How Energy Bars Became America's Favorite Snack Food

When outdoor athletes launched the first energy bars more than 30 years ago, no one could have predicted it would revolutionize the way Americans eat. A look inside the hottest—and strangest—category in natural foods.

By Marc Peruzzi

The Science Behind Your Favorite Workout Playlist

Looking to boost your athletic performance? Start with your music.

By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Gym Class Is So Bad, Kids Are Skipping School to Avoid It

Not only does P.E. do little to improve physical fitness, but it can also lead to truancy and other disciplinary problems.

By Alia Wong

Inside the Rise of Keto: How an Extreme Diet Went Mainstream

Meet the bodybuilders, biohackers, scientists, doctors, and hucksters behind the buzziest thing in nutrition.

By Michael Easter

How to get the most out of your exercise time, according to science

A simple guide to high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, the fitness trend du jour.

By Julia Belluz


From Couch Potato To Fitness Buff: How I Learned To Love Exercise

Reframing how we think about exercise makes a new habit stick

By Maria Godoy


Competition has Flywheel and SoulCycle spiraling into an identity crisis

Cheaper classes and luxury at-home bikes like Peloton are cutting into their customer base.

By Bethany Biron


If You Don't Love Your Fancy New Gym, You're Not Alone

This study compared old school gyms to modern fitness clubs for surprising results.

By Ewa M. Roos

The Geography of American Gym and Fitness-Center Brands

Gym and fitness-studio chains tend to specialize in either urban or suburban areas. But overall, they skew toward rich neighborhoods with lots of graduates, renters, and white people.

By Richard Florida

Your Fitness Resolution Might Be Easier If You're Rich

The availability of exercise venues reflects broader divides of class and geography.

By Richard Florida

How Burn Boot Camp Is Building A Fitness Culture On The Backs Of Women

Devan and Morgan Kline's women-centric fitness franchise is growing, and growing fast.

By Karsten Strauss

As retail withers, Bay Area gyms flex their muscles

By Roland Li

Why the Best Wearable Fitness Tracker Is the One You Stop Wearing

Wearables are finally entering the mainstream, but they still have a fundamental flaw: diminishing returns.

By Jeff Bercovici

Is Haley Adams the next CrossFit phenom?

By Spenser Metsel

CrossFit is amassing an army of doctors trying to disrupt health care

CEO Greg Glassman believes his program could end chronic disease — and he wants doctors to help him.

By Julia Belluz


How This Air Force Vet Tapped Into the Lucrative Business of Making Super Heavy Things for Gym Rats to Lift

Rogue Fitness is a one-stop shop for all of a fitness junkie's needs.

By Tim Crino

Most popular workout day, time? America’s fitness patterns, according to ClassPass

By Rina Raphael

Do you burn more calories exercising in the cold? Here’s what the science says.

Bodies do burn fuel to stay warm — but it’s complicated.

By Julia Belluz


The Art of Woke Wellness

At an inaugural desert festival of yogis and spirit guides like Russell Brand, an exclusive industry grapples with consumerism, addiction, and the actual meaning of wellness.

By James Hamblin

Xponential Fitness: One of the Biggest Boutique Fitness Names You Have Never Heard

Xponential Fitness owner and CEO Anthony Geisler is on a mission to find the next hot trend and boutique brand offering to add to his company's portfolio of what he calls the best boutique studio brands in each vertical. So far, he's scooped up seven brands.

By Pamela Kufahl and Dawn Hightower

For space travelers, fitness is a top priority

Microgravity creates special problems for keeping the bones and muscles healthy.

By Fred Bowen

The Extreme Lengths a Submarine Crew Takes to Stay Fit

Lessons in fitness, teamwork, stress, and resilience from the crew of a $2.7 billion nuclear submarine.

By Josh Dean

Ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter Takes On The World's Most Sadistic Endurance Race

By Sarah Barker

Peloton’s $2,000 stationary bike has totally disrupted working out at home

Unlike the NordicTracks of the past, people actually use these.

