My yearly 2012 fitness predictions report is the highlight of my December project list. It’s always fun to look into my crystal ball and try to predict the future.

I’ve actually been right in the past about some big trends, and today, we’re going to focus on the hottest fitness trends for 2012. You’ll want to know the truth about these – in advance – so you know how to incorporate them into your workouts.

1) Metabolic Resistance Training will be the training term of the year

Weight training circuits, Turbulence Training, Afterburn Training – all of these have been known for years, but more and more we’ll see the phrase, Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) used to describe this broad field of training.

Of course, that also means that MRT will be defined differently by almost every trainer…leading to some confusion among fitness readers (almost as much as the term, ‘clean eating’).

As the originator of this MRT programs however, you’ll get the most accurate MRT programs here through Turbulence Training – and therefore, the very best results.

Even celebrities are getting in on the MRT craze. Recent reports state that the rap legend, 50 Cent, is releasing a book based on MRT training. That will be the hot new buzzword in Hollywood this year and you’ll likely see articles in Men’s Health magazine about how a celebrity trainer got one of his clients into superhero action movie character shape with MRT workouts.

Fortunately, this is good news for all Certified TT Trainers because MRT will catch on with folks in your neighborhoods, and you’ll be the go-to expert for this type of training as long as you continue to learn from my TT workouts.

2) The M-MRT Explosion will be the next level in MRT

Alwyn Cosgrove helped me bring the terms MRT and MCT to the training world, and we explicitly defined those as different types of workouts.

Recently, with the help of a bodybuilder (of all people), I’ve been able to create a new form of MRT called Muscle-MRT. This makes MRT not just about total body movements like Kettlebell Swings and Burpees, but also about massacring the muscles through deep glycogen depletion in muscle-focused movements like close-stance barbell squats.

All will be revealed – in terms of how to use M-MRT – in an upcoming TT workout of the month.

3) Bodybuilding Training Will Start Getting More Respect

Now I’m not saying that everyone is going to go back to bodybuilding 6 days per week (that would ruin too many shoulder joints), but I am saying that bodybuilding methods are going to become popular again.

For example, just in the last couple of weeks I’ve had my Toronto TT guinea pig clients trying out Ben Pakulski’s squeezing techniques in the gym with great results.

If you don’t know Ben, he is one of the top 10 bodybuilders in the world. In fact, back when I lived on the west side of Toronto I used to train side-by-side with Ben in the dungeon of a gym called System Fitness.

Funny thing though, we never spoke. And we still haven’t had an offline conversation, but he and I have been going back and forth on how we can make TT MRT workouts even better. And one of the biggest changes was to use his squeeze techniques – which again, you’ll learn all about in the January 2012 TT Workout of the Month and next month’s issue of this newsletter.

As trainers get better and better, your workouts will become more intelligent as we sift through the junk of old-school training and polish off the hidden gems, and that’s what we’ll see in 2012 as bodybuilding training will get more respect.

In the past 5-10 years, bodybuilders have been like Rodney Dangerfield – they ain’t been gettin’ no respect. So this should be the year it all changes. On the bright side here, these new programs will satisfy our metabolic needs for pump-type workouts – there’s a time and place for everything!

4) The Old-Man Warm-up and Workout approach will be known as the best way

Earlier this year I popularized the old-man warm-up, and with great minds thinking alike, guys like Jim Wendler have been using a similar expression for his pre-lifting preparation. Ironically though, when you use an old-man warm-up you can actually transport your body back to its youthful health, mobility, and physicality.

The more time you spend in an old-man warm-up, the better off your body will be. My chiropractor continues to be amazed at the stress of my workouts and the response of my body. Just over two years ago I was going to him for a painful low-back condition, but he’s been amazed at how I’ve ‘worked’ my way out of the problem due to diligent old-man warm-ups (and a little help from his treatment).

Next, the word ‘recovery’ is going to become almost as popular as training amongst serious fitness folks in 2012. Of course, as with anything in fitness, people will now become competitive with their recovery workouts, bragging about how long they spent doing foam rolling or the fact that they use PVC pipe now instead of regular foam rollers that are for “wussies”. (But seriously, once you try a PVC pipe you won’t want to go back to foam.)

