One of the most exciting aspects of the fitness industry is the ever-changing landscape it encompasses. One year we’re pulling the lat pulldown bar behind our heads; the next it’s revealed that not only is this method unsafe, it is resulting in broken necks — literally. Another year we may have found ourselves sweating to the oldies, only to later discover our secret, Latin-dancing alter ego.
Fads come and go and it’s always fascinating to see which ones stick (TRX) and which ones take their place among history’s fitness blunders (anyone remember the Vitamaster 3000?).
Let’s take a look at what we can look forward to in 2014 and what we can finally stash away for next year’s white elephant gift.
In: HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), aka Tabata. At the top of this year’s list of fitness trends for 2014 by ACSM, high-intensity interval training is the quickest way to achieve fat loss, strength, endurance, and explosive power. Most sessions run between four minutes (Tabata) and 30 minutes.
See ya: CrossFit. If recent headlines aren’t enough to turn you away , maybe the epic fall of this dangerous institution will. Rhabdo, anyone? I predict CrossFit to lose its grip in 2014. Check back with me next year and we’ll look to see how many of these gyms are still up and running. More specifically, how many of their followers are still up and running.
In: Body Weight Bootcamps. Or body weight training in general. Super-portable, versatile, and inexpensive, working out with our body’s weight prepares us for the every day. Getting “back to the basics” also instills a solid understanding of good form, preventing injuries and allowing for a deeper capacity for our kinesthetic awareness.
See ya: McWorkouts. These one-size-fits-all, pre-packaged, glossy, musically choreographed workouts are on the outs. You’ve seen the classes I’m talking about: mostly geared toward women, these formats “introduce” us to strength training by handing us barbells that weigh little more than our morning coffee, involve hundreds of repetitions, and sometimes revolve around a ballet barre. Yes, facilities are still aggressively sprouting, but remember: Rome fell, too.
In: Kettlebells. Burn calories? Check. Build a rock-hard core? Check. Reduce back, shoulder and neck pain? Check. Pick one up, learn how to use it properly, and get swinging. Kettlebells are just as versatile as the dumbbell, with added unique benefits that can be gained by people of all levels of fitness.
See ya: Shake Weight. Okay, I know the Shake Weight is old news by now, but I just had to add it to the list because it should serve all of us as a reminder that not all ideas are good ones. It also makes a fabulous white elephant gift. Better yet, check out the Free Flexor. Please, do your fellow humans a favor and keep these spontaneous sparks of marketing genius to yourself next time.
Although this list represents, like, my opinion, man, while venturing into the new year with renewed enthusiasm ready to tackle the world one workout at a time, understand this: if it sounds too good to be true, it absolutely is. There is no easy way, no shortcut, and no one answer for everyone. Which makes our accomplishments that much sweeter.
Jodilyn Stuart is the Health & Sports Senior Staff Writer for 303 Magazine, owner of ModaBody Fitness, and has been a professional fitness geek since 1997. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]