By Cheryl Wischhover


How America Became a Nation of Yoga Pants

It took a few decades, but a shift toward casual wear and fitness, as well as a company called Lululemon, is changing what everyone wears.

By Kim Bhasin and Gerald Porter Jr.

Nutrition research is deeply biased by food companies. A new book explains why.

The food industry has borrowed from the tobacco industry when it comes to distorting science.

By Julia Belluz


Everything You Wear Is Athleisure

Yoga pants, tennis shoes, and the 100-year history of how sports changed the way Americans dress

By Derek Thompson

CrossFit Affiliate Growth, Part 2: International Analysis

By Scott Henderson

CrossFit’s Explosive Affiliate Growth by the Numbers

Part I

By Scott Henderson


CrossFit's Greg Glassman Disrupted Fitness. Next, He's Taking on Healthcare.

Can CrossFit fix the healthcare industrial complex? Glassman thinks so.

By Michael Easter

The treadmill wars are here

Peloton built a billion-dollar business on stationary bikes. Now the company and its rivals want to disrupt the most miserable form of home workout.

By Sheila Marikar

LULuLEMON, the brand that invented athleisure, plans its second Act

The Canadian activewear giant made yoga pants a status symbol. Here’s how the brand is planning for a post-athleisure industry drowning in activewear.

By Elizabeth Segran

the rebranded weight watchers is bringing wellness to the masses

Wellness used to be aspirational. Now it’s a “responsibility”.

By Tara Isabella Burton


You really, really want to go to the gym but still avoid it. New research may explain why.

“The real obstacle standing in the way of people getting active isn’t their lack of motivation, time or energy. It’s their brains.”

By Allyson Chiu

People of color have the highest obesity rates in the US. Food marketing is part of the problem.

University of San Diego marketing professor Aarti Ivanic discusses how race and food marketing intersect.

By Nadra NIttle


"The Vibe of the Times": How Nike Became the Biggest Fashion Brand in the World

The Swoosh's stable of designers—Virgil Abloh, Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones, Rei Kawakubo—rivals that of any luxury conglomerate. The brand's shoes are a fixture at runway shows, and sell out in stores. This is the story of how Nike turned itself into a globe-spanning fashion brand.

By Cam Wolf


stronger than yesterday: the history of the women-only gym

“Fitness sold to women has long been thinness sold to women.”

By Hazel Cills

How ClassPass and Mindbody Are Killing the Big-Box Gym

Two tech companies are leading the charge of the studio fitness boom and powering the rise of brands like SoulCycle and CorePower Yoga. What happens next might forever change the concept of a gym.

By Molly McHugh

everything you know about obesity is wrong

For decades, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence to wage a cruel and futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives.
It’s time for a new paradigm.

By Michael Hobbes


How fitness classes provide the meaning that religion once did.

By Tara Isabella Burton


America's malls are dying. Owners are hoping virtual reality and fitness centers will save them

“Move away from retail to pulling in consumers and switch from a primary focus on just selling things to creating consumer engagement.”

By Ronald D. White

What I learned about weight loss from spending a day inside a metabolic chamber

One of science’s best tools for understanding obesity is debunking myths about metabolism.

By Julia Belluz


This $2,995 home gym is like Peloton for weight-lifting

Can sleek design and engineering innovation make the home gym into a chic conversation piece?

By Katharine Schwab

How Zumba still rocks the fitness world

There’s no cool-down time for Zumba, the dance-fitness company founded in 2001 in South Florida. That’s because co-founders Alberto Perlman, Alberto Aghion and Alberto “Beto” Pérez are busy choreographing Zumba’s future.

By Nancy Dahlber

Sex, Steroids, and Arnold: The Story of the Gym That Shaped America

The Oral History of Gold’s Gym, where Arnold Scharzenegger Became a Star

By David Davis

The Viral Video Star Behind the Fitness Fad That May Replace CrossFit

Ido Portal teaches famous athletes how to use their bodies in entirely new ways. But is it all snake oil?

