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Already struggling with your New Year body transformation? Don’t worry – we’ve got the fat-burning, muscle-making solution that’s going to guarantee a new, slimmer, stronger you. Embracing the new training trends below won’t just make the gym more enjoyable, but you’ll also see better results; a University of Florida study found that mixing up your exercise sessions is an effective way to keep you motivated all the way through each workout. Remember, variety is the spice of life – especially when it comes to the gym.
So which crazes are best? Put down your shake weight and cancel that dance class: these are the latest trends you need to know about.
Best trend for: muscle building
If any type of training is going to become more popular than HIIT over the next few months, it’s this. Why? By keeping your blood circulating throughout your workout, Peripheral Heart Action Training (PHA) is an effective fat burner, muscle builder and cardio booster (yes, all at the same time.)
So how’s it done? Pick five or six low intensity exercises (alternate between upper and lower body moves) and complete 15 reps before moving onto the next without a break. But surely this cardio won’t build any muscle, right? Absolutely wrong. According to a study from the University of São Paulo, PHA is effective as HIIT in growing bigger biceps and a rock solid core. It’s no wonder Bob Galda, former Mr Universe – one of the three people to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger to the title – swore by this training.
Best trend for: monitoring your diet
Hitting the gym hard, but still can’t unearth your holy grail of a six-pack? Your diet needs an overhaul. Fortunately for you, macronutrients are going to be huge in 2016 as it’s never been easier to know what you’re eating. Thanks to apps such as MyFitnessPal, it’s now no effort to track your carbs, fats and proteins to work out how to adapt your diet to your training goals. Yes, it turns out that abs aren’t just made in the kitchen, but on the App Store too.
Best trend for: cardio boosting
You know when you’re on the exercise bike and you’re suddenly you’re teleported into a high-paced, shoulder-to-shoulder MTB race up and down a picturesque mountain range? You will do after taking part in this high tech, high altitude simulation cycling class by The Concept Studio. By cycling in a purpose built studio on potent Watt bikes in front of a big screen displaying first person perspective, high definition video and all the stats of the class riders, you’ll pedal for longer and harder to compete, and to keep in rhythm with the music and instructor. And if you’re feeling strong, try their signature “Hurt Box” – a high intensity 90 minute session of pain and power. Visit ConceptStudio.co.za for more info.
Best trend for: gym motivation
Recently, the American Council of Sport and Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal asked 2 800 health and fitness professionals their prediction for the number one health trend of 2016. Their answer: fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS devices.
But will packing more gear than Inspector Gadget and the James Bond combined actually make you fitter? Hell yes. According to a study by Iowa State University, investing in a tracker and witnessing your progress is a great motivator to keep on exercising.
Best trend for: home workouts
The survey by ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal also revealed a major health craze over the next few months will be (…drum roll…) you. Well, sort of. Training with your own bodyweight is set to be (literally) hanging around the top of the 2016 health trend list as it requires no equipment, it’s easily adaptable to any training goals and (here’s the best bit) it doesn’t cost a single cent.
And don’t worry, staying clear of free weights doesn’t sacrifice your muscle gains; a study from the English Institute of Sport found bodyweight moves such as crunches and side jacknives are more effective at targeting the 29 muscles around your abs than traditional gym weight training. Get a six-pack without leaving the house? Sounds good to us.
Want to know how to master foundation body weight moves? Here’s a quick guide to two classics
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your head. Push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times. Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position. Too easy? Hold a weight plate across your chest to make the move harder.
Lie on your side with your right leg on top of your left. Put your right hand behind your head, elbow flared out, and the other on the floor in front of you for balance. Contract your obliques to bring your right leg and elbow together, then slowly lower. Perform all your reps on one side before swapping.
Best trend for: becoming the next Jason Statham
Fitness classes for 40 plus
As Statham himself will tell you, it’s never too late to get to the prime of your life. All you need to do is recognise how your hormones and body composition change with each passing year and then adapt your workout sessions. And here’s the good news: according to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal survey, health classes aimed at those with more than 40 candles on their last birthday cake is set to rise. Jump on the trend and make every stage of your life your peak years.
Best trend for: everyday fitness
Let us explain: it’s essentially training that primes you to boss the physical activities of everyday life without injury (think carrying your weekly shop in one go or moving a couch around the lounge, not lifting the TV remote) and it’s set to be a talking point for the next few months, according to a recent CanFitPro survey of 1 500 health professionals. The goal is to improve your balance and strength so you’ll be set for when a friend asks for a hand moving house at the weekend. That’s right, it’s basically preparing you for some major showing off. Bring. It. On.