Health: Get on top of the latest fitness trends for 2015

VIRTUAL: A Les Mills class.
VIRTUAL: A Les Mills class.
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Training fever is set to rage on next year, even if you’re pushed for time.

Long gone are the days when exercising meant going for a jog or heading to the local aerobics class.

Aerobics now means a long list of pump-it/dance-it/blast-it/shake-it-to-the-beat variations, there are all sorts of fancy gizmos and disciplines for strengthening and, while jogging might still essentially be the same, look at how many people are now ‘training’ for an event, monitoring progress on smartphones and investing in the latest trainers.

2014 saw high-intensity interval training (HIIT) become mainstream, ‘personal bests’ something everybody thinks about, and getting-my-sweat-on overtook pouting-on-a-night-out as the social media selfie of choice.

According to the trend forecasters, there’s more to come in 2015.

“We’ve all become more serious about sports and recognised that we might actually improve our performance if we trained specifically for the event,” says personal trainer Matt Roberts.

Indeed, ‘fit not thin’ was the mantra for 2014, with toned, healthy and strong overtaking catwalk-skinny as the most bandied body ideal. But how we look isn’t the only fitness reward we cherish; how it makes us feel is important too.

“Working out now isn’t just for the sake of it, and it’s not just for aesthetics,” adds Roberts. “A trek, mountain climb, triathlon, duathlon or any of the other events available are becoming the norm. Find a new goal, make it big, the world is your oyster and nothing is going to stop you in 2015.”

Here’s a snapshot of the fitness vibe predicted for the year ahead...

“We’re increasingly time poor,” says Dave Kyle, head trainer for Les Mills UK.

“A huge trend for 2015 will be convenience and time efficiency. Whereas previous years we’ve heard about extreme and tough workouts, 2015 will see more classes and workouts being offered that fit in and complement our busy lifestyles.

“HIIT isn’t brand-new but it’s certainly a trend that will continue and grow in 2015. HIIT classes like Les Mills GRIT are typically 30 minutes and the feedback we’ve had is phenomenal. Participants love the fast and furious approach, and the fact it delivers results and fits into their schedule.”

Fancy pumping iron at 2am? Hitting that treadmill at midnight? No problem - it’s getting easier to work out around the clock, and PureGym, the 24/7 gym, now sees 20 per cent of its members training at night.

Despite advice not to exercise too closely to bedtime, PureGym general manager Lee Greenall says some people might find nocturnal workouts helpful: “A lot of people complain about not being able to sleep at night; this is because people store too much energy at the end of a normal working day. Their eyes might feel heavy, but their body is ready to release more energy.

“If you listen to your body, it will make you feel a lot happier and replenished, helping you to close down and sleep better.”

Les Mills are also predicting their VIRTUAL workouts – where classes are played on screens – will be big in 2015. Eliminating the need to turn up at a prescribed time, virtual classes can be accessed any time.