By Stephanie Hayes

Why Gyms Should Be Worried

Peloton and ClassPass want at-home streaming classes to replace the gym

By Cheryl Wischhover

Why Fitness is the Hot New Marketing Platform and Revenue Stream for Music

“From a music-marketing perspective, the right workout playlists can be surprisingly potent at breaking down traditional demographic and geographic boundaries around certain genres or styles of music, expanding the potential real estate and audience for campaigns”

By Cherie Hu

Nike Says Its $250 Running Shoes Will Make You
Run Much Faster. What if That’s Actually True?

“Using public race reports and shoe records from Strava, a fitness app that calls itself the social network for athletes, The Times found that runners in Vaporflys ran 3 to 4 percent faster than similar runners wearing other shoes, and more than 1 percent faster than the next-fastest racing shoe”

By Kevin Quealy and Josh Katz

Would You Fake a Move to Get Out of a Gym Membership?

People have gone to great lengths to cancel memberships, but the industry may be making it easier.

By Anna Medaris Miller

How Orangetheory Grew to Dominate the Boutique Fitness Industry

With 999 locations worldwide, the growing Orangetheory fitness franchise puts a unique tech spin on high-intensity interval training. I checked it out.

By Rina Raphael

Are Killian Jornet’s Speed Records Too Good To Be True?

The Spanish ultra-athlete has spent the past decade crushing a generation of elite rivals and redefining the limits of human endurance. But when he notched back-to-back speed ascents of Everest in 2017, critics pounced on the claims.

By Nick Heil

How do cyclists physically survive the Tour de France? We asked a physiologist and former pro rider

The Tour de France is the most maniacal major sporting event on Earth. We spoke to a physiologist and former pro cyclist to explain the hell that Tour riders put their bodies through.

By Louis Bie

Gym Rats Are at Risk of This Once-Obscure Kidney Injury

Rhabdomyolysis—or rhabdo for short—cases used to be rare. But they’ve become increasingly common as people pursue more intense exercise routines.

By Victoria Albert

10 Things You Didn’T Know About the CrossFit-Reebok Partnership

All we knew was that CrossFit and Reebok had signed an agreement that ran through the 2020 CrossFit Games. Until now. Thanks to the lawsuit filed by CrossFit alleging that Reebok has not paid proper royalties per the licensing and sponsorship agreement that we can finally see what the two parties agreed to.

By Brian Pyfferoe

Those Fitness Assessments at Gyms Could Be Lying to You

‘The chart was manipulative... it was clearly directed towards making me—and people—[think] that they were less fit than they were and therefore needed training.’

By Ashley Ross

Working Out Is Hard. Streaming Just Might Make It Easier

Peloton and Streaming Fitness Tech Will Redefine Exercise

By Lisa Eadicicco

Mr. CrossFit vs. Big Soda: A Profane Fitness Guru’s Wonky War With the Soda Industry

“What they can’t win with their bad physiology and their soda sponsorship, they’re trying to do with legislation”

By Murray Carpenter

A Field Guide to the College Football Strength Coach

Myth, memes, and Muscle Milk: studying the leaders of the pack, with the help of several FBS specimens.

By Spencer Hall

Thousands of Women Say LuLaRoe’s Legging Empire Is a Scam

There are more than a dozen suits facing the $2.3 billion multilevel marketer.

By Claire Suddath

Inside Beachbody's Billion-Dollar Fat Burning Empire

Carl Daikeler struck gold by transforming his Beachbody exercise-DVD business into a social-media-fueled pyramid seller of health shakes. But just as his juggernaut was about to make him a billionaire, he changed his formula, angered his network and wound up being investigated by the government.

By Lauren Debter

We’ve become numb to one of the biggest drivers of obesity

A new study shows how sports leagues like the NFL fan the childhood obesity epidemic.

