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Top new fitness trends for 2018

Check out the new exercise crazes coming to a gym near you this year

Tom Dalton of TD Fitness who trains groups and individuals in CrossFit, kettlebells, boxercise, nutrition and health and fitness

Boxing and kickboxing workouts will experience a resurgence in popularity. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of studios opening up to offer these physically demanding workouts, as well as an increase in the number of boxing/kickboxing classes showing up on group fitness schedules. With the likes of Katie Taylor putting Irish boxing back on the map, I can see it continuing to grow.

Live-streaming classes
While live-streaming classes aren’t new, people are protective of their time, and being efficient by working out at home. I visited an indoor cycling studio in New York recently which has started to offer live streamed classes as well as video-on-demand access to a library of classes. This approach will become even more popular this year, so if you can’t make it to a class you can log in and live stream it from your phone or laptop.

Mixed format classes
These classes all have one thing in common – their hybrid format. They mix multiple workouts into one class. While in many classes you’ll be on one machine or doing one particular style of exercise for 45-60 minutes, these studios deliver workouts that combine strength training and cardio, which is the most effective way to burn calories. Whether you like yoga and spin in one class, a mixed format HIIT session, or a bootcamp-style training that combines multiple machines and floor work, there’s something for everyone.

Wearable technology
Fitbits will continue to remain popular in 2018. Also, activity trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors will continue to be used, I have also noticed the growth of smart eye glasses. This new type of wearable technology is designed to show maps and track activity. It also allows people to monitor the intensity of their workouts and helps them set and celebrate achievements.

Steve Madden is a trainer at Clubvitae & Essence Spa, Clayton Hotel Cork City

Adventure racing
With more and more people taking part in either full or half marathon distance races, people are looking for the next leap to motivate themselves. I see triathlon and duathlon distance races (triathlon without the swimming) becoming more popular in 2018.

Adventure racing can be as simple as a trail run through a forest to distance running up hills or mountains with biking, swimming or kayaking intertwined in the race.

Gráinne O’Driscoll runs Grá For Fitness offering pilates and fitness classes

Facial yoga
These days there is a veritable smorgasbord of yoga types to choose from including facial yoga which offers a natural approach to dealing with the signs of ageing. Using a series of facial exercises to tone the muscles, increase blood circulation and stimulate collagen and elastin production, the results are now scientifically proven. Dublin-based Lydia Sasse of Yoga with Lydia runs regular facial yoga workshops as well as working with clients individually and in small groups. According to Lydia “it definitely works if the effort is put in. It is something that must be added to your daily routine as opposed to once or twice a week.”


High intensity interval training classes are still topping the fitness charts. The team at Relentless Training 24 have put their own spin on this and developed a new class ‘RT24’ combining resistance training with the principles of HIIT training in a 24 minute class. Classes are designed to burn fat, increase muscle mass, improve movement patterns, and strengthen cardio vascular fitness. RT24 classes are rolling out nationwide throughout the year.

Corporate wellness

Corporate health programmes are on the increase with the World Health Organisation (WHO) citing workplace health programmes as one of the best ways to prevent and control chronic disease, and also to support mental health. Wellness at work has been shown to benefit the employees as individuals but also companies as a whole with healthier employees taking less sick days and showing more workplace satisfaction. While larger companies can afford to invest in their health programmes, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. For the likes of pilates, yoga, meditation, wellness talks and even HIIT or bootcamp classes all you need is a good instructor, some space and enthusiastic staff!

What is immersive fitness?

Where the screen you watch while exercising is related to the exercise – for example a cycle race you can compete in while on an exercise bike.

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