While many gyms run with the model of channeling as many people through their equipment halls with as little supervision as possible, for cost and efficiency reasons, in this day and age that no longer works.
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The sector has actually known for many years that the one-dimensional use of machines – ones which were originally developed for classic body building – is not particularly healthy, even when they are used appropriately to gain muscles, but especially compared to developed training forms.
Many sector companies have accordingly seized the opportunity to become part of a small revolution in fitness sport: Away from the rigid machines (which generally aren’t known for their enjoyment factor) and towards social events on one hand or digital real-time coaching on the other. Training has become both highly individual and social at the same time. These are the trends of 2017.
1. Community matters – online and offline
In cities across Europe, people are coming together in outdoor training classes, running groups and boot camps. And year on year the number of participants is growing. Who even enjoys being in a stuffy gym in good weather, when they can receive comprehensive functional training outdoors and at the same time meet new friends?
The community factor is growing and growing. In social groups and for individual trainers too. Giants like Freeletics have shown us how it’s done: With a swipe on their smartphone, every athlete is immediately connected to their digital network. Here they can get tips and tricks, but above all they get mutual motivation.
2. The device market is becoming both more specialized and more diverse
The TRX is becoming the Kleenex pocket tissue of functional training. The device from the USA is by far the most prominent representative of the suspension training category, which in principle just needs a branch or a door frame as an anchor point for a wholesome and intensive full-body workout. Many copycats have followed this principle.
The innovations in the area of training devices in detail: Bulgarian bags and battle ropes have already established themselves a place in advanced gyms, while further generations of tubes, poles and rolls which are constantly better than the previous model and the competition push onto the market. Even if the choice has become redundant in the meantime, training with a new “toy” is always great fun.
3. There are nutritional supplements for every target group
Protein powder has become socially acceptable. No smoothie store in any half-hip district is complete without a protein shake. But not with powder from a bag that serious guys have at home. Mixing with milk is out – and at most it is still acceptable as bio. The trend is clearly moving to special products like pea or hemp protein, which are fittingly also vegan.
The industry never gets tired, new and more promising powders are always thrown on the market – along with the juicers and detoxers of this world, they have opened up completely new, and often wealthy target groups. In the meantime, nutritional supplements can be found in every drug store for every diet: Pre-, during, and post-workout, for any mealtime and before bedtime too. That is at least the business model. But in the end, it’s not crucial for training success.
4. Smart gadgets give live feedback
Training on an app – or even better: following a training plan – is of course nothing new. What is new though is a smart set up which, for example with a complete sensor in the sole, or in functional wear, measures movements and also controls bodily functions. From this, the app derives information about the workout and training.
In its basic function, it is also works quite simply over the smartphone camera: The app analyses movement patterns and can optimize these with tips and support. While no algorithm can successfully replace a well trained trainer, the digital products are getting ever closer.
5. EMS training is becoming smaller and more practical by the day
Whether, and to what extent, it is actually sport to send electrical currents through your body, can obviously be discussed. In any case, those who believe the end justifies the means receive an effective muscle growth and strengthening program with little time investment thanks to EMS training.
Before, equipment was as cumbersome and heavy as work clothing for the special forces, combined with bulky stationary machines, but today, EMS training is possible in your own living room. And this is not just with a slimming belt from teleshops, rather with an actual whole-body stimulation.