By Julia Belluz


This Multibillion-Dollar Corporation Is Controlled by a Penniless Yoga Superstar

Baba Ramdev renounced the material world. So why is he selling toothpaste, instant noodles, and toilet cleaner?

By Ben Crair

The History Behind Women's Obsession with Working Out

We're paying more than ever for boutique classes in a relentless drive to get fit. How did we end up here? Before SoulCycle, there was Slenderella...

By Danielle Friedman

Equinox’s “Fitness Incubator” And Its Search For The Next Zumba

At Project by Equinox, creative fitness instructors think up new ways to propel the upscale brand forward. Can they build the next big exercise trend?

By Rina Raphael

Recovery Is the Latest Buzzword in High-Intensity Workouts

After years of pushing extreme exercise, doctors and trainers discover that injury protection is important, too.

By Jason Kelly

The Curiously Elastic Limits of Endurance

In an exclusive excerpt from his new book, Outside’s Sweat Science columnist explores the brain’s role in setting our physical limits.

By Alex Hutchinson

How Protein Conquered America

Once the niche elixir of powerlifting bros, gulping down a Muscle Milk or three is now part of a “healthy, active lifestyle” — whatever that means

By Casey Johnston

End of Watch

What happens when you try to change behavior without behavioral science?

By Elizabeth Lopatto

Twenty-Four Hours With Rich Froning

Meet the man behind the muscle

By Emily Abbate

Working Out Is Wall Street’s New Steak Dinner

The sweatwork trend is growing in the finance industry.

By Kate Krader and Arie Shapira

The Urban Fitness Revolution

Fitness has become far more than just a New Year’s resolution in many American cities. Once rife with grit and nightlife, many urban neighborhoods now embrace fitness as a lifestyle.

By Richard Florida and Alastair Boone

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Endurance Training

After more than 40 years as an athlete and coach, it pains me to see people latch onto fitness fads, and I want to clear a few things up

By Scott Johnston

The case against luxury gyms like SoulCycle

The rich are getting fitter while the poor are falling behind.

By Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina


Brooks Needs Runners Who Hate to Run

The $500 million company has conquered runners. Now it has to figure out everyone else.

By Claire Suddath

Gyms Ditch Machines to Make Space for Free Weights

As boutique-style workouts become the norm, the ranks of cardio and weight machines are thinning

By Rachel Bachman

Science Says Fitness Trackers Don't Work. Wear One Anyway

By Robbie Gonzalez

Weightlifting on the Rise

The Olympic sport is growing in popularity in gyms across the U.S., thanks to the success of CrossFit and one famous, glass-shattering drop

By Daniel Kunitz

Raising The Bar

Decimated by doping, weightlifting could face Olympic exile. But one of its brightest hopes is a humble, gifted South Carolina teenager who wants to be part of a new wave of credible winners.

By Bonnie D. Ford

India Is Getting Fat. This Gym Chain Wants to Get Huge

But first, Talwalkars has to sell a nation on the Western model of working out.

By Thomas Rogers

Maybe You’d Exercise More If It Didn’t Feel So Crappy

By Katherine Hobson

How Weight Watchers Transformed Itself Into A Lifestyle Brand

The famous weight-loss company is wooing a younger generation with new products and a new philosophy that sets it to compete in the booming wellness space.

By Rina Raphael

Adidas Brings the Fast Shoe Revolution One Step Closer

The company’s “Speedfactories” can cut the time from sketch to shelf by months.

By Richard Weiss

Traditional gyms add membership options to compete with boutique fitness studios

Boutique studios are facing challenges of their own, like the need to build loyalty before a trend runs its course

By Tonya Garcia

Why Job Applicants Sent This Fitness Event Company Chocolate Molds of Their Feet

When you're getting 5,000 resumes a month, how do you make sure recruits embody your company culture?

