Throwback Workouts Will Trend In 2014

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Each fall, the American College of Sports Medicine (‘ACSM’) surveys over 3,000 fitness professionals to reveal trends for the upcoming year.  For 2014, two of Throwback’s mantras are listed at #1 and #2: high intensity interval training (‘HIIT’) and bodyweight training.

High Intensity Interval Training

“High intensity interval training made its first appearance on this list this year. Its appearance in the top spot on the list reflects how this form of exercise has taken the fitness community by storm in recent months,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey.  According to ACSM, HIIT “involves short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery; these exercise programs usually take less than 30 minutes to perform.”

Throwback is a huge proponent of HIIT because it is tremendously efficient.  Rather than steady-state cardio where you may continue to burn fat for only 20 minutes after a workout, a Throwback or HIIT workout spikes your metabolism and your body will continue to use fat as the predominant source of energy for hours after the workout.  See afterburn effect.  We also love it because you can combine your strength and cardio sessions and make your workout into a game or competition with almost infinite variability.  Better than long, rest-laden periods performing the same monotonous exercises, right?

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training made its first appearance in the top 10 last year and jumped from #3 to #2 in the most recent survey.  It almost sounds like ACSM had Throwback Fitness in mind when writing this: “Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.” 

We like bodyweight training because it is gimmick-free and it works – people have been using their bodies as a form of resistance since the beginning of time.  It is functional and there is a tremendous amount of ways to vary bodyweight movements.

Here’s a link to the full list of the top 20 trends for 2014.


Also Read: ‘Back-to-the-Basics’ - One of 2013’s top fitness trends

Two Weeks Til Summer

Since we all hope to be on a beach come May 25, this week unofficially begins the period when we start to worry what we'll look like shirtless.  Two weeks isn’t quite enough time to go from Farley to Swayze, but here are some tips you might want to try for a last minute trim down...

  • Eat salads during lunch – avoid high fat and especially high sugar ingredients and dressings.  Oil and vinegar is probably your best bet. 
  • Reduce or cut out highly processed (cheap) carbs as best you can – this means breads, pastas and most desserts. 
  • Buy or order things with a few amount of ingredients – for example, a meal prepared at home will have less chemicals than fast food or a microwave dinner. 
  • Snack on protein, not sweets – try nuts or Greek yogurt instead of fruit; we’d only recommend reducing fruit for aesthetic reasons given its high sugar content, but still recommend it as part of a balanced diet.

  • Less sugary beverages when you’re partying – A Crossfit coach recently told me that a single tequila shot is still paleo.  Not sure how serious he was, but it’s best to avoid sugary mixers like soft drinks, juices, and syrups.  If really serious about leaning up, we'd recommend reducing or cutting alcohol for a few weeks leading up to a beach trip, but if you must imbibe, try soda water instead for your mixer.

Most of these are diet related because you could do sit-ups all day and still have a big stomach if you’re eating like crap.  75% of your results will come from diet, not exercise.  As Arnold once said, “Great abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.”