Weird fitness fads from 10 years ago

A decade later, they‘re still weird

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Photo via Business Wire press release for Skinnez

Clearing out my Google Drive folder, I found this column I wrote for Milwaukee Magazine about fitness fads of 2008. Since then, most of these have — thankfully —gone out a business and their websites have disappeared. I think this provides a good perspective if you’re considering any New Year’s resolution fixes. What will we think in 10 years?

You’d think if there’s any orifice a dieter would want to staple, it would be the mouth. But like most diets, that would have a nasty side effect. Death, in this particular case. One of the rationales for this procedure is the staple — which stays in place for 3–6 months — has a sort of acupuncture effect that suppresses diet. I’m a big believer in acupuncture. But I’ve never had a needle sticking out of my ear for half a year. Does it work? Probably not.

What sort of workout should you be doing? Check your DNA. For a mere $299, a Boulder, Colo., company will read through your genetic coding and determine if you’re best wired for, whether that’s triathlons or Pilates. After analyzing a sample — along with a detailed 55-question lifestyle survey — they send you a “personal action plan.” Or you could just put the $299 toward what you already like to do.

You knew girdles were a bad idea when someone had to invent fainting couches. History repeats itself yet again. Skineez jeans are supposed to make you skinny by secreting a mixture of topical fat-fighting chemicals onto your thighs.

According to a press release:

Developed to combine cosmetics and textiles to create a variety of benefits for the wearer, Skineez Skincarewear is the only seamless slimwear garment pretreated with Skintex® — a revolutionary patented technology for embedding fabrics with microcapsules that contain natural-based ingredients that continuously moisturize and smooth the skin while helping to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The Skineez Skincarewear garment is packaged with its own bottle of Skintex® skincare spray that can be reapplied after 6–10 washes to continue to produce results as long as it is worn. Each garment also has built-in “compression points” for extra contouring where needed most.

The starter kit retailed for $68, while the Skintex formula was sold separately for reapplication for $20. One blogger awarded it the Slim Chance Award for Fraud and Quackery.

Cosmopolitan shared this advice from Katy Perry:

“I’m really critical of my posture, it makes a big difference. And I try to suck my belly in. Everyone should do that whether you’re on a red carpet or not. Even if you’re just going out to dinner with your boyfriend you should try and suck it in.”

Katie Holmes reportedly went on a “bizarre herbal detox plan which is favoured by Scientologists,” according to the Daily Mail. The regiment reportedly includes extreme caffeinated like those favored by body builders and doses of the vitamin niacin “to purify the body.”

Wait, this doesn’t fit with the others? Exactly.

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Educator. Podcast addict. Wrote a book about creativity:

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