As we head towards a new year and plan our resolutions, we take a hard look at our fitness routine to see what worked for us this past year and what fitness trends we can try for 2019.
In 2017, the health and wellness trend we paid attention to (aside from Functional Fitness which we built our company around) was mental health, such as meditation and mindful yoga, and we don’t plan on stopping this through 2019.
There are some fitness trends that come and go, but overall, the health and fitness community becomes more intelligent each year. The science of what works and what doesn’t is becoming much clearer, and people aren’t falling for gimmicks like they were in the past. In 2019 we will see people take another step forward, approaching fitness in a smarter, more sustainable way.
This year, after working with many personal trainers and health experts, along with researching the consumer market, we came up with 9 must-try fitness trends for 2019. What we can say first and foremost is that some of this might seem familiar. That's because there are no gimmicky trends below, these are all proven methods that are simply becoming more mainstream, and for good reason...they work!
Workout enthusiasts have been big advocates of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for years. According to the survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, high-intensity interval training is the number one fitness trend for 2019 - Unsurprisingly, as HIIT is tailor-made for people with busy lives, and most people have busy lives.
HIIT workouts require intense bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by short (sometimes active) recovery. Rather than spending copious amounts of time on the treadmill, HIIT targets shorter, more intense bursts of exercise. Research shows that you can attain more progress in 15 minutes of interval training than an hour on the treadmill.
HIIT TRAINING METHOD:
HIIT programs can range from 30 minutes all the way down to 5 minutes (Tabata-style interval training). An important factor to HIIT training and one you must consider is the ratio of work to rest. The intensity during the work period should be greater than 80% of estimated max heart rate. The key to working as hard as you can during the working phase is giving yourself the necessary time to rest. Rest or active recovery—prepares you for executing the next working interval.
A few variations work, including rest ratios of 1 minute on 3 minutes off, 1 minute on 2 minutes off, 1 minute on 1 minute off, all the way down to 10 seconds on 50 seconds off. It all depends on how long and how intense your desired HIIT session is.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TRAIN HIIT?
Two to three days a week is a solid amount of HIIT. 24 hours of rest and recovery between sessions is recommended. Mix HIIT training into your current training program. Ideally, you could have 2 resistance training and 2 HIIT training sessions per week.
Benefits of HIIT:
The downside of HIIT:
Overtraining. Just as you wouldn’t train legs two days in a row, don’t train HIIT two days in a row. You run the risk of overtraining, injury, and you will feel fatigued and mentally worn.
Yoga, in general, isn’t anything new. It’s been a "trend" for decades and it’s been practiced for around 5,000 years! Nonetheless, it’s popularity is on a rapid rise. More than a third of Americans say they are very likely to try yoga. While the majority of yoga practitioners are women, the number of American men doing yoga has more than doubled, going from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016 (and it’s hasn’t stopped rising). The number of American adults over 50 doing yoga has tripled over the last four years to reach 14 million. The number of people who do yoga will be comparable to the number of people who go to the gym to lift weights in no time. Ask your friends and family if they do or are interested in yoga.
The word about the benefits of yoga is reaching everyone. Not to mention, yoga pants are pretty damn popular even for the non-yogi.
Nowadays, yoga has extended from a calming practice to an all-out fitness routine. Certain methods focus on breathing and meditation, others challenge and demand physical stamina, strength, coordination, and balance. Yoga has the ability to constantly reinvent itself, which is, in part, why it continues to gain popularity.
Types of Yoga:
3. Mobility Training
You’ve definitely been seeing this in your gym or on social media more and more. A lot of education is being pumped out on mobility training. Put simply, mobility training is an active, dynamic stretching protocol. Many people are using this as a “pre-workout” by performing dynamic stretches, foam rolling and trigger point therapy. They are doing this for good reason, mobility training is essential to fitness. Without the proper mobility in your joints, you could injure yourself and develop compensation patterns which are unhealthy and not conducive to the longevity of your joints.
We couldn’t agree more with the quote from Michael Chivers Sports Specialist Chiropractor, “The process of skill acquisition begins with the ability to express full physical capacity at each joint involved in the skill to be acquired.”
Benefits of consistent mobility training:
Hurts like hell.
