Hi friends! How’s the morning going? We had a rough night last night – Miss P has an ear infection – and are taking it super easy today. Even though I feel awful for P, it is kind of nice to just chill in our pajamas and keep things low-key, especially after getting back from such a long trip.
For today, let’s talk about fitness trends. Each new year, I try to take a little bit of time and assess what I think is happening in the industry. It helps me think of new topics to discuss here on the blog, and also gives me ideas for new Focus On posts. There are trends that come and go, and some formats that undoubtedly stand the test of time. I thought I’d share a little post with my thoughts on the up-and-coming classes for 2018, and the formats that have staying power for packed classes this year.
Up and coming:
Apps. I feel like apps started to gain traction over the past few years but are now more popular than ever. It’s amazing because there are so many apps for the different types of workouts you like to do. Some of my personal faves are the Peloton app, Sweat by Kayla Itsines and Aaptiv. On the same note, many boutique fitness studios offer online classes if you don’t live near a studio. Physique57 and barre3 are two that come to mind that are particularly amazing. There are running apps, rowing, strength training, dance, anything you could think of.
Play-type workouts. Overall movement and functional movement are becoming focal points of fitness. Instead of thinking of putting in your headphones to hit the treadmill, these are more based on competition (like indoor obstacle courses), playground-style gym equipment, and activities based on everyday movement, like community gardening.
Interactive, immersion workouts (like Immersive Fitness by Les Mills). Studios are just now starting to transform fitness classes into a multi-sensory activity, using scents, full screens, and music to match the purpose of the class. Instead of cycling blindly in a dark room, you’re riding in a group to a large screen with an outdoor course. You’re performing plyometrics to pulsing lights or practicing yoga with aromatherapy and a live DJ. Studios are starting to truly make fitness an experience, and there’s so much opportunity and limitless options in this arena. I’m excited to see what they come out with next!
Focus on restorative techniques, mobility and recovery. For the first time in a while, recovery feels *trendy.* Classes like group nap are popping up (and omg I would LOVE TO TAKE ONE. Maybe every day), and full classes are built around mobility work, foam rolling, stretching, and restorative yoga. Back in the old days, I would have written this off as a waste of a workout (how things have changed), but I know now that if you take the time to show your body some TLC, it’s less likely to get angry and hop on the injury train.
Bootcamp-style workouts. Classes like Burn Boot Camp, Orangetheory, and Barry’s are going to be around for a while, which is a good thing because they’re amazing. I love that you can work at your own pace according to your unique abilities, and are pushed to your personal max.
Barre. Yay for all the barre love! It’s one of my favorite formats to take and teach, and I’m happy to see it thriving. The small movements are unlike traditional strength training, and it challenges your body in an entirely different way.
Spin. Spin had a good chance to become stale, but thanks to new bikes, immersion-style classes, Flywheel, Soulcycle, and Peloton, it’s still as popular and fun as ever.
Yoga and Pilates. Yoga and Pilates are here to stay forever and ever, amen. These classical workouts are very different but are both a beautiful blend of strength, core work, and flexibility. I like that they’re challenging without impact, which make them an awesome low-impact option for those with special considerations or certain injuries (with modifications as necessary, of course).
Les Mills. Les Mills just keeps on doing its thang. They’re constantly adding in fresh music and new moves, and followers appreciate that they know exactly what to expect when they take a class. It’s one of those classes that’s the same wherever you go, and it’s easy to add additional challenge and stressors to the workouts. The new releases help keep it fresh and relevant.
CrossFit. CrossFit has amassed a cult-like following, and from what I’ve seen, it seems like it’s sticking around. I do think there’s a high potential for injury (don’t throw anything at me!) but know a lot of fit friends who love it dearly.
On the way out (or already gone):
Scorching hot classes. I just haven’t heard a ton about hot classes lately. I personally enjoy them – I want to sweat my face off – but can see why they’ve kind of lost their appeal over time. Warm classes can be safer since they don’t artificially elevate the heart rate as much, but are just enough to get that nice, stretchy feeling.
Zumba. Poor Zumba. I love you so, and I’m even teaching it again (!), but that doesn’t mean I think it’s still alive. Classes are still popular in certain areas, like V-town, but for the most part, I think it’s waiting to be replaced by a new form of dance cardio. (I’m excited to see what it will be!)
So, tell me friends: Do you agree with my predictions above? Are there any new classes or formats you’ve heard about? Also worth mentioning that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter what’s popular. The best fitness modes and classes are the ones you LOVE and that you’ll actually do.
What’s something you love that is no longer a *thing*? I yearn for the good ol’ step aerobics days. I could L-step and mambo cha-cha all the live long day.