As we close out 2008 I thought I would take a look into my crystal ball and share with you where I see the fitness industry heading in 2009. So here are my Top 10 Fitness Predictions for 2009.
#1 – A decrease in overly intense workouts on day 1
In 2008 and with the popularity of the movie 300 we saw a number of people trying to replicate the workouts performed by the actors in that movie. While these workouts had a number of great components to them what we saw happening was the general public attempting the same without proper coaching, instruction, planning or periodization. Picture the individual with low back pain attempting Olympic lifts. Or the person with knee instability doing 50 box jumps in a row. Subsequently we have realized an increase in rhabdomyolysis (damage to muscle tissue), injury and burn-out. In 2009 the hype that came with this movie will have died down and hopefully the negatives associated with it as well.
#2 – Less training on balance toys
This one may take a while but eventually the fitness world will realize that standing on a half ball doing biceps curls does not make your biceps stronger. ‘But it burns more calories when I have to engage my core to stand on the ball’ is the quick answer from some ‘trainers’. The answer should be if burning calories is your goal then choose activities, resistances and workouts that burn the most calories. Besides a less than effective way to train for caloric consumption, standing on a balance toy causes the foot to over-pronate, lengthens the ground reaction time during plyometrics and results in a decrease in power production. The athletes and parents of athletes should be paying attention to the last sentence and questioning what is the purpose of the balance toys they are using.
#3 – Shorter workouts
I hear so many people tell me how they workout 4 days a week for 2 hours each time. Unless you are a pro athlete, and even then we should structure volume very specifically, you don’t need to be putting in these marathon workouts. Think quality over quantity. Our lifting workouts last 45 minutes, tops. We will spend some before to warm-up and stretch out at the end but once we get into the lifting we never exceed an hour and are usually done the last rep in under 45 minutes.
#4 – More intense workouts
You might quickly be thinking I am contradicting myself from #1 above but I am not. The difference here is that I am advocating a properly structured and planned training program that gradually builds in intensity. Canadian physiotherapist Diane Lee said it best, ‘ you don’t run to get in shape, you have to be in shape to run’.
#5 – Women lifting heavy weights
More women will discover the benefits of heavy lifting and realize they don’t become bulky as a result. They get leaner, stronger, more toned physiques. This point doesn’t apply just to the resistance side of things because we will see more people ramping up their favourite cardio machines and getting away from the long, slow, steady-state cardio they have been doing all these years with minimal benefit.
#6 – An increase in non-traditional lifts
While they are nothing new you will see more people using kettlebells, pushing and pulling sleds, performing farmer walks and any type of exercise that involves non-traditional equipment and whole body movements. Gyms will start to acquire more of these pieces and new facilities going up will be geared around this style of training.
#7 – More emphasis on rest, regeneration and recovery
We are putting in the time for our workouts and making more of an effort to be aware of what we eat. The next area we will pay more attention to is our rest and recovery between workouts. New assessment tools are coming out that will allow us to simply and quickly determine how intensely we can train on a given day. We know when are cars are depleted of gas, oil, lubricants not to push them all out. Soon we will know the same about our bodies and know when it is appropriate to step it up and when it is not.
#8- Pre-workout shooters
Hopefully everyone reading this now knows to eat before working out. The most important meals of the day are the ones around our workouts and supplements companies have built entire product lines around recovery shakes. Almost every gym these days has a shake counter where you can order a post-workout drink before walking out the door. As the fitness industry catches on to this watch for your gym to market pre-workout shooters to you in the same way you are aware of getting a shake after your workout.
#9 – Less HFCS
High-fructose corn syrup will be for 2009 what trans fats were to 2007. You will notice this product used to sweeten products such as soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, cookies, salad dressings and even in cough syrups. Since this product is cheap to make, very soluble (meaning it stays in liquid) and easy to store means food companies aren’t going to stop using it inless we stop buying it. Look to cut your intake of HFCS in 2009.
#10 – A new, innovative, performance-based training facility in the Okanagan
Ok, maybe this isn’t so much of a prediction but on our wish-list. We are still working towards opening our own facility. Updates will be passed along as they develop and we will be seeking your input to make this facililty the very best possible.
I wish all of you a safe new year and all the best for 2009.