'High-intensity interval training' a hot new trend

High-intensity interval training has come out as one of the hottest fitness trends for 2014, according to a survey. Experts say this form of exercise has taken the fitness world “by storm” and will continue to increase in popularity this year.

The survey, conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest sports medicine and exercise science organisation in the world, rated 10 of the most popular fitness trends to look out for this year.

The survey, published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®, was completed by 3 815 health and fitness professionals worldwide with 38 potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked.

Top fitness trends

According to this list, the experts have voted the top five fitness trends predicted for 2014 as the following:

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This form of training has become increasingly popular due to the fact that you can get an effective workout in less than 30 minutes. An example of HIIT training would be 10 different exercises each performed for 50 seconds with 10 seconds rest between them. Short, high-intensity and effective for increasing fitness levels and as a "fat-blaster". Check out this six-minute workout and this 10-minute bikini body workout.

Body-weight training:  This form of exercise has grown in popularity because it is basic and effective. No equipment is needed, which makes it affordable and more appealing to many people. But don’t be fooled, a body weight workout can be extremely challenging. The growth of outdoor gyms and a subsequent increase in the popularity of calisthenics has also contributed to the increase in popularity of this form of exercise. Not convinced? Check out these 44 killer bodyweight exercises.

Educated and experienced fitness professionals: This means the use of qualified trainers and coaches and has previously held the top position in the survey on more than one occasion. The importance of utilising a trained and experienced professional to design a safe and effective programme specific to your needs cannot be underestimated. Read this article on how to choose a fitness programme that will help you reach your goals.

Strength training: Despite misconceptions that weight training and strength training is only for people who want to "bulk up", there has been a definite move towards strength training becoming more mainstream recently, especially amongst women. This is very encouraging, as it is one of the best forms of training and benefits everybody – if done correctly and under the guidance of a trained professional. Read this article on how to train like a fitness model and this one on why women need to lift heavy weights.

Exercise combined with weight loss:  Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programmes as part of their services have become more popular due to the growing trend towards realising that diet and exercise go hand-in-hand towards losing weight and changing one’s health. To get some expert advice on this, visit our Fitness Expert here and our DietDoc here to post your questions.

Read the full news release from ACSM here.

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