Top 10 Fitness Predictions for 2011 – Part I

This is always a fun blog post for me.  I like to try and look at what I noticed over the past year, what I saw working and where I think things are going for the coming year.

Some of my guesses may be a little bit optimistic.  As in maybe these are things I’d like to see happen in the fitness industry.  And others will happen, it’s just a matter of how soon and when others recognize them as well.

So let’s get to it.  Here are my Top 10 Fitness Predictions for 2011.

1. More suspension training.  People seem to like hanging out.  I think it’s a combination of the versatility and the challenge that comes with performing some type of suspension training.  Add to that the fact that each exercise can be quickly modified to a regression or progression and it allows this tool to work well in any group fitness setting.  Look for more gyms to offer suspension training classes.

2. Less is more.  In life we all want maximal return on investment.  No one wants to spend their time, money or efforts on something that yields marginal results.  With sleep being the one exception we are going to see what is the minimal amount of training and caloric intake required to ellicit the best possible outcome.  In calculus I remember these questions as being ‘max-min’ problems.  What is the maximum return with the minimum cost?  More will look at their investment in health in this way.

3. Simpler workouts.  You’ll see more people perform workouts with less equipment.  It might be one set of powerblock dumbbells.  Or one kettlebell. Or one suspension trainer.  Or maybe even just their bodyweight.  Gone are the days of needing a variety of machines and accessories in order to complete a decent workout.  Gyms recognizing this trend will adapt accordingly.  What does your gym look like?  Lots of machines?  Or lots of space and pieces that serve multiple uses?

4. Fewer stability balls.  How many BOSU classes did you attend this year?  None?  Ok well how many people were grabbing a BOSU as soon as they entered the gym?  Zero, as well?  Interesting.  Because a few years ago that was all the rage.  In the same way look for stability balls to have less of a place in gym based workouts.  Or in offices as chairs.  Or in schools as desks.  While there may be some benefits in a rehab setting and for some upper body workouts the truth is that you get more core activation from using a heavier load on a stable surface than a lighter load on an unstable one.  Watch how often the balls get used in your gym.  And then pay attention to who is using them.

5. Intensity is in.  I think for a while there we was some resistance to push our ourselves and see what we could really do.  I can recall working with a young guy who had some back problems.  Soon after correcting his compensations he was deadlifting 315 lbs for reps and got inspired to take a personal trainer certification and help others.  During his course he asked the instructor about the protocol for 1 rep max testing and was told ‘you never test for 1 rep max’.  What?  Why not? 

 If this is the information being passed on by fitness ‘professionals’ it’s no wonder the rest of the fitness population shys away from intense lifts.  Just to qualify what I’m saying… I’m talking about moving the most load possible without compensation.  Not simply getting the weight from A to B no matter how it happens.

That’s the first half of my list.  What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?  Am I missing any trends you’ve noticed?

Post a comment and let me know.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                       ‘always moving forward’

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8 Responses to Top 10 Fitness Predictions for 2011 – Part I

  1. Janelle says:

    I’m all for simple workouts!

    • Chris says:

      Right on Janelle! Me too.

      You’ll love what’s coming in YLTP 2.0!

      Chris ‘always moving forward’

  2. Anny says:

    Hey Chris,
    Happy New Year…awesome post and it is very timely as I cancelled my membership at H2O as it can be difficult for me to get thre some days. Much more cost effective to have a med ball, some tubes, a kettle bell and mat. This I have learned from you! Looking forward to the last 5 predictions! All the best,

    • Chris says:

      Hi Anny: Happy New Year to you as well.

      All the best in 2011.

      Chris ‘always moving forward’

  3. Cory says:

    Hi Chris,
    Great post! I am on board with everything you’re saying here. The suspension training in particular looks interesting. I’m not sure how it works because it seems it would take gravity out of the equation, but it does look really interesting.


    • Chris says:

      Hi Cory: Suspension training is a great tool. I’m sure you’ll like it a lot due to the variety of exercises and ability the change the difficulty very quickly. Compare this to some machines that can only do one thing or a barbell where you have to constantly load and unload weight for different users and you can quickly see why this is a great tool.

      Chris ‘always moving forward’

  4. charlie says:

    Hi Chris,

    Happy New Year.
    I like your post especially the part about the use of bosu and stability balls. I can remember having this debate with some fellow kinesiology students in University with my stance being that a heavy squat(insert compound movement here) will do more for core strengthening and stability(not to mention development of strength and muscle fibre recruitment) than a light resistance effort on a bosu or stability ball.
    I also like number 3…alot. So much redundancy in most people’s workouts. I would say that while one kettlebell is great two well used kettlebells are amazingly effective.

    All the best in the new year.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Charlie: You make some good points. You’re right that even at the university level we can be misinformed. In my experience this often comes down to those who have some theoretical knowledge but very little practical experience working in the trenches. And I don’t mean to discount the value of a quality educational program. Once you experience both types of training in terms of balance and power or olympic lifting you will very quickly appreciate which activates the core more effectively.

      Chris ‘always moving forward’

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