The fitness industry continues to grow and develop as we move into 2014, featuring trends that encourage each and every person to expand current exercise programs and to enjoy the incredible benefits that a diverse, well-designed program provides. While there are dozens of trends, this week we will concentrate on six of those trends and how each may impact you. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
1. Small Group Training Programs — will continue to grow and develop throughout the fitness industry. This type of training provides the participant with more personal attention due to the small class size, specialized programs such as boot camps and TRX Suspension Training as two examples of formats that may be available, and varied time slots which may not be possible with large traditional group exercise classes. The cost usually reflects the unique nature of these programs; however, it is worth every penny due to the potential fitness benefits you may experience.
2. Session-Based Programs — often these programs are session-based and this may be just the approach that you want to take this coming year. You do not need to sign long-term contracts (I would discourage you from doing so in any case), you pay for only what you intend to specifically attend, and the programs are goal-oriented which means that you know exactly what to expect from beginning to end.
3. Functional Fitness — is alive and well within our industry and you will see more fitness facilities providing functional training, which focuses on your total body and how it functions daily. Not only are we utilizing small equipment and body weight to mimic how the body moves throughout life, whether that means you are an elite athlete or simply wanting to take a hike occasionally, we have access to excellent larger equipment and multi-gyms (i.e. space stations), which enable us to pull up, push up, jump, box, lift, squat, lunge, rotate and carry.
4. Body Weight, Kettlebells and Battling Ropes — are just some of the equipment choices that you will notice in top-notch fitness facilities. The dated facilities that have rows of cardio equipment sitting there with cardio theaters or televisions are still going to exist, but you will see cardio equipment interspersed throughout facilities now, with more emphasis on using the entire body to achieve cardiovascular/cardiorespiratory fitness.
5. High Intensity Interval Training — will still show a strong presence this coming year because it works. Less time invested, more pay-offs due to the high intensity levels, which increase the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption so that 24-48 hours post-workout you are still expending calories. These programs need intensive supervision and your trainer needs to completely understand your body to safely and effectively design these programs for you.
6. Technology/Apps — there are virtually dozens of applications that you may utilize to enhance your fitness experience either via your home computer or smart phone. Some clients utilize apps to track their caloric input, some to journal their programs and others to connect with fellow exercisers to stay on the straight and narrow fitness track.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado and the soon-to-open Mountain Life Fitness in Granby, Colo. She may be reached at her website at www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at www.skyhidailynews.com