5) Trainers are going to create more age-group targeted programs

Whether or not this is necessary, we’ll see more and more books and trainers specializing in helping “women over 40”, “men over 65”, etc. Now to be honest, with the exception of individual injury considerations – which applies to all ages – there really isn’t much difference in training someone for fat loss at age 30 or age 60.

However, on the bright side, every age group will now have access to more specific role models, tighter communities, and peer-delivered messages that hit home stronger than ever.

6) More trainers will create 5, 6, and even 7-day per week programs – even TT

Whoa, whoa, whoa! 7-day per week programs? How could you ever create a 7-day per week Turbulence Training program? Let me explain…

First, these programs won’t include 7 hard workouts per week. Rather, folks just want to be told what to do on their off days as well as during their workouts.

So instead of creating articles, books, and programs that just give you three workouts per week and leave you to your own devices for the rest of the days, trainers will now be giving you the exact stretching, recovery, and off-day activity plans for a complete 7-day program. Talking with P90X creator, Tony Horton, really gave me a lot of ideas for this new system.

7) Backlash on Hard-Core Workouts

Everything goes in cycles, and it’s probably going to be the year that experts and clients start going against crazy hard-core workouts. In fact, we’re beginning to see that already in magazines like Men’s Health and newspapers like the NY Times calling out the hardcore cults for their lack of preparation in workout design.

The hardcore workout backlash will reach a tipping point as official injury numbers are recorded and brought to light in the new year. Be warned that this will be the year you don’t want to be known as “Hardcore”.

8] MMA Class-Bootcamp Hybrids become more popular

This will be an interesting marriage in the fitness industry, one of convenience and economics. Many MMA gyms will realize that they can get more clients and members into bootcamps, and for better or for worse, many Hardcore MMA gyms will water down their specific training methods in exchange for clients and money.

That’s not a judgement, just an observation on what to expect.

At the same time, many bootcamp classes, seeking to differentiate themselves, will start claiming to be more hardcore. However, if I had to choose one workout as being more effective, it would be the bootcamp-in-the-MMA studio rather than the MMA-added-to-the-bootcamp approach.

This could turn out to be a very interesting battle for clients in 2012. May the best coaches win.

9) The Rise of Urban Adventure Racing

It seems everyone is doing the “Tough Mudder” race these days. If you don’t know about it, you soon will. It’s a 10 mile run that also involves a muddy obstacle course and allows accountant-types to express their inner wildside on the weekends. It sounds like fun, maybe I’ll give it a try one day. And if you get really excited by these, I truly believe it’s a new fitness niche where you could carve out an online business – or even a new group training class format.

10) Advanced Fat Loss Trainers seek better certification opportunities

Never satisfied in their quest to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack, more elite trainers will be looking for advanced fat loss certifications to expand their skills and increase their ability to get more clients, make more money, and design the lifestyle of their dreams.

Now is the time to replace their current approach with a Certification that is radically different, entirely new, and infinitely superior to the old-school generic certification program that so many trainers have saddled themselves with in the past.

Advanced trainers know that nothing short of re-invention will carry them to their loftiest goal of being the best, most in-demand, and well-known trainer in their town. Generic certifications are fine for generic trainers, but not for next-level trainers who want more for their clients (and for their own business and lives as well).

The advanced fat loss certification is superior in that not only is it more effective for their client’s results, but also more profitable for their own business. It opens up many, many more chances to associate with bigger names and opportunities in the fitness industry.

The future of the personal trainer industry is here. And we’re proud to offer an incredible opportunity through the advanced fat loss Turbulence Training Certification to replace the generic, less-than-average beginner personal trainer certification.

If you’re a trainer, then without a doubt, you’ve chosen the right industry to be involved in for your career. Despite the tough economy in retail, manufacturing, and food services, the fitness industry will continue to grow in 2012.

To your fitness success in 2012,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Certified Turbulence Trainer

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com