Ever since man became aware of his expanding waistline, he has had a plethora of fashionable means at his disposal to remove his spare tire.

Ever since man became aware of his expanding waistline, he has had a plethora of fashionable means at his disposal to remove his spare tire. Sure, he could simply eat less and move around more, but that is too simple. It’s boring. It isn’t sexy. Knowing that man will go to great lengths to ignore those stubborn facts of weight loss, his fellow man, the inventor/entrepreneur, turned out fad after fad with the promise of gaining muscle and reducing body fat. Each passing year has brought man new gadgets, contraptions and diets plans. 2010 was no exception to this tradition. Let us take a look at some of the “innovations” that 2010 brought us.

The Shake Weight

While I’ve already done a full article on this product, here’s a quick recap: it’s bogus. Sure, it will burn some calories and maybe even strengthen your grip if you’re on the weaker side, but holding a vibrating object sure as hell isn’t going to build muscle mass or “tone” anything. Meanwhile the user looks ridiculous during their workout.

The return of the Liquid Diet

The new liquid diet doesn’t revolve around juices, but rather protein shakes. One variation of the new liquid diet was called the Velocity Diet. Drinking several protein shakes and consuming various other supplements every day, users typically lost 15-20 pounds of chub over the course of 4 weeks. They were even allowed one solid meal per week. Oh, joy! Seriously though, the diet isn’t that bad from a nutritional standpoint. It contains enough carbohydrates to avoid entering ketosis, and enough supplements are involved to cover all of one’s nutrient needs… so as long as the user doesn’t mind spending $550 for the all the necessary supplements. While some of the science behind the Velocity Diet is questionable, I’ve seen much worse. Personally, I’d probably be driven insane by my desire to chew something, but to each their own, I guess.

Minimalist shoes

It seems like everyone is sporting a pair of Nike Frees at the gym these days. I don’t know enough about the scientific claims or theory behind trying to mimic being barefoot without actually being barefoot, so I’m not going to knock it. Tons of users swear by minimalist footwear, so more power to ‘em. If the shoe style is still around in another year, I will probably invest in a pair myself. What I am willing to say, however, is that Vibram Five Fingers are straight-up U-G-L-Y. I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing them, even if they magically increased my strength by 10 percent. My apologies to those of you that proudly sport your Vibrams. Haters gonna hate.

Oh, and though not minimalist, don’t screw around with those Sketcher’s Shape-Ups. Again, I can’t speak about the science (or lack thereof) behind the shoes, but they make you look like a total goof. A good pair of wooden clogs would be much more fashionable in my book.

Honorablemention: gym “toys”

I have absolutely nothing against kettlebells, tire flipping, sledgehammer swings, sled pushes, rope undulation or any of that other “hardcore” stuff. Again, if you like this stuff, more power to you. MMA fighters absolutely love these tools and they could whip my ass, so I’m not going to knock any of it. I should probably utilize them more often myself. My problem is when I see personal trainers getting these new “toys” and using them with every single client. If you’re going to use cookie-cutter programs for your clientele, at least stick to the basics instead of training my granny like she’s Chuck Liddell or Brock Lesnar.

So there you have it, my favorite (for the lack of a better word) fitness fads of 2010. I can’t wait to see what goodies 2011 has to offer us. ?