January 23, 2019
CKO Members Jumping For Joy

Every year for the past 13 years 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. 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 2019 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…


#1 Wearable Technology

Jumping from #3 in 2018 to this year’s number one spot is 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.

With wearable technology you can stay accountable and get accurate in-the-moment data. You become more knowledgeable about your personal fitness journey and overall health.

The growth of this trend validates a recent report, estimating 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.

Member with MyZone


#2 Group Training

Holding tight to the number two spot again is Group Training, an exercise class with five or more participants. 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.


#3 High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was the number one fitness trend last year. 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.


#4 Fitness Programs for Older Adults

Moving up five spots to #4 on this year’s list is a trend that focuses on the largest segment of our population; older adults. According to U.S. Census, “within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history.”  There is, therefore, an increasing need for fitness programs specific to this group.

As we age, our bodies and abilities change. We tend to slow down a bit. Yet, 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!


#5 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, lunge, squat and hip raise. We could continue, but no need, right?


#6 Employing Certified 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.


#7 Yoga

Stretching after a tough workout is a well-known must.  These days exercisers rely on a little yoga to sum up a tough workout, which is a big treat both mentally and physically. Yoga helps lengthen and relax the muscles you just worked. In addition it helps to reduce muscle soreness, increase flexibility and enhance recovery.

At CKO: That 2 minute plank hold that has you planning retaliation against your instructor is yoga at work. Countless other movements you do throughout your CKO workout, especially during your cool down, are classic yoga poses. You know that amazing feeling you get after taking off your gloves and getting into your child’s pose? Yes, that is a “feel good” yoga stretch! Ahhh! Heaven!


#8 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.


#9 Functional Fitness Training

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?)


#10 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.


#11 Health Wellness Coaching

Sometimes having someone that can educate you and root you on from the sidelines helps you achieve your health and fitness goals. Doing it alone just may not be enough. People are seeking out health and wellness coaches to create an individualized plan, identify goals and give you the knowledge and resources to meet them.

At CKO: You can amp up your workout and overall health by enrolling in personal training sessions or the 10 Week Transformation Course. These additional offerings will take your fitness regimen to a new level through the incorporation of health wellness coaching. The combination of kickboxing classes, nutritional guidance and body analysis tracking help keep you in tip top shape. Bonus: The new relationships you’ll create will help keep you accountable.


#12 Exercise for 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.


#14 Mobility/Myofascial Devices

In an effort to increase your muscle function and rid yourself of muscle pain, exercisers practice myofascial release. Puzzled by this obscure phrase? You know those large cylinder-shaped foam things in the corner of your CKO gym? Those, friends, are foam rollers; just one example of a self-myofascial device, something you can do on your own.

Myofascial devices increase blood circulation to the muscle in the body you’re targeting. Pre-workout, this helps break up scar tissue, lengthens the muscle and increases your range of motion, so that you’re better prepared to take on your workout. Rolling post workout increases oxygen to the muscle, helping it to recover quickly and reducing potential soreness.

At CKO: Since rolling before your workout helps to lengthen your muscles and increases your range of motion, you’ll notice a difference in your strikes and kicks. Take note of how much smoother and higher you’re able to throw a front kick or roundhouse after rolling your hips and hamstrings. Rolling after class is almost like a massage for your muscles, helping them to recover quickly, so your body will be ready to attack the bag again the next day.


#15 Worksite Health Promotion and Workplace Well-being Programs

More and more companies are realizing the importance of supporting their employees’ health. Some offer gym discounts, free yoga sessions, health education classes, and healthy snacks, to name a few.

Including employee wellness in a company’s value system is beneficial for both the employee and the company’s overall success. When employees are healthier and happier, they produce better work and experience a more positive company culture. Not to mention, healthier happier employees equate to increased employee retention and reduced health insurance costs for the company.

At CKO: CKO franchises work with companies to create corporate discount programs that will benefit employees. Companies can also offer their employees CKO wellness classes, private group glasses and team and goal training.

CKO’s value system, which is incorporated into the structure of the CKO workout, has great similarities to that of many company teams. It’s about community, individual talents, pushing yourself to be your best and supporting each other. It’s about the realization that everyone is different, and thus come from their own place, with their own personal value. This is why team trainings at CKO are so impactful.


#19 Small 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 Small 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.



So, there you have it. The CKO workout isn’t just on the list; it hits the mark on an overwhelming majority of this year’s fitness trends.

The multifaceted nature of the CKO workout is what makes it so powerful. Whatever you’re looking for in a workout, you can find it here. The results are proof of that.

Throughout 2019, remind yourself of the value you’re getting with every strike you throw, every burpee you master, and every plank you hold. Whatever your goals, whatever your fitness needs may be, by being a CKO member, let’s just say you’re golden!


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