Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Five Worst Fitness Ideas of All Time

The old saying goes that with time comes wisdom.

That's certainly the case in the world of sports and fitness, where decades of research have increased our knowledge of how the body works and how best to train it.

Of course, that doesn't mean we've seen the end of whacky exercise ideas or outlandish weight-loss schemes (e.g., The Hollywood Diet, Electric Muscle Stimulation machines).But to show you just how far we've come, here are ACE's top five worst fitness ideas of all time.

1. Dehydration A common, pre-20th century belief was that you should withhold water or you'd get too heavy or sick.
2. Recreational drug use during competition In 1869 cyclists were known to use ''speed balls'' of heroin and cocaine to increase endurance. The use of caffeine, alcohol, nitroglycerin, ether, strychnine and opium also was common among athletes in the late 19th century.
3. All-potato diet Early 20th century scientist Horace Fletcher pushed this, along with excessive mastication of food - ''chewing your way to health.''
4. Physics for the bowels Applied by early 18th-century British trainers
5. Vibrating belts that proponents claimed would shake weight off

This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.Click here to order your subscription today.

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