The fitness industry is big business in the United States. With over 72 million Americans, or one third of the population of the United States considered clinically obese, franchises offering solutions to your weight woes are popping up left, right, and center. Ranging from your traditional gym and weight-loss facilities to some of the more modern and innovative programs, new and creative ideas are starting to catch on.
Let’s look at five of the hottest fitness trends making waves across the United States:
Ah CrossFit, seemingly the most loved and hated of all fitness programs. There’s no doubt that this recent trend in workout regimes has the fitness world divided. Whether you side with it or not, there’s no doubt about it, for the near future it’s here to stay.
In a nutshell, CrossFit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected. That all sounds pretty good, right?
So why so much contention? It may be the legion of CrossFitters who tend to constantly talk about their sessions and their PB’s, as outlined perfectly in this hilarious skit, Shit Crossfitters Say. Or maybe it’s the group-based workout sessions that, amongst users, seem to evoke a strong sense of community and camaraderie, yet are often stigmatized as ‘cult-like’ behavior by the haters.
Skeptics argue that form and technique are often sacrificed in order to complete the WOD (Workout of the Day), often resulting in serious and long-term injuries. However CrossFit Trainers would argue that good form is crucial to the success of the workout. So again, it’s a case of agreeing to disagree.
Love it or hate it, CrossFit is here to stay, so we might as well all try to get along.
2. Hot Yoga
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and it’s finally starting to catch on in the mainstream – in the form of hot yoga! Budding ‘yogis’ are flocking to these heated studios around the globe, trying to connect with their body, mind and soul. A simple yoga class just didn’t cut it like before. Now you’re offered a full, sweaty workout, with a relaxing meditation to end class with. So, it’s a one-stop shop really!
Before I go on, a quick clarification. Hot Yoga is different to Bikram Yoga – a common misconception. To put it simply, all Bikram yoga is hot, but not all hot yoga is Bikram. And what we’re talking about today is hot yoga.
Hot yoga can refer to any yoga class done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 35-38 degrees Celsius). Hot yoga is taught by a teacher at the front of the room and usually follows a vinyasa flow (which means linking postures to breath) through a series of linked poses. In such a heated room, this usually results in a vigorous, sweaty workout and a well-warmed body.
While yoga certainly isn’t a fad, hot yoga may well be. Regardless, the benefits yoga provides, whether that be physical, mental and/or spiritual (all of which I’ve seen and experienced first-hand) are endless. The more people jumping on board of this train, the better!
3. Pole Workouts
While many people tend to automatically associate pole dancing with a sexy, often-sleazy striptease, it’s a fitness trend that’s proving to be so much more. Experts agree that pole classes are sweat-inducing, effective workouts that simply come with the added benefit of finding your inner sexiness and flaunting your curves; celebrate yourself!
The pole provides a structure for you to work on to improve flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, strength and muscle tone, balance, posture and core stability, and as mentioned, improved self-confidence and body image from learning a new skill.
In short, pole dancing combines a bunch of great exercises and combines it into a fun, invigorating workout. A pole class typically involves spins, climbs, some dance moves and sometimes even some floor work for good measure. Combining these intensity levels means pole dancing can be considered an ‘interval’ workout. Interval training is acknowledged to be one of the best ways to burn fat and drastically improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Now, this isn’t something that you need to pick up at an early age, or where you’re too old to practice after your late 20’s. Pole dancing really can be for anyone willing to get it a go – Men and women of all shapes, sizes, background and ages.
Many international pole dance champions only started out in their adult years!
Of course, there are varying degrees of difficulties, from the easier swings and climbs to the more complex, upside down maneuvers. Some people want the circus-type moves, while others are keen just to just sweat it out, and maybe hang upside down for a few seconds. Pole dancing also allows you a vehicle to express yourself creatively and artistically.
So, what are you waiting for? Embrace your inner sexiness and this could be you! Pole-dance your way to a better body!
Whether you’re a techno-loving lad or a sporty sister even slightly into techy gadgets, this up-and-coming trend in fitness is undoubtedly for you. I’m talking about telemetry. And the proof of its rise in popularity really is in the pudding. According to a new report published by MarketsandMarkets, the Global Telemetry Market is estimated to be $72.42 Billion in 2014 and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.31% to reach $103.42 Billion by 2019. Crazy numbers!
Now, the first thing I thought of when I heard telemetry was Dr X in X-men and some sort of mind control product. Well, this innovative technology isn’t too far off! Telemetry is essentially a tracking device and a growing trend that changes with the latest technology. It allows you to track your distance, average speed and energy burned. This wearable device becomes your own personal PT, Nutritionist and inspiration station – it stores healthy, delicious recipes and motivational quotes to keep you going all day every day.
These devices were bound to happen with the lightning speed in which technology is progressing. Take one look at the iWatch to see just how in-depth these tracking devices can get.
Telemetry is definitely the shiny new toy in the fitness world, and we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled to see what direction it heads in next. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned run around the park, with no music or gadgets to distract you from the task at hand – getting your sweat on!
5. Bodyweight Training
It’s kind of funny and a little ironic that body weight training is now being considered as a hot trend of the moment. I mean, it just seems silly! All we’re talking about is using our own body against gravity, right? Nonetheless, this type of training is seeing a resurgence and is a great choice to gain strength, build muscle, and increase cardiovascular fitness and weight loss.
Bodyweight training is my favorite form of working out, especially as I’m finding myself on the road more and more these days and not always able to get to a gym. The huge benefit to this type of training is that the exercises are convenient, efficient, effective and cost effective.
So, what is this bodyweight training business about? Well, simplicity. The fitness industry puts huge amounts of money and effort into selling you a fitness dream that always tends to involve ‘fancy schmancy’ equipment and an inflated bill at the end. A common misconception with getting fit is that we really need all these gadgets and programs to live a healthier life. Though it’s simply not true. The truth is all you need is a little space and a little motivation. Bodyweight training exercises do not use free weights or any other type of machine or equipment. Instead, you use your own body weight as the sole form of resistance for the workout. Some typical bodyweight exercises most people would be familiar with are push-ups, lunges, and crunches. Incorporating these into your regular fitness routine, whatever that may be, will strengthen your body and help you lose weight.
These are just some of the many trends popping up in fitness right now. Some will continue to stay around for a while, and others will fall to the wayside to make room for many other new fads. At the end of the day, though, as long as you’re actively trying to be fit and healthy, you’re on the right path!
My advice is simple, though slightly hard to say: Work out what workout works for you!
Here at Blue Osa, we love getting our TRX on fitness on. If you are interested in pushing yourself to your limits and in being surrounded by others who are truly inspiring and committed,
About the Author
Robbie Allison-Young is a drummer, writer and thrill seeker. It’s these passions that have seen him tour the world with his band, Atlantis Awaits, and more recently, trek to Costa Rica and volunteer as a writer at Blue Osa. His search is endless and destinations boundless. Watch his band here.