5 Fitness Trends That Won’t Go Out Of Fashion


Men's Health |

The best of the best. That’s what you deserve. We questioned coaches, tested trainers, , broke equipment and left sweat stains on gym floors across the country to find everything you need to take your fitness from ordinary to outstanding. Check these fitness trends that are taking the country by storm.

Fitness Trend #1 – Training As Entertainment

Exercise shouldn’t be boring. If you’re getting tired of your same old chest-and-biceps routine, you need a change. A good example? The rise of the Switch Playground. It’s the brainchild of super trainer Steve Uria, who has trained athletes like Oscar de la Hoya and helped create training methods like Sweat1000. It’s like no gym you’ve seen before, complete with a DJ, professional lighting and a smoke machine. It’s like a nightclub – one that offers a high-paced, gruelling training session. The actual workout uses one long supercircuit that’s filled with various workout stations, ranging from kettlebells and sleds through to boxing bags and stairclimber machines. Each station requires you to spend between at least 60 seconds there before you “switch” to the next one. The circuit and stations change with each workout, and the charismatic trainers always ensure you get a good session in. The lesson here? Your gains increase if you’re having fun. switchplayground.com

Fitness Trend #2 / Street Moves

Granted, it’s nothing new, but it sure has taken off in the past year or two. The American College of Sports Medicine asked 3 400 fitness and medical experts to pick this years biggest training trends – and bodyweight training come out top. Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or worse, haven’t been reading this magazine), you’ll have heard about the growth of calisthenics and outdoor, street or jungle gym workouts. We featured the top calisthenics athletes a few issues back, and we even showed how it revolutionized the body and fitness of one of our staff members. So call it what you will, but the rise of the body as a barbell is only going to get bigger, and you need to utilize it. The portability beats a gym membership, and it can work for any level. Check out our bodyweight workout on page 62 and our selected three smart moves on the right.

Fitness Trend #3 / Single-Mode Sweatshops

In the US, there’s been a rise in spin gyms like SoulCycle, Flywheel and Swerve (you cycle in teams, in a “race”) and running classes like the Mile High Run Club for ultrarunners. It’s a new generation of cardio classes that focuses on using one machine – whether it’s rowing, SkiErg or training with a Watt bike – and they all offer new ways to build stamina. If you are looking to build up your ability to handle endurances events, there are new ways to get your engine firing at its absolute fastest. Our local pick? Check out the Altitude Cycling classes done with Watt bikes and engineered by Science to Sport at Concept Studios. They simulate a high-altitude environment, and provide performance data in real time. There are also classes where they project video routes that you follow (one is called “The Sufferfest”). Anf they’re about to launch a high-altitude running class. conceptstudios.co.za

Fitness Trend #4 / Trampoline Parks

Granted, it’s not strictly a training technique – but it’s a new, fun way to introduce your body to new movements and a range of motion, and it’s easy on your joints. Bounce Inc. has already opened in Joburg, and we’re pretty sure they’ll be expanding to the rest of the country soon. It offers challenges for coordination-challenged beginners right through to parkour pros and gymnasts, and there’s more than just the traditional launching pad – they also offer a springier version of Dodgeball, some air-assisted basketball and a big air-filled bag to cushion you when you try out the most fearsome of aerial manoeuvres. The honest truth? It’s not going to build muscle quite like lifting weights, but it can definitely help you burn kilojoules, improve your cardiovascular fitness, upgrade your coordination and flexibility and help your lymphatic system to drain out toxins – all while you’re having a lot of fun. Plus you can do it together as a family. We’re sold. bounceinc.co.za

Fitness Trend #5 / Water Workouts

Swimming has always been an excellent way to get fit, and it’s one of the most effective training methods for improving your cardiovascular ability. It’s the perfect format for rehab and injury work, and it can help with your range of motion too. Best of all, it doesn’t just have to be about boring pyramid rep schemes or racing against the timer – you can now add strength work to your laps. Waterman-Fit is a new kind of training routine, one that blends swimming with clever strength-training machines (bolted into the pool) and classic exercises that have worked for Navy Seals, water polo players and Olympic swimmers alike. It’s not just about swimming – there’s everything from boxing bags and rowers through to running and TRX work. Created by Haydn and Maria Holmes in Cape St Francis, each session is held in a state-of-the-art swim centre called Liquid Lines. We’re hoping this will be franchised so that the rest of the country can benefit. liquidlinesunsalted.com

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