With the largest sports medicine and exercise science organisation in the world, the ACSM, releasing its annual predictions on the fitness trends for 2015, Mark Wood, Head of Training at British Military Fitness (BMF), gives his round up of the top five trends and what they are all about.
1. Body Weight Training
This is a great method of training with many benefits. Mastering the use of your own body weight will be challenging, but at the same time very rewarding. It will help those who are just starting out on their fitness journey to become stronger and more efficient, whilst also improving the quality of life as they will be able to move around with ease. It can also be used as a training tool for more advanced fitness enthusiasts, as there is a huge amount of body weight exercises which are very challenging, for example, pull-ups. The great thing about this training is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Using exercises like squat thrusts, burpees and step-ups will also be great for cardiovascular work. With a little bit of creativity, it is easy to get a complete full body workout using just your own body. BMF classes were formed on and continue to be delivered with this in mind.
2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT involves alternating bouts of both high and low intensity exercise to increase the amount of high intensity work performed. The low intensity, or rest periods, allow for buffering and clearing of lactic acid from the blood, which then allows the individual to perform another bout of high intensity work. This type of training method is nothing new. For years, people have ran hills, done sprint training and traditional interval training in order to get that extra “oomph” from their workout. But HIIT is different; it involves working extremely hard for a short period of time, whilst gaining similar benefits as typical endurance training. We have seen some astonishing results from interval training, some dating back to the early 1900’s. In the 1924 Olympic games, Paavo Nurmi, a Finnish athlete, used interval training in his preparations leading into the games where he won several gold medals. In the 1970’s, Sebastian Coe used interval training as part of his preparations. He would perform 200m runs with only a 30 second rest before repeating. More recently, and probably the most famous protocol, which really sold HIIT to the industry, was the creation of Tabata training in 1996 by Professor Izumi Tabata. Originally performed by Olympic speed skaters, Tabata would have athletes working flat out for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds rest, which was repeated for four minutes. HIIT training has been documented many times to be a fantastic training method for those looking to get fitter, lose body fat and even gain muscle.
3. Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals
This is a key aspect to industry developments moving forwards. There is a huge amount of research available for the general public now through use of the Internet, self help books and lots of podcasts. It is important that those working in the health and fitness industry stay educated and up to date with all current trends in the industry. BMF has a strong team of trainers, who provide continuous support, and education for all instructors. We certainly see the value of having very well qualified, experienced and educated instructors and it’s what allows us to remain ahead of the industry.
4. Strength Training
Strength training has become increasingly popular in the industry over the last couple of years. People are beginning to realise the benefits strength training will have on their goals and lifestyle. Being strong in relation to your body weight will have a very positive impact on your quality of life. It doesn’t mean you have to attend a gym and start lifting heavy weights; many people can gain a significant amount of strength just using their own body weight. Gymnasts are a great example of this. For those who want a better quality of life, healthy bones and joints, better posture and a healthier body composition, strength training is certainly something they should look at adding to their routine.
5. Personal Training (PT)
Working out with a trainer has been popular in the industry for many years and this popularity is continuing to grow. We are also seeing different varieties of PT now. Lots of people are working with a PT in pairs or even in small groups of up to four. Although group personal training sits at number 10 in the 2015 predicted trends list I believe this will start to climb higher over the next couple of years. Many people are more interested in their health and wellbeing and are looking for more education and ways to train, which is hopefully what they will be receive from a personal trainer. There will also be an added element of motivation and hopefully the additional support from a highly qualified and experienced trainer will help the clients achieve their goals.
To find out more about British Military Fitness, please visit: www.britishmilitaryfitness.com