It’s a new year: The holiday parties are done, those damn cookies are finally gone, and whether you like it or not, you’re getting back into something resembling a routine. Are fitness goals high on your resolution list for 2014? Set a schedule, grab a workout buddy, and get fit, stat.
Here are five health and fitness trends for 2014 that will help keep you on track.
High Intensity Interval Training
The American College of Sports Training just released its top fitness worldwide trends for 2014. The No. 1 trend: High intensity interval training (HIIT). You’ve probably heard the term, but here’s the description from A.J. Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy, “Instead of jogging at 60 percent of your ability for 45 minutes, you sprint your legs off for 30 seconds. Then rest for a minute. Then repeat six times. Total workout time: 10 minutes, plus a short warm-up and cool-down.” Maximizing results while minimizing gym time. Who doesn’t want more of that?
Last year, we saw HIIT beginning to hit the big time, with workouts like Jillian Michaels’ BodyShred at Crunch Gyms and functional training classes at The Fhitting Room in NYC. Trending in 2014: the Tabata Protocol, which gives you the tools to apply the theory of HIIT to any exercise. Use Tabata with your favorite cardio for quick results.
Green juice is here to stay, because in 2014, it’s not just about restrictive juice cleanses or fasts. The concept of juice as a supplement to, not a replacement of, a daily meal is reaching universal acceptance. You no longer have to go to a specialty juice bar to get your fix; cold pressed juices are all over your local lunch spots and grocery stores.
It’s becoming ubiquitous because it’s a tasty, easy way to get your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. And now there are so many companies, like Juice Generation, the ingredient-obsessed Suja and the fashion forward Heartbeet, and you can get your juice while ordering a salad from your favorite lunch place.
Just as SoulCycle is a chocolate-in-your-peanut-butter version of spin and yoga, so, too, are other new boutique exercise upstarts. This method of combining exercises works well because each type works different parts of your body, while keeping your mind fresh so you don’t get bored.
Recently, Pedal NYC put together a genius combo of TRX training and cycling (30 minutes of each type of exercise) to get great results. The Bradford Method offers trampoline-slash-barre classes. And Aquacycling combines two low-impact sports that go great together.
Coming later in 2014: A friendlier CrossFit workout at Row House, which combines CrossFit and rowing for a low-impact, high results workout.
Squats are having a moment. Russian subway stations started taking squats as payment for fares, new data suggests that they aren’t as bad for knees as previously thought, and millions of Instagrammers are using #squats; it’s undeniable, everything about your high school gym classes is here to stay. Short-shorts not required.
Squats and variations on them are all over boutique exercise classes, too, like Physique 57, the Refine Method and Barry’s Bootcamp. But perhaps the best part about them is you can pop a squat anywhere, anytime for a quick booty-lifter.
Working out using your own bodyweight in old-school exercises like jumping jacks and push-ups is what the bodyweight training trend is all about. Classes like Equinox’s Animal Flow workout push the concept by utilizing primal moves like crawling, twisting and climbing to move all of your body parts at once. It’s your muscles versus your own body weight, and it produces ultra-fast results.
Bodyweight training was another top trend from the ACST list, so expect to see more of these types classes offered around the country. But the best part of Bodyweight training is that you can do it at home with almost no equipment. That makes it an economical choice as well, which should help out with some other resolutions on your list.
Photos courtesy of SoulCycle, Refine Method, the Bradford Method, and Barry’s Bootcamp