The Elite Trainers of Third Space put their brains and brawn together to predict the training and nutrition trends set to blow up – or go off the boil – this year
Fitness is a space that rarely stands still. And we don’t just mean physically. Culturally it is ingrained in both trainers and gym-goers alike to always find new and interesting ways to make progress. How else are we meant to escape the endless repetition of Tupperware lunches and treadmill sprints? They’re effective, sure, but they’re also boring and make finding excuses to skip the gym very easy.
Thankfully there are other ways to build a better body. Now more than ever, the world of health and fitness is leaving no plyo-box unturned in the search for new ways to get you in shape. And it’s these new ideas that turn into trends – some good and some, well, not so much. Here we sort the fact from the fad. These are the trends that can help you to achieve your fitness goals in 2018.
Boiling Point – Hot New Trends
Yes, really. It may seem strange that something we do without thinking all day every day could become trendy, but it is. The reason is that, even more strangely, so many of us are terrible at it. Modern life and stress all mean we have started to breathe increasingly inefficiently.
Learning to reduce stress and work on body alignment to breathe properly will be a major training focus over the coming year. OK, it’s not as sexy the 4-week abs training plan, but this actually works. Mastering your breath can give you your workout an instant lift – like an oxygen shot without the need for the oxygen tank. It’s the easiest performance boost you’ll ever use.
Typical recommendations for increasing flexibility in the past have used only your body weight. Add resistance, however, and it moves away from the chakra-aligning, candle-burning, mood-relaxing sort of mobility. Rather, loaded stretching – think Dead Hang or Jefferson Curl – challenges your body to build both flexibility and strength.
There is no point in being able to contort your body if you are unable to actively use that range of motion. More importantly, this is the year that we predict people will finally stage a fight back against the damage of their desk job. For many, years of sedentary living has caused your body to lose effective range of movement. When you work desk patrol for 40 hours each week and your only training is bench press, bicep curls and lat pull-downs, then you are only moving your body in the sagittal plane of motion (forward and back). The harsh reality is that mobility is one of those ‘use it or lose it’ commodities and when your body is this highly strung, it will take more than just static body weight stretching to fix. Practices such as FRC (Functional Range Conditioning) we predict will become more prevalent than static stretching classes as the general population understand having control over range of motion is what’s important. Make this the year you undo the damage
Still Hot – The Best Of 2017 Continuing To Grow
Good Gut Feelings
The gut is central to optimal health and performance. It’s the subject of extensive scientific research and, according to nutrition brainiacs, 70% of your immune system is produced in the gut. Not only that, the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for mood and better sleep is produced there – not to mention the fact it’s where all of your vitamins and mineral are digested.
Expect foods that support gut function to go from Whole Foods and hipster grocers to the high street. Drinks such as kefir, kombucha and probiotic infused shots will become part of your weekly nutrition intake, and fuel you to a fitter, healthier year as a result.
Going Even Greener
The vegan revolution shows no sign of slowing down. Vegan products are going to go from strength to strength. The demand for a plant-based diet is increasing with various mainstream products being replaced with vegan alternatives. A vegan diet is great for increasing your intake of vegetables, vitamins a minerals. Just remember to keep it varied and do your best to find tasty and interesting ways to keep your protein levels up. That soy shake will soon wear thin!
But a word of warning – vegan and healthy aren’t necessarily synonymous. Sugar is still vegan, so that raw brownie is not always the best option. Plus, wouldn’t you rather just have a doughnut?
Cooling Down – The Trends We Predict Will Go Off The Boil This Year
Crawling Out Of Classes
HIIT training is undeniably effective – a four minute Tabata finisher to spike your metabolism, for example. But there’s been a backlash against workouts that leave you on your knees. The stress it puts on your body, especially if you’re doing it several times a week, is actually sabotaging your progress. It’s impossible to recover.
Expect HIIT and classes to become more measured in their approach, instead. You’ll be working hard, obviously, but top-quality coaches will now come prepared with scaling options to ensure you do each exercise properly and safely to maximise the benefit of each rep. Jelly legs are so last year.
The Ketogenic Diet
Carbs are good for your muscles and, more importantly, they’re good for your soul. A diet that forsakes them for teaspoon after teaspoon of high-fat coconut oil doesn’t make any sense to us. Sure, there is some science behind it. It can help you lose weight. It can even help you run further, apparently.
But the key to any successful nutrition plan is that it has to be sustainable. And sticking to one that doesn’t let you have a crisp sandwich from time to time doesn’t sound very sustainable to us. Still not convinced? Keto was supposedly the secret to Kim Kardashian’s weightloss after giving birth, and could there be anything less on trend than her?