Fitness is exploding. In 2016 we saw the rise of boutique gyms and juice bars, but what will 2017 bring? Here are my predictions.
In 2016 we saw the opening of Kobox, a high end boxing gym in Chelsea. This kickstarted the growth of boxing as a more mainstream form of training, rather than purely a sport. Now more and more people are taking up boxing as a sweaty but empowering part of their exercise regime. In 2017 the new BXR gym is set to open in central London, which builds on this trend and takes it to a whole new level. I have a feeling boxing is set to grow bigger and better over the course of the next 12 months.
Mainstream vs Boutique
After the rise of boutique classes in 2016 such as BarreCore, F45, Barry's and Kobox; the mainstream gyms are upping their game. The one downfalls of boutique classes is that they are expensive. Mainstream gyms are tackling this issue by taking these boutique concepts, and implementing them into their own more widespread gym structure. For example the new Fitness First SHRED workout class. A 45 minute class based around combining weights and HIIT; which reflects the training style used in many boutique fitness spaces. This makes what was once a more exclusive training style, much more accessible to the public.
In 2017, the principles of mobility and functional movement are going to come to the forefront of everyones minds. The focus is coming away from lifting as heavy as possible, and moving into ensuring you can move your body effectively. Self-care in the form of improving your mobility is going to be a huge trend in 2017, and one which I hope is here to stay. From classes based solely around mobilisation, through to a rise in the use of dynamic stretching protocols, foam rollers and trigger point balls; our bodies should be moving better than ever by the end of the year.
Crossfit has had an awful lot of stick in the past, but it is finally being given the respect it truly deserves. Crossfit combines principles of mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness. Workouts include everything from gymnastics training though to heavy deadlifts and metabolic conditioning. They challenge your body in whole new ways, and when done correctly can massively improve your functional fitness. After trying various crossfit style workouts at Crossfit Perpetua and Crossfit Wanderlust, I am definitely a convert. I will be attending more classes and incorporating crossfit principles into my training in 2017.
The word balance was thrown around a lot at the end of 2016, and this will continue into 2017. Gone are the days of “clean eating” and strict diets. Foods are no longer being labeled as good or bad, clean or dirty. The focus now is on moderation not deprivation, with nutritionists, dieticians and fitness bloggers encouraging others to find their own personal balance. No food is out of bounds, and those seeking a healthy lifestyle are advised to focus on a wholesome diet which they enjoy, rather than one which makes them feel deprived. Ultimately this inclusion of their favourite foods leads to sustainability.
Ok so maybe this isn't a proven trend, but it is something I really hope takes off in 2017, and that is flexible training. In 2016 it felt like everyone was fitted into label whether that was a runner, a lifter or a yogi. I hope that in 2017 we can remove these labels, and embrace all forms of training. We should be able to try new things and dip in and out of different workouts, exercise regimes and classes without being judged. Fitness doesn’t have to be a strict regime. Fitness can and should be fun, and I hope that in 2017 people take the pressure off themselves to follow the crowd,and find their own way of becoming fitter and stronger.
I have to admit that a fair few of these trends are things I hope will be popular in 2017. I do see positive changes in the industry happening every day. More and more people are moving towards an approach to fitness which focuses on balance, self-care and strength. Fingers crossed this keeps happening as the year progresses.
Photo: Lydia Collins