Trend Alert: Extreme Fitness

CATEGORY / Beauty & Wellness TAGS / extreme fitness, fitness, trend alert, wellness Fractals LAB / Jolie DATE / September 12, 2019

Trend Definition:

Highly dangerous fitness classes.

Trend History: 

As many people say they would “die to get fit”, gyms are taking them almost literally.

A new wave of “extreme condition” fitness training is emerging worldwide, in a trend which we expect to rise in 2020.

Especially popular with young males, this “killing” classes come with emergency medical assistance. Participants are asked to sign a legal waiver before starting and buckets are placed in the room for the inevitable vomiting. 

The trend is all about taking your body to the limits, in the attempt to reach wellness through emotions and pains you normally don’t experience in a not-so-adventurous office life.

Today’s fast-paced culture encourages the pursuit of the quick fix. When participating in a gym class, people want to see immediate results and are no patient enough to trust a longer process. Since the “quick fix” doesn’t work, they search for more radical quick fixes, no matter how dangerous they are.

Social media, of course, have their part of responsibility. 

Wellbeing is not a private issue anymore. The hashtags #healthy and #wellness have been used more than 160 million times on Instagram, and it’s now common for people to share gym selfies, #sweatyselfies and document their workout sessions online.

While this may create false expectations, it also pushes people to constantly search for new solutions not just to get fit and feel better, but also to stand out in the crowd. 

Dr Jeff Breckon, a sport and exercise psychologist, explains this phenomenon on The Telegraph:  “We’re always looking to show off against our peers”- he says- “and the more extreme the better – especially on social media where you can then get social affirmation.’

Trend Evidences: 

In the UK , the Gymbox chain calls its Flatline workout “the most dangerous fitness class in the world”. It involves 45 minutes of high-intensity and increasingly difficult exercises, such as hoisting 60kg weights and sprinting for 45 meters – all in a 12kg weighted vest with just 15-second breaks. 

This class is becoming really popular despite the risks, which include “permanent disability, stroke, organ failure, paralysis, heart attack, brain swelling” and even death. Paramedics are available at every moment during the training.

The Third Space’s Elevation 2.0 challenge (“London’s Toughest Challenge”) include an 800ft Versa climber, 1.5k Watt bike, 50m push on Skillmill and 1k inclined treadmill run, all in a low-oxygen, high-altitude simulating hypoxic chamber. 

In New York, in 2018 they opened Brrrn, the ‘world’s first cool-temperature fitness studio’, where people is invited to exercise in freezing conditions: by doing so, they will lose more calories than they do during a normal workout, because their body is also fighting to stand the cold. 

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