Let’s face it, the summer months can be brutal when it comes to your fitness routine! Not only do you have the constant temptations of picnics, vacations, festivals, etc., but throw in some good, hot steamy weather and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to added weight and lack of motivation. But have no fear … Fall is a great time to kick-start that fitness routine. The kids are back in school, the weather is cooling off and life just seems a bit less hectic. While many people may have given up on getting fit and are setting their sights on joining the whole “New Year Resolution” crowd in a few months, I suggest using the rest of 2015 to get a running start and finish the year off on a good note.
To do that, let’s look at some of the most popular fitness trends of 2015 to give you some ideas on how to “Fall” back into fitness.
1. HIIT is HOT!
While many of you have heard of HIIT before, you may not have a complete understanding of what it is. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. If you’ve done any kind of boot camp style workout, indoor cycling class or home workout videos like “P90X” or “Insanity,” you’ve done HIIT. The concept is to go really hard for a set amount of time at a particular exercise, then recover for a set amount of time and repeat. Tabata and Metabolic Training are also designed around a HIIT style of training. HIIT is so popular right now because it works for almost all fitness levels and results can seen quite quickly! An added bonus is these types of workout are rarely boring. Workouts can be done using anything from your own body weight to various types of equipment such as kettlebells, resistance bands, free weights, sleds, medicine balls and battling ropes.
2. No Equipment
Body weight training continues to grow in popularity not only because it’s inexpensive, but because you can get a great workout using absolutely nothing but you! Body weight training is being incorporated into many gyms and fitness facilities with programs that focus on gymnastics, adult jungle gyms, suspension training, primal movements (crawling, rolling rocking, etc.). Those long-standing exercises that have been around forever, like lunges, squats, push-ups and burpees are enjoying a resurgence, now is the perfect time to embrace them!
3. The Great Outdoors
It seems the call of the outdoors will never go out of style. If you prefer feeling the sun on your face and the wind at your back, maybe outdoor activities like biking, running, hiking or skiing are what you to need to get the blood pulsing again. And with all the high-tech outdoor fitness wear that is available today, you can prepare for any kind of weather and assure yourself a great workout!
4. Group Personal Training
Group Personal Training is proving to be a popular trend among fitness enthusiasts. Group training allows a trainer or fitness coach to provide the personal service clients expect but in a small group setting. Not only does this make good economic sense, but many participants enjoy the accountability, challenges and social aspects that this type of offering provides.
5. Group Treadmill Training
Smaller, specialized fitness studios are on the rise (think cycling, trampoline training, barre, etc.). One of the newest trends includes indoor group running using treadmills. Indoor running gives you the benefit of an instructor telling you when to run fast, when to incline and when to slow it down. Often based on intervals, this type of running has shown great results in improving participants running speed and is great way to get in shape!
6. Active Recovery Workouts
If you’re diving head first into some higher intensity workouts, you’re sure to notice a few aches and pains along the way. Too much intense training can throw your body out of whack, leaving it open for potential injuries, which is why recovery is essential. With any good fitness program, a balanced body is key. A balanced body means all your muscles should be working correctly, not just some of them. Weaker muscles will fatigue quickly, and this can then lead to over-training muscles that are already strong. This is why we will continue to see the growth of Active Recovery workouts in 2015 and 2016. These include self-care protocols for self-myofascial release (SMR), such as foam rolling and therapy balls, and workouts focused on mobility and flexibility. Restorative yoga formats are also a great option and go well with your higher intensity workouts.
7. Less is More
One-hour workouts are becoming a thing of the past thanks to the rise in group fitness and boot camp style workouts. In 2015 we’re seeing more and more 20, 30 and 40-minute workouts. People who are put off by one-hour or longer workouts are more willing to push harder if it’s for a shorter amount of time. Many like the fact that they can get in, get out, and get on with their day. Adding to the convenience of these workouts is the fact that they can be done almost anywhere — in a studio with minimal equipment, in a gym using machines or at home using just your body weight.
8. Sport-specific Training
This fun and challenging way to train will take you back to your days as an athlete. Sport-specific training is often geared toward the competitive young athlete or college/professional athletes, but many average adults find it a great way to keep themselves in shape and to fire-up their inner-competitiveness. Footwork and agility drills, sprinting, pushing sleds, flipping tires, lifting weights, jumping, etc. are all great ways to keep the body looking and feeling young. Plus it provides a great opportunity to workout with like-minded friends while firing up the old competitive juices!
About the writer: Ken Grall is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and owns and operates an Edge Fitness in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Ken.