crossfitWe are educated now more than ever about what our bodies need to be healthy, but fitness programs have actually been around for quite some time. Gymnastics, for one, made its way to the Western world in the 1800s. And just over the past 40 years, we’ve seen a steady stream of workout trends: aerobics in the early 80s, kickboxing and step aerobics in the 90s, then boot camps, P90X, and Pilates in the early millennium. Today, we have some new contenders, like Orangetheory, CrossFit, and Pure Barre.

But how do some of these new age fitness programs work and which one might be the right one for you? Let’s take a look.

Crossfit, Orangetheory, or Pure Barre: How Do I Choose?

Orangetheory: Obviously, orange is the new gold with this trendy fitness program. Instead of Gold’s Gym and LA Fitness, Orangetheory is the new gold standard in workout programs. Women especially are joining in droves to challenge their bodies to reach the ‘orange zone,’ the point when your body reaches Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). So if you want to take a more scientific approach to changing your body, Orangetheory may be for you. It’s based on reaching a high enough energy level that your body will continue to “burn” long after the workout stops. A key payout of the OTF work principle is increased fat-burning.

What participants and coaches are saying:

  • Amazing results driven by science.
  • It takes about four to six sessions per week and healthy eating to maximize results.

CrossFit: CrossFit is one of the fastest growing workout programs in the US. If you enjoy an intense workout that involves aspects of different sports like gymnastics, weightlifting, running, and rowing, CrossFit may be the workout program for you. The program exposes your body to random movements and equipment, essentially leading to muscle confusion. The belief is that functional movements and intensity will lead to dramatic gains in fitness by employing a varied approach to training,

What participants and coaches are saying:

  • They love the community support, competition, constant coaching, muscular endurance, and better fitness all around.

Pure Barre: Looking for something low impact and customized for the female body? All in one hour, Pure Barre will work your entire body with specific attention to all the problem areas that women struggle with most: hips, thighs, seat, abdominals, and arms. The movements and stretches are designed to create long, lean muscles without bulk. And to protect your joints, there’s no bouncing or jumping.

What participants and coaches are saying:

  • Although this is a low impact class, expect your muscles to tire out through a series of isometric exercises.
  • Participants are encouraged to push themselves to the limit in every class.
  • This class involves intense strength training rather than dance moves.

One thing to note is that all of these workout programs come with a financial commitment-they are typically more expensive than either a regular gym membership. But if you’re seeing the results you want, it may be well worth the extra investment.

For more on the latest health trends, read our blog on Yoga for Kids or the 12 Foods that You Must Buy Organic.