For the second year, Canadian fitness professionals predict that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and functional fitness will be the top two most effective Canadian fitness trends. Older adult training moved up to number three (from number six), emphasizing the demand for fitness options to reach the growing number of Canadians over 55.
More than 1,400 personal trainers, coaches, fitness business owners, and group fitness instructors from across Canada ranked their first choice for the most effective fitness trend of 2017 as part of the annual canfitpro fitness trends survey. canfitpro compiled their choices to identify the top 10 trends.
The research also reveals increasing popularity of circuit training and boot camps, small group training and wearable fitness tracking technology as some of the most effective fitness trends expected for 2017.
The top 10 most effective Canadian fitness trends for 2017 are:
1) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is a training methodology involving intense periods of exercise followed by durations of rest. This high intensity approach is increasingly popular because it provides a good workout in a shorter time than steady-state cardio and because it works for all fitness levels. As Canadians work longer hours and try to maintain balance amidst a busy schedule, HIIT addresses that time crunch, burning fat and improving cardiovascular benefits quickly and effectively. Components of HIIT are built into a variety of personal training, small group training and group fitness workouts. One example of a primarily HIIT workout is Tabata Bootcamp, or Circuit Style workouts like MyBootcamp.
2) Functional fitness
Functional fitness uses multiple muscle groups to strengthen in a holistic way, versus one specific muscle group at a time. Functional fitness programs include practical, balance-challenging movements that simulate activities like shovelling snow, carrying groceries, or unloading the car. This focus helps prepare for the physical activities of daily life and counters the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Fitness programs like BODYPUMP and SGT Ken Boot Camp include functional fitness exercises like squats and lunges to encourage participants to build balance, endurance and multiple muscle groups.
3) Older adult training
Older adult training moved up three positions from number 6 in 2016, based on the growing demand from Baby Boomers looking to adopt healthier habits to maintain their health and quality of life into their 60s and beyond. Fitness professionals are taking specialized courses and certifications to learn how to train older adults safely and effectively. Many fitness classes, like Newbody or Les Mills BODYFLOW offer a safe, low-impact workout for people of all ages. canfitpro’s Active Aging Certificate is an example of the type of education required to serve this market, while organizations like the International Council on Active Aging are working to build awareness and skills to support active older adults.
4) Express workouts
Express workouts encourage participants to do multiple exercises at a fast pace to generate maximum results. This is an effective approach for people on a tight schedule – perfect for lunch time or after work. Providing the ultimate convenience, an express workout typically lasts 30 minutes or less. A good example of a total body express workout is the GoodLife Fitness FIT FIX® strength training circuit and CXWORX.
5) Nutrition and healthy eating programs
Combining exercise with healthy eating is the best approach to see the results of your efforts sooner – whether it’s weight loss or advancing your overall fitness level. More Canadian fitness professionals are taking additional training to improve their nutrition expertise, including canfitpro’s Healthy Eating & Weight Loss Coach certification and Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Foundations powered by canfitpro.
6) Circuit training and boot camps
Circuit training involves a series of exercises performed in rotation with minimal rest. The goal is to build strength while burning maximum calories. A fitness boot camp mixes traditional callisthenic and body weight exercises with interval training and strength training. Both types of workout are designed to push participants harder than they would push themselves. Both are low-cost, efficient and challenging combining strength and aerobic conditioning to generate results. A good example is TRX Team Training.
7) Wearable technology
Wearable technology is making its way up in the top 10 list (from number 13 in 2016) as more Canadians adopt tech-powered fitness trackers like MYZONE, FitBit, Garmin and others to track their activity, sleep and hydration. Wearable technology helps make users more accountable, encourages more effort during physical activity and healthier habits outside the gym. It can also be used to encourage competition among colleagues and group class participants, which motivates better performance.
8) Group personal training/small class training
Group personal training involves small groups doing a series of exercises at their own rate, coached by a fitness professional. Participants benefit from the motivation and competitive spirit of working out in a group, as well as the expertise and tips provided by the trainer leading the class. Small class training is also a more cost effective approach to taking your workouts to a higher level.
9) Body weight training (using your body as resistance)
Using your own body weight to create resistance is a growing workout trend among Canadian fitness professionals and consumers. This form of exercise builds strength and muscle and burns fat without the need for equipment, making it easy to get started and less intimidating for beginners. TRX and the Lebert Equalizer are examples of body weight training systems that enable people to resist their own body weight while doing movements like lunges, push-ups and pull-ups.
10) Personal training
More Canadians than ever are choosing to work with personal trainers to accelerate their workout results. Trainers create customized fitness plans, offer advice for healthy eating and provide one-on-one motivational coaching to reach fitness goals safely and with proper form. Personal trainers are required to achieve and maintain their canfitpro Personal Training Specialist certification, and are encouraged to continuously upgrade their qualifications to improve their expertise.
Rod Macdonald, Vice President, canfitpro
It’s no big surprise to see HIIT and functional fitness workouts leading the 2017 trend list. These are solid, effective forms of fitness that are used as the building blocks for a variety of workouts, including express workouts, because they get results quickly and safely and make us stronger for daily life. It was interesting to see boot camps and circuit training, as well as small group training, join the top 10 list. This suggests more people are embracing the accountability and social connections offered in a smaller group workout, as well as the coaching and expertise they get from fitness professionals who lead these kinds of intensive training sessions with smaller groups.”
Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan, Vice President of Fitness Innovation and Development, GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro
“The fact that HIIT training and functional fitness remain in the top two positions proves these forms of fitness are here to stay. Both are extremely effective in helping people build functional strength and endurance and boost cardiovascular fitness…and best of all, they’re not complicated. I was also pleased to see older adult fitness advance to one of the most effective fitness trends. It reflects the realities of Canadian demographics, as more adults over 55 look for safe, proven ways to get and stay fit and improve their quality of life.”
Michele Colwell, Vice President of Operations — Personal Training Services, GoodLife Fitness
“The scope of personal training continues to expand as clients look for credible, caring advice and coaching to improve strength, flexibility and mobility. Personal trainers are always building their expertise and credentials and we’re seeing more certifications in rehabilitation and training for different age groups, as well as fascial stretching and improved mobility. Personal training continues to be popular among people looking for effective fitness programs, lifestyle and nutrition advice and noticeable long lasting results.”
Tosca Reno, Certified Nutritional Therapy practitioner, author of The Eat Clean Diet and Tosca Reno’s East-Clean Foundations powered by canfitpro
“Nutrition and healthy eating remain near the top because they are essential components in the fitness mix. For any workout to be effective, you need to fuel your body the right way to provide energy, as well as to maintain a healthy weight. I encourage people to get rid of processed foods like sugar and focus on eating clean, nutrient dense, well-sourced and properly prepared foods. The right nutrition is a foundation to achieve the best fitness results and feel healthy and energized.”
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