We’ve all seen them – the latest fitness craze workout advertisements on the insanely repetitive advertisement television channels. If it’s not a new way to do a push-up, or the ‘300’ workout (named after the movie), it’s the mocked shake-weight that is striving to be adopted. The masses are continuously being drawn to these new methods of workout, all in an attempt to push oneself and be the one that first adopts a trend in the circuit (excuse the pun). With this consumer behaviour recognised as one on which to profit, here are three of the latest fitness fads that have caught on with people endlessly searching on YouTube for the best workout video to mimic.
‘UFC Workout’; The Ultimate Workout
As the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) has become a more of a mainstay in mainstream media coverage so too has the recognition of the participants in this sport as highly tuned athletes (ESPN ESPY Awards now consider MMA athletes for awards). The main proprietary organisation, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has been the driver in this push towards mainstream, with careful branding of the image of the sport and also the branding of its fighters. So much so that the sport is continually referred to, by the mainstream, as UFC rather than MMA (equate this to people calling the drink Coke, the brand leader in this space, rather than Cola). All this has contributed towards a rise in interest in so-called UFC workouts and MMA workouts that have been recognised as one of the most rigorous workouts to undertake. Similar to boxers, UFC fighters prior to a fight will have to cut large amounts of weight (see here and skip to 2:30) in order to make weight for the weight class they are scheduled to fight in. This has further reinforced the perception that UFC fighters undertake some of the most sought after training methods currently on the market. All of these factors have helped in the explosion of MMA gyms across America and offer of ‘UFC workouts’ to push the everyday blue-collar Joe Bloggs to the limit, all for a healthy sum of money too.
The ‘Tough Mudder’ Workout; Mr. Tom Selleck?
‘Who has done the Tough Mudder workout?’ – posted on Yahoo! Answers (see here).
This now infamous clip of a forty five year old man (yes count ‘em right – forty five) working out in preparation for a Tough Mudder event has resulted in this man being seen as somewhat of a cult hero for many. Tough Mudder styles itself as an ‘British SAS designed’ challenge course, which runs for 10 to 12 miles. They claim that on average only 78% of participants finish a Tough Mudder event. The brand has managed, similar to the UFC brand, to obtain somewhat of a cult status among its community – with the search on YouTube and other search engines epitomising participants want to train to the extreme for the event. A quick search for ‘Tough Mudder workout’ on Google results in numerous results of offers of help to train like a Tough Mudder and forums with discussions on what to do in preparation for an event. In fact, here is a website set up exclusively to cater for workouts and preparation for Tough Mudder, showing that this niche community and search for a Tough Mudder workout does resonate and hold clout with its audience.
The Navy SEAL Workout; Get Some!
‘SEAL-mania grips nation in wake of Bin Laden raid’ (see here).
Lastly, to the latest trend to become a spike on the search engine radar. The recent killing of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan by U.S. Navy SEALs has led to the ridiculous craze of people searching for the latest information and clips on a typical Navy SEAL workout. It seems as though the entire furore over the killing has led to heightened interest in how NAVY SEALs train and more specifically fitness programs run by former members of the elite service. Google Trends offers a robust support of this fad as Navy SEAL workout and Navy SEAL training show spikes in searches quickly following the release of news of the killing.
Two words that have recently re-entered the workout lexicon with this media coverage are ‘calisthenics’ (using one’s body weight for resistance) and ‘drown-proofing’ (swimming with arms and legs bound) – two elements that make up the core of a Navy SEAL workout. How long the interest in this latest fitness fad lasts, I see may hinge on how long the mainstream media decide to further devote coverage to the event and to Seal Team Six.
What will be the latest fitness craze to swoon America? Maybe the American Government will release some of the data recovered in the above Abbottabad mission, and with it one of them grainy videos of an Al Qaeda training camp in full flight.