Fit­ness – New fit­ness trends

Want to switch up your gym rou­tine? Try these ex­cit­ing work­outs.

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A new sea­son calls for a switch up, in­clud­ing the way we work­out. It’s out with the old and in with new trend. Data from the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Sports Medicine re­veals that wear­able tech­nol­ogy, body­weight train­ing, HIIT and strength train­ing are still among peo­ple’s favourite work­outs. But what’s new in 2017? “Plenty,” says Lee Matthews, from the Fit­ness First chain of health clubs. “There’s a boom in work­outs that aid mo­bil­ity and body shape, to com­ple­ment lift­ing and mus­cle­build­ing ef­forts.”


Boot­camps, spin­ning and yoga stu­dios, pop-up gyms and core train­ing classes – these de­fined 2016, the year of the bou­tique class. It’s easy to see why – it’s a unique space spe­cial­is­ing in a small set of in­no­va­tive work­outs with a so­cia­ble at­mos­phere and an ex­clu­sive feel. But with In­sta­gram of­fer­ing more and more work­out in­spi­ra­tion, and fit­ness ex­perts pro­vid­ing classes free of charge on­line – as long as you have enough data – we think bou­tique work­outs may have reached their peak.


This is the year big-chain gyms fight back. With the ex­pec­ta­tion of the av­er­age gym­goer higher than ever be­fore, large chains had to up their work­out game. Highly stylised work­outs ap­peared. “At Fit­ness First, we started to in­tro­duce bou­tiquestyle classes, such as SoulBody and Glow, at no ex­tra cost to our mem­bers,” says Matthews. Barre classes of­fer a mix of Pi­lates, yoga, dance and strength-train­ing, while Glow takes place in a dark spin­ning stu­dio with unique Velo­bell weights and ul­tra­vi­o­let lights. It’s about a less bland gym stu­dio and a more in­spir­ing space.


The world went crazy for pro­tein in 2016. More of us looked to a pro­tein-rich diet – pi­o­neered by celebri­ties like Ri­hanna. Pro­tein be­came one of the top search terms on Google in the US. “Pro­tein is not only needed for mus­cles, but also for build­ing, heal­ing and re­pair­ing most of the other tis­sues in our body, and a range of vi­tal sub­stances such as an­ti­bod­ies and hor­mones,” ex­plains Shona Wilkin­son, a nu­tri­tion­ist at su­per­


While pro­tein-en­hanced foods are sure to re­main pop­u­lar, there will be an in­creas­ing de­mand for plant-based pro­tein pow­ders. with the grow­ing trend of ve­g­an­ism, plant pow­ders al­ready fly off the shelves. “A 60kg per­son needs about 50 to 60 grams of pro­tein per day, which in­creases if they’re ac­tive or try­ing to build strength,” says Wilkin­son. “Be­cause the rich­est sources of pro­tein are an­i­mal foods, veg­e­tar­i­ans – and ve­g­ans es­pe­cially – may strug­gle to get enough of it.” Sun­flower, pump­kin and pea pro­tein pow­ders are likely to be sought af­ter by fit­ness fans.


DNA fit­ness test­ing has taken the mar­ket by storm over the past two years. Through a sim­ple cheek swab, DNA test­ing providers can tell you whether you’re sen­si­tive to carbs, whether you’ll re­spond well to high­in­ten­sity-but-short-du­ra­tion ex­er­cise, or if you’re ge­net­i­cally built for longdis­tance ex­er­cise. Plus, some bou­tique gyms even of­fer DNA test­ing as part of a fit­ness pack­age. It’s likely to con­tinue to pick up pop­u­lar­ity over the com­ing year.


In the USA, mea­sure­ments that go be­yond the nor­mal weight and height pro­to­cols are driv­ing ex­er­cise pro­gram­ming in ex­cit­ing ways. A clus­ter of personal train­ing spots are of­fer­ing biomarker track­ing – which in­cludes blood tests, 3D body map­ping, VO2 max (this is the max­i­mum rate of oxy­gen con­sump­tion as mea­sured dur­ing in­cre­men­tal ex­er­cise, typ­i­cally on a mo­torised tread­mill) and sleep qual­ity as­sess­ments – to pro­vide a more holis­tic per­spec­tive of a client’s over­all fit­ness and health. In the UK, Fit­ness First has a BioAge of­fer­ing – a pro­gramme that de­ter­mines your ‘fit­ness age’ through a series of health, life­style and phys­i­cal tests.


