The Fit List

Come, stymied climbers, stalling cyclists, and ragged runners--behold the year's top ten fitness trends. We promise they'll punch up your performance.

Jun 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

   Photo: Girl Ray

IT'S DIZZYING, the way fitness trends can turn you into a fitness slut. They blow into your life, charm and seduce you, then blow on out, leaving you feeling cheap and used. At least until the next one comes along. Periodization. Interval training. Proprioceptive training. Core training. Wait, now it's tai chi. No, Tae-Bo. This one's really the one. Then again, there's Body for Life, Body Pump, Bowflex, Ab-Rockers, -Rollers, -Blasters, Masters. As Charlie Brown used to say, Aaaaughh! Serves us right. This is America, after all, land of Big Macs and Biggie Fries and SUVs as big as school buses, and the flip side of all this plenty is a lifetime spent bounding from one thing to the next, forever unsatisfied, and still kinda flabby.

Enough already. Out of the chorus of fitness experts, diet hawkers, and snake-oil salesmen, we have found a reliable voice—ours, of course—because, like you, we're tired of the one-night (or one-week or one-month) stand. We've flushed out the top ten fitness trends of the year for outdoor athletes. Not all involve the outdoors, but all are guaranteed to make your time under the blue sky more rewarding. Some are well known; others still fly just below the radar. One is a workout preferred by Madonna (you may never forgive us, but read on and you'll see why it made our list). All share a smartness and intuitive sensibleness for athletes wishing to go higher, farther, faster, and longer. Don't say we never did anything for you. You tramp.
1. A Kick in the Boot-tay: Boot-Camp Fitness
"People need a kick in the seat of the pants," says Patrick Avon, Navy veteran and owner of The Sergeant's Program (888-266-8226;, a fitness boot camp with bases in Chicago, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. "In a Spinning class, if you don't show up, you don't show up. With us, if you don't show up, we call you, e-mail you, we get on your case." Welcome to an increasingly popular program that weds the spittle-spraying fun of basic training to the hard sweat of, say, step aerobics. Classes focus on low-tech strength, speed, and agility, while road runs may find the group singing cadences. Insults and emotional battery are dropped in favor of positive support, and participants aren't required to shave their heads or wear fatigues (unless they want to). Best of all, you get a club-style workout in the great outdoors. "Most people work inside all day," says Todd Scott, owner of Platoon Fitness (888-752-8666; in New York and other East Coast locations. "Why would they want to go back into another box with bad music and fluorescent lights to work out?"

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