Photo: Elite
Great Northern Warehouse Manchester

Once the last of the mince pies have been polished off, thoughts turn to the new year and getting back in shape – or just in shape, if we’re being honest.

But what are the fitness and wellbeing trends we’ll be trying – or at the very least talking about – in 2019?

We asked the city’s experts for their inside take, so you can get a head start.

Mind-altering workouts

“2019 will see a rise in boutique fitness gyms, complete with a different style of workout – high intensity full-body workouts designed to not only change your body but your mindset too,” says Nick Phillips, owner of Hub Fitness and LuvCycle.

“It’s about the whole experience, so we’re seeing boxing and spinning classes combining awesome music, laser lighting and mindfulness. We’ll likely see more classes that take you on a journey, allow you to zone out and focus on your goals.

“Meditation will become much more mainstream in fitness too. With Manchester boutique studios putting their own Mancunian twist on things, workouts are becoming much more than just a workout. They will be about having fun, pushing your fitness to a new level – all with the lights dimmed, as the beat drops and you float away.”

Mindfulness and meditation

Mick Timpson, founder and CEO of beanddo, agrees.

“Stress-levels continue to rise but in 2019, I think we’ll see a continuing shift in how we tackle the issue, with more people looking towards the ancient technique of meditation and learn how to really value their mental wellbeing,” says Mick.

“The World Economic Forum tells us that creativity, insight, flow and resilience are going to be the key workplace skills for 2020 and regular meditation nurtures these deep human skills, which we know are deeply linked to happiness and wellbeing.

“So, in the next year, modern meditation in business, schools and healthcare will start to become the norm.”

A bespoke experience

“One fitness trend making a big resurgence as we head into 2019 is personalised training and nutrition,” says Steve Chambers, gym manager at Ultimate Performance Manchester.

“From fashion to technology, consumers want everything bespoke and customised to their needs – and the same is true for fitness. The age of ‘one-size-fits-all’ fitness and fad diets is over.

“People who want tangible results with their fitness, whether that’s to lose weight sustainably or build a better body, understand that this is best achieved through a specific exercise and diet plan designed around their specific goals, body type, exercise history and dietary preferences.

“That’s why more and more people are working with personal trainers, one-to-one online coaches and coming to private personal training-only gyms.”

Quicker HIIT classes

“High intensity interval training was one of the hottest trends of 2018 and its meteoric rise doesn’t show any sign of slowing down,” according to Ruth Lynch of Life Leisure.

“In fact, it’s getting quicker. 2019 will see HIIT classes reduced to even shorter bursts with classes finished in just 15 minutes (excluding warm up and warm down time).

“HIIT uses high intensity bursts of exercise followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods and scientific studies into HIIT have shown it to be an effective way to increase your metabolism and help you burn calories quicker.

“As a HIIT workout usually involves lots of different exercises targeting multiple areas of the body, sessions are fun and engaging.”

Specific goals

“I think a trend for 2019 will be people making specific goals,” says Jade Clarke, Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 ambassador.

“Mine is to be able to do unassisted chin-ups; this is because I need to focus on arm strength, having predominantly worked on leg strength over the years.

“I can see shorter workouts becoming more common too; with so many people leading busy lives. Throwing on a 15-minute exercise video at home is a great way squeeze some training in.”

Lifestyle overhauls

Photo: Elite

“We believe 2019 is the year of ‘real people’ getting into shape – all sizes and age ranges taking part in large group training sessions using weights, tyre flipping and hammers,” says Anthony McMahon of elite Together Manchester. 

It won’t be just about the scales though, but a change in people’s approach towards lifestyle, from diet and sleep to exercise, 2019 is truly about the whole you. Heart, body and soul.

“You often hear the term ‘mind over matter’ and in the year ahead people will be investing in getting an MOT for the whole body. The total transformation. Not just bums, boobs, moobs and bingo wings… it’s the whole kit and caboodle.”

What else is in for 2019?

  • Rowing – goes up a gear as new go-to class.
  • DIY workouts – minus equipment, you just use your own bodyweight.
  • Duathlons – like a triathlon but minus the need to get wet.
  • Sleep – it’s a serious business so more people will look for ways to improve their shuteye.
  • Streaming – you’ll be able to hop online and join a class wherever you are.
  • Brain training  – we are realising that grey matter needs looking after.
  • Barre work – it’ll seem less exclusive as more people realise the benefits.

What's on your mind?