Trendy workouts--what's all the hype about?

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Do you remember when Jazzercise and Jane Fonda were popular? Or what about the Richard Simmons' aerobic videos? In the fitness world, like anything else, there will be workout programs that come and go. Some will become the trend for a few years and then slowly dwindle.

When a workout program is introduced to the fitness industry, some individuals think that the program is going to be the quick fix to reach their fitness goals. However, it is important to research a new workout program or regime before diving in head first. What is this new workout all about? Why is this so popular? And most importantly, is it safe?

I'm sure everyone, at some point, has heard the words Cross Fit or Insanity.

Cross Fit, a workout program which started in 2000, has millions of individuals across the world participating in this up-and-coming workout. Cross Fit is a strength and conditioning program that uses endurance, strength, and hard work in order to accomplish the Workout of the Day, or "WOD."

The Cross Fit gym, also known as "The Box," creates the WODS which are catered to individual's personal fitness levels. Workouts include exercises and movements that build individuals strength, stamina, speed, endurance, flexibility, and balance.

Good boxes will have introductory classes before allowing the individual to start the workouts. It is imperative to find a facility and lead coach that fits the needs and wants of the individual.

In addition, it is particularly important to verify the coaches are certified, professional and motivating. Due to the rise of popularity of Cross Fit there is also a rise in "mock" Cross Fit programs which unfortunately do not have certified trainers. Programs without certified trainers lead to a higher susceptibility for injuries caused by improper form and movement.

Other common causes of injury due to Cross Fit include improper warm up and cool down, not knowing limitations as well as not allowing proper rest and recovery time.

Insanity is a home video workout that was created by Shawn Thompson in 2007 that uses maximum interval training to receive results in 60 days.

Maximum interval training is when an individual keeps their body working at maximum capacity during the workout and gives the individual breaks just enough to get a drink of water or catch their breath.

The Insanity workout does not use any equipment and can be done in the comfort of the individuals' home. Since Insanity is a workout that can be done at home the individual can do their work out whenever it fits their schedule.

When engaging in workout programs in the comfort of an individual's home they can be performing the exercise wrong and raise the risk of not working the intended muscle, in turn resulting in a possible injury. The individual can choose to engage in the workout by themselves or workout with someone to provide motivation.

When engaging in new workouts, one should know their fitness goals and do research on workouts. An individual should know what their body is capable of and not be afraid to try new things. Not every workout is for everyone, so pay close attention to form to avoid injury. Pushing oneself is fine, but individuals need to know their limits.

No matter which routine is chosen, the ultimate goal is to get up, get moving, and stay active.