Improve your understanding of the latest trends, techniques, and tools being used in the world of fitness.
The world of fitness is constantly changing. As a huge industry with collective revenues of over $40 billion per year, fitness clubs, personal trainers, and exercise scientists are all constantly working toward providing people with the latest and greatest techniques to improve their health, boost their self-confidence, and help them attain high levels of performance for both training and competition.
Fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike must make sure that they are always up to date on the latest training techniques and tools that are designed to help them attain better performance and health. While reaching your peak level of conditioning will always require some effort and dedication on your part, you can make the process easier if you decide to use the right type of tactics and exercise techniques.
To help you improve your understanding of the latest techniques and tools that are being used in the world of fitness, we’ll break down the trends into four major categories: nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and recovery. By understanding and employing the current best practices in each of these areas, you can get more out of the hard work that you put in when you train or compete.
Trending Nutrition Techniques
As has been the case for several years, when people think of trending nutrition they usually relate the concept back to one of the several fad diets that become popular through word of mouth or online communication. Naturally, these diets tend to go in and out of popularity over the years. Their effectiveness depends largely on the individual person following the diet and their specific nutritional needs.
Another big trend in nutrition over recent years is the rise in popularity of recovery nutrition products. In 2013, the market for nutrition products aimed at those participating in endurance sports went up 64%. From drinks designed to provide proper hydration after exercise, to refueling snacks designed to promote muscle recovery, food products in the sports recovery niche are very popular in the fitness community these days. Although these products can be very effective to help you recover and feel better after exercise, remember that they are not all as excellent as they should be. Take the time to look carefully at each label and learn about the potential effects of the listed ingredients before you decide to make the product a standard part of your diet.
The biggest way to take advantage of new technology and research in the field of nutrition is to consult with a specialist who has the knowledge needed to evaluate your dietary needs and make suggestions based on your body and any other medical conditions you may have. A nutritionist can also help you plan meals that are satisfying and fulfilling.
Popular Cardiovascular Training Methods
Cardio is a style of exercise that has been employed by casual fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike for many years. Thanks to the development of new exercise equipment, people can enjoy cardio in more ways than ever before. Rowing machines, for example, allow for a unique cardiovascular exercise that is challenging and customizable depending on a person’s interests. Because of its hybrid nature and flexibility, rowing machines are becoming popular in fitness clubs in many locations.
Another popular trend in cardiovascular training is known as HIIT orhigh-intensity interval training. The basic premise behind HIIT is that by fitting a more intense workout into a smaller window of time, you can more quickly get your heart pumping to achieve the same level of exertion.
There are several different styles of HIIT cardiovascular exercise that have become popular. For example, Tabata is a variation of HIIT that requires just 4 minutes; it is broken down into eight segments that consist of 20 seconds of extremely high levels of exertion and 10 seconds of lower-intensity exertion. The idea of Tabata originated from a study conducted by Japanese doctor Izumi Tabata, based on work that he did with Japan’s speed skating team. Dr. Tabata found that repetitions of a cycle of intense work followed by a short period of rest were more effective for exertion than sustaining a moderate level of intensity for a longer period of time.
Smartphone and fitness tracking technology, in particular, has had a big impact on cardio exercise. There are a number of motion trackers that can be worn on the wrist, arm or leg to help people see exactly how many steps they have taken or how far they have walked in a single day. The rise of these products has occurred alongside the trending desire for people to be able to include fitness as an everyday part of their life, even if they do not have dedicated time available to go to a gym.
For those who enjoy cardiovascular exercise in groups or with many other people in an interesting setting, themed running events are becoming a popular trend as well. Whether they are runs in costumes to celebrate holidays, or while dousing other runners with colored powder, theme runs add a bit of lightness to a very traditional form of cardio exercise.
If you are an athlete looking to improve performance during competitions or if you are simply looking to improve your functional strength and reduce fat, strength training is very valuable. Overall, strength training is becoming more popular, especially with women. Although more females are recognizing the benefits of strength training, there is still work to be done to put an end to some of the myths that permeate this part of the fitness world.
Many of today’s strength training enthusiasts are putting an emphasis on easier, compound exercises that work many muscles at once. By doing this, people who are looking to increase their overall strength level can gain a well-rounded improvement in both strength and muscle tone. Lifts like the bench press, deadlift, and squat are all enjoying more mainstream popularity; decades ago these workouts were considered to be reserved for serious bodybuilders only. These lifts are often incorporated into basic exercise plans that have only three or four different workouts per session, which is great for someone who needs an easy plan to follow.
Creative strength trainers are also coming up with ways to use workout equipment and devices in unique ways. For example, heavy rope training is one unconventional strength building method that is quickly catching on with athletes and casual gym-goers looking for a change from their normal routines.
Part of the huge rise in the popularity of strength training has come as a result of circuit classes that blend several different styles of workouts together, from standard lifts to cardiovascular movements. Circuit classes have also become something of a social fad. Their popularity has led to the creation of a culture that is dedicated to improving fitness through these kinds of workouts. People who attend the same group workout sessions are often able to create a strong bond with one another by sharing the successes and obstacles of their fitness journeys.
Home-based workout videos are also becoming popular. Many people prefer working out in the privacy of their own home, and while these types of videos have been around for many years, the rise of video sharing devices and online platforms has improved the market for self-directed training videos in the last decade. Popular home workout video company, Beachbody, has been bringing in hundreds of millions in revenue each year, in large part due to the popularity of its video workout programs and the dramatic success stories that the company advertises alongside them.
Recovery Trends: The Advancement of Science
It could be argued that exercise recovery is the field where trends have developed most rapidly over the past few years. Professional athletes, recreational enthusiasts, and those who are interested in fitness on a more casual level are all looking for a way that they can minimize recovery time so that they don’t have to be off the field or out of the gym for an extended period of time.
One of the contributing factors behind the advancement of recovery products is the development of the science that relates to recovery. Exercise scientists now have a much better understanding of the process of recovery, which means they can create products that are designed to help people recover from exertion in a natural way.
In particular, ingesting protein for recovery has become a highly-touted strategy for reducing conditions like delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A research study from 2008 found that consuming protein right after a strenuous workout could be a treatment for DOMS. As a result of this kind of research, plenty of protein drinks and snack bars have found their way into gyms and health food stores. In fact, in 2015 the worldwide market for protein is expected to surpass $24 billion. Many people believe that meats like poultry and seafood are the best sources of protein, but there are plenty of alternative plant-based sources that are also becoming popular because of the rising costs of animal-derived protein in developed countries.
In other areas of recovery, new tools are being developed to allow muscles to receive the nutrients they need to heal more quickly. For example, foam rollers have become a staple in the recovery world, as they allow people to roll out tough knots in their muscles so that their muscle fibers can heal quickly. These lightweight rollers are very portable, which means that people can easily bring them in a bag when they head to the gym for a workout.
The MarcPro and MarcPro Plus devices are two more great examples of these modern tools for promoting muscle recovery. Both devices use gentle waves of electricity, which allows muscles to more effectively receive the nourishment that they need to promote recovery. The Marc Pro Plus, in particular, has been designed with the additional ability to shut down pain for immediate relief. With less pain and faster muscle recovery, you can spend more time competing or training to improve your athletic skills or overall level of physical health.
It’s important to note that just because these ideas are trending in each of these four particular fitness areas, it doesn’t mean that they will or will not work for you. Success with fitness comes from having an understanding of your own personal style and coming up with a plan that fits your needs and habits. The best way to increase your physical fitness or improve your abilities in a given skill or sport is to get advice from a specialist and try out several different techniques so that you can find a regimen that works well for your needs.