Josh Douglas-Walton

Josh Douglas-Walton

Health and Fitness Writer

Josh is passionate about all things health and fitness, and in his spare time he's a keen marathon and ultramarathon runner....
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What is the Next Big Thing in Fitness?

Recent years have seen plenty of innovations in the way fitness professionals offer their services to clients. The days of hour-long sessions in the gym, starting off on the cardio machines before moving to the weights area, are long gone. Today’s fitness professionals need to think laterally if their business is going to be successful in meeting client expectations. We’ve seen the gruelling image of outdoor bootcamps received with open arms and kit – like suspension training systems – take body-weight exercises to a whole new level. What will be the next big thing for fitness training, and how will you respond?

Dance-inspired workouts will be a huge hit. We’ve seen Zumba – the Latin music dance workout – take off like a rocket over the last year or so. We don’t think its popularity is going anywhere in 2012, but we do think the industry will see the birth of other types of dance-based exercise. This kind of group training gives fitness professionals a relatively easy way to earn a good rate of pay per-hour, and we foresee it being popular with clients and fit pros alike. Look out for BOKWA- the next international dance-like fitness class to enter the UK.

Good old-fashioned strength training is slowly making its way out of the hardcore gyms and into every corner of the industry. Strength and conditioning is no longer the domain of coaches in charge of professional sports teams. Clients of all ages and levels are beginning to understand the importance of strength training, whether for recreational sports participation, fat loss or everyday strength. We predict that a greater number of fitness professionals will seek training and accreditation in strength training skills this year. How the trend plays out remains to be seen.

Small group personal training is looking set to have a big impact on the way fitness professionals model their businesses. With “austerity Britain” still defining our economic outlook, personal training clients are tightening their belts in more ways than one. Any structure which encourages people to start a fitness programme is a good thing, and group personal training is one of the best. It makes training more cost-effective for the client and injects a sense of community and camaraderie into sessions. For the personal trainer, it turns the session into a more financially powerful hour than one-on-one training (which naturally has a limit in terms of income).

Health, fitness, sport-specific training and weight loss have never been more popular and important with consumers. It’s our turn, as educated and qualified service providers, to respond in innovative ways which keeps fitness fundamentals fresh. What will you do this year?

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