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From high-intensity interval training to fitness for the elderly–the world trends for 2014
The American College of Sports Medicine recently conducted the eighth annual survey for 2014 worldwide fitness trends, which was completed by 3,815 fitness professionals from just about every continent.
Such fitness trend results vary every year based on the experience of fitness professionals.
Here are the top results, plus tips on how you can safely try out these hot exercise trends.
1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
You’ve been hearing so much about HIIT this year because recent studies have been released about the benefits of interval training.
Among these are improved cardiovascular fitness and calorie-burning capacity in less time and with fewer equipment.
This program includes short bursts of high-intensity workouts to increase your heart rate, like running as fast as you can, followed by a short period of rest like jogging.
The program typically lasts 30 minutes or less; doing a HIIT for more than 30 minutes might be too much.
According to one of my fittest clients, Melissa Aboitiz-Elizalde, who has been trying HIIT for almost two months now, HIIT is really challenging, but doable if completed in less than 30 minutes.
It is still best to supplement it with once- to twice-a-week formal weight training.
When doing HIIT in any form (exercise videos, running or gym workout), it is best to get the guidance of a fitness professional.
2. Bodyweight training
This type of training has been significantly attracting exercise buffs because it is low-cost, doable and requires very minimal equipment. You just use your body as the resistance or as the machine to complete a workout routine.
The very popular bodyweight exercise such as pushup, pull-up, squat and core floor exercises can be done anytime, anywhere to target your major muscle groups.
For exercise variety and more challenging workout, you can use body leverage training tools you can buy in fitness and sports stores or you can order online.
You can work out at home, in the gym or in specialized exercise studios offering suspension training.
Studios offer barre-type classes as another form of bodyweight training.
3. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
Clients are now getting the services of an inspiring and genuine fitness professional who can potentially play a significant role in their behavior and major lifestyle change—after considering their fitness certifications, education and experience.
4. Strength training
Majority of exercise buffs still make time to incorporate resistance or strength training in their fitness routine with or without supervision, because of the known and proven benefits of it, such as injury prevention, weight control by improving metabolism, weight loss, and improved functional/sports performance.
Strength training can be in the form of bodyweight training, use of strength machines you can see in commercial gyms, small equipment like resistance bands, kettlebell, medicine ball and stability ball.
Strength training is popular not only among regular exercise buffs or athletes but also among the sedentary, the injured, the elderly and younger people.
5. Exercise and weight loss
Nowadays, professionals offer a combination of exercise and diet programs to their clients to make weight loss more effective. Fitness centers have personal trainers and nutritionists to ensure balance in a client’s weight-loss program.
Most fitness professionals worldwide are also learning more about nutrition and behavior change to address the alarming problem of obesity. Weight-loss apps like My Fitness Pal are now more popular than they were years ago.
6. Personal training
Thirteen years ago, when I was just starting to be a personal trainer, we were only four trainers in a major fitness club. Now the club has 26 personal trainers.
There’s a personal trainer for a beginner or a super fit triathlete, to match his or her needs, goals and personality.
7. Fitness programs for older adults
This shows that more and more older adults (frail elderly to athletic old) are becoming more aware about the importance of improving health and fitness through regular exercise, especially with the guidance of a qualified fitness professional.
People will do whatever they can to act, feel and look young again and one of the most natural ways to delay aging is to exercise regularly and eat healthy.
Older adults, the retirees, have more time and money they can spend to be at their best, and it’s never too late to do it.
8. Functional fitness
Functional fitness can be improved by doing exercises to improve one’s balance, strength, endurance, coordination and power to be able to effectively perform daily activities.
Most fitness professionals specialize in this training and they use fitness equipment to improve their client’s functional fitness like Bosu, medicine ball, suspension training equipment and bands.
9. Group personal training
In 2009, during a fitness summit in the US, the small group training was launched. Fitness professionals were finding ways to encourage clients to continue and spend on fitness training even during recession, so they were promoting small group training. This catered to two to four clients in an exercise session, using small equipment like bands, TRX, fitness balls, rollers.
Now, small group training is a hit because it is more affordable, fun and we can see this in small but specialized fitness studios offering interval training or HIIT, circuit training, suspension training, Pilates, yoga and even dance.
Yoga comes in different forms such as Ashtanga, Sivananda, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa and even fusion type of yoga. Most people nowadays attend yoga classes to help them control their weight, to improve full-body strength, balance, flexibility, core strength and control.
Here are other fitness trends:
11. Children and exercise for the treatment/prevention of obesity