2 January, 2015

AFA8-700x630It’s the start of another year and we’re looking forward to offering you some new professional development to help you stay ahead of the game and provide your clients with interesting and challenging ways to improve their fitness.

So what are the fitness trends that we believe will be popular in 2015?

High intensity training

This is no surprise!  High intensity training has been gaining in popularity now for a few years because most people recognise the benefits.  In 2015 we predict it will be even bigger but with a few subtle variations. Previously HIT involved mostly one-on-one PT sessions incorporating treadmill running, cycling or rowing at heart rates exceeding 85% of maximum.  Usually the HIT sessions were held in a gym using some form of cardio equipment or ergometer.  As the title suggests, this form of training is strenuous and if completed as intended, requires sufficient recovery between sessions!

The trend in 2015 is to expand HIT to the outdoor environment using group circuit activities. These involve a combination of bodyweight and cardio exercises at maximum output with only a short period of rest between activities. For example, a circuit of 20 burpees, followed by 40 mountain climbers, 20 step ups and a 30 second shuttle run. Take a 90 second recovery break then repeat another 3 times and feel the burn in your legs, butt and lungs!

These types of activities are popular because they can be arranged as a circuit and completed with a group of friends for added motivation. They are suitable for a park or small indoor venue as they don’t require much equipment.

The fitness benefits are substantial depending on the activities included in the sessions. The PT can tailor the sessions to develop speed, power, speed endurance and improved cardiovascular efficiency.

Adventure Challenges

Do a quick Google search for ‘adventure challenges and events’ and see how many activities are displayed. Tuff Mudder was one of the pioneers in this field but there are now loads of similar events that challenge the participant to complete an obstacle course. The ‘obstacles’ range from crossing mud filled pits and streams to climbing fences and walls. Many of them focus on teamwork with participants working together to get through the toughest challenges.

These types of activities are hugely popular with event organisers seeking the most inventive of activities to challenge the participants to work outside their comfort zone. While physically demanding there is also a fun element to these events. For example, on completion of the Tuff Mudder challenge, participants are offered a free beer and the opportunity to ‘donate’ their mud-caked runners to charity. The Tough Bloke challenge has a fancy dress category while the Colour Run promotes itself as the happiest 5km run on the planet where participants are ‘bombed’ with coloured dye throughout the event.

Technology Rules!

Wearable exercise technology is a ‘must have’ for 2015.  It continues to evolve to provide you with detailed information on every aspect of your training including:

  • GPS data identifying distance covered, changes in altitude throughout the course, maximum speed and average speed.
  • Physical responses throughout the session including heart rate and energy expenditure.
  • Other activity trackers provide information on calorie intake and expenditure, steps taken each day and sleep and rest patterns.

Of course it is all downloadable to enable you to monitor your progress via graphs and charts. Interestingly, wearable exercise technology has become so sophisticated that it is now used in medical rehabilitation to monitor physical parameters in patients with conditions including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and in recovery from strokes  and heart disease.

Group Treadmill Classes

As a regular exerciser, it’s very likely you’ve participated in choreographed weigh training classes such as Pump, boxing circuits including Thump and Spin cycling sessions. More recently group rowing classes have been offered by clubs, particularly those with the concept2 ergometers.

The new trend in group exercise includes treadmill running classes.

Mile High Run Club in New York (http://www.milehighrunclub.com/) promotes itself as the first dedicated fitness studio exclusively for running.  It offers group interval running sessions to cater for all levels of runners, instructed by qualified coaches.  Depending on your level of fitness, the coach alters the intensity of the sessions by varying the speed and gradient over the 45 or 60 minute workout.

So if you’re looking for something new to inspire you in 2015 give these a try!  Whatever your exercise preference we hope you have healthy year and achieve your fitness goals.


Training Trends for 2015 is written by Steve Hore, AFA Managing Director.


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