7 Fitness Programs with Cult Followings

by Charlotte Andersen for SHAPE.com

Need workout motivation? It may be time to drink the Kool-aid and try one of these uber-popular programs!


1. Bodyrock.tv: If you've ever wanted to look long, very lean, and slightly Eastern European, then you will love the short-but-seriously-hardcore Bodyrock.tv workout. To find "Bodyrockers" in their element, you'll have to look past the gym-proponents of this "at-home fitness movement" love to do their workouts either in their living rooms or in public places such as beaches and parks, as evidenced by all the fan photos adorning the site. Minimal equipment is one of the main selling points of Bodyrocking, but the few things they do use include sandbags, stability balls, and chin-up bars.

Secret handshake: While the actual moves aren't the sexiest (unless deep squats and burpees are your thing), the way Bodyrockers do them sure is! One of the original founders, Zuzana (who has now started her own workout channel called Zuzka Light), popularized the workouts with her impressive cleavage and heavy breathing.

Photo Credit : Bodyrock.tv

RELATED: MMA Workout: Get in Fighting Form!


2. CrossFit: You've probably heard about how hardcore CrossFit is from one of the program's fanatic followers who likely wakes at 5 a.m. to work out at a spartan gym equipped with climbing ropes, gymnastics rings, and lots of weights. The program's short yet intense workouts include elements of Olympic weightlifting , powerlifting, plyometrics, sprints, and other intense training regimens that turn CrossFitters into lean, mean, deadlifting machines.

Secret handshake: CrossFit has its own special vocabulary. For instance, the workout of the day is called the WOD (pronounced "wad"). Many WODs have weird names like "Fran" or "Fight Gone Bad"-very important to know when a CrossFitters brags "I killed Fran today! It was awesome!"

When it comes to clothing, sports bras and shorts are the norm (because 8-pack abs on both genders mean shirts are optional). A CrossFitter's one concession to style is their crazy knee socks. Bonus points for anything that says "beast mode" on it.

Photo Credit: CrossFit.com


3. P90X: Followers of P90X, the 12-DVD at-home workout program that has swept the nation in recent years, sweat through 60- to 90-minute workouts six days a week. Or rather, as program founder Tony Horton puts it, they "get extreme."

Secret handshake: Horton is a funny guy but after watching the videos every day, people form very strong opinions about which jokes are tired, which of the supporting cast they prefer to copy (and ignore), and what exactly is the recipe for German Potato Soup.

Avid followers of the plan may have also mastered Tony Horton's impossible pushup.

Photo Credit: FitnessBodyOnline.com


4. Turbokick: The punching and kicking in Turbokick may first appear to be kickboxing, but the killer dance moves, choreography, and pop music make it more like a rave, kicking your butt in time to an eight-count beat.

Secret handshake: The signature move, called "the Turbo Twist" is a jab, cross, knee lift, but each Turbokicker adds their own little flare to it. The current controversy: Are you cheating if you tap your rear foot instead of dropping into a full lunge? It's all in the details!

Turbokick also has its own line of flashy workout duds, consisting mainly of tanks and cargo pants with more buckles, straps, and ties than a fishing vest.

Photo Credit: GoToTheEdge.com


5. Zumba:Zumba acolytes are hard to miss in the wild-think Miami club gear but with even more neon spandex, which speaks to one of the best parts of this Latin dance class: how uninhibited the program is. Go big, go loud, and go sexy!

Secret handshake: Zumba instructors are taught to cue without words by relying primarily on example and an elaborate set of hand gestures. For example, a pat on the head usually means "from the top." You can spot a hardcore Zumba-ite pretty easily by the word "Zumba" written on at least three items of clothing.

Photo Credit: Zumba.com


6. Insanity: If you yell "run and drop!" in a crowded room and someone actually drops and does pushups, they are either in the military or an Insanity lover. If they jump back up into a tuck jump and grab their knees, you can be sure they're part of the Insanity clan.

Secret handshake: Inventor Shaun T is one of the most high-energy people you will ever "meet" (on DVD ). Consequently a lot of his followers take "bouncing off the walls" literally as well as figuratively.

Photo Credit : BodyPowerFitness.com

RELATED: 12 Form Fixes for Better Workout Results

Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga

7. Bikram yoga: Real Bikram yoga classes follow a precise series of 26 poses in a 107-degree heated room. Anything else is just yoga in a hot room. You can spot a Bikram devotee by her scant clothing, two-liter water bottle, and crazy-flexible hamstrings.

Secret handshake: When asked why anyone would ever want to be inside a room that hot much less do anything athletic in it, Bikram yogis inevitably talk about cleansing and detoxifying. Chakras and heart centers may come up as well.

Photo Credit : BikramYoga.com

More on SHAPE:
10 Seriously Fit Chicks of CrossFit
The Tank Top Arms Workout
The Ultimate Hotel Room Workout