2010: What will the decade bring?

A new decade is upon us. 2010, it sounds so futuristic to those of us who remember Asimov’s Space Odyssey works.
The fitness industry has undergone huge changes over the last 30 years. The last 10 years have seen a huge explosion in fitness and how we practice fitness. And the next 10 years are going to see things change even faster!
This is my forecast for the coming year and even into the coming decade. It is based on my experience and how fitness has trended over the last 10 years. This forecast also takes into account the opinions of many other leading experts in the field so you can rest assured that this forecast is more accurate than the weather.
So what can you expect in the coming decade?

  1. A proliferation of Bootcamp and Crossfit style Programming
  • This trend is going to continue for a few reasons but the primary one is that people see results! The workouts are tough, as they should be, and they will push you to your limits each and every time
  • The problems with these programs are the lack of individualization and more importantly the lack of personalization; workouts are generic and do not account for your experience or fitness level
  • These programs also have a very high injury rate and cannot be continued indefinitely

2. Continuation of running races and programs

  • Many retail chains and popular television programs will continue to espouse the perceived benefit of running programs and training for running races
  • The good thing about this is the easy access for a large portion of the population to participate and the ease of taking up running
  • However, I think that we will begin to see a decline in these programs as the problems become apparent
    • Many people find running boring so they won’t continue long term
    • Very demanding on the body and most runners have a laundry list of injuries which they must continually rehabilitate
  • Unfortunately we will also see an increase in the number of people who choose to complete a half marathon as a fitness goal
    • My opinion is that if you are going to train, train for a full marathon. If your body can do a half it is not that much more difficult to train for a full. Who trains to lift half a dumbbell or swim half a lap of the pool?

3. People will stop doing ‘cardio’

  • Traditional ‘cardio training’ is going to disappear. That means no more hours slaving away on an elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike
  • High intensity interval training will become the dominant training method
    • This style of training is actually better for your heart and lungs, takes half the time, and has a lot more variety
    • So maybe this is also the end of people slaving themselves into boredom!

4. It will become more acceptable to seek out help

  • Finally people will realize that health and fitness is not a by yourself activity
  • Companies that provide social support will grow, while traditional gym settings will begin to decline
  • Group exercise, group personal training, and health groups supported by social media will be where people (wisely!) choose to invest their time for their fitness
  • People will finally realize that exercising alone in your basement or alone at a large fitness centre is boring and has a very low long term commitment level. They will seek out trainers, coaches, and peers to help educate and motivate them in the long term

5. We will finally get people off machines

  • Machines are dead
  • Any educated and experienced fitness professional will tell you that machines are a holdover from decades gone by
    • The body was not designed to be in a machine, to be supported by a machine, or to have machines do the work for them
  • The only people still using machines will be the retro gym rats and any fitness professional who has a vested interest in ensuring that certain machines sales remain high
  • If a fitness professional advocates any training on a machine, they are not a fitness professional
    • It is my personal goal for this decade to push for the elimination of most exercise machines in personal training

Well, there you have it. My list of predictions for the coming decade. You may think I am way off base and you may be right. All I can say is watch the trends and I will be sure to re-post this article in a few years to show you I am right!

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