By Will Dean

The Race to Run a Two-Hour Marathon

Nike, Adidas, and Vodafone want a record—and bragging rights—in Berlin.

By Rebecca Penty and Richard Weiss


Why NFL players like James Harrison love posting workout videos

By Jonathan Jones

Can American Ninja Warrior Save Men’s Gymnastics?

“If you want to get boys into gymnastics, call them ninjas”

By Dvora Meyers

How Strava Became the Only Fitness App That Matters

By Matt Gross

Inside Apple’s Secret Performance Lab

How Apple engineered its watch to push you to perform at your peak

By Ben Court

Weight-Loss and Fitness Goals Often Backfire. Here’s what to do instead.

If you want to achieve your health goals, focus on getting better.

By Brad Stulberg

Where Does The CrossFit Phenomenon Fit Into Sports In 2017?

The CrossFit Games showed this is a sport that isn’t going away.

By Christian D’Andrea

What It Takes to Hold Your Breath For 24 Minutes (Yeah, It’s a Thing)

By Robbie Gonzalez

Chipotle Has a WOD? 3 Brands Jumping on the Functional Fitness Bandwagon

By Jake Boly

50-Year-Old Superheroes Present New Challenges for Hollywood Fitness Gurus

As action stars lead franchises into their second decades, top trainers sweat to keep actors ripped while providing knee- and back-friendly routines now that they "can’t take the physical abuse."

By Jane Carlso

Can an App Make You a Better Runner?

In 2017, technology can optimize even the most basic activities — like going outside for a run. But what happens when an app overshadows the experience it’s supposed to improve?

By Molly McHugh

Steroid Solidarity

The Culture of Juicing at the Mr. Olympia Competition

By Oliver Bateman


The Epic Untold Story of Nike’s (Almost) Perfect Marathon

By Ed Caesar

Stretched Thin

Personal trainers are frequently overworked, undertrained, and underpaid by their gyms. And you thought you were feeling the burn.

By James Hannaham

This Story Will Change How You Think about Fitness

Learn how to push your mind and body farther than you ever thought possible

By Michael Easter

How Two Florida Gym Rats Conquered the Shadowy World of Dietary Supplements

By Gordy Megroz

Training with Mat Fraser: Inside the gym with the 2016 CrossFit Games champion

After breaking his back in two places as an Olympic hopeful weightlifter, Mat Fraser was told he'd never be able to lift again. Now he's the 2016 CrossFit Games champion and training for even greater heights.

By Stephanie Apstein

The Pull-Up Workout That Nearly Killed Me

One woman shares her scary experience with rhabdomyolysis

By Tina Matin

The Fitness Gospel of Billy Blanks

Tae Bo was the ’90s workout of choice for soccer moms and celebrities alike. Twenty years later, its founder is hoping to win over a generation that has never heard of him

By Amy McKeeve

My Number One Workout Rule: Don’t Listen Too Hard To Tracy Anderson

By Anna Maltby

There’s a CrossFit War Being Fought Over Your Feet

Who’s winning the fastest growing market in sportswear? We hit the gym to find out.

By Kyle Stock

Building a Bigger Action Hero

“You simply don’t get your name on a movie poster these days unless you’ve got a superhero’s physique – primed for high-def close-ups and global market appeal. Getting there takes effort, vigilance, and the dedication of the elite athlete: high-intensity training, strict diets, supplements, and hormone replacement. If that fails, there are always drugs. Today’s actors spend more time in the gym than they do rehearsing, more time with their trainers than with their directors.”

By Logan Hill

Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie

“I finally figured out what gyms are good for and exactly how a man can use them to make himself healthy and fit in the truest sense: strong, capable, and durable in the long-lasting way that doesn't just ward off chronic disease but actually lets a 35-year-old desk drone carry both of his laughing children up a mountain, simultaneously, and take on serious skiing at age 40, trusting his knees to bend deep and firm.”

By Daniel Duane