A high-en­ergy at­mos­phere and a cool class for­mat made buzzy box­ing work­outs big in 2016. Box­ing ’s an­swer to a spin class set the fit­ness world alight with its high­in­ten­sity jab-cross-punch in­ter­vals and rows of shiny box­ing bags. But box­ing is here to stay, so pre­pare to pack a punch.


While box­ing stays, pool classes are set to eclipse the in­door class scene with a long-awaited makeover. For­get aqua classes aimed at older ex­er­cis­ers – water work­outs use the pop­u­lar HIIT method to ap­peal to younger gym-go­ers. Ex­pect to get hooked on classes such as float fit, a 30-minute HIIT work­out that in­volves do­ing burpees, lunges and squats on an aquabase board. “Swim­ming can be mo­not­o­nous, but Hy­dro powered by Speedo is dif­fer­ent,” ex­plains Dan Bul­lock, Speedo swim fit­ness ad­vi­sory coach. “It will not only in­crease your water ef­fi­ciency and all-round fit­ness, but also make swim­ming more en­joy­able.”


Every­one is look­ing for a fit­ness short­cut, and in 2016 we found it in the form of nu­tri­ent-packed smooth­ies. Made pop­u­lar by the NutriBul­let blender and sold by a grow­ing num­ber of shake bars at gyms, su­per­food smooth­ies were our go-to re­cov­ery shake for a fix of fruit, pro­tein and good fats. Ev­ery hip health­food café had su­per­food smooth­ies on the menu, and a clean-eat­ing cook­ery bi­ble wasn’t worth its weight in kale un­less it had a shake recipe. Su­per­food smooth­ies were said to be ev­ery­thing our bod­ies needed to re­pair and re­cover af­ter tough ex­er­cise. But by the end of 2016, we’d hit our smoothie peak – and we were ready for new work­out drinks.


Happily, there were some on the hori­zon – en­ter per­for­mance-boost­ing juices. Ni­trates, found in beet­root juice, have dom­i­nated the sports sci­ence head­lines as a way of mak­ing us go faster for longer, with­out the hard work. But if it’s hy­dra­tion you’re af­ter, cold-pressed wa­ter­melon juice is be­ing hailed as the best post­work­out re­cov­ery drink for 2017. Packed with an­tiox­i­dants, as well as potas­sium to ease mus­cle sore­ness and L-Citrulline for a faster re­cov­ery, wa­ter­melon juice could be your go-to drink.


Push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, moun­tain climbers – these are the moves you’ll find in a body­weight HIIT ses­sion. Kit isn’t re­quired, which makes it su­per­af­ford­able. Plus, the short-du­ra­tion but high-in­ten­sity ef­forts, nor­mally per­formed in a cir­cuit for­mat, make it re­ally time-friendly as well. Ad­vo­cated by fit­ness in­flu­encers across the globe, these are the work­outs you saw pop up on your In­sta­gram feed in 2016. “The great thing about body­weight train­ing is you don’t need any­thing other than the will­ing­ness to work hard for a short pe­riod of time,” says personal trainer Josiah Hunte. “It burns fat, builds lean mus­cle, im­proves me­tab­o­lism and is a great way to boost your mood.”


Heavy strength work and high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing meth­ods come to­gether in the lat­est breed of HIIT – weighted in­ter­val work­outs. Classes such as Vir­gin Ac­tive’s Iron ZUU work­out com­bines old-school weight-lift­ing with heartrevving body­weight moves. “Blend­ing the mus­cle-build­ing ben­e­fits of weight work with the time-ef­fi­cient pros of HIIT train­ing, these work­outs will sculpt mus­cle mass fast and leave the body burn­ing calo­ries in the 24 hours af­ter ex­er­cise,” says Hunte. “Look out for spe­cific work­outs, pop-up ses­sions and boot­camps. You can ex­pect to burn a lot of fat do­ing these work­outs!”.

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