As we look back at what has been another great year in the fitness industry, I've been thinking about what we'll be seeing more of in 2012.
These are my top 10 fitness predictions for this year:
1) Fitness enthusiasts and trainers will start giving their warms up more prescriptive thought. Think about it. If you train around 4 hours per week and spend 10 minutes of each workout warming up, that section accounts for 17% of your training time. There's a lot of good that can be done in that time. Use it wisely for movement screening, soft tissue therapy (even on your own with a foam roller), muscle activation, joint mobility and flexibility work.
2) I think we'll see a rise in popularity of bodybuilding, particularly amongst women. I know a number of women who've got involved with the sport for the first time this year (myself included!) in search of the ultimate physique. Bodybuilding training has received some bad press in the past, but I truly believe this is a positive step forward as more and more women strive for an athletic, trained body, and suggests that strong really is becoming the new skinny!
3) Corrective exercise will continue to develop as more people understand the relationship between optimal movement and both aesthetic and performance based results. I do however think that we'll see a shift from isolatory exercises such as clams and bridges, to more integrated linear and lateral locomotive drills.
4) I think semi-private training, like we offer at my fitness club Phoenix Pro Fitness, will continue to grow in popularity as more people recognise the benefits, namely reduced cost as compared to 1:1, the group accountability factor of group training, whilst retaining the individually prescribed training program (and hence the results..) of 1:1.
5) Talking of which, I hope more people will realise the importance of a program rather than strings of unrelated, random workouts in 2012. It actually upsets me that a lot of trainers don't even understand how critical this is for optimal results. A program is like a roadmap to success; it enables strategic planning of progressions, continuing themes, loading, recovery and peaking as well as numerous other factors. Without it, you are leaving your results pretty much to chance.
6) Heart rate monitoring will make a comeback in 2012. Interval training in particular has reigned supreme during 2011, but energy system training in general is an area I feel could be made more individual and hence effective, which is why I think we need to see people using monitors to determine rest periods, rather than just time prescriptions. Sure you can use visual and verbal feedback as an assessment, but with physiological data available and easy to use, why wouldn't we?
7) More than any of my other predictions I hope this one comes true; that there'll be a big increase in grass roots sports participation because of the Olympics. I also hope that the Games will raise awareness of not only the physical benefits of sport and exercise participation, but also the sociological and psychological ones too.
8) I think more people will recognise that rest, recovery and regeneration are just as important as training methodology for both optimal fat loss and optimal performance. This includes nutrition, stress management, sleep, relaxation and stretching.
9) I think functional training will continue to reign supreme, but rather than just focusing on movement quality and specificity, we'll also be taking cognitive and perceptual factors into the equation to ensure a more enriched and all encompassing approach.
10) Finally, I think we'll see cable based resistance machines, like those manufactured by Technogym, replacing older, biomechanically fixed machines that force joints through unnatural ranges of motion, in commercial gyms. This is GREAT news for the joint health and effective training options of gym goers everywhere.
Thanks and happy new year!
Member since: 13th February 2012
Owner of Godalming based fitness club, Phoenix Pro Fitness, trainer on ITV1's weight loss show, The Biggest Loser, & also strength and conditioning coach to the England lacrosse team. Personal Trainer...