When I first started working in the fitness industry I came in at a time when it was being hit with a massive fitness tidal wave that was known as Tae Bo. This new fitness fad by Billy Blanks took the world by storm. I remember walking into the smaller studio, which would normally get 40-50 participants, to teach the new Les Mills Combat class (a marshal arts workout) and there were over 120 people. 90% of them were people who I’d never seen before, there was so much energy! Tae Bo got a lot of non exercises out there doing it, it was great!
While Tae Bo was the biggest fad that I’ve seen in my time there have definitely been many attempts by all types of people and businesses to create the next big fitness craze. We’ve seen vibration pads, Zumba, cycle classes, pole dancing workouts, the Thighmaster, Wii fit, inline skating, TRX and many more but the one that takes the cake has to be the Shake Weight. This shakable weight device that simulates a certain movement that a lot of men enjoy just seems wrong.
So are fitness fads a bad thing? In my mind there’s no definitive answer to this but looking back over the years there are commonalities around which fads have a longer life in the marketplace. Sure Tae Bo isn’t as popular as what it once was but every gym now has some form of marshal arts class and remains popular.
So what is it that makes the some fads last longer than others?
First of all they include other people. Zumba, Tae Bo and Les Mills Pump are examples of products that have lasted the distance. All of these workouts are done in group environments where you work with others. Even products like TRX are more successful in the gym environment where other people are, instead of in isolation at home.
Successful fads also create a movement that people can enjoy. Yoga makes you calm, Pump make your strong, Zumba makes you feel like a rock star. When people fall in love with the movement there’s a much higher chance that they want to come back and do it.
There are going to be many more fitness fads to come and go and many of them will be very entertaining. Keep them coming I say, if they get people moving in some way that can’t be a bad thing.
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