Fitness Trends for 2014
2014 will mark the tenth year since I first started working full time in the fitness industry and during the last 10 years I’ve seen a lot of good, bad and just plain silly training methods and trends come and go.
So here are my predictions for some of the things good, bad and ugly that might happen over the next 12 months.
Crossfit will continue to expand – Way back in 2005 when Andrew Cattermole and I started Crossfit Sydney in my garage and some local parks there were 72 affiliates in the WHOLE WORLD. Now there are more than that in metro Sydney alone and last time I checked globally there were over 4000 affiliates. Crossfit will become a standard part of the fitness industry and you will start to see more and more big gyms like Fitness First and the YMCA etc setting up official or unofficial Crossfit programs.
Crossfit will continue to be controversial – The amount of bickering online about the pros and cons of Crossfit makes a fight over a doll by 3 year old girls look intelligent and civilised. If you want to get fitness people riled up just find out which side of the Crossfit fence they sit on and then espouse the opposite view.
There is a strong second wave of anti bodybuilding/aerobics gyms coming – Crossfit was the first wave but this second wave of gyms is almost a counter movement to the counter movement that is crossfit. Where Crossfit preaches high intensity and an almost random approach to conditioning these second wave gyms are more tightly focused first on building strength and then on doing systematic conditioning through kettlebells, sprinting and strongman events but without the randomness of CrossFit.
In Australia there are a heap of independent strength gyms opening up such as Adonis Athletics and Shire Speed and Strength as well the first group of franchised strength gyms called PTC or Performance Training Centres. For serious athletes these gyms offer great facilities, supportive coaches and members and a lot of flexibility in how and what you train.
The general public will continue to believe that professional and Olympic sports are mostly drug free – They aren’t, not even remotely and the fact that there aren’t dozens of positives in the news is a testament to the lack of money spent on testing and how good the dopers are. Hand in hand with this people will continue to get outraged over sports stars that do test positive without understanding that from the athletes perspective there is no down side to doping.
Don’t dope = bugger all chance of becoming a high earning pro, earn virtually nothing and live in obscurity.
Dope and beat the system = money and fame.
Dope and get caught = money and fame while it lasts and then a slap on the wrist and back to where you were if you had never doped or you just fire your drug guy and get a better one and come back after 2 years.
Despite the increase in popularity of serious strength gyms most people will still avoid leg day because it’s too hard and people will still curl in the squat rack.
The Paleo diet will still be popular – People who talk about the fact they are doing Paleo will still be unpopular and if you point out that actually going paleo involves eating a lot of gross, bland foods and killing things yourself you will be even less popular.
The problem with Paleo as of 2014 is that everyone wants to go “Paleo” but no one wants to give up their favourite foods like chocolate. So there is now a full industry devoted to making Paleo versions of non Paleo foods, ironically half of these things end up in plastic wrappers and look just like the processed food that Paleo people are meant to hate.
Basically for me unless you are growing your own vegetables (none of which are the same as those eaten by our ancestors), shooting your own animals (then eating the yucky bits like the contents of their stomachs), living in filth and disease and dying at 35 you aren’t being Paleo you are just a Paleo hipster and have committed the “Full Retard” of fitness.
The truth about all this diet stuff is probably somewhere right in the middle of every extreme. Is a little bit of sugar bad, no. Will too much sugar over 30 years kill you, probably. Is a bit of butter going to cause your heart to explode, no. Will eating sticks of butter wrapped in bacon make you weigh 300kg and die of a heart attack, more than likely.
Moderation is the key and getting all twisted up and obsessing about your diet is probably almost as bad from a stress point as eating half the stuff that “experts” say that we shouldn’t.
Sugar will be the new pariah of the diet game – Fat will breathe a sigh of relief and be thankful that it’s prayers for an end to persecution are over. Of course because selling moderation isn’t cool or popular people will go way overboard getting rid of sugar in their diets and eating fat. Sometime in the year 2525 people will finally reach a consensus on diet or they will have gotten sick of the arguments and killed and eaten all the paleo people even though they taste bland and gross.
Marketers will continue to sell “easy” and “fast” solutions to peoples emotional insecurities about their weight and muscle mass – All of these gadgets, pills and potions will continue to be utterly useless without the one thing that the marketers neglect to mention – EFFORT. The current crop seems firmly focused around exotic plant extracts for womens fat loss and similar products for mens muscle gain. The pictures and testimonials being used to sell them are shameful and it’s a pity that governments don’t do something about it!
Hard work and consistency will continue to be the only sure fire methods of achieving results – In the general population they will be about as popular as a chocolate salesman at a paleo convention.
Olympic weightlifting, Strongman and Powerlifting will continue a steady increase in popularity – Poor management and internal politics will ensure that their success is limited until people pull their heads out of the bottoms and start working together. Until that time the currency of strength sports will remain ego but since ego isn’t worth as much as Bitcoin you won’t see these sports on TV in any major way.
Raw powerlifters in non drug tested federations will continue to redefine human performance and show exactly how good drugs can be – Not everyone in tested feds is clean and not everyone in untested feds is using but holy crap have you seen the weights that the top guys are putting up!!!
So there you have my predictions for 2014!