5 Disclaimers for Popular Fitness Programs
Sure, they’re great for some, but these workouts are hiding something. Consider yourself warned
Infomercials make every exercise program look amazing, and there’s no doubt they can work for the folks they fit—if you love a program enough, you’ll stick with it, get results, and maybe even see your before-and-after mug gracing the screens of late night.
But those half-hour call-now sessions hide things, too: little inconveniences, pseudo-scientific babble, and just plain weird stuff that every consumer should be aware of before paying shipping and handling. Consider these your public-service warnings for six popular programs—they may not be deal breakers, but at least you’ll know the full story before you fork over your cash.
Disclaimer: Your downstairs neighbors may be the ones to go crazy.
Insanity is, in many ways, amazing: It reproduces the at-home intensity of P90X, but with shorter workouts (35 minutes versus more than an hour for P90X) and without expensive equipment like dumbbells and pull-up bars—basically, the barriers to entry have been smashed, and replaced with intervals of pushups, squats, and LOTS of jumping.
That jumping can be worth every hop: In a study from 2006, researchers from Western Michigan University and UT-Arlington found that a six-week plyometric (jumping) regimen improved athletes’ agility compared to those who stayed flat-footed. And while you may not need to juke away from a defender, that agility can help you when you’re trying to avoid a pothole while running, or when you need to weave through a crowded concert to find your friends in the front row. Plus, the pounding of plyos can also increase bone density.
But that pounding is also the rub: The up-and-down slamming of so many jumps can, with the wrong form, increase the risk of ACL injury, which is already 8 times more prevalent in women than in men. See a doctor before you start this program to be sure your knee is tracking correctly. And then go downstairs and talk to your neighbors—Insanity’s high flying might melt away fat, but it may also land you in a meeting with your landlord over all that thumping on their ceiling.