With New Year’s resolutions to get slim, slender and stacked pledged, many first-fitness timers will be wondering if there are alternatives to sweaty, heaving gyms or long, ankle busting runs out there. 2018 sees a whole host of new and exciting workout routines designed to maximise the gains whilst being kind on both the clock and your limbs.

We’ve teamed up with Steve Tansey, Head of Research & Development at Les Mills UK, to predict which of these will be most popular this year. So, here are 5 IDEAL fitness trends of 2018.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT training strengthens bone structure and the cardio vascular system, improves agility, increases lean muscle mass and decreases body fat percentage. Research continues to show that if you can participate in this form of exercise it will bring you results faster than other forms of exercise in the gym. HIIT training is proven to reduce body fat percentage, especially around the stomach area, whilst increasing lean muscle tissue, rendering it much harder for that fat to come back.

HIIT training can be very challenging but for those who relish such a challenge and the camaraderie it brings, these sessions can quickly turn into the highlight of the day. Another bonus to HIIT training is it need not take very long; perfect for those with busy work and social schedules. Here’s 5 IDEAL tips for an impactful HIIT workout this New Year. 

Strength Training

Training the muscular system will continue to be the primary trend of the year across the industry. This form of training improves body composition to allow for a lifted metabolism in day-today life. Hypertrophy (increasing muscle size) training improves athletics, aesthetics and posture, ticking off most people’s reasons for attending a gym. This one is for everyone. A big fitness trend that is becoming very popular now is taking sport supplements when strength training, Supplements Direct have a great selection of supplements for you to choose from.

Virtual Fitness

Virtual training is certain to increase in UK as technology improves and people prefer to conduct their business from home as much as possible. Projecting group fitness pre-recorded workouts onto screens for participants in gyms, at home, or even the office, is becoming more popular, and this trend is only set to increase exponentially the greater publicity it receives.

LES MILLS™ Virtual provides the same visual elements to the workout you’d get in a live class, but without the time dependency or fear of judgment from an instructor or fellow class participant. This form of training is perfect to introduce novice exercisers to group fitness. Les Mills Virtual™ offers a fun and informative way to experience a workout and learn the terminology and movements used, all at your own pace. While we don’t think it will completely replace a live instructor, the two will offer greater achievement of fitness goals by operating in tandem.

Immersive Fitness

Immersive Fitness allows participants to enter different worlds whilst exercising. Staring at rolling news coverage while treadin’ the mill may take your mind off the exercise, but what if the exercise was linked to what you were seeing? Now that really would be something.

The ideal immersive fitness system likely to start seeing popularity in 2018 will see a wraparound screen and projectors to transport you into a cycle or foot race, with that element of competition propelling you to a harder, more dedicated workout. Research has proven that this form of exercise decreases perceived exertion, allowing participants to push harder without realising. Fitness and fun; sounds good to us!

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.