3 Fitness Trends To Watch In 2021

Continue in your ongoing pursuit of fitness this year.

By Muzammil Mansor      13 February 2021

Muzammil Mansor has been a Fitness Trainer at SAFRA Punggol’s EnergyOne gym for 4 years, and has a special interest in strength training and rehabilitation exercise. He shares his picks of the top 3 current trends in fitness, and what you need to be mindful of.

HIIT Group Exercise

We live in a fast-paced society where most of us have very little time to exercise and pamper ourselves. As Singaporeans look for quick and productive workouts to fit into their busy schedules, group exercise classes such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) come to mind.

HIIT classes are held on Tuesdays at EnergyOne Gyms, incorporating functional movements over 45 minutes of high-intensity interval training. Benefits of HIIT classes are that they involve a total body workout while burning tons of calories. They are also excellent for building cardio and muscular endurance.

HIIT classes also include many participants who may motivate and push each other. This creates a healthy camaraderie and culture within the class.

A drawback of HIIT classes would be it may not appeal to everyone, especially seniors who may find it too fast moving. People who do high intensity training are more prone to injuries if they are not careful. Additionally, participants in the class may have different fitness levels. What is considered easy for an individual might be difficult for another. Some HIIT exercises such as kettlebell swings also require some familiarity and training before execution.

Before joining a HIIT group class, I advise readers to seek medical clearance first if needed. Be sure to ask the instructor for the class structure and how the training will be conducted. Join a class that matches your fitness level so that you would not feel intimidated or discouraged.

Wearables

The digital age has popularised wearable technology. Singapore has one of the highest concentrations of Internet usage and this has allowed users to seamlessly connect their devices.

Wearables allow users to track and better plan their workout programmes. Smartwatches have built-in heart rate monitors to help users in their training. Gadgets like Fitbit also have other functions like activity and sleep cycle trackers that may help users improve their daily routines.

Some wearables allow you to customise programmes from beginner to advanced levels. This is helpful for people who are not sure where to start in their workouts.

Wearables like Fitbit are supported by government initiatives, such as Live Healthy SG, which is a partnership between the Health Promotion Board and Fitbit.

Wearables do come with drawbacks, particularly when it comes to accuracy, and some users become too reliant on them. Most wearables are also expensive and are out of range for the general public. Be sure to purchase high quality wearables. Do your research first before making a purchase.

Hybrid Workouts

The circuit breaker last year had one positive outcome, among others – it showed us that workouts can be done anywhere, anytime, especially at home. During that period, many health clubs and fitness instructors conducted online workouts through Zoom and other social media platforms.

While gyms have since re-opened, home workouts are convenient and are low cost (mostly even free!), especially on those days when you can’t make it to the gym. They require very little equipment and allow users to be creative in designing their own workouts. Equipment like resistance bands, a yoga mat and adjustable dumbbells are mainly all that are needed for home workouts.

Despite their benefits, there are also drawbacks to home workouts. Most Singaporeans live in apartments and some may face space constraints when exercising at home. More advanced exercises like Olympic lifts also cannot be done and this may hinder one’s ability to improve. Many people also prefer the environment of a gym, where classes or personal trainers help to motivate their workouts. While exercising at home will work in a pinch, consider a combination of gym and home workouts for the best results.

Kickstart your fitness journey with EnergyOne Gym – find out more about its programmes and current promotions at www.safra.sg/energyone-gym.

What do you think is the hottest fitness trend for the new year? Share with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!