A few years ago athletic pole dancing became very popular for a time, and there are still lots of people around today who are enjoying the fitness benefits of this sexy workout. While mostly for women, some guys took it up too. Before that, there was a brief trend for strip dancing as a workout. While this was (thankfully) restricted almost entirely to women and intended for, ahem, intimate use at home, it was still a fun way to get your body moving while enjoying great post-workout benefits. So what are the latest fitness trends in 2019?
F45 (HIIT Hybrid Classes)
High-Intensity Interval Training has been gaining notoriety in recent years as a way to push your body beyond the same-old, same-old workout. HIIT is defined as “short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity, paired with intervals of quick rests”. While this is unproven in any but elite athletes, the theory is that HIIT training pushes your body to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 48 hours after a workout. While in actual fact, it does require an intensity level that only the fittest can attain in order to get that long-term fat-burning benefit, that doesn’t change the fact that a HIIT workout will definitely push you to greater limits of endurance and simple mental toughness.
You Australians got a hold of this idea and took it one step further with F45. F45 is to HIIT what CrossFit is to regular training. F45 stands for ‘Functional 45’, which refers to the functional movements (squatting, running, lifting, pulling, etc.) for which the workout is named. Like CrossFit, F45 uses preset workouts. These workouts are rotated daily. Also like CrossFit, each workout has a name, although where CF workouts have harmless-sounding names like ‘Nancy’, and ‘Fran’, F45 workouts have much more testosterone-laden monikers, such as ‘Romans’, ‘Bears’ and ‘Firestorm’. Each workout combines exercises in different ways so you’ll never get the same workout twice. In fact, at present, F45 programs are built from a database of over 3,500 exercises and it’s growing by about 1,000 exercises per year.
This Aussie approach to masochistic training has found a worldwide following. I live in Western Canada and there are several F45 gyms near me. Well done, mates.
Many pole-dancing gyms are now offering aerial fitness as well. If you’ve ever seen photos of (once again) mostly women hanging from wide ribbons while contorting their bodies into shapes the less-flexible of us can’t even dream of, this is aerial fitness. It looks like something from Cirque de Soleil, but in actual fact, it’s an extreme workout combining body-weight strength exercises with flexibility, balance, and endurance. Plus, done well, it’s very sexy!
Shorter Workouts – Higher Intensity
Even if F45, HIIT or CrossFit aren’t your thing, there is a movement now toward shorter workouts. Not hard to understand really. We’re all busy and few of us have 2 hours to spend at the gym. Many fitness classes today are 45 minutes max and even gym rats are looking for ways to make their resistance training just as effective in less time. If this sounds like a good deal to you, take some time to learn about higher intensity training techniques such as supersets and breakdowns.
Wellness Festivals and Fitness Vacations
While they take a wide variety of forms the idea behind wellness festivals and fitness getaways is fairly simple. Get away for anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks, join like-minded people from the uber-fit to those who simply want to shed a few pounds, and, instead of chilling on a beach or touring museums, engage in a variety of fitness and wellness activities.
While these getaways won’t keep in you in shape long-term they can serve both as a great intro to new forms of fitness (you might come home hooked on something new) or just an alternative to the traditional eat and drink vacations that require weeks of penance upon return. Come home fitter – not fatter.
There have been calorie-counting apps since before cell phones – don’t believe me – think pre-cell tech PDA’s. I’m old enough to remember having one, and yes, I had a calorie app for it. A major and recent improvement on this front is the nutrition app. It tracks far more than just calories. To use these apps simply input your diet as you eat and it will calculate your nutrient intakes. You can even connect them to your FitBit or other activity tracker. The app will take your activity level into account as well, then make recommendations to fill the gaps in your diet. It’s like having a personal nutritionist on call 24/7.
Don't Let It Get Stale
Even if these ideas don't appeal to you, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to make fitness fun and interesting. Very few of us have the self-discipline to keep doing the same thing year in and year out. Changing up your workout is not only good for your body but helps to keep us motivated for lifelong fitness.