Some stuff I think we’ll see more of in the next year:
*I think that an exciting trend in resistance training will be a further move towards more “Asymmetrical and Alive” types of training.
Let me explain “Alive” – let’s say you can deadlift 100lbs. Now try to pick up a 100lb child who doesn’t want to be picked up! It’s an entirely different type of strength – one that grapplers and mixed martial artists can attest to.
I can remember my brother coming to visit and squatting over 200lbs very easily. I gave him a 100lb DVRT sandbag and asked him to clean it and front squat it. He couldn’t do it. The bag moves around too much.
Obviously we can’t just bring in a bunch of children for us to lift in training , but the sandbag, the DVRT system and the TRX in combination make it so that every single rep performed is slightly different than the one before as the load moves and the body will need to adjust position to complete each rep. Much more demanding.
Asymmetrical – obviously a barbell squat or deadlift is a bilateral symmetrical lift. Good programs contain a broad mix of unilateral exercises (lunges, split squats etc) but great programs will start to embrace asymmetrical loading. For example – you may be able to do a barbell split squat with 100lbs, but can you do a dynamic lunge (similar pattern) with a single 75lb dumbbell held at one shoulder with one hand? It’ll be a lower total load, but the offset position and the effect it will have on center of gravity will change the dynamics of the exercise completely.
Now imagine doing that exercise as a suspended TRX lunge with the offset load? Or cleaning the dumbbell between reps. Very different stimulus.
*The TRX and suspension training single handedly killed the stability ball. There is very little you can do in the way of exercise on a stability ball that can’t be performed better and more effectively using a TRX. And it changes the instability work from being surface driven (feedback) to top-down driven (feed forward).
The Executive Athlete might be the biggest market for the fitness training industry in 2013. There has largely been two markets that we have served – the general fitness market (which in the last 5 years has largely become a fat loss driven market) and the competitive athlete.
In recent years a third market has emerged. Think of them as retired athletes or “Graduates” from your general fitness program. These are clients who want to feel athletic, and perhaps compete in some recreational events such as mud runs, 5K’s etc.
This market needs programming that challenges and develops their athleticism alongside their strength and conditioning. It’ll require a better understanding of movement training, power and elasticity from trainers, but could very well be the most lucrative target market for our services going forward into 2013.
There are only four primary techniques in boxing. The jab, the cross, the hook and the uppercut. You could learn them all today, but you’d still be a long way away from a world title.
Similarly when I was competing in Taekwon-Do, it was apparent that only two or three techniques could win a fight. It wasn’t the array of techniques that was important, it was the execution of a few techniques, better than the opposition that would determine success.
I think successful businesses show the same thing. Most trainers are offering bootcamps, group training, small group training, one-on-one training, classes, nutrition, etc etc. Massive success might be better achieved by focusing on less services and just relentlessly improving those offerings. Do less stuff, better than anyone else.
I think the massively successful fitness businesses in 2013 will become more laserbeam focused and raise standards in each area they offer.
Jon Torine (former NFL strength coach) told me that retired NFL athletes miss the locker room more than they miss the game. In other words, they miss the culture.
Great gyms are able to provide a culture that people want to belong to – a third place between home and work that they spend the most time at – I think service offerings such as semi-private or small group training will continue to grow as a result of people seeking out more than just the exercises – seeking out that type of environment – and smart gyms/trainers will do well to nurture a great culture in their facilities.