Fitness Trends: Hot or Not?
May 21, 2014 - 4:25:06 PM

( - New York, NY April 29, 2014 - With springtime underway and summer just around the corner, many people are focusing their energy on getting their butts back into shape. Unfortunately, what used to be a simple trip to the gym has now turned into a roundabout of trial and error, trying each of the new classes and trendy workouts that keep popping up. Variety is both fun and beneficial, but while choosing which activities best suit your needs remember to also be wary of the trendy workouts topping the charts.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

This method of working out is recently seeing a huge surge in popularity. Based on short intervals of high, high energy with a typical work/rest ratio of 2:1, HIIT workouts are known for getting your heart rate high and burning a massive amount of calories in a small amount of time. According to Dr. Weiss, "People are using HIIT for not only aerobic training but weight training as well. HIT for muscular training manipulates the time of both the positive and negative contractions on the muscle, elongating the negative portion."


Why it's HOT: Touted as one of the top fitness trends of 2014, HIIT is praised for increasing your metabolism and being an accessible workout for all. "HIIT workouts are one of the best ways to burn calories and are therefore a great program for weight-loss," explains Dr. Weiss. "When trying to lose weight it is important to focus on the total calories burned in one session, and keeping to a regimen of burning 300-500 calories per session for the majority of the week- which is definitely doable if you stick to a HIIT routine."

But might be NOT: In order to get the best possible outcome from HIIT, you need to make sure that you maintain proper form and keep your work to rest ratios consistent. Failure to do so can mean that certain muscles may be feeling too much strain and, on the flipside, can also mean that you can find yourself ignoring muscle groups completely. Sculpting these workouts by yourself is one of the upsides of HIIT, but without an instructor you may not be hitting all areas of your body. "When doing workouts by yourself, make sure to also keep your program well-rounded," adds Dr. Weiss. "HIIT workouts can lack excitement and may even seem boring. You can try to avoid this by including functional weight training, balance and flexibility exercises as well."

Spinning Class

Boutique spinning studios attract hundreds of thousands of women a year due to the high caloric burn and sweat that is induced in one 45-60 minute class.  With high prices and sign-ups before each class, there is also a level of commitment and exclusivity, making the spin studio the place to be.


Why it's HOT: With both high energy and high caloric burn, one spin class will make you feel like you can take over the world. Dr. Weiss adds, "Spin classes are a great way to get people interested in activities such as real cycling and biking, which are great functional sports that can be done anywhere in the world."

But might be NOT: If you replace all of your workouts with only spinning, you could potentially find yourself reaching a fitness plateau. Keeping your fitness routine the same day after day will only keep you working the same muscles, leading to muscle imbalances and a halt in your desired weight-loss. "If cycling is your only form of exercise, you will develop a specific body type with calves and thighs dominating. Tight abdominals, short hip flexors and a hunched posture is not good if you have a history of Lower Back Pain (LBP). This is definitely something to keep in mind if you are thinking about trying a spinning class," Dr. Weiss advises.


Cross Fit

This full-body workout has been made extremely popular in the past couple years, especially in tandem with trendy diets such as going paleo or vegan. This "prehistoric" approach to fitness combines body weight exercises with cardio and weights to make your body go through the ultimate test. With CrossFit gyms popping up in every city there is no doubt that people swear by the routine, but is it really as beneficial as many say?


Why it's HOT: Men and women alike tend to love the small-gym culture, along with the fact that anyone, any age can do it. It is also praised for its full-body complete workout that keeps you from getting stuck in the dreaded workout rut. "CrossFit combines Olympic lifting, acrobatic training, gymnastics, martial arts and functional movements, creating some of the best physical workouts in the world," Dr. Weiss says. "One must: you need a great trainer for this form of exercise. Understanding the technique for each of the movements is paramount for acquiring the skill."

