Why do we care about trends? Researchers study them, writers report them, teachers teach them, and tweeters tweet them. Although there are many advantages to being “in the know,” one of the most important reasons to pay attention to trends is that they can help us prepare for and adapt to changes ahead.
Over the past six years, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has identified trends in the fitness industry with their ”Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends” (you can view the full 2012 survey text here). Come January 1, some of the most popular resolutions will be health- and fitness-related, so let’s get a jump on meeting our goals by looking at what the 2012 fitness trends mean for us.
Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals are the core of a rapidly expanding industry. In spite of tough economic times, consumers still place a lot of value in getting and staying healthy. The fitness industry has responded to this need by employing qualified trainers and instructors.
What does that mean for you? You can breathe a little easier knowing that you can trust your fitness professionals to lead you in safe and effective workouts, helping you reach your goals faster and giving you more bang for your buck.
Strength training is here to stay. Having been near the top of the trends list for several years, strength training is the first training “type” on the trends list, accompanied by personal, core, functional, and group training.
What does that mean for you? Since most of us sit at a desk all day, adding a little weight-bearing exercise such as resistance training can help improve our energy levels, mood, and overall functionality. Expect fitness centers to continue to update equipment and training options to facilitate strength-training programs that meet the needs of all types of exercisers – a stronger body is yours for the taking!
No one will be left behind. Training options are becoming more population-specific, with new programs being tailored to the aging Baby Boomer population and the fight against childhood obesity (just to name a few). Your fitness professionals are trained specifically to work with a variety of individuals from athletes to people fighting obesity or other diseases.
What does that mean for you? The fitness industry is actively trying to meet you where you are to help you get the most you can out of an exercise program, regardless of your goals or fitness level. In other words, you don’t have to start off looking like Jane Fonda to make exercise a part of your life.
It’s all about energy. Zumba, boot camp, and spinning are growing in popularity. These group classes are high-energy and fun, and put the emphasis on pushing your physical limits.
What does that mean for you?Releasing stress through dancing, high-intensity training, and cycling will leave you feeling strong, accomplished, and ready to tackle life’s challenges. You just have to be willing to give them a try. And although not “trending” anymore, Pilates fans shouldn’t be worried that their favorite class is going to disappear; only time will tell whether these new arrivals and old favorites will continue on as actual trends rather than fads.
The key this year is to work with Midtown to customize a fitness program that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuventated, and (hopefully) like you had a darn good time.
Now that you know what’s to come in 2012, it’s time to use this information to start doing something that will work for you.
Your 2012 motto shouldn’t be “once I meet my goal, I’ll be happy.” Instead, how about you take a chance on what the industry is giving you and say “it’s time to give myself knowledge, revitalizing energy, and a sense of accomplishment, and add some more fun to my fitness routine.” Now that’s a reason to work out today.
What do you think of these trends? Have you already tried any of these fitness programs or plan to in 2012? What are you going to do differently in your workout routine this year?
Sometimes a new schedule is all that’s needed to get back into a workout plan that’s become stale.
I talked with Trainer Steve Lopes, Mr. Early-Morning Boot Camp himself, to hear his perspective on morning workouts.
Kristi: You teach two early morning classes (Boot Camp and Triple Fusion). How did you become the “early morning trainer” at the club? What do you do to motivate yourself and prepare for getting up and active so early in the morning?
Steve: I was not always an “early morning person” as Sam would definitely tell you, but one morning as with most changes I have made in my life, I woke up and said: “Why not?”
The rest is history.
Having hired me at Bally’s 3 1/2 years earlier, Sam was looking to fill a 6am class slot that was previously used for yoga and he knew that my very successful bootcamp classes at Bally’s, which were held at 9:30am, would be a good change and a way to meet more members.
However, I had some concerns that Midtown members might not like the new trainer replacing a 6am yoga class with whistles and loud music. But, as has been the case once or twice before, Sam was right. It was a great way for me to start at the club.
Motivating and preparing myself just required a mindset. You just have to tell yourself to do it. Why? Because it’s what you have to do. Don’t give yourself excuses as to why you can’t.
Kristi: What advice would you give to someone who wants to switch their daily workouts to early mornings? What are the benefits of an early morning workout schedule?
Steve: Don’t spend a month trying to plan. There’s no need to wait until next Monday for the new week to begin. Do it tomorrow and the next day. You will find you are at the top of your game at a much earlier point in the day and you will most likely be in a better mood by the time you get to work. The best part? It’s done and off of your to-do list. You just took a “Maybe I will do it,” and made a lifestyle change that will stop you from that 3:30pm feeling of, “Oh yeah, I still have to go to the gym.”
