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Fitness trends of 2018 & where to find them

Ashleigh Went

The new year is a great time to revisit your fitness regime. Want to know what the fitness trends of 2018 are?

In December, the American College of Sports Medicine released the findings of their Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018. The publication revealed some interesting predictions from health and fitness experts the world over. In Australia, we tend to be the ‘trendsetters’ – just a touch ahead of the world in terms of fitness and wellness trends. Locally, we’re an active city with our own fitness ecosystem.

In considering worldwide trends, what’s happening in the rest of Australia and of course, our very own wonderful community, I’ve put together my predictions for the fitness trends of 2018 – plus where to access them in Canberra.


High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is not exactly a new concept. It’s been a trend for years, and will continue to be one of the fitness trends of 2018. Any gym bunny worth their Nikes has at some point given this method a go. The premise is that by completing a cycle of a short period of exertion where you crank your heart rate up, followed by a period of recovery, you can fast track the amount of energy you burn. It’s been popular for a number of years and for good reason – it’s excellent at not only torching calories, but also increasing cardiovascular fitness – giving you lots of bang for your energy buck. However, this intense form of training can take a toll on your body, so it’s best to practice in moderation.

Get it

Pretty much anywhere. F45 draws on this trend, especially when it comes to their Athletica cardio-based sessions. I’ve also tried the 20:10 sessions at The Den in Deakin and absolutely loved them.

You don’t need to do a class or even have a gym membership to get your HIIT on – it can be achieved with sprinting, or even a basic skipping rope.


Low intensity steady state is at the opposite spectrum of HIIT. It’s a far less intense form of exercise completed for a longer period of time. The classic form of LISS is walking – something you can comfortably do for upwards of 30 or 40 minutes. Yes, it takes up a lot more time than a HIIT workout, but the upshot is that it’s far less demanding of your body. LISS is ideal for people who want to increase their activity levels, but already do their fair share of intense exercise (like sport, lifting weights in the gym, etc.).

Plus, Kayla Itsines is a fan, and anything she touches becomes trendy.

Get it

By using those legs! Any form of low impact cardio is great for LISS – but walking is my personal favourite. Getting outside means that you can get some fresh air and vitamin D, plus the relaxing effect that nature has on our minds and bodies.

Stretching, yoga and recovery

In 2017, recovery took centre stage – perhaps as a result of our obsession with HIIT and hard core workouts. Locally, we saw a boom in cryotherapy and float tanks, designed to either speed up recovery or activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Domestically and internationally, stretch studios were popular and as always, yoga remains one of the worlds favourite ways to stretch, breathe and relax.

I for one am thrilled to see a fitness trends of 2018 balancing between training hard and rest and recovery, and will be making the most of this category in particular.

Get it

You can get into yoga at your local studio in Canberra. I’m a little bit obsessed with here. studio in Downer – they opened in 2016 and have an awesome philosophy based on mindfulness – not to mention they’re offering a pretty sweet deal (6 months of unlimited yoga for $600).

Otherwise, you can try Cryotherapy at Cryospa, or floatation tanks at Astral Float or Pure Zen.

There’s also some awesome stretching and yoga videos you can access for free online (I love Yoga with Adriene or the Alo Yoga video series on YouTube).

Group training

‘Community’ is a bit of a buzzword in gyms at the moment. It’s easy to see why people are so drawn to this concept: there’s a lot to be said for the accountability that other people provide when it comes to work outs and often a good group morale can help you run that extra lap or squeeze out a few extra reps. I would say however, that the two biggest benefits are this: from an investment standpoint, joining small group personal training sessions can give you access to an excellent trainer for a fraction of the cost of multiple one-on-one sessions through the week. Plus, ideally you want to be spending a fair chunk of your time at the gym – it’s going to be a lot more fun if you actually like the people you’re training with.

Get it

I personally have been going to Romero Athletics in Fyshwick for small group personal training and I love it. I know people also rave about the community at FUNC.

I’ve also tried Crossfit which I have to say, is very good for group training and community. Nothing creates a bond like the misery of having to do 7 minutes of burpees!

Wearable tech

If you’ve got yourself a Garmin, Fitbit or Apple Watch, then I don’t need to sell you on the benefits of wearable tech. If you’re yet to jump on the bandwagon, then now is the time. Personally, I’m team Fitbit and I love that I can track my steps and sleep with one reasonably non-offensive looking device. I’m not even using the device to it’s full capacity – depending on your model, you can also track your heart rate, food and water intake, workouts and more.

Get it

You can find a range of fitness devices at any good sports or electronics store. Orangetheory Fitness in Gungahlin also uses wearable tech for their classes – heart rate monitors feed back to display screens so you can see where your heart rate is at (as well as everyone else’s!) 

Strength training

I’m thrilled to see more people taking up strength training, especially women! The health benefits are practically endless – not only does it improve muscle tone, but lifting weights can also help to protect you from injury, increase bone density, increase your self esteem (AKA making you feel like a badass)… the list goes on (and on, and on). Weight lifting featuring high on the list for fitness trends of 2018 is a no-brainer.

If you’re worried that strength training will make you look big and bulky, you needn’t fret (we’ve covered that here).

Get it

There are plenty of places where you can weight train – any traditional gym will have a weights area where you can try free weights or machines. Powerlifting is also very popular at the moment – The Strength Syndicate is run by a team of women and is very female friendly.

Those are my predictions in fitness trends of 2018 – what activity are you excited to start in 2018?


Ashleigh Went

HerCanberra ACTIVE Editor Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. As someone who loves champagne and cheese almost as she loves a sweaty workout, she's all about living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She can usually be found with her nose in a book, planning her next adventure, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue. More about the Author

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