict doctor’s orders to not work out at all, I promptly disregarded her advice and bought a few of the Ballet Beautiful videos to use at home. While fairly easy and only 30 minutes long, the videos kept up my mediocre arm strength and they were a nice distraction from not being able to run for a few weeks. This would be a great workout for hotel rooms or a small apartment.
  4. Bikini Body Guide (like): Did I mention I am a sucker for fad workouts?? We were at a bachelorette party in Vegas when a friend told me about the Bikini Body Guide movement and showed me before and after pictures from girls on Instagram. A non-Instagrammer myself, I’d somehow missed this massive internet phenomenon. Fast forward a month later when I’d cleared out our back bedroom, bought workout equipment, and fumbled through the workouts laid out in the Bikini Body PDF three times a week. Not my best. If you have self workout motivation, then this workout is definitely for you because it works your entire body and it’s challenging enough to stay interested. I found it difficult to stay focused on following the PDF guide and had to repeatedly stop to YouTube how to do various exercises.

Fortunately, I came across Todd Pilates  and can’t get enough. They offer pilates and barre classes and the class atmosphere is fun and relaxed. It helps that a month of unlimited classes is less than half of what I was paying for Pure Barre. Well worth it! That being said, I’ve only taken class here for about two months. While the classes are good, they aren’t taught by super pros (except for the owner) and they probably wouldn’t cut it for diehard pilates lovers. They work for me because they resemble the dance classes of yesteryear and I’ll keep going until the next fad workout crosses my path.

All in all, I’m thankful for a trail around our house where I can run with my two favorite dogs, the time and energy to work out frequently and a husband who kicks me out of bed at 5:25 a.m. to get to the studio. Who knows what 2016 will hold?! Perhaps I’ll try Cross Fit…(never).

What fad workouts or just regular workouts did you try last year? Which ones are you excited about in 2016?


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