The benefits are plenty. It’s done and out of the way. The club is not as busy as the 4:30-7:00 pm time slot. “Morning tired” is different from “Nighttime tired,” and instead of trying to find energy, you are creating the energy for your day. You may find yourself sleeping better at night, and not having to wait for the workout high to wear off in order to sleep. These may not be concerns for everyone, but for some it could be the change your body needs.
Kristi: What’s your nightly ritual to prepare for early wakeup calls? What time do you actually get up?
Steve: My nightly ritual may not be the recommended way to go, as I usually work until 10 or 11pm. But I try to be in bed by 11:30pm. I read a lot, lay my clothes out and put my breakfast together, have a tea of some sort, and then fall asleep to the sounds of a thunderstorm on my noise maker. I wake up between 3:45 and 4:15am, stretch, get dressed, check email, eat, and go. I am a fast mover so I am usually ready to go in 10 minutes. This is what I have been doing for quite some time so it comes fairly easy to me.
Kristi: Would you advice those working out so early to eat before they work out or after?
Steve: I would recommend before andafter. In the morning after “most people” sleep 5 hours or more, the body is in a rested state. There is a common belief that after a night’s rest, the body during the waking process and progression into your day tends to be catabolic. This means that the body is trying to break down muscle tissue as well as body fat in order to get fuel.
Another belief is that you should eat for what you are going to do, not what you have done. These two ideas do make sense, if you think about the thermogenic process. If your body has been resting for a long period of time, it needs to be warmed up before it is started. Think about a car. You need to warm it up in order to get the motor ready for where it’s going and for heat. You also have to have gas in order to get you from point A to B. You probably wouldn’t jump in your car and immediately take off on a 5-degree day. Andhow far would you expect to go with no fuel in the tank as you attempt to go from point A to point B?
Kristi: Is the club less crowded at 5 or 6am? What’s the atmosphere like then, and how is it different than other times of day?
Steve: The club has a surprising amount of people coming in between 5 and 6am. To get up and out of the house this early on cold winter mornings shows dedication to health. It isn’t quite as busy as it is 12 hrs later, but there are a good amount of people here. Between yoga, spinning, bootcamp, pilates, and tennis classes, there are a lot of options if your brain isn’t ready to navigate you through your own workout. The club has a nice flow with a bit of quiet and focus as people are making the most of their pre-workday workout.
It’s a great idea to get it done early, and there is nothing better during the spring and summer than walking out to your car, breathing in deeply, and heading to the club for a kickoff to a productive day.
Questions for the trainers have been pouring in lately, and this month, Steve Lopes takes on a few of them.
An ex-Marine, Steve once competed on a national level for the Caribbean island of St. Kitts as a Power Lifter and Bodybuilder. He moved to Rochester in 2003, and became a full-time Personal Trainer. With the club since 2006, “Sergeant” Steve teaches two early-morning Boot Camp classes per week and runs S.E.A.L. Training with Bruce Hedlund.
His favorite part of his job is the significant role and impact he has in his clients’ lives.
Reader Question: I made a New Year’s resolution to finally lose about 30 pounds. I started the year off by going to the club almost every day. I’m already slacking off. How do I stay motivated?
Steve: This is very common because people tend to set expectations a little high when making goals. In order to prevent the loss of motivation, you should set realistic expectations. For example: if you have never done cardio and decide that you are going to do a half hour of cardio every day, if you miss a day or two you might thing, “Well, I’ve already failed at my goal so why bother?”
A better goal in this case would be 3 days a week for 15-20mins. Once you add this short duration to your current workout, it may have the opposite effect, for example “Well, I’m already here, and it doesn’t feel so bad, I can do more.”
Reader Question: What’s the best group exercise class to take to improve the overall look of my body? I am a slender woman in my 50s, but I want to tone up as much as Mother Nature will allow. The schedule can be a bit overwhelming.
Steve: There are some factors to consider here. First, what type of exercise do you do regularly? Do you play tennis? Do resistance training? Cardio only? Only classes? All of the above? For example, if you only play tennis, then a Group Power class might be a good investment of your time, because of the amount of stress on your joints from the sometimes explosive movement and unpredictable ball direction.
