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Fitness Trends 2023: Virtual Reality, Mobility Training, Women Lifting Weights & 'Primal Training'

Updated: Jan 15


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Below is a quick summary of the podcast. If you want to embrace the chaos that is 'Chat Sh*t Get Fit' we'd highly recommend listening above!

Virtual Reality Training

The term virtual reality training refers to the use of virtual reality equipment, such as VR goggles, to enhance health, fitness, and wellness.

The virtual reality training industry is expected to boom in 2023. This is because the augmented reality and virtual reality (VR) industry is expected to reach $80.6 billion by 2029, and Apple is rumored to release a VR headset in 2023.

Virtual Reality Fitness
Virtual Reality Fitness

Most people assume that virtual reality fitness refers to fitness or wellness-related apps. In spite of this, most VR games provide a level of fitness due to the nature of VR.

Beat Saber, for example, requires you to slash notes to a song. As well as being great fun, this activity also results in high levels of physical activity. The following is an example of a 'virtual reality ninja'.

In addition to pulse-pounding games such as Beat Saber, there are also numerous yoga games and wellness/relaxation retreats that allow users to step into serene locations from the comfort of their own home.

It is not likely to be an option for everyone due to the high cost of these devices, especially if you choose a higher end one for a more immersive experience.

This may work for some individuals, however. In the tech health and fitness space, Peloton, for example, has done extremely well.

Imagine being able to select an AI PT with its own custom skin (Ronnie Coleman in your living room) and being guided through a workout by that AI PT.

It is unlikely that the gym will be replaced, but it may be preferred in certain circumstances. So watch this space.

Virtual Reality Boxing
Virtual Reality Boxing

Mobility Training

The trend towards mobility training may be attributed to the increased sedentary lifestyle we are leading as a society. To combat this? We are seeing a rise in mobility training courses and apps.

The answer is not a simple one, however. In general, we can agree that society is becoming more sedentary, but does this mean that mobility training is necessary?

Movement of any kind is beneficial. Weight training, stretching, walking, yoga, mobility CrossFit, or any other form of movement is beneficial.

A great deal of fear mongering has been going on regarding how you need to make sure you are mobile by performing ten exercises before you squat for example.

It is pertinent to note that we are not advocating the avoidance of mobility training. There is just a tendency for people tomisunderstand its significance.

In the gym, you will see people spending 20 minutes foam rolling, for example. This type of mobility training is fine if that is what they wish to do, but most of the time it is done out of fear. 'Oh, if I don't do this, my performance will suffer dramatically or I will risk injuring myself.' This really isn't the case.

Foam Rolling Mobility
Foam Rolling Mobility

Mobility training has also become mainstream due to the rise of apps such as ROMWOD (now Pliability) and GOWOD used by top athletes worldwide. 'If athlete X is doing this every day, then it must be good'

It is unfortunate that some of these apps are quite nocebic in that they attempt to convince you that without them, you will hinder your ability to recover, increase your risk, and limit your performance.

If you are considering investing in mobility apps and courses, you must ask yourself, what are you hoping to accomplish? What outcome are you looking for?

Would extra mobility training be helpful if you were trying to improve a lift such as the overhead squat, and you could already do a full overhead squat with a barbell? This may make you feel more comfortable, but if you follow an appropriate program, your numbers will improve, as well as your mobility.

Again, we are not saying mobility is unimportant, and you should not train for mobility. However, some of these apps may have a double-edged effect.

As long as you're training different planes of movement and not just being like an SBD (squat, bench, deadlift) person, where you're doing the same movements over and over, and you do accessories, move in different planes of movement, and so on, we are confident that you can handle the program.

Mobility Training
Mobility Training

Women Lifting Weights

Historically, women fitness would be portrayed not as lifting weights but cardio machines, spinning classes, yoga, 'legs, bums and tums' you get the point. As we cross into 2023 however, it appears more women are stepping of the stair master and into the free weights section.

On the podcast Tom gave an anecdotal account of what he's noticed

I can speak from what I've witnessed myself. You're right, it's becoming more popular for women to use free weights, and that's awesome.
That's one of the saving graces of social media, I think. Before social media, you might hear, oh, free weights are getting more popular with women, but now it's on social media. You heard it, but you didn't see it.
With social media, you're actually seeing women lifting weights and seeing that they're not turning into she hulks.
If they did want to turn to a she hulk, that's their business, who cares? But you see what I mean?
There's a message out there that, you know, women lift weights, and look, we've got pictures and videos. Nothing terrible happens.

Women Lifting Weight
Women Lifting Weight

We have discussed the benefits of resistance training numerous times on the podcast and this applies to both men and women of all ages. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 should

also do muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.

To Tom's point, social media has enabled many women to share their experiences of being strong, empowering other women with the confidence to work out in the weight room.

We had an awesome conversation with female PT Elisha Scott on the topic of female empowerment so for more on that listen here!

Woman Lifting Weight
Woman Lifting Weight

'Primal Training'

For some people primal training is a subcategory of functional fitness. As a result, they are saying that primal training is exercise that gets you fit for life so that you can function in your daily activities.

CrossFit is often referred to as functional fitness, so the rise of 'primal training' may be related to the rise of CrossFit.

Some believe that primal training attempts to reverse harmful practices in modern society. Therefore, primal training is essentially anti-tech. Due to our desk-bound nature, we focus on improving our posture. This will basically make us a bit more 'primal'. Well, so they claim.

When it comes to functional training, I believe everyone at this point has associated it with CrossFit style training. A wide variety of modalities are mixed together. Although it is possible to argue that anything can be considered 'functional' depending on your objective.

If you want to be a world record holder in the bicep curl, bicep curls are going to be 'functional'. The reality, however, is that most people associate functional fitness with CrossFit style training that allows them to complete everyday tasks with ease.

CrossFit Class
CrossFit Class

The first thing that popped into my head was actually Liver King. So I thought, hang on, primal training like cast away, like just throwing a stick into a river when you catch a fish, crawling on your hands and knees.

In essence, this is a buzzword that is subjective. Cavemen performed the activities they did in order to achieve the goals they were trying to accomplish, such as foraging, hunting, etc.

Identify your goals, and then use the internet (they didn't have it back then) to find information on how to best achieve them.

In addition, if you are concerned about posture etc, I would encourage you to check out the podcast we did on this topic, delving into the latest research in hopes of removing the fear of 'bad posture'

Caveman Primal
Caveman Primal

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