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12 Developing Trends in Fitness Provision

By Gerry Fitzpatrick, Accredited Sports Psychologist & Lecturer in Sport Psychology, Coach Education and Strength and Conditioning at Waterford Institute of Technology

1. The treadmill is making a comeback

There has been an 82% increase in classes that incorporated treadmills into their classes in 2018 compared to the year before, and the trend is growing. They have been a part of the studio landscape for a while, more recently they have started acting as headliners in their own right, with treadmill-centric studios popping up. Treadmill, which offers virtual running 'classes' is increasing in popularity, along with precision running programmes that incorporate intervals.

2. Shake up in HIIT classes

Many fitness studios offer HIIT hybrid classes but some facilities now offer a HIIT yoga class called Fire Yoga too. There is also F45, an Australian programme that bridges the gap between one-on-one personal training sessions and fitness classes with its high-intensity circuits. Every F45 studio in the world runs the exact same 45-minute class each day, which alternate between HIIT-style cardio, strength training, or a hybrid mixture of the two.

3. Flying just got fun

The Flying Fantastic aerial fitness school uses 30ft ribbons suspended from the ceiling and classes focus on balancing, lifting and mid-air posing, that work the core.

4. Workouts are getting shorter and shorter

According to recent reports, more people are booking classes that are 45 minutes or less. There has already seen this with the rise of high-intensity interval training (or HIIT) in the past few years. Shorter workouts can be just as effective at transforming the body as longer workouts.

5. Wellness Festivals and Fitness Retreats

Over the past three years, wellness festivals have become big business and they continue to grow. From three days of fitness, workouts with music and parties built in to the seven-day fitness fiesta’s occurring in France and Spain, they combine great music with healthy eating, mindfulness with HIIT workouts, mindfulness, yoga and Pilates.

6. Work out, then work

More and more gyms have created a space where you can sit down, grab a coffee and do some work, an example being Gym+Coffee. Similarly, more and more workspaces are incorporating fitness into their offerings.

7. SAQ is back

Functional training and its impact on injury reduction is very contemporary and Speed and Agility training has made a welcome return with gym goers who appreciate the need for short, intense bursts of movements that improve their reactivity and ability to change direction.

8. At-home sessions

New York-based cycling sensation Peloton bikes, the high-tech, at-home spinning bikes, are equipped with a 22-inch HD sweat-proof touchscreen which lets you tune in and experience 14 daily live and 8000+ on-demand classes, without having to leave your house. The sessions are recorded in a room of people who are also working out, with high energy trainers running the workout.


FITT is an interactive online platform offering people exclusive access to train with top personal trainers. The platform enables exercise-goers to choose from a variety of specialist classes, from HIIT to yoga that are taught by fitness instructors, via a mobile application that connects to the TV. This form of connective fitness with a monitor worn across the chest tracks performance and allows people to compete against themselves and others around the world.

10. On-demand fitness

Airports are responding to peoples increasing need for on-demand fitness options by integrating workouts into their offers for travellers. Start-ups ROAM Fitness and FlyFit offer workout facilities in airports with the FlyFit operating in Heathrow airport while other airports are offering a members' club that allows travellers to book airport hotel gyms, and other wellness facilities.

11. Nutritionist apps

There is an increasing rise in the use of nutrition apps to keep track of what supplements, multivitamins and protein shakes are required on a daily basis, for gym-goers. New apps will even take the temperature of your food and delivers personalised recommendations about what supplements you should take. Essentially, they do all the hard work of monitoring your food and drink intake so you do not have to.

12. Movement classes

Developing on from Animal Flow, movement classes, including adult gymnastics improve strength, flexibility and balance by drawing on the basics of human movement. Incorporating crawls, hops, jumps, lunges, squats, inversions, balances and hangs, and are increasing popular with the exercise enthusiast, athletes and movement coaches alike.

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