Workout Trends Hitting Gyms in 2017

As we head into the new year, many people make resolutions to hit the gym more. In fact, getting healthy and losing weight are among the top five New Year’s resolutions, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

With the rise of boot camps, boutique studios and hybrid classes, fitness trends have made it easier to work out and find something you can stick with. We spoke with Rico Gomez, a certified personal trainer at the Texas Health Fort Worth Fitness Center, to see what fitness trends you can expect to see hitting gyms and studios across the nation in 2017, and there’s something for everyone.

Fitness Camps/CrossFit

CrossFit grew in popularity during 2016 and Gomez said it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but a new breed of boot camps will gain some traction in the fitness world in 2017.

“People are becoming more and more interested in obstacle courses, mud runs, Spartan Races and adventure type courses,” Gomez said. “I can’t even count the number of Fitness Center members that have done Spartan Races, mud runs, mountain climbing and special fitness-type events.”

Gomez said the true draw of these activities is the heightened sense of accomplishment the participant feels afterward and said they’re great for anyone who loves a healthy dose of competition.

“Competition is linked to our fight or flight response. It’s a basic instinct to compete for survival and to ‘win/live’,” Gomez said.  “The popularity of sports has the same effect. Adrenaline and Testosterone are amped up when we compete in the same manner as when our ancestors were surviving out in the wild.”

Obstacle Courses

Marathons and 5k’s may always be mainstays in the fitness world, but thanks to the popularity color runs garnered over the past few years, more people are seeking out ways to add some fun to a long-distance run.

“I see more of the obstacle courses and challenges gaining more popularity this upcoming year. It seems like every time I turn around, I hear about how someone is doing a mud run, Spartan Race, etc.,” Gomez said. “People are doing less training when it comes to long-distance running (like 5K’s and 10K’s) and more training and conditioning for ‘tough’ runs.”

Dance It Out

The aerobics workouts made famous by Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons are making a comeback in 2017 but with a modern twist. Think less Fonda and leg warmers and more Beyoncé and sweat pants. These dance-style cardio classes introduce strength and toning in a fun, “this doesn’t even feel like a workout” kind of way.

“Based on what we have seen at the Fitness Center, yes, the hip-hop style cardio is here to stay.  The music for the exercises are current and people really love the beats,” Gomez said. “Doing dance moves to current radio artists is a great way to jumpstart a newbie.”

Tech Savvy

Fitness tracking has come a long way since the pedometer. With countless versions ranging from basic to high-tech and varying costs, tracking your fitness goals is getting increasingly easier.

Fitness classes have taken the obsession with fitness tracking to a whole new level by incorporating them into workout routines. At studios like Orange Theory Fitness, you wear a heart monitoring bracelet that tracks your progress while also displaying your unique stats live on a nearby TV screen. By being able to see your progress right in front of you, you can step it up if you’re not getting the most out of your workout or settle down if you’re pushing yourself a little too hard.

“When it comes down to functionality, those that exercise will enjoy the benefits of step tracking, heart rate monitoring, and distance traveled,” Gomez said. “Most are now capable of tracking calories burning doing a specific activity, which is great for the regular gym-goer.”

Up the Suspense

TRX has been around since 2014 but is starting to gain popularity for the amazing results it delivers. TRX is suspension training that utilizes gravity and your own bodyweight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability all at once.

Since this workout was founded by Navy SEALs you know you’re going to get a good workout, but don’t let that scare you away. You can adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance, putting you in control of how much you want to challenge yourself.

“TRX and Jungle Gym suspension products have been out for several years, but they are really taking off and will be even more popular in 2017 as more trainers and teachers incorporate them into classes,” Gomez said. “Suspension products are easy to use, inexpensive when compared to bulk class equipment and can be anchored to practically any wall.”

No matter the trend, there’s no doubt the power a good fitness trend can have when it comes to motivation, but keeping that motivation once the novelty of the workout wears off is the real challenge.

“My advice for sticking to trendy workout programs: Do your research. Just because it’s fun for others, doesn’t mean it will be fun for you,” Gomez said.

Gomez recommended choosing a program you can incorporate once or twice a week versus 3+ times to keep you from getting burned out. Another piece of advice he gave was not going at it alone.

“People are flocking more and more to workouts with others whether it is in a fitness camp, personal training or group exercise class,” Gomez said. “The days of going to work out solo are becoming less common. People tend to work out more often when they have someone there with them.”

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