Dynamic stretches help prepare the joints by mimicking movements used in the sport or activity that is to be performed. A dynamic warm-up will prepare the body for activity by helping to increase blood flow and muscle temperature.
Resistance bands are great for mobility training. Here is an article we wrote on mobility exercises for rotator cuffs.
Stretching before and after a workout has been considered useful for some time now, but foam rollers, which offer more deep-tissue massage action, have become popular in the last few years. These tools, which come in smooth or raised-bump cylinders, improve circulation and relieve muscle tension. To test out this trendy piece of fitness equipment, try these foam roller exercises. Even who works out will own one of these sooner than later.
We use a mobility ball over a foam roller when we want to pinpoint myofascial release in a specific muscle or a small area of the body. A prime example of this is the hip or the piriformis in the lateral muscle. (The piriformis is one of the hip muscles on the side of your body which gets tight on a lot of people.)
Using a mobility ball allows you to focus right on the specific spot and pinpoint what you want to work on. There are certain muscles where having a smaller tool to really pinpoint the area you need will work better. It’s all about what’s the right tool for the issue that you’re having at any given time.
4. Live Streaming Classes/On-demand Coaching
While live-streaming classes aren’t new, in 2019 you will see live streaming classes and on-demand coaching popping up left and right. All live-streamed and on-demand classes are available 24/7 and taught by some of the best personal trainers in the industry. Classes include yoga, cardio, aerobics, HIIT, bodyweight strength, and many specialty classes (such as SET FOR SET’s Steel Mace Live Training and On-demand Coaching with SFS Athletes across the states, which is currently in development).
Live streaming offers variety and convenience. Not to mention you will see a lot of big companies using highly skilled and educated professionals to run their classes. Again, like HIIT, this is ideal for a person with a busy schedule. Many people are protective of their time, an effective workout at home will definitely surge in the online space.
Fitness studious will be live-streaming their classes on Facebook, companies will be creating live streaming and on-demand workout platforms for their customers. There should be no excuses for not getting a workout in.
5. Meditation/Meditative workouts
No, it’s not necessarily fitness or fitness related, but it can be and it should.
As many people say, “exercise is my meditation.” This is because exercise relaxes people and helps relieve stress. That’s great, but it’s not the same thing as meditation. Exercise works by stimulating the nervous system, speeding up your metabolic rate, releasing endorphins, plus many other positive effects you may not even think about. Meditation has similar benefits, but the means to achieving that are mental rather than physical, for the most part.
We don’t recommend trying to meditate while exercising, but alternating the two can keep the body and mind in peak form. The two go hand in hand.
We should mention, though, that some workouts can be very meditative-like, such as yoga or steel mace flows. Meditative Workouts could be a big trend we are overlooking. Nevertheless, for this article, let’s focus on the benefits meditation can have before, during (not done simultaneously), and after workouts.
After your cool down, a quick meditation session can help you recover faster. Your mind is a powerful tool. Relieving stress after a workout will allow you a faster recovery.
Make sure you stay consistent to see the benefits.
Physical fitness is important, and the mental aspect of our well-being is equally as important. In 2019, more people will be paying attention to this and they will reap the rewards.
Recommendation: We think Headspace is a great app for meditation pre or post workout.
6. Functional training
Our personal favorite. Functional fitness has moved up and down on the fitness trend survey ranking since 2007. The name ‘functional’ comes off as cliche or gimmicky, but trust us that a good functional workout will kick your ass! And the benefits go far beyond that.
What exactly IS functional training?
Functional training works through all 3 planes of motion, specifically to improve how your body functions for a sport or daily life. Functional training focuses on improving your strength, coordination, mobility, flexibility, power, and endurance to perform any daily function called upon you - Whether carrying groceries, climbing a rock wall or a tough gym session, you are always ready.
Functional fitness is also often used in clinical programs to help with rehabilitation and independent living for older adults.
Sports Specific Training - Pro athletes using resistance bands to boost their athleticism.
Gyms are introducing the option to ‘to train like your favorite athlete’. Most people used to think: “I’m not an athlete, I can’t train like them,” but that mindset is changing.
