Ready to kickstart your fitness routine? We tapped Shabaka Amen, Charlotte’s premier wellness performance trainer and speaker, to share the four fitness trends he thinks will define 2018—and define your muscles, too.
As Charlotte’s first plant-based or vegan personal trainer, Amen has long been the go-to guru on health and fitness in the Queen City, specifically SouthPark. He founded Charlotte’s first plant-based gym and has been featured on Charlotte Today and as a speaker at events like the Women’s Executive Wellness Luncheon and Charlotte VegFest.
Amen’s latest passion (and one of our four featured trends): Meditation. Amen’s the mastermind behind InnerCise Meditation, the first fitness meditation training system that helps you achieve your body aspirations by reducing and releasing stress and mastering the role of the mind-body connection.
Amen offers his favorite picks for getting lean (but not mean!) this new year.
1. High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT
HIIT combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by brief low-intensity activity. It’s science: physiological studies have shown that HIIT workouts burn more fat and increase human metabolism due to the after-burn effect called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). HIIT workouts are quick and convenient. Sessions can be done in less than 30 minutes and without equipment, so I believe that the HIIT approach will be “Here Indefinitely I Think!”
TRX, or Total Body Resistance Exercise, is a suspension training body weight exercise system that builds strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability simultaneously! It looks easy from afar, until you grab those TRX straps, get into position, adjust posture, and begin to press, pull, curl, lift or squat using your body at angles that create moderate to severe resistance!
3. Strength Training
This timeless and effective form of exercise leverages the use of machines, dumbbells, or kettlebells to load and stress our muscles in order to increase muscular strength and size. Given strength training’s proven ability to increase bone density, physicians will continue to prescribe it as a form of lifestyle medicine to prevent osteoporosis. Strength training as a form of exercise has stood the test of time and will remain a staple regardless of emerging new fitness trends.
4. The Fitness of Stillness
Meditation is an emerging trend that is used to train the mind and body. Like traditional exercise, the Fitness of Stillness is focused on engaging our physiology, but differently. It refers to the “physiological state of deep rest, relaxation, and inactivity produced during meditation.” The practice of meditation has been scientifically and clinically shown to reduce and eliminate stress and improve focus. Since stress is a major contributor to obesity, chronic inflammation, eating disorders, and lack of motivation, the “fitness of stillness” will become a new fitness trend and best practice in 2018!