How The CKO Experience Hits The Top Fitness Trends for 2018

November 6, 2018
Enjoying the CKO Workout

Hello Trendsetter.

Didn’t know you were one, did you?

Like it or not, you are. Because you CKO.

It turns out that every time you CKO you’re doing more than you think you are. In fact, in those 60 empowering minutes you are fulfilling the vast majority of the fitness trends for 2018.

And here you thought you were just doing the most fun, intense, sweat inducing, full-body kickboxing workout ever.

Every year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys thousands of fitness industry professionals to understand the fitness trends for the upcoming year. These trends emerge based on the general direction that the fitness industry has moved toward.

ACSM notes that these are not to be confused with fads, which are here one day and gone the next. Rather, these trends have staying power and will continue to influence the way we approach health and fitness for years to come.

Amazingly (but not surprising in the least) the fitness trends for 2018 hit close to home for CKO because the CKO workout in itself embodies the majority of these top trends. Curious what the trends for this year are? Here goes…

✓ High Intensity Interval Training

The number 1 fitness trend of 2018, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves alternating high intensity bursts of exercise with low to medium intensity exercise or even complete rest. This workout has an outstanding impact on blood vessel function, and assists in burning fat, building muscle, and increasing both your metabolism and cardiovascular fitness ability.

AT CKO: Every time you push yourself and go all out on the bag, followed by a lower intensity CKO exercise, you are performing a HIIT workout. Think “Attack Rounds”. For 30, 45 and even 60 seconds you go full blast, pushing your heart into the anaerobic zone and then recovering with a lower intensity exercise like jumping jacks or a low plank.

✓Group Training

Yes. Camaraderie. When five or more participants engage in a common exercise class. Having others around you working toward the same goal (aka “survival”) creates a sense of unity and togetherness.

No fear of having all eyes on you, compiled with motivation from others, group training has experienced a resurgence and fitness professionals feel like this trend will only continue to grow.

AT CKO: This IS CKO. This is what CKO is all about; community. And you are a part of it. Together we push each other and support each other, sometimes just by showing up. We go through the grueling, sweat-dripping plank holds and tuck jumps together, never alone. In a world where technology has perhaps pushed us toward isolation, group training gives us the connections we as human beings crave and need to survive.

✓Wearable Technology

As exercisers yearn to better understand what they are achieving in their workout, they turn to wearable technology. This is more than just those easily recognizable digital wristbands; the market has expanded to include smart clothing and even smart eyewear.

The growth of this trend validates a recent report, which estimates the Global Wearables Devices Market to exceed over $51 billion by 2022. It’s safe to assume wearable technology is here to stay and will only continue to amaze us.

AT CKO: CKO has embraced MYZONE, a wearable technology that you can incorporate into your CKO workout. An exercise tracker with 99.4% accuracy, this strap-based heart rate monitor that you wear around your waist tracks your heart rate, activity time and calories burned.

MYZONE is a fantastic way to understand your workout, challenge yourself and even compete with friends and fellow CKO members. Plus, it comes with an application that is easy to use and streams live stats to your gym, smart phone, third party apps and devices.

✓Body Weight Training

This trend is easy to break down. These are exercises you perform where weights are unnecessary. Instead, you use your own body weight to get a sweat going and strengthen your muscles. This training requires more flexibility and balance but offers a lower risk of injury than hoisting those barbells. Another plus to body weight training is that you can do it anywhere, since no equipment is required

At CKO: This IS CKO. You are performing body weight training with every push up, plank, mountain climber, tuck jump, bear crawl, lunge, squat and hip raise. We could continue, but no need, right?

✓Strength Training

Want to move more, do more, and feel better? Then you strength train. Period.

This broad category, in which you use resistance to build muscle strength, endurance and size, can be performed with or without weights. Strength training has been around forever. After all, can’t you imagine cavemen throwing boulders?

Strength training is recommended for everyone no matter your age, sex, race or body makeup. Strong muscles allow us to burn fat, boost our metabolism, strengthen our joints and prevent and overcome injuries. Strength training also increases our mood and leads to a longer lifespan.

At CKO: This IS CKO. Building your strength is what that bag is helping you do. Your CKO Instructors may choose to use free weights for a small portion of class, but you don’t need them to perform strength training. Body weight training, as discussed above, is a form of strength training that you conduct throughout your CKO hour.

✓Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals

As more and more people are incorporating exercise into their lives, what results is a need for more highly trained industry professionals.

To get a leg up on the competition, these fitness professionals are obtaining additional licenses and certifications. Simultaneously, colleges and universities are continuing to offer more accredited fitness certifications and programs to advance fitness professionals’ knowledge, experience and credibility.

At CKO: Our Instructors are all three: educated, certified and experienced!  Instructors in training are required to complete a certain number of classes and train with a Master Instructor in order to receive their CKO Trainer Certificate.

Instructors can expand their expertise on an ongoing basis via CKO’s private trainer-portal that delivers the latest industry advances, workout tips and more. They also have the ability to train with CKO’s Master Instructor, in which they participate in a specifically designed class and discuss the science behind the workout.