Many gyms have classes that offer UFC-style and other sport-specific workouts. We are even seeing gyms that specialize in training for outdoor obstacle courses, like Spartan Races and American Ninja Warrior. Also, thanks to personal trainers becoming more and more qualified for their roles due to the increase in offerings of physical education, these unconventional training methods, which are used by elite athletes, are becoming more popular amongst the average fitness enthusiast. They keep workouts fun and challenging. Plus, they produce great results in strength, fat loss, and prehabilitation.
We think the best part is, functional training makes you feel much more badass than say, pedaling on the stationary bike. For example; Steel Mace- Functional Workout with Steel Mace.
It’s a great excuse to get outside! #getoutside:
Don’t be surprised if your personal trainer has you working out outside. Personal trainers are recommending all kinds of outdoor activities to clients as a way to enhance their overall fitness. Anything from kayaking to camping and rock climbing to pick-up basketball. All very functional.
Outdoor excursions can have mental benefits as well: greenery evokes mood-boosting. Sun provides vitamin D. Not to mention, a breathtaking view sounds much more stimulating than your gym’s TV.
Lastly, to touch briefly on “Recovery” Workouts, which include flexibility and mobility exercises, these are considered ‘functional’ as well, and very beneficial when done consistently.
We don’t think functional training is going anywhere, and why would it, it has purpose.
Boxing has been around since the first person punched another person with their fists. It’s not exactly a trend as much as a natural human instinct. The ancient Greeks believed fist fighting was one of the games played by the gods on Olympus; thus it became part of the Olympic Games in about 688 BC. So why not take part in something that runs through our veins and has been studied and practiced for thousands of years?
2017 was a great year for boxing, due in part to Connor Mcgregor and Floyd Mayweather.
The sport itself is gaining popularity (think Heavyweight Ali to Tyson days), but what is growing even faster is boxing’s training methods. Boxing gyms are launching all over cities; noticeably the commercial ones with bigger budgets. Boxing is a big trend for 2019. With a strategic combination of cardio and muscle strength/endurance training and the chance to punch the hell out of something, you can’t go wrong. Boxing is an exhilarating, full-body conditioning experience that keeps you strong, and can relieve tension and stress. Get yourself some gloves. Find a routine and hit the bag. Even better, get to a boxing gym or class once or twice a week.
You will definitely see a lot of people adding boxing to their training programs this year.
8. Intermittent Fasting
As society continues to place more focus on metabolism and fitness, intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between fasting and non-fasting to encourage weight loss and maintenance will become mainstream. With a lot of influential people such as celebrities, authors and social influencers experimenting and succeeding with intermittent fasting, there are no doubts in our minds that 2019 is the year of intermittent fasting (and HIIT).
Intermittent fasting education is spreading like wildfire and so many people are already doing it because it works!
As with any diet, you should consult a doctor before making any drastic changes, but nevertheless, the benefits of intermittent fasting can be exponential if done properly and carefully.
If you are interested in Intermittent Fasting, you should read this article on different types of intermittent fasting and the benefits.
9. Qualified Fitness Professionals
Like functional fitness, personal training is a perennial trend (it's been on the ACSM's annual list since it launched in 2006). The personal training industry continues to grow. An increasing number of fitness professionals are seeking out formal education in kinesiology and exercise science, and there are so many options to earn accreditation. There are more than 250 third-party certification organizations committed to teaching personal trainers best practices.
Specialized training certifications and classes are surging in popularity as well, think kettlebell and steel mace workshops; On a broader scale, think specialized sports training education.
Personal trainers and coaches are held much more accountable these days, and that is thanks to an improvement and increase in physical education offerings, which in turn drives more education. So you can expect to see more certifications available and more personal trainers paying up for them in 2019.
Personal Trainers Monetizing:
As we mentioned in trend number 4, live streaming and on-demand, many personal trainers will be expanding their business online - using live platforms and selling on-demand content. Tons of personal trainers are becoming influencers too. These personal trainers are reaching more people and sharing their knowledge and techniques. With more eyes, they will have more options to monetize. Fitness professionals will be sure to capitalize on all this in 2019. And they should, they spent a shit ton of time and energy learning this EDUCATION.
Let us know your thoughts on 2019 fitness trends in the comments below.
Comments will be approved before showing up.