Unlike previous years where Pilates, spin, stability ball and Zumba were all the rage, this year it’s all about strength training and quick-burst training regimes. So it’s out with the time-consuming, brain-draining, boring workouts and in with the short, sharp, sweaty, results-driven kind.
1. Functional training
Strong is the new skinny, which makes “functional training” the workout du jour, focusing on using your own body weight to build strength, stability, power, endurance, flexibility and a lil’ bit of muscle.
If you’ve noticed black and yellow straps hanging around at your local gym – that’s TRX – and you need to give them a try. Invented by a former US Navy SEAL, TRX allows you to do hundreds of exercises without any other equipment or machines! All you need are the TRX suspension straps and your own body weight. If you need more motivation to give it a try, check out J-Lo, she swears by TRX.
TRX Squat – How to video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqSJpoBXKWs
Plyometrics are another training technique sweeping gyms across the country. AKA jump training (ever heard of jumping lunges or squats jumps? Yep – they’re standard ‘plyo’ moves), it’s designed to exert maximum force from muscles in the shortest amount of time. Originally developed for Olympic athletes, the explosive moves will improve coordination, endurance and build lean muscle mass.
2. High intensity interval training (HIIT)
Let’s face it, we’re all time poor and if you’ve been at work all day, running on a treadmill for an hour sounds like a workout you’d rather avoid. The great news is that HIIT training ranges in just 18 – 27 minutes session, and you can get the same results as jogging for an hour at a steady pace.
This fat-blasting fad (that’s here to stay) describes any workout that has cycles of short-burst high intensity activity. It might be as simple as jogging for 5 minutes, sprinting for 1 minute and repeating. This simple training method will burn more fat, retain muscle mass and increase your metabolism, while some research shows that slogging it out on the treadmill at a steady pace for hours on end will actually do the opposite, not to mention the wear and tear on your joints! Burning more calories in less time? Sign me up, stat!
Believe it or not, this heavy, handbag-shaped training tool was responsible for Gerard Butler’s abs in the movie 300 and is credited with cutting Jennifer Aniston’s enviable figure. And if that isn’t motivation enough, a study by the American Council on Exercise found participants burnt a whopping 20.2 calories per minute while using a kettlebell. The only other workout which burns that many calories is cross country skiing…uphill and at a really fast pace!
Perfecting your kettlebell technique can be tricky, but thankfully KettleWorX group training has been introduced to Australia for the first time, where can burn up to 600 calories in just 30 minutes under the watchful eye of a qualified kettlebell instructor. KettleWorX high intensity sessions have appealed to both male and female participants due to the combination of resistance and cardio in one session, which uses simple and authentic kettlebell exercises.
About the author:
Melissa Guest-Smith has 15 years industry experience and is currently the National Group Fitness Manager for Goodlife Health Clubs overseeing 1500+ Instructors and group fitness managers. She is an Asia Pacific Master Trainer for KettleWorX and certified Kettlebell Trainer through the Performance Institute and Australian Kettlebell Instructor (AKI).
For more information on the classes or trends mentioned in this article visit www.goodlife.com.au