New Year, New Me 9

Local Fitness Trends to Keep Your New Year’s 
Resolutions On Track

The holiday season has officially come to an end, but the holiday calories still linger. Every year, our New Year’s resolutions remain the same: save more money, get organized and lose weight. The latter is the most popular. Gym memberships soar in January, and by the middle of spring, they’re all but forgotten. Working out is not only seen as a chore but going to a gym filled with pros can be intimidating to a beginner. Today, most people are seeking out alternatives to weight loss. Some fitness trends come and go, but a few have been able to withstand the test of time. 

CrossFit 280

Kevin Williams, owner of CrossFit 280, says that it’s the passion of the people involved that makes the workout program so unique. CrossFit focuses on the best aspects of gymnastics, rowing, weightlifting, running and more, maximizing the amount of work done in a short period. The intensity is fundamental for measurable results, and while it may vary depending on the individual, the program remains the same. Since CrossFit has been a major success for 10 years and counting, Kevin says it’s more of a mainstay and a lifestyle than a trend. It’s the culture of competition and camaraderie, not the gym itself, that keeps people coming back for more.

Pure Barre

A specialized approach to physical health: that’s why “big box,” traditional gyms are taking a backseat to boutique fitness. One such boutique, Pure Barre, offers a core-focused, low-to-no impact workout that isolates and strengthens each different muscle group by taking it to total fatigue. The small, isometric movements tone the areas of the body that women struggle with the most: hips, thighs, stomach, arms and seat. Each section of strength training is followed by stretching, which creates an elongated, lean muscular form without the bulk typically brought on by high-intensity exercise.

Hot Yoga

Another trend that’s been rearing its head in recent years is a toasty spin on a fitness classic: hot yoga. So, how hot is it? The room is typically heated up to 95 degrees during the sessions. The heat forces the heart rate to increase for a better cardiovascular workout, which burns more calories. In addition to the obvious benefits of detoxification from profuse sweating, hot yoga has also been proven to reduce cortisol levels drastically. Cortisol is the stress hormone that’s known as one of the main contributors to low blood sugar, the culprit that causes stress eating. Less cortisol means more weight lost.

Life Time Fitness

Teah Barclay, a metabolic technician and personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, has a different view of what constitutes a fitness trend.

“At the end of the day, a squat is a squat,” she says. 

To Teah, a fitness trend can be more than a certain type of exercise. Life Time Fitness sets itself apart from the average big gym by taking a detailed look at the nutrition levels of each member. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach with minor modifications, they offer personalized, goal-oriented guidance geared toward the individual rather than the group.

The path to losing 20 pounds looks different for different people, which is why understanding an individual’s biological makeup is just as important as designing a fitness routine. To Teah, the trend of personalization is what yields long-lasting, sustainable results.

“If you’re not doing what needs to be done outside the gym, then what you’re doing in the gym is not going to matter,” she says.

These trends are here to stay, and Birmingham offers fitness regimens suitable for anyone willing to commit—just in time for the new year.