As a woman in your 50s, you are going to need your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) to be strong and you’ll need to maintain a certain amount of muscle mass to protect your joints. If you do resistance training and yoga, then a spinning class, step class, zumba, and a core class could be good choices, so that you can build your cardio and core strength to help compliment and support your overall fitness level.
And if you are a tennis player who does yoga, does cardio and resistance training, and you just want to take an additional class, then a bootcamp class could be the way to go because it will tie it all together.
Reader Question: I’ve seen other members moving very fast on the elliptical machines and the Arc Trainers, but I tend to increase my resistance and take it slower. Which is better if my goal is to stay in shape (and not get in shape)?
Variety is key. Challenge yourself with intensity and time. Use higher resistance for longer and shorter durations. If you want to move fast, try and be aware of when your body is moving because you are moving it versus when you have built up so much momentum that your body is just going through the motions. Use lower resistance with a slow movement and total focus on muscle contraction through the whole cycle of movement.
Have you ever tried to use the elliptical at a medium incline of around 6 and a resistance of 5 or 6 and tried to not use any momentum and total muscle focus? It’s pretty challenging. I would also recommend using more than one machine during a cardio workout; it will be more interesting and effective in challenging your body’s ability to adapt to different types of cardiovascular requirements.
Also, don’t be afraid of getting off the machine and spicing up a 30-minute bike or elliptical session with 1 minute of jumping rope for every 5 minutes on the machine.
Reader Question: Is tennis a good workout? My doubles partner says yes, but I don’t have the same feeling after a match that I do after a good run on the treadmill.
It really depends on the person and his/her athletic ability. If you have good hand/eye coordination, are light on your feet, and can move quickly while having good ball placement/judgement, then it may feel like less work for you.
If you want to try and increase your workout on the court, try running on the treadmill before your match for whatever may be a challenge to you (time or distance), and when you get on the court, keep moving. Don’t stand still. Bounce around a little and keep in constant motion. Not only will this increase your readiness and increase the amount of exercise you are getting, it may also rattle your opponents.
Reader Question: What do personal trainers eat for breakfast?
Well, we are people too, so we eat a variety of things. Cereal, oatmeal, fruits, sandwiches, eggs, protein shakes, bagels w/ peanut butter and/or cream cheese, and yogurt with nuts. The list is long.
Depending on our day ahead, food allergies, time between appointments, and personal goals, we believe in setting the proper examples while also enjoying some treats from time to time. Two of my early morning favorites, which are quick and easy to make at 4am are:
1/3 cup of dry oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
One scoop of protein powder
Mix together nad enjoy.
4 egg whites
1/3 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of splenda
Mix together, brown on a skillet for a minute or on each side, and voila-a great and healthy breakfast.
Do you have a question for one of the trainers? Post your question as a comment to this post, or email it to me at email@example.com. If you email the question, I will ask it anonymously on your behalf, and post the question and answer (but not your name) on the next “Ask the Trainer” post. You do not need to be a member to ask a question.
Personal Trainer Susan Doyle’s father passed away from cancer two years ago. He battled the disease with courage for 19 years.
What began as prostate cancer in 1991 eventually spread throughout his body. Three years ago he started chemotherapy, which made him so ill that he soon stopped the treatment.
Eight weeks after stopping chemo, cancer claimed his life.
He was 77 years young.
I also know the heartbreak involved with losing someone to this horrible disease. My grandfather passed away from lung cancer in 1995. We were incredibly close. He was vibrant and active and far too young, at 69, to have cancer steal his life.
Cancer does not discriminate.
It affects both the young and the old. The rich and the poor. The once healthy and the strong and the chronically ill and the weak.
Odds are it affects someone you love too.
On Saturday, November 6th, from 8:45-9:45am, Midtown is sponsoring the Second Annual Bootcamp Against Cancer, which honors the memory of Susan’s dad and all those who have lost their lives to this disease.
A $20 donation to the Rochester American Cancer Society gets you a great workout, fun prizes, and refreshments following the camp. 100% of the proceeds raised will go toward finding a cure for cancer.
The Bootcamp Against Cancer will feature:
Three rounds of 8-to-10 trainer-staffed stations, each featuring a different exercise, including cardio, weight benches, a Pilates station, boxing bags, sprinting, and core work.
Raffles for prizes including gift cards to The Spa at Midtown and Macaroni Grill, and gift certificates for free smoothies at the Bon Marche Cafe.
Guests are welcome, so grab a friend and sign up at the front desk with your $20 donation. Over $800 was raised at this bootcamp last year, and Susan would love to raise even more this year.