Fitness Workouts & Workout Plans

Healthy Living, Personal Fitness, Men's & Women's Fitness

Fitness equipment fads come and go, but at Gold's Gym, you'll find results-driven cardio and strength training machines that will get you that much closer to your ultimate weight or carved physique. Get solid cardio fitness workouts with elliptical machines, and some ellipticals have moveable poles that will work our your arms in addition to your legs. Whether you're tackling your women's fitness or men's fitness program on an elliptical machine, there are few tips to remember, such as maintaining good posture "to help ensure the most effective workout," recommends the Mayo Clinic. During men's fitness or women's fitness workouts with an elliptical, you also need to keep your shoulder back, heap up, your abdominal muscles tight, and your eyes forward, not looking down, notes the Mayo Clinic's fitness specialists.

The Fitness Fads Hall of Shame

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary—and 50 years of real results—we tracked down the most outlandish trends from the 20th and 21st centuries for your enjoyment.

Born: 1980s

Suzanne Somers is still the face of this franchise from the brain of Joshua Reynolds, the man who also brought the mood ring into the world. For 25 years, Somers has insisted that you can get perfect inner thighs by putting this bright neon tool between your knees for a squeeze.

Success or failure? You can still purchase one.

Born: 1920s

This device claimed it could eliminate fat by shaking it free with a vibrating belt that went around your waist. Shockingly, it didn’t work, but that didn’t stop the machine from being popular for more than half a century.

Success or failure? These are definitely a “vintage” item now.

Born: 1980s

Can’t shake it free? Then shock it off—that’s the message of The Flex Belt. It claims to help you get toned by sending a mild electronic shock to the nerves in your abs that cause them to contract and relax. Apparently you can see changes in just a few weeks! Though that is probably because the belt also comes with a diet and exercise plan that suggests lowering your calorie intake to 1400 – 1800 calories.

Success or failure? It is still available. That is all.

Born: Mid-1990s

The multicolored rubber bands appeared during the neon-fascinated years of yore, pitched as a simple, portable system for toning and firming your body. Watch out for the snap back, though!

Success or failure? You won’t get a great workout, but these are great for stretching.

Born: Mid-1990s

Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and decathlete Dave Johnson endorsed this product that mimicked a speed skater’s push from side to side. It’s fun in a “what am I doing?” type of way.

Success or failure? Lucky for you they are still available.

Knife and Fork Lift
Born: 2009

Communications maven Tom Madden liked to eat. Why not combine doing what he loved to do with working out, he thought, which led to the development of this 1.5-pound combination dumbbell/fork or knife.

Success or failure? They are currently sold out on the website and Madden is “seeking investors.”

Born: 2006

When we think of great abs, we think of horse riding. (What, you don’t?) The iGallop claimed that it mimicked the motion of sitting on top of a horse, which apparently works the abs like no other workout.

Success or failure? You can still purchase one, but why?

Born: 2011

This Shake Weight knockoff claimed a super-sick workout in just 10 minutes, thanks to something called “circular strength technology” and proclaimed itself “the world’s first flexing dumbbell.” The reality was closer to a big, wobbly pack of lies.

Success or failure? Fail. It was essentially DOA.

Born: Mid-1990s

Ex-bodybuilder Tony Little developed the Gazelle after a car accident left him needing a way to work out with limited stress on his joints. The elliptical-like device briefly caught on, thanks in part to Little’s devotion to manic infomercials, with sales of more than 60,000 on New Year’s Eve in 1997.

Success or failure? still offers the Gazelle, but it also offers an inflatable party sheep. Do you want either?

Born: 1960s

Stand on a small plastic or metal platform and twist, twist, twist to your heart’s content. Sure, you’ll burn a few calories with the effort, but you’ll look ridiculous doing so. Also, is a ball-bearing-loaded piece of plastic or metal really necessary for this motion?

Success or failure? Failed. Are you surprised?

Born: 1990s

The thinking was something along the lines of bigger wheels would make a harder workout for your average inline skater. The science was even less clear. Needless to say, these did not catch on, but they are still available.

Success or failure? You can still buy a pair.

Born: 1984

Canadian chiropractor Dennis Colonello saw an opportunity to harden abs around the globe (read: get rich quick) and produced this piece of plastic that was supposed to help you “rock your way” to awesome abs. It would go on to sell a remarkable 3 million devices while producing next to nothing in terms of results.

Success or failure? Spectacular fail. From a Wired review: “A symbol for TV shopping channels everywhere, a cheaply made, overpriced widget that is destined to be unpacked, tried exactly once, and consigned to the basement.”

Born: Based on a company’s press release, these came into being in 2009

These rocker-bottomed sneakers claimed to help you tone up your buttocks, legs and abdominals just by walking in them. One ad claimed, “Get in shape without setting foot in a gym.” The FTC went after the company when it learned that the husband of a Skechers executive conducted the clinical studies behind the fitness claims.

Success or failure? Skechers agreed to pay $40 million to settle the charges.

There's been plenty of fitness equipment that's delivered questionable results, as the editors of the "Gold's Gym Strength Exchange" found in looking back over the last 50 years. If you're looking for fitness workouts using exercise equipment, there is good news: there are exercise machines that, when used correctly and used regularly, actually produce solid fitness results. These aren't women's fitness machines or men's fitness machines, but cardio and strength training machines for everyone who wants to shed weight and shred muscle. For an effective men's fitness or women's fitness workout, try the elliptical machine or treadmill, suggests the Mayo Clinic: "Using an elliptical machine is generally considered low impact. An elliptical machine might be a good alternative to jogging. …(But) A treadmill is probably a better tool to prepare you for running events."

Top-notch cardio fitness equipment can get your heart rate pumping in the target zone and high quality resistance machines can tone your and strengthen your muscles. For your fitness workouts, you need to consider the big question: "Which machine do you really want to use?" note the exercise consultants at WebMD. WebMD's women's fitness and men's fitness experts know that the machine that interests you the most is the one you're most likely to keep using, and consistent use means better fitness results. For your men's fitness or women's fitness program, take a look at all of the elliptical machines, stairclimbers, treadmills, stationary bikes and weight training machines at the Gold's Gym fitness center near you.