Trends in Fitness: Back to Basics

By Debbie Bravo, ALSC Architects

While wearable technology is the number one trend for 2016, it has little impact on the built environment – and vice versa; the built environment has little to no effect on the use of wearable technology. The number two and three activities on the 2016 list, however, can be greatly affected by the built environment. We are talking about Body Weight Training and HIIT. Fortunately for those embarking upon the design of a sustainable fitness facility that accommodates the latest fitness trends, these activities require little in the form of highly customized space. Their need is merely for SPACE.

HIIT – The What and How

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)  involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery – typically lasting 30 minutes or less. There may be a need for a jump rope or hand-weights depending on your level of fitness, but this popular workout often occurs in a large, open space with mirrored walls and resilient flooring. That’s it. HIIT workouts can occur in a multi-purpose room, within a weight room or circuit area, or anywhere else there is room to move. This translates to flexibility, which means more efficient use of the facility.

Bodyweight Training – The What and How

The same can be said for Body Weight Training. The requirements for Body Weight Training are minimal in terms of equipment as well as for customization of the built environment. This workout, truly having been around for decades, uses your own bodyweight to provide resistance for strength training exercises. Common movements include lunges, planks, push-ups and sit-ups; while some facilities offer suspension equipment. TRX classes using a body weight suspension system (adjustable nylon straps) have become popular, requiring the ability to attach the suspension system to structural ceiling elements in an open area. Once again, your body is your equipment; thus, open space with resilient flooring in which to execute the moves is all that is needed.

The Good News

Of course, there are many variations and plans for opulence to execute any workout. The good news is this “back to basics” approach of workouts like HIIT or Body Weight Training – two of the hottest fitness trends of 2016 – equates to need for basic, open and flexible SPACE. It sounds like a low-risk venture; now just might be the ideal time to start planning that new fitness facility!



Debbie Bravo is an Associate and an Interior Designer with ALSC Architects. A wife and mother of two, her personal interests compliment her design expertise – resulting in innovative, inspiring environments for teaching, learning, playing and working.

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