And as quick as that, 2022 is now finished and it’s time to look ahead of another big year for the fitness industry. Here in the UK, there is a recession brewing and this will inevitably have an impact on the country, including the fitness industry.
Nevertheless this time of the year is when every professional involved in the fitness industry keeps an eye out for ACSM’s annual worldwide survey to see the predicted trends for the coming year, but we’ve developed our own, with a particular focus on the fitness industry in the UK.
Here are the 5 fitness trends we predict will be the talk of the fitness industry in 2023, from the ever expanding influence of wearable technology to breathwork and the rising dominance of Hyrox.
Smart Technology Continues to Dominate
Wearable smart technology is only getting bigger and smarter. Our lives and in particular our fitness regimes are so entwined with technology now, with devices that monitor our sleep, oxygen levels, HRV, HR zones when training, and our daily strain levels. Sometimes it feels as if we haven’t even trained if it hasn’t been tracked, documented, compared and stored on our smart devices.
Everything is now interconnected. With Apple moving into digital fitness earlier this year, it is now even easier to plug into a digital workout, and have your live data fed into your wearables, then stored and displayed across all of your other Apple devices.
Large corporations, like Apple, have been developing AI programmes that will soon use all of our data to design the ultimate training workouts for us, with workout intensity, rest periods and periodised programmes to help us reach our goals. We wouldn’t be surprised if in the next 5 years we see more and more AI powered virtual trainers/gyms emerge.
Training with nature. This isn’t just about training outdoors or a gym that has an outdoor assault course (although we are seeing operators like David Lloyd creating specific green spaces for this type of training), it’s about training in nature. Green grass and areas of nature where we can train. Outdoor training has grown since the pandemic in 2020 and now it’s set to stay with more of us wanting to be closer to nature when we train.
In 2023 we want a wider sensory experience, which could be feeling the earth under us while training barefoot or simply training in a beautiful scenic location (easier said than done if you live in an urban area!).
Biophilia training doesn’t just mean yoga in the fields, but can also mean outdoor swimming or paddle boarding. This type of training also aims to help our holistic health, and boost our mental wellbeing, which aligns with our next trend of 2023.
Exercise for Wellbeing
For us in the fitness industry, we’ve known for years exercise and training is proven to boost our wellbeing, physically and mentally. We predict 2023 to be the year that this really takes off across the population, with more of us plugging into workouts designed purely for wellbeing, such as reiki infused yoga, pilates and breathwork.
A large part of our overall wellbeing is recovery. From tracking our sleep with wearables to more of us using various recovery tools like massage guns and compression garments, and hyperbaric chambers and cryotherapy. This trend can be seen with new boutique facilities opening in London with a range of additional services, like The Body Lab and Until.
Breathwork and Mindfulness
We’ve just touched upon exercise for wellbeing and mentioned breathwork but we thought it deserved its own trend. More of us are attending retreats, breathwork classes and sound healing sessions. 2023 is the year that it really aligns with fitness enthusiasts as another way to improve our wellbeing.
Though, it’s not just about wellbeing, holistic health is becoming more popular in sports performance too, with professional rugby club, Sale Sharks, employing a breathwork coach who works with their first team players each week, hoping to get those extra %s in their performance. With all fitness trends, it usually starts in professional sports performance and filters down, and we predict its popularity will catch on with the general public this coming year.
Mindfulness has been on the radar for the last few years now, but 2023 will see even more of us take it seriously, and with the help of our even smarter technology and apps (see trend 1!), this year we will use technology to guide our mindfulness.
It feels like everyone is now training to compete in an upcoming Hyrox such is the popularity of the event up and down the UK. So what exactly is Hyrox?
“HYROX is a global fitness race for Every Body. Participants from all around the world compete in the exact same format. The race starts with a 1 km run, followed by 1 functional movement, which repeats 8 times, taking place in large indoor venues, creating a unique stadium like atmosphere for all participants” (Hyrox, 2023).
The fact that anyone can compete and the event is always the same, provides a real competitive edge to your training, as you are constantly trying to better your times and improve your own performance against the event format.
Another popular element is the barrier to entry is low. Unlike Crossfit, Hyrox is pretty simple in terms of the workouts. No olympic lifting or gymnastic based workouts, just functional fitness and endurance running.
We've got a few Hyrox champs in our graduate ranks. One of our Personal Training graduates, Dave Sloan, won his age group a few months ago and flew to Las Vegas in 2022 to compete in the world championship. Jake Dearden also set a World Record in his most recent comp for his age group!
Not Quite Yet:
We’ve seen a few predictions stating fitness and exercise via the Metaverse will be big in 2023, but we’re not quite sure about that. It still feels too early to predict the impact virtual fitness will have whilst wearing a headset. Maybe 2024!