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Boot Camps to Continue as Popular Trend in 2009

Boot Camps to Continue as Popular Trend in 2009

SAN DIEGO — Boot camp-style workouts will remain the top fitness trend in 2009, according to a survey from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego. Boot camp-style workouts were also the most popular fitness trend in 2008. The annual survey of ACE’s worldwide network of personal trainers, group fitness experts, advanced health and fitness specialists, and lifestyle and weight management consultants also noted that consumers would tighten their wallets when it comes to staying in shape in a struggling economy.

“The overarching theme for fitness in 2009 is getting more bang for the buck,” says ACE’s Chief Science Officer Cedric Bryant. “Consumers will engage in workouts that provide multiple benefits due to time and economic limitations. We will also see continued trends from 2008 including boot-camp style workouts, technology-based workouts, out-of-the-box programming and an increased interest in fitness for those who are over 50 years old.”

Boot camp workouts remain popular because they provide a total-body workout that’s varied, fun and challenging, according to ACE. Participants can burn up to 600 calories during a session. In addition to a cardiovascular workout, participants get a strength workout through high- and low-intensity exercises, such as pushups, squats and lunges.

With today’s economy showing no signs of strengthening, more people will cut costs to stay in shape. Of the ACE-certified professionals surveyed, 48 percent said that gym memberships will decrease in 2009 and 52 percent said less people will hire personal trainers. Look for more people to use the resources around them as their gym and equipment.

While yoga and Pilates will remain strong, dance-based classes will be all the rage next year, the survey found. Zumba, a fitness program inspired by Latin dance, combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise. Bollywood, ballroom, Afro-Cuban and other exotic dance styles are growing in popularity thanks to shows such as “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Trainers will get back to the basics in 2009, according to the survey. Despite the fact that many exercises and equipment are becoming more advanced and trendy, trainers will continue to focus on basic movements and techniques with their clients again.

Studies have shown that interval training combining strength training and cardiovascular activity at different intensities provides a more time-efficient workout than participating in traditional aerobic and weight training sessions, according to ACE. With an increase in popularity of circuit training, many gyms are even setting up their own circuits to allow their members an easy path to fitness.

Kettlebell training is also increasing because it gets back to basic training that requires functional, whole body fitness, the survey found. Kettlebells require an individual to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, particularly the core, to contract as a group, simultaneously developing strength and stability. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups, making it a great way to get a whole body workout in a relatively short period of time.

Individuals who are 50 years old and older have the means, motivation and desire to enhance their quality of life through physical activity—and they are only growing, which is why the Baby Boomer market will become even more important next year, according to the survey. The 50-plus audience continues to redefine expectations about age, vitality and life, and has highlighted the importance of physical activity as we age. Since September 2007, AARP’s fitness initiative for boomers—aimed at providing a wide range of affordable fitness services to its 39 million members—has been going strong.

From iPods to Cardio Cinema to active gaming, the latest in technology will continue to infuse itself in all aspects of fitness, according to the survey. In 2009 more interactive video games will provide fitness benefits, as well as new inventions to make exercising a more engaging experience.

Despite the emergence of new and trendy workouts, sports or recreational activities will remain a popular way to stay in shape. Participating in a friendly game of basketball or volleyball, training for a marathon, or taking a day-long bike ride are just a few ways that people are staying in shape and having fun doing so!

Traditional programming is changing from what we called linear progression to undulating as research shows similar if not better results. For example, mixing low-intensity cardio with intervals on some days, and mixing high-volume, low-intensity weight training with low-volume, high-intensity training on alternate days.

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