5 Workout Trends: Hype or Worth It?

New Year, New You right? Yeah, we’re sick of hearing it too. But that doesn’t mean it’s not time to reassess your workout routine and goals for 2016. From jacked-in techies on youtube to aggressive trainers yelling at D-List “celebrities” on TV, new workout trends are a dime a dozen these days. Many are bro science-driven rehashes of the same old stuff but many routines and products are legit and backed by science. Let’s grab some gatorade as we breakdown five current workout trends and figure out whether or not they’re worth a look or all hype.

H.I.T.T
H.I.T.T., or high intensity interval training, is not a new concept but has been cleverly rehashed and marketed as such now that group fitness has become massively popular. Does it work? Hell to the yes. But, attractive women at spin class aside, you don’t necessarily need to pay anyone to help you do it or join a class. HIIT routines simply involve alternating short intense bursts of activity followed by low intensity moves, and it can be applied to any regimine or goal, from weights to cardio. Do some research, download a interval timing app (we like Bit Timer), and hit it. (Get it?)

Verdict: Worth It

Wearble Fitness Tech
The worlds of tech and fitness are more intertwined than ever, and Silicon Valley has been blowing up the gym in a race to devise more and more advanced fitness tech. These days you can strap something around your wrist that will track everything from your calories burned to how restful your sleep is and use a variety of apps and tools to track every piece of data until the cows come home. Is it worth it? Depends on where you like to put your money. Some people are highly motivated by seeing numbers and will work out more because of it, while other people will forget to use it at all. Think long and hard about both goals and your appetite for tracking and data before taking the plunge. Sure, it seems like everyone is doing it, but it may not be right for you.

Verdict: Depends On You

Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling reached a peak hype level comparable to Yeezy's Addidas in 2016. Also known as “Spin” (though incorrectly because “spin” is actually trademarked name for a particular type, but used commonly anyway) these classes are everywhere from fancy boutique studios to mass market gyms. Why? Well sure, everyone likes hanging out with attractive, sweaty people but they’re actually also a hell of a workout. It's a simple, but effective formula, high-intensity cardio that burns a lot of calories in a high energy and somewhat competitive environment plus great music; seems legit. Indoor cycling is an excellent choice for anyone looking to step up their fitness game, and there’s always room to push harder thanks to changing the bike resistance and speed. There are also the aforementioned, uh, social aspects as well. Possible downsides are cost and teacher quality. Prices are high at specialty studios but worth it because of the quality of the instructors. If you’re ready to commit, don’t be afraid to shop around and find the teacher that is right for you, their music choices and styles can vary greatly.

Verdict: Worth It

Group Personal Training
Personal training can get pretty expensive, but it doesn’t have to be reserved for the rich and famous if you can get into a group personal training session. Is it worth it? If you feel like you need a personal trainer then, sure, personal trainers can teach you proper form and how to use equipment, and also be your personal cheerleader/drill sergeant. A lot is dependent on the quality of the trainer and their style of training as well. But if you’re motivated on your own and know your way around the kettlebells you might not need to add another fitness expense. If you’re truly looking for a group setting, there are other group-oriented fitness classes that are probably a better fit.

Verdict: All Hype

Competitive Fitness Classes
You’re probably thinking, “You mean sports?” No, we’re talking about a new breed of classes that are designed not only to provide you a good workout, but to motivate you into working harder by comparing your results to everyone else’s in class. Using tracking devices, weight and time goals, and other metrics, a full-blown competition is created. As you can imagine, this sort of class can not only create and feed egos but it’s level of desirability can vary widely. If you’re motivated by not wanting to come up last on the leaderboard, then it’s probably for you. But, if the concept of clear competition discourages or distracts you, then this probably isn’t your brand of protein shake.

Verdict: Depends On You