But might be NOT: There have been many recent reports of injury coming directly from CrossFit training.  These injuries are minor sprains and strains of muscle tendon and ligament, but there have also been reports of severe dislocations- and even spinal cord injury. "High intensity, high volume and complex skill can make CrossFit a stage for injury.  The intensity of the techniques involved require a higher amount of force that almost any other fitness regimens," Dr. Weiss explains. "I usually see one person every few months injured specifically from CrossFit, but then in contrast, others I work with have changed their life with Cross Fit."


Hot Yoga

While yoga has long been a mainstay in the fitness world, hot yoga has recently gained a strong following. What makes hot yoga different? The room is heated to upwards of 100° for the duration of the 90 minute class, which makes participants sweat like they've never sweat before. One plus is that if you already know basic yoga flow you can jump right in, unlike some other activities which require a little period of learning and adjustment.


Why it's HOT: Well, the room- literally! The increased heat makes your muscles, tendons and ligaments have more elongation, allowing you to assume the postures more easily. Devotees also say they feel much lighter after a good class, in both mind and body. According to Dr. Weiss, the great sweat you develop during a class of hot yoga allows you to release all of your toxins, which explains the amazing feeling you'll have once it's over.

But might be NOT: No matter how slow the movements are, exercising in a 100° room can definitely cause discomfort for some. Feeling dizzy and lightheaded is not uncommon, and, as Dr. Weiss adds, "increased elasticity is the whole reason for hot yoga, but you need to be cautious and not overdo it. The heat can trick people into pushing themselves too far which can result in injury."

Meet Dr. Scott Weiss, D.P.T., A.T., CSCS.

Dr. Scott Weiss is a licensed physical therapist and board certified athletic trainer in the state of New York.  He is also a registered exercise physiologist, strength and conditioning specialist and advanced personal trainer with over twenty years of experience. Scott possesses both a bachelor's and master's degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate in physical therapy.  His affiliations and certifications with all the major certifying bodies domestically and internationally like the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), American Society of Exercise Physiologist (ASEP), allows him to be a consultant to collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes as well as a trainer to the stars.  Throughout his career he had the pleasure and good fortune to work with some of the world's elite athletes. These include several United States Olympic Teams, National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and the New York Liberty-WNBA.   In 2012, Scott was selected to be a member of the United States sports medical team for the Olympic Games in London where he provided emergency medical and physical therapy services to the U.S. Sailing Team.  He also served as part of the USOC sports medical team in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games. Presently, his Company Bodhizone for Human Performance & Sports Physical Therapy in New York City is a hub for our of Olympian needing Sports Medicine services in Manhattan.

Scott's emphasis of research and area of expertise in physical therapy is rehabilitation of the knee, shoulder and hip.  As a registered exercise physiologist, his interests are in biomechanics of movement and human performance testing. As an author and lecturer, Dr. Weiss has written a myriad of articles and has lectured in almost every university in greater New York and is currently an Assistant Professor at Long Island University in the Department of Athletic Training, Health & Exercise Science. He teaches Therapeutic Exercise and Entrepreneurship for the Health Professional and his lectures and articles are on the prevention of exercise injures, flexibility, weight-loss and integrative medicine. Many of these articles can be seen on this website and in the press.


His clinical experience over the years fostered his ideas into research so far that he has been published in peer reviewed medical journals. Scott also lectures for both profit and non-profit organizations on exercise, nutrition, public health, safety and first aid. Dr. Weiss is involved with charitable organizations and gives his time freely to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Boomer Esiasion Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, NY Road Runners Club (NYC Marathon), Long Island Transplant Organization and many high-schools and colleges in New York State.


Scott is presently the owner and clinical director of Bodhizone for Human Performance & Sports Physical Therapy, PC. He has four offices in New York City, midtown east, upper east side, down in gramercy and in Astoria, Queens.  A physical therapy or fitness session at Bodhizone is guaranteed to be unique and effective each and every time. Scott and his staff combine yoga, martial arts, sports, physical therapy and functional strength training into many of the workouts, enabling you the patient, to heal while improving your overall health and fitness level.  Bodhizone specializes in creating sport specific workouts for all sports and customizing physical and fitness training sessions to meet your rehabilitation goals and needs of your body.



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