✓Personal Training

Sometimes that one-on-one fitness relationship is just what you need to stay motivated and accountable. Having a professional build a fitness program designed specifically based on you and your needs can be the difference between you getting your workout revved up or stalling out.

At CKO: You can experience a CKO focused personal training session at CKO. The CKO Pad Training class is led by a CKO Instructor who holds mitts, calling out combinations while you follow through by hitting those mitts. This dynamic workout improves proper form, coordination, range of motion, agility, endurance, and more.

✓Fitness Programs for Older Adults

As we age, our bodies and abilities change. We tend to slow down a bit. Even though we slow down we still need to incorporate fitness into our lives, in order to protect our bodies from age-associated conditions and diseases.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that older adults specifically include aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities in their workout routine; and here’s why:

Aerobic activity has a deep impact on your overall fitness ability; not to mention it strengthens your heart, lungs, and mind, parts of the body that are susceptible to disease as you age.

With osteoporosis affecting 200 million women worldwide, keeping our bones strong is a necessity. Muscle strengthening workouts actually strengthen our bones and may even build new bone.

At CKO: Kickboxing, being an aerobic and strength training workout in one, means that older adults will satisfy the CDC’s fitness recommendations. There are no age limits here because there is no “typical” member here. Whether you’re fresh as a daisy or young at heart, you join CKO because this is a workout where you go at your own pace. The CKO workout works for you as long as you keep workin’ it!

✓Functional Fitness

It’s exactly what you think it is; fitness with the goal of functioning. These are exercises that resemble movements you perform throughout your day.

Yes, your everyday movements of bending and lifting become more challenging as you age but let’s not discount the benefit of functional fitness for you youngins. No one, young or old, wants to throw their back out when reaching for the fruit bowl on the top shelf. Functional fitness helps prevent this from happening.

At CKO: By incorporating functional fitness moves into your workout, you are strengthening the muscles that you rely on to accomplish everyday tasks. For example, every time you squat at CKO you are strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Funny enough, these are the same muscles you engage when you bend down to pick up the newspaper (Newspapers are still delivered, right?)

✓Exercise and Weight Loss

No surprise here. People are trying to lose weight and it’s not easy. Weight loss is just one of many reasons that people exercise. Though recent studies have found that people are exercising more, simultaneously obesity continues to rise.

At CKO: There are countless stories of members losing weight with the CKO workout, but it’s more than just losing weight here; it’s about gaining something as well. You’re building strength, endurance, community, agility and ability. This is a lifestyle change that requires discipline and encourages healthy eating as well.

✓Exercise is Medicine

Sure, exercise can totally be called “medicine.” Exercise has a positive impact on your mental, emotional and physical health. Research has shown that regular exercise helps to reduce your risk of a slew of health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression and cancer. So yes, exercise is a proactive form of medicine. No Rx required.

At CKO: This is CKO. CKO = Exercise = Medicine.

✓Group Personal Training

Having a personal trainer is fantastic. However, for some it’s not the best fit. Instead, they share a personal trainer; this is Group Personal Training.

The benefits of Small Group Personal Training include not having all eyes on you, learning from those working out alongside you, and building camaraderie. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s more cost-effective than one-on-one sessions.

At CKO: As mentioned in the Personal Training section above, CKO members can enroll in Small Group CKO Pad Training. This mitts training course is led by a CKO Instructor holding mitts, calling out combinations while you follow through by hitting those mitts. This dynamic workout improves proper form, coordination, range of motion, agility, endurance, and more.

✓Core Training

The core is not just your abs. It’s basically all the muscles in your body, with the exception of your arms and legs. The core can also be referred to as the trunk. And it’s obvious why that is.

Like a tree trunk your core is your stabilizer. It connects to every other part of you and therefore impacts those parts. A strong tree trunk makes for strong branches just as a strong core makes for a strong body.

Core is everything.

At CKO: This IS CKO! You are constantly training your core. The power from your legs and core are what makes that cross echo off the bag. Your core is at work with every twist of your torso necessary to throw every strike. Your core is at work whenever you run, do butt kickers, high knees and jumping jacks. Your core is at work with every kick. Your core is at work with every plank hold, burpee and superman. Your core work is your CKO workout.

✓Sport-Specific Training

Practice makes perfect. You’ve heard that phrase again and again, especially in your younger years, as encouragement to keep on going. This advice rings true from a fitness standpoint, which is why people are finding training opportunities that allow them to improve at a particular sport.

At CKO: This IS CKO. You are specifically training in the sport of kickboxing in both the Pad Training course mentioned above and in the CKO classes offered every day. You are strengthening your entire body, but specifically your shoulders and core; your body’s two main ingredients to improve your abilities in this sport.


So, there you have it. CKO hits the mark on an overwhelming majority of this trends list. What other workout does that? (Crickets chirping)

It’s pretty empowering to know that your CKO workout embodies so much of not only what is trending in the fitness industry, but what numerous studies and reports are proving to be impactful on your body and health.

And with three months left in 2018, you’re going to continue to hit those trends, doing so much more than you realize every time you CKO. Now go get ‘em!



Article written by Kimberly Oley, CKO Contributing Author and CKO Member since 2015.