We asked members of The Fitness Writers Association – the organisation representing professional fitness journalists in the UK – what they see as the biggest fitness trends in 2013
Independent gyms are gaining popularity at the moment because they offer the chance for members to feel like they really belong to something. They have their own character, they get to know their members and they can offer something specific, rather than a general fitness experience. The upshot is that the gym might not suit everyone but if it's right for you then it will become a big part of your life.
Jon Lipsey, Editor, Men’s Fitness, www.jonlipsey.co.uk
We’re seeing an increase in female-focused workouts, designed by women, for women. Working out in a female-only group, encourages women to bond with their fellow exercisers and creates a support network that leads to better results. Workouts like hiitgirl are going to be huge this year.
Katherine Selby, Freelance Journalist, Women’s Running Magazine
Strength training for women
The 'strong is the new skinny' movement has brought weight training for women into the mainstream, with more females realising the benefits of training with free weights (and letting go of misconceptions). The popularity of dedicated strength training facilities has gone through the roof as greater numbers of women want to learn how to perform basic lifts and even Olympic lifts."
Nicola Joyce, freelance journalist and copywriter, www.thefitwriter.wordpress.com
The role of the PT is on a continuum with other health professions such as nutritionists and sports massage therapists, with all parties helping the client to reach their goals. In the past the PT might refer clients to, and receive referrals from these other professionals. PT’s are using CPD to develop their skills and assume more of the roles on this continuum. This allows the PT to access additional revenue from existing client, and develop opportunities to market their PT services to potential clients.
Kristoph Thompson, freelance journalist and fitness expert, www.kristophthompson.com
Back to basics
Fitness is going back to basics both in terms of footwear and movement. We’re seeing more and more minimalist footwear that encourages the body to move as it was designed to, and functional exercises that don't require complicated choreography - just skilful and purposeful compound movements that challenge proprioception.
Georgina Spenceley, Fitness Blogger, Fitcetera, www.fitcetera.co.uk
Mind and Body
Mind and body classes, from anti-gravity yoga to hot-Pilates, continue to grow in popularity. It is a trend which is very much supported by celebrities talking about their fitness regimes on social media and in the press. Barre classes which incorporate ballet, yoga and Pilates look set to be a big hit in 2013.
Sarah Packer, Fitness Blogger, Fitness Nirvana, www.fitnessnirvana.co.uk
Small group training
Small group training with specialist trainers who really have a depth of knowledge to give them the edge and their clients results. I am seeing a huge demand for specialised workshops in posture and back strength, triathlon, running and mind and body.
Kim Ingleby, Freelance Journalist and Fitness and Performance Coach, www.kimingleby.co.uk
PTs as mini-brands
Fitness professionals are starting to think of themselves as brands because it's the only way they can stand out in a crowded market. The most successful PTs are making themselves distinctive and focusing on one area of the market. The previous decade may have been about PTs developing their sales and marketing skills. The next decade will be about building a brand.
Jon Lipsey, Editor, Men’s Fitness, www.mensfitness.co.uk
Weight loss specialists
Those with a significant amount of weight to lose represent a plentiful but relatively untapped market. Gym chains have started to implement their own initiatives but there is still an opportunity to target this group. We’ll see a growth in the number of Weight Loss Specialists offering exercise as well as behaviour modification, emotional support and lifestyle education as part of a structured weight loss programme.
Kristoph Thompson, freelance journalist, Bodyfit Magazine