My good friend, Jason Robillard, from Barefoot Running University has many times given his predictions concerning the state of things in the barefoot running movement, including what shoe companies will be focusing on in the future. It is time to make some of my predictions here concerning the future of fitness.
I do not believe that any form of fitness is going away. There will be still be strongman competitions, marathons, and even bodybuilding competitions. Therefore, you will still see plenty of people weight lifting, bodybuilding, and running with no regard what I would consider Functional Fitness. Here is where some smartee will write, “but it is functional if they are preparing for their competition.” I therefore have to respond that the term Functional Fitness as I define it (it is my website so I can use my definitions) is focused on a strong core and the development of movements (not muscles). By that definition, neither of those above examples would fall under a Functional Fitness program.
Now that we are on the same page with definitions, I want to make my prediction. I predict that the movement towards Functional Fitness is going to continue to grow. Shows like The Biggest Loser, programs such as P90X, and websites such as Crossfit are here to stay. More and more women’s (and men’s) magazines are touting physioballs and “core exercises.” More certifying bodies provide core and/or Functional Fitness certifications.
People are doing their own research and are no longer relying upon expert trainers at a gym. The research into High Intensity Interval Training is become more vast and comprehensive.
Further, Pilates and Yoga have been around for a long time now and are clearly not going away. Functional Fitness programs are basically taking those concepts and adding in more dimensions of fitness such as endurance.
None of the concepts of Functional Fitness are new and are rooted in our history just as much as strength training or running. The difference, I believe, is that everyday folks are now being exposed to Functional Fitness at a greater level, and are seeing those benefits. See, not everybody wants to run 100 mile ultramarathons and not everybody wants to enter into a strongman competition. But millions of people want to be in better shape and are finally being shown what a well balanced Functionally Fit body is like. I think more and more people are going to chose the balanced approach and Functional Fitness will become the workout program for the masses.