The Fitness Trend of 2018

The past several years have seen an undeniable shift from “traditional” gym workouts to more “unconventional” fitness methods like functional fitness, Zumba, yoga, and even pound – an intense cardio workout inspired by playing drums. When I say unconventional, I really mean different than what we’ve seen in the past 50-100 years. What we call traditional weight lifting really is a new phenomenon when we look at the course of physical activity and fitness over human history.

Compare the “bench press,” an exercise that came about in the early-mid 1900s to Yoga, that has at least 5,000 years of history and possibly as much as 10,000 years. Or compare it to “functional fitness,” a trend involving compound, multi-directional movements that mimic activities we do (or should be doing) in daily life and that the mainstream likes to paint as NEW. Functional fitness was actually the primary, if not only, method of fitness from the beginning of human history until “traditional” weight lifting pushed it off the scene. From our hunter-gatherer ancestors to Ancient Greek warriors to 1800s “gymnastics,” functional (and often NECESSARY TO SURVIVAL) movements like walking, running, sprinting, balancing, jumping, lunging, rotating, climbing, lifting, carrying, throwing, and catching dominated.

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Honestly, when was the last time you actually caught something that was thrown at you? When was the last time you climbed something – a tree, rope, pole, etc.? If you’ve kept up with the functional fitness trend, maybe not too long ago. But for most of us, this probably was when we were kids.

So what does this have to do with the fitness trend of 2018? A reversion to getting physical activity and improving fitness through performance of NATURAL HUMAN MOVEMENT is taking place, and people are discovering how good it can feel to move properly. So my number one trend for fitness this year is any and all kinds of functional movement whether inspired by dance, music, or Spartans. These types of workouts can most often be found in group settings at boutique gyms and fitness studios so head to the closest one and lets get moving!

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Disclaimer: As always, proper form is essential. Activities like CrossFit have gotten a bad rap over the years even though the actual movements are great for you because of the lack of emphasis on proper form and the intensity of the workouts before individuals are physically ready. If you are interested in beginning a new program, please consult a fitness professional to design a program that is right and appropriate for your current fitness level.
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Beginner HIIT Program, 6-8 weeks

HIIT is all the rage and for good reason. It’s a fast-paced, calorie scorching, muscle building, fat burning workout that can be done by just about anyone anywhere. Everyone from endurance athletes to strength athletes to beginners and older adults can benefit from this type of workout. The following program is designed for beginners (but can definitely be done by all levels! Just progress as necessary), so don’t be intimidated by the high intensity aspect!

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The anywhere resistance band 6-8 week program

Resistance bands are an excellent way to strength train anytime, any place. Not only are they light-weight and portable, but they can add significant resistance and come in various shapes and sizes. They are also all you will need for this fast-paced circuit workout program, which can be done at the gym, at home, or even outdoors (as long as you have a place to attach the bands since some exercises require an attachment). So grab a few bands and let’s get sweaty!

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Train for Strength, 4-6 Week Program

In fitness, muscular strength is defined as the muscle’s ability to produce maximal contractile force against a resistance in a single contraction. You might have also heard this concept summarized as a person’s “one-repetition maximum” (1RM). Probably the most well-known muscular strength competition is powerlifting. But building muscular strength can benefit just about anyone wanting to increase strength, enhance power, and get results by adding variation to their workout programs. It can also be a great segue into high-intensity power exercises like plyometrics.

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Put it all together

Results happen because of two factors. 1) Consistency, and 2) Progressive overload, which includes not just increasing weight or reps, but also varying your routine to keep your muscles on their toes. In this article, I’m going to show you a few different ways to combine programs on this site so that you can continue to be consistent in your workouts while adding in some variation.

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Muscle Growth 5-Day Split, 6-Week Program

This program is for advanced and higher-level intermediate fitness levels. It is designed to promote muscle growth and strength, but not major hypertrophy. Do not attempt this program if you have not been strength training regularly and consistently for at least 8-12 months. The program consists of 6 days of exercise, 5 of which include strength training.

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Intermediate 3-Day Split, 4-6 Weeks

This program is for intermediate+ fitness levels. It is recommended that you complete the Back to the Basics 12-Week program before beginning this one. The program consists of 6 days of exercise, 3 of which include strength training.

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Your first workout program – 10 weeks

Probably the hardest part of working out is getting started. When you’re used to a mostly sedentary lifestyle or only sporadic workouts, gathering the energy to get off the couch  on a regular basis can be a daunting task, especially if you have a busy schedule. But getting started is also one of the BEST decisions you can make for yourself. If you can push yourself to do it, eventually it will just become habit and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without regular exercise! Just the fact that you’re reading this post says a lot!

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