by Matt Weik
Each year we see different trends in the industry and this year seems to be the year where we saw things trending back towards the basics. There really hasn’t been much innovation or excitement thus far in 2018 which is unfortunate. With that being said, below are the trends we’ve seen get pushed to the forefront of the industry. Are you currently utilizing any of them?
1. Personal Training
The nation doesn’t seem to care that our obesity epidemic is getting worse. Only a small percentage of the population is actually concerned and is taking the necessary steps to remove themselves from the statistic by hiring a personal trainer to help them regain their health. When the economy took a hit several years ago, people pulled away from personal training even though they would be investing in their health. Now that the economy is back and booming, people are once again putting their money into the trusting hands of personal trainers to help them lose weight and improve their health and wellness.
2. Bodyweight Training
Let’s be honest, we function off of convenience. Not everyone wants to get in their car and drive to a gym to exercise. They would rather do nothing than “waste time” traveling back and forth. For that reason, there has been a resurgence in bodyweight training in the home. People like the luxury of completing a workout in the privacy of their own home where they don’t need to sit in traffic or pay monthly gym membership fees. And there’s nothing wrong with this style of thinking. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home using your own bodyweight or items around the house that can improve your health and fitness.
3. Group Training
Not everyone likes to exercise alone. Many prefer to work as a “team” or with others who share a common goal for support. Group training has really taken off this year with many of the Les Mills programs found in group exercise classes as well as private studios popping up across the US that promote group training in the form of weight training, cycling, HIIT classes, Pilates, dance, and many others. For some, a group setting is what they need to stay accountable and consistent with their workouts. When you form a group or community that exercises together, you rely on your “team” or friends to help you stay motivated and show up to the group training to be held accountable. It’s also that individuals job to help hold others accountable and motivate them as well. Group training is a team effort where everyone strives for a common goal.
4. HIIT Training
You’re busy, I’m busy, we’re all busy! Who wouldn’t want to get in and out of the gym quickly (or even be able to skip the gym altogether)? Thanks to HIIT training, people are able to utilize a high-intensity workload and a low-intensity recovery period to get in a quick and super-efficient workout. The goal is to train your body where you can take shorter and shorter rest periods as your overall conditioning improves. It’s a great way to burn a ton of calories in a very short amount of time. Let’s use sprints as an example. You can do them outside of your home or neighborhood, or you can hit an open field or track to get it done. How about an example to show you what I mean? What you could do is an all-out max-effort sprint for 20-60 seconds and then follow that up immediately with a low-intensity walk for 40-120 seconds as a recovery period. As your fitness level improves, you can increase the high-intensity portion of the workout while decreasing the low-intensity recovery portion. These workouts will generally last anywhere from 15-30 minutes – and trust me, when you’re done, you’re not going to want to do more.
5. Wearable Fitness Technology
FitBits and the Apple iWatch are going nuts right now. More and more people are investing in wearable fitness technology (regardless of the brand). Many of these devices can count your calories, steps, time spent exercising, heart rate, even your sleep patterns. They give the user a detailed list of data to sit down and digest to see how their health and fitness is progressing. You can even find people wearing technology in rings and fitness apparel. Everything updates wirelessly to the user’s computer or smartphone where the information can be evaluated. While this technology comes with a fairly hefty price tag, consumers seem to have no problem opening up their wallet for such tech.
6. Functional Fitness
While some people don’t enjoy exercise, many of them are now partaking in what is called “functional fitness.” Functional fitness is comprised of movements that aid in everyday movement and functioning. It helps improve overall strength, endurance, power, coordination, and balance. All things that we need as we age. Think about everything we do and all the tasks we complete during a normal day. We carry groceries, we squat down to pick up boxes, we lift things over our head to put them away – things that are ultimately demanding on our body, especially if we start losing muscle mass with age. Functional fitness takes key exercises and puts them into a workout to help individuals become stronger in just about all areas of their life. Exercises such as squats, rows, and overhead presses are generally utilized. We demand a lot out of our bodies, and people are starting to understand that in order to maintain our independence as we age, we need to ensure we retain our health and fitness levels.