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Skiing and Snowboarding : Fitness

The Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2011

Not that you need to be thinking about this before your holiday party stretch, but the American College of Sports Medicine has released The Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2011. What's hot? Strength training and core training. Surprise. Six packs and a healthy back scored points. What's not? Stability balls, balance training, and Pilates.

“It appears from this survey that Pilates may not have been a trend at all but may be considered a fad in the health and fitness industry,” said Thompson. “Next year’s survey will either embrace Pilates as a trend or will answer this question.”

We're guessing fad. Sorry Daisy Fuentes.

The other trends aren't going to surprise or revolutionize the fitness world the way that say, super chunky knits or boxy handbags caused guffaws on the fall runways. In fact, some of the entries are a little boring—physician referrals, educated and experienced fitness professionals. Still, here are the Top 10 trends in case you want to start in on your New Year's Resolution a little early. Boot camp anyone?

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The Gear Junkie Interview: Clif Bar's Gary Erickson

Clif - Gary Erickson It was 20 years ago this fall -- November 17, 1990, to be precise -- when Gary Erickson (pictured at left) started to bonk on the long bike ride up Mount Hamilton in Santa Clara County, Calif. He had six energy bars with him for the day, a stash of calories and fuel he'd hoped would be enough for a 175-mile endurance fest concocted by a friend and fellow bike racer to be completed in a single day. But nearing the top on Mount Hamilton -- legs spinning, body beginning to crash -- Erickson could not stomach another bite of the bar he had in his jersey pocket. "That was the 'epiphany moment,' as I've come to call it," Erickson said.

He didn't know it at the time, but that single bar's bad taste in 1990 would spark a realization with Erickson -- "I can create a better-tasting energy bar!" -- that was so strong it led to the formation of a company.

Clif Bar Inc. was born in 1992, an upstart based out of a bakery Erickson ran and co-owned in Berkeley, Calif. The company blended his skills as a baker with knowledge of what's needed on the nutritional level to succeed in an endurance event.

Today, Clif Bar & Company employs more than 200 people and produces a line of energy bars, gels, drink mixes, and kids' snacks. I caught up with Erickson last week for an interview to talk nutrition and the future of the energy-food world.

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Death of the Sony Walkman

Walkman
Photo courtesy of edvvc on Flickr.

The gizmo that fuelled billions of workout hours over the past 31 years is going the way of the eight-track, the AP reports.

Sony is discontinuing production of the Walkman in Japan. Since the cassette player was first introduced in July 1979, over 220 million Walkmans have been sold. Originally invented so Sony's chairman could listen to music on long flights, the Walkman has been rendered (almost) obsolete by mp3 players and iPods.

But never fear. If you need a Walkman to polish off that killer '80s Halloween costume, you can still buy one; Sony will continue to make them for users in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries.

--Erin Beresini

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Top 10 Blogs from September

In case you missed 'em, here are the top 10 posts from last month. We dare you not to click on number 5: "Woman Saves Choking Bear".

Number 10: Chrissie Wellington: Riding the Himalayas

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Number 9: Ironman Champ Chrissie Wellington's M.O.

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Number 8: The Marathon Diaries: Top 10 Cross-Training Tools

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Number 7: The Gear Junkie Scoop: Interbike 2010

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Number 6: Should You Stretch?

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Number 5: Woman Saves Choking Bear

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Number 4: Ultracyclist Jure Robic Dies in Car Crash

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Number 3: Q&A: Alex Honnold on the Summer of Speed

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Number 2: The 5 Best Budget Gear Sites

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Number 1: The Origins of the Swiss Army Knife

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The Marathon Diaries: Reports from the Sideline

Photo  Christina Erb, here. Here's where we left off: I was debating running a marathon on a bum knee. Thanks, all, for weighing in. I decided not to. But, I still went to support my friend and Outside's assistant managing editor, Ali Troxell, who nabbed her goal. And here's the story:

The night before Nike’s Women Marathon, Ali and I discussed our game day strategy during a carb-heavy dinner at the delicious if not slightly mafia-like North Beach Restaurant. (Read: we ate in the basement surrounded by dozens of hanging salted ham shoulders).

Since my left knee had officially sidelined me from running, we decided I’d skip the starting line and head to mile three to cheer her on and then grab a bus to mile 18 and walk to the finish line. It seemed like a glorious plan.

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