A recent study released from Bodybuilding.com shows that people who successfully complete a fitness program reap many more benefits than beyond simply losing weight.
54% say they have become a happier person
19% say they have improved relationships with family and friends
16% have better or new romantic relationships, and
15% say they have tried something they never thought they would do, such as scuba diving, skydiving, etc.
It makes sense that so many people are constantly searching for the latest and greatest fitness trends or workout craze — because they work! It matters less what the program is and more that it’s something you’ll stick with. Of course, 2013 brought no shortage of fitness enthusiasm, with both newer workouts and some good, old standbys. Here’s what topped Google’s most-searched-for workouts in 2013, and a couple I wouldn’t be surprised to see on the list by the end of 2014.
Most Popular Workouts 1 of 8
A look at the top 5 most-searched-for workouts of 2013, a couple that seem to be missing, and a few to keep an eye on.
Photo credits: Heather Neal unless otherwise specified.
#1: Insanity 2 of 8
Remember the crazy intense workout DVDs series P90X? The Insanity Workout Program is P90X's cardio-based cousin. It claims serious results in as little as two months, using plyometrics, cardio, and resistant training in about an hour a day. It's produced by the Beach Body family and Coach Shaun T., who, from the looks of it, could whip anybody into shape.
#2: CrossFit 3 of 8
With all I've heard about CrossFit the past few years, especially during 2013, I knew this workout would top the list before I even clicked on it. I'm pretty shocked it didn't clinch the top spot though. The hefty pricetag may have something to with that, though. Although it's been around for ages, CrossFit has taken a sudden surge in popularity. And for good reason! It's downright effective. It's a workout that consists of "constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity." That means it's hard, and it works. In addition to the specific design of the exercises, one of the reasons CrossFit is so popular among fitness-minded folks is that it's a community, too. It even has its own secret-like language including acronyms like "WOD, AMRAP, and PB." (AKA "workout of the day," "as many rounds as possible," and "personal best.")
By the way, CrossFit isn't just a style of workout. It's a branded fitness regimen designed by Greg Glassman.
Read more about CrossFit:
#3: Ab Exercises 4 of 8
When said social media fitness selfies aren't of flexed biceps, they're abs. Just like showing off your arms, there's something about pulling up your shirt and flashing a six-pack that gets people going. Though these pictures may be a vanity-thing, there's no denying that having a strong core is good for you — it improves posture, prevents injury, staves off back pain, and more.
I doubt the popularity of ab exercises is going anywhere, so here's a few to get you started this year.
#4: Biceps 5 of 8
This one isn't so much of a specific workout, but a sure sign that we as a country are opposed to showing off our guns — as in biceps, that is. I don't know what it is about biceps being an indicator of strength and fitness, but take a look at the fitness pictures on Instagram or Facebook, and in my unscientific estimate nine times out of ten someone's flexing their biceps.
Want to pump up your biceps this year? Here are some popular exercise routines that focus on building those biceps.
#5: 7 Minute Workout 6 of 8
I don't know who this one wouldn't appeal to: seven minutes to get your workout done?! Sign me up! Time is one of the biggest excuses for why people don't exercise, myself included. It's tough to justify that excuse when you're talking less than 10 minutes, especially when you know how many DVR-ed episodes of Breaking Bad you watch every night.
The 7-minute workout was published in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Health and Fitness Journal mid-2013. It showcases 12 exercises using just your body weight, a chair, and a wall. It forces us to virtually eliminate all of our reasons for skipping a sweat session: time, equipment, space, gym membership, etc. It's high-intensity in nature and requires a lot of hard work, but again, it's only seven minutes.
More on the 7 Minute Workout:
The 7-Minute Workout as seen in the NY Times
What’s Missing 7 of 8
I was a bit surprised to see two workouts missing from the top five list, but given a run in a workout-centric circle, maybe my view is a little warped. I'd love to see these two on the rise, or at least being incorporated into more individual workout routines:
TRX: A total body training system using suspension and body weight. You can use it at home or find it in many gyms. There's even an app to go with it now to help guide and motivate you when you're on your own.
What’s Up and Coming 8 of 8
The top five list — and even the top 10 list — barely scratched the surface of fun and effective workouts that are popping up on an almost daily basis. From pole-dancing to aerial yoga, and kettlebells to SoulCycle, the innovation of the fitness world is truly astonishing. Here's a few workouts I think we should keep an eye for this year, and beyond:
(Some of these are brand names, but I think the styles in general are what to look for.)
Sand Blasting: Like kettlebells but with an added twist, these bags are full of sand for an even more intense workout. (They're known as sandbells or sandbags.)
Barre workouts: Pure Barre, Physique57, The Bar Method, Barre3, etc. This ballet-based training system focuses on small movements that are shockingly difficult. They tend to emphasize muscle work on the core, hips, and butt. Whether it's at a studio or on DVD in your own living room, I predict this workout is a household name by the end of the year. There are even variations that combine barre workouts with TRX training. Don't worry, you don't need to be a ballerina!
What would you add to the list?
Photo credit: Flickr
What workouts did you try last year? What’s on your radar for this year?