Not a year goes by when gyms don’t see a spike in memberships in January as people seek to work off the festive flab, and although hardened gym-goers groan at the sight of clueless wannabes walking around the gym in their brand-new lycra, we really love the spark of motivation a new year brings – so if you’re a fitness newbie this January, we salute you.
But will you be doing things differently this year? Gone are the days of simple push-ups in your bedroom – now we want to embrace technology and try new things, and why not? We can probably expect to see more HIIT, functional training, classic gym classes, meditation and fitness-inspired yoga this year but there will no doubt be more exciting developments to help you get fighting fit.
We spoke to Daniel Sobhani, CEO of Freeletics, which is an ace app which gives you personalised fitness plans (no really, we’re not just saying that – it’s one of our favourite apps for weight loss) about his fitness predictions for the year ahead and how you can use the app to get into shape. So how will we get fit in 2018?
What are the top fitness trends for 2018 going to be?
Trends have been coming and going at a rapid pace over the last few years. Some stick around, but some just fade from our gyms and memories and 2018 will be no different.
I believe that there will be three bigger developments in the fitness industry over the coming year.
In 2017, everything was instantaneous and on-demand. Our technology is becoming ever-smarter – it’s driving our cars, controlling our homes, learning our behaviours and generally making our lives easier. Artificial intelligence has slowly been making its way into all kinds of aspects of our life, and that is not going to change in 2018. I’m expecting it to make its way into how we work out too.
Despite its sheer size and the recent fitness boom, the fitness industry has been slow to reach the digital age. As one of the first companies to really digitalise personal fitness in 2014, at Freeletics we’ve spent 2017 integrating new AI technology into our digital personal trainer, making it one of the most advanced in the world. Imagine having your personal trainer in your pocket, busy learning from your preferences, progress and capabilities, plus those of over 20 million other people around the world. This results in extremely effective training plans, created to work perfectly for you and you alone.
AI opens many doors in the industry and has helped us to create the most personalised fitness experience we’ve ever had. We can now create custom plans and single workouts specifically for every individual and their goals, progress and preferences, which is what people ultimately want from a personal trainer. It is time to bring fitness into the here and now, and we’re already excited about the future of AI in fitness. We’re not alone in this either: many other companies are certain to follow suit in 2018, meaning that your workouts will be more efficient and the days of hours of pounding the treadmill will be gone.
In a world where we are now connected to everyone digitally, share our favourite moments online and keep in touch with likes and comments, it makes sense that this desire for community should spread to fitness. When it comes to exercise, most people are daunted. For many there is no thought more terrifying than the idea of exercising with other people, let alone in public. And yet how do we find that feeling of accountability when we go it alone? Most of us don’t, and it’s why most of us give up multiple times before we even really got started.
The pros of a community are numerous when it comes to fitness, and yet many people don’t consider it to be a big factor in their exercise regime. When you are part of a community, whether offline or online, you don’t just find accountability – you also find motivation and support in the form of others.
We’ve seen initially shy and introverted people thrive in our online community, finding just what they were lacking in their offline surroundings to really stick to their exercise regime. People connect all over the world and find new friends in their own cities, making the journey from daunted beginner to seasoned user, happy to meet up with 20 others in a local park to work out together. It’s a very personal and flexible thing: if you want to go it alone and do it for you, then you absolutely can; but if you need and want the support of others around the world – people just like you – then you can jump right in, at the click of a button.
Even if you’re just posting details of your workouts on Facebook, doing so keeps you accountable and it’s getting more and more common, meaning you shouldn’t worry about boring people.
These days, less is more. Our lives and schedules are cluttered and we have so little time for everything. Wearables track our movements, measure our heart rates and time our workouts, creating complex charts and data we don’t really need or understand. With the rise of technology, things become easier, but they also become more complex. Sometimes, it’s welcomed (as with my point about AI above), but other times it can be just noise that’s hard to extract the useful bits out of.
In 2018, fitness should be simple, minimalistic and to the point. Less complicated data and charts and less tracking macros and steps. When it comes to working out and being healthy, you just need to know what to do, and then do it. No bells and whistles. I want to keep our fitness and nutrition apps as simple as possible because of this. They also offer variety, so that users can combine their training systems as they wish, banishing monotony and boredom from their training regime. Imagine having an app that just tells you what workout to do and what meals to eat to get the results you want. Simple as that. No charts, no data, just a clear weekly workout plan and your PBs, so you can clearly see that you’re improving. Let your phone do the brain work for you – the workouts will be hard enough already. Less thinking, more doing. And more results.
As people look for more ways to de-clutter their lives in 2018, I strongly believe fitness will be on that clean-up list. No more scheduling around the opening hours of a gym. No more rushing to sign up for an abs course. No more waiting for a spot with your personal trainer. Just get up and go. Anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re at home, in a hotel, in a park or at your gym. This has been our philosophy since day one and is the foundation of our flagship bodyweight training app. It’s worked for 20 million Freeletics users so far, and I’m sure this will be the year that people will demand more flexibility and simplicity from their exercise regime. Whether you want to try something new, run intervals, lift weights or train with your bodyweight, it’s never been this easy to get into the shape of your life on your terms. I believe fitness should be simple – life can already be complicated enough.