Groups are trending in, machines are trending out and there’s no better time to shake up your workout than right now. This is the month when gyms and fitness instructors are hoping to inspire you with new and novel classes. Here, a few to consider.
In a month of resolutions, your workout routine is one place where change for the sake of change makes sense. “Your body is so happy with the way it is that it keeps trying to maintain the status quo,” says Jeff Howard, personal trainer at Baptist Health Milestone Wellness Center. “If you want change, you need to make a change.”
Here are some trends that might tempt you to try something different sooner rather than later.
“The number one trend for this coming year is once again HIIT (high intensity interval training) which is typically accomplished by combining different types of exercises from yoga to Pilates to calisthenics such as jumping jacks, push-ups, and squat jumps,” says Carlos Rivas, Chief Performance Officer for Proformance Fitness. “These types of fusion group exercise classes are becoming popular due to the benefits you gain from the mind-body awareness from yoga and Pilates and the strength and power you gain from calisthenics.…and other self-lifting movements.”
“L.I.I.T.” (Or low-intensity integral training)
If all of the fast, frantic, fat-burning classes are getting tedious, you may be ready to shift into a slower, lower gear and still get the same effects. “Babies like millennials only know one speed,” says Howard. “These high-intensity classes came around and it’s all anybody has been doing. But there’s a benefit to switching it up and doing something longer and slower.” While high intensity classes are 30 minutes, low-intensity versions are an hour. “It’s still intervals. You’ll walk faster, then slow it down. We used to train this way. But now we’re reinventing it for a new generation.” You burn the same number of calories, but you do it differently.
SUPER-COLD OR SUPER-HEATED POST-WORKOUT TREATMENTS
Cryotherapy hasn’t hit town yet, but our experts predict that this treatment that involves entering a freezing cold chamber for a literal cool-down session will come our way soon. “It’s a smarter recovery from working out,” says Howard. “You surround the body with a cold atmosphere to decrease inflammation and pain. People are understanding more about recovery and how it promotes better overall fitness.”
For those who would rather warm their way to faster healing, there is also infrared sauna technology that accomplishes much the same thing—better post-workout recovery. Explains Howard,“This heals from the inside out.”
RECESS FOR GROWN-UPS
For years, punishing classes have been the norm. Now at least some gyms are swinging back the other way and incorporating more fun into fitness. “There are totally new classes developed all around the principal of getting fun back into fitness,” says Howard.
At Milestone, there is actually a class called “recess” where members play freeze tag among other things. But it’s not all fun and games. “It’s boot camp inspired,” he says. “We play hard and work out hard. It’s still all based on the idea of having fun.” Typically, participants wear devices and monitor how much they’re burning off and still hit their goals. They just do it with a smile.
“Boxing is another type of high intensity interval training that has become popular with exercise enthusiasts,” says Riva. “Boxing classes are typically combined with kickboxing and jump rope which can burn a significant amount of calories per minute.”
This is just beginning to surface. Through an app on your phone, you order a swab, swab the inside of your mouth and send it for testing. The app then tells you what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. Says Howard, “This is the early version, but I think it will be refined and mainstreamed.”
This is a trend that’s here to stay. “The benefits of tracking your steps, calories burned, heart rate monitoring and sleep quality are big motivators,” says Rivas. “Blood pressure monitoring is also on the horizon.”
JUST ADD WATER
The newest equipment at some gyms is water. Classes are being taught in and out of the pool. “The water provides both resistance and support,” says Howard. “Jump in the water and you just intensified your workout while reducing your risk of injury.”