In the spirit of award season and Sunday's Golden Globes, here's my list of fit-winners this year!
Workout Trend That's Taking Over The World: SoulCycle
The cult-following studio that's been all the buzz this past year is the 6-year-old SoulCycle—the spinning sensation that rides to the beat of the music. With four studios in Manhattan, two in the Hamptons, another in Scarsdale, New York, and ones coming to Roslyn, Long Island and Greenwich, Connecticut, get ready for the spinning boutique of the century to take over the world, literally. Opening next month in West Hollywood, California—with locations following in Brentwood and beyond—this A-list favorite workout (Katie Holmes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kelly Ripa and Alec Baldwin are all staples on the saddle) just keeps getting bigger..and better.
Featuring over seven daily sessions in all locations, plus regular fun-themed rides—Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, even Twilight Breaking Dawn cycle-parties—this studio is not only a 500-plus calorie dropping workout, it's the place. to. be. on any day of the week. (Where else is there a waiting list for 6 a.m. workouts?)The captivating playlists plus theatrical performances by instructors who push you through sprints, hill climbs and strengthen-until-you-fatigue dumbbell sessions makes SoulCycle the workout of the year.
Stay tuned for much more happenings, like the special launch of this month's limited edition Swarvoski crystal (1,650 of them jewels) encrusted iPhone cases, designed by the Villency Design Group. Available at studio locations and soul-cycle.com, the $250 price tag won't keep even the loyalist fans away. Can't make it to a studio? Get some soul from the comfort of your very own home with the spring 2012 cheery yellow SoulCycle-branded spinning bike. See, what'd I tell you? This workout is taking over the world, and we're totally, totally psyched about it.
Best Collaboration:Jillian Michaels & K-Swiss
The former Biggest Loser trainer and The Doctors contributor, teamed up with K-Swiss a year ago and since then she's taken over everyone's sweat-sessions through totally awesome K-Swiss sneakers, tanks, sweats and apparel that will make you look just like her (if only her abs came included). My favorites were the JM for K-Swiss tanks that read "Saddlebags Suck" (got lots of looks walking through Equinox with that one) and one with her famous mantra "Blow Your Body's Mind". With the start of the new year, resolutions, and post-holiday shape-ups comes the launch of Jillian and K-Swiss' "The Party's Over" ad campaign with Lady Foot Locker. (It's one of those rare times we'll see this little lady all glammed out like it's time for the ball circa 1950.) TV's favorite trainer may no longer grace us on Tuesday nights, but we can use her for motivation every time we lace up with the K-Swiss Blade-Max shoes. Check out K-Swiss and Lady Foot Locker's Facebook pages for exclusive videos from Jillian—workout tips and more never stop coming from our pint-sized workout queen.
Most Ingenious Idea: Under Armour's Armour Bra
As editors, it's our job to weed out the bad and give you the good, but my favorite "hey this thing really works!" product to hit my desk this year comes from the geniuses over at Under Armour. The new Armour Bra is the first of its kind: Color-coded bras make it easy to pick out your size from aisles away (A-yellow, B-blue, C-pink, D-orange & DD-purple). Since the inception of the sports bra (that would be a man's jock strap over your ta-tas), this new iteration of female undergarments has come a long way. Not only can you choose both the size of the band and your cup size, but Under Armour also thought this one through with removable perforated quick-dry molded cups that not only support you during any high-impact sport, but give you ultimate shape and style as if you're hitting happy hour in only this. (Adjustable clasps on the back of the bra are even covered in super-comfy gel cushioning to prevent any future chafing problems.) We dare you to wear this one under your office clothes. You just might never take it off...and that's OK.
Brett Hoebel: TV's newest trainer is here to stay. (Photo courtesy of Brett Hoebel)
Best TV Trainer Newcomer: Brett Hoebel
This certified personal trainer and Capoeira and Muay Thai kickboxing pro scored a coveted training gig on Season 11 of the hit weight-loss show, The Biggest Loser, and now he's also helping our favorite chefs across America get fit and fabulous on Food Network's new health-based docu-series Fat Chef, premiering January 26th at 10 p.m. I always knew Brett would be a star. As if the smile and dimples weren't enough to keep him on TV, his life passion for helping others see their true potential and getting to the bottom of their health woes makes inspirational TV. But Brett's the trainer to watch out for: He's got multiple degrees and certifications and as a former overweight teen he preaches from the heart. Ladies, this one's here to stay.
Best REAL-ity TV Show: NBC's The Biggest Loser
No matter how many competitors try to break the mold, The Biggest Loser still holds the spot as most addicting weight-loss reality TV show to watch. Even through so many changes (Anna Kournikova? In and out so fast we barely saw her!) and trainer switch-ups, I still cry tears of joy for contestants having "aha! moments" and shedding hundreds of pounds in front of millions. This season especially, with trainers Dolvett Quince (man, we love those biceps!) and forever-our-favorite Bob Harper tackle couples separated on to different teams and tell us why every excuse in the book is simply just not good enough. Yep, we're still excited come Tuesday morning.
Best Workout Apparel Brand To Wear Out On A Saturday Night: Lululemon
I mean seriously? You can workout in this thing? Lululemon never fails to impress with the summer of 2011's hottest workout tank, The Bliss Tank. I own it in three colors and the super-soft eco-friendly fabric called tencel, made from wood pulp, is silky and quick-drying. The Bliss Dress hit stores following the release of the tank, and if last season's amazing-ness from our favorite get-sweaty-with brand hasn't proved us something yet, it's that the 2012 collection is definitely going to be hot! Coming up next for the grassroots brand is an expanded line of cycling apparel with Specialized Bicycles and the debut of their first-ever half-marathon, The SeaWheeze, in their hometown of Vancouver in August 2012. (Sign up now and get your Lulu on!)
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
Check back in with The Fit Stop all awards season for more of our "best of" fit picks.
Now tell us: Anything I missed? Tell me what your fittest-favorite brand or event is from this past year. We'd love to hear your thoughts!