The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2019

Cryochambers? Matcha? Meditation? So 2019. If you haven’t tried an infrared sauna, dandelion coffee, or a sound bath, don’t worry, just about no one has. But they’re the workout and nutrition trends you need to know right now.

Status Sport

Golf was the default way to mix work and play until surfing-obsessed Hollywood types combined taking meetings with tackling swells. Now, thanks to bouldering’s popularity with the start-up set, indoor climbing is about to become the go-to “sweatworking” sport. Last year, five new climbing gyms opened in the trendy Southern California market alone, and spots like San Francisco’s Dogpatch Bouldersare the hot places to be seen.

Recovery Method

Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a frequent guest on the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, has been singing the sauna’s praises to the influential UFC commentator, fitness nut, and cryotherapy early adopter. It relaxes muscles, increases circulation, and can burn calories and mimic cardiovascular conditioning. And infrared saunas, whose heat penetrates more effectively than that from traditional hot boxes, are becoming popular with the CrossFit crowd.


The coffee alternative you’re about to see in health stores everywhere (or are already ordering at fashionable L.A. spots like Kitchen Mouse and Amara Kitchen) is simply a powder of roasted dandelion root steeped in hot water or milk. The slightly bitter drink has numerous uses—weight-loss aid, stomach soother, liver cleanser, even a possible cancer-fighter. One brand, Dandy Blend, is already in 1,000 retail locations nationwide.


The “science” behind Paleo is looking increasingly questionable. A recent piece in the New York Times suggested that eating carbs helped humans jump to the top of the food chain, and the World Health Organization labeled all red meat “probably carcino­genic” in October. Further proof: The Instagram account @girlswithgluten, fetishizing attractive women enjoying bready goodness, has more than 53,000 followers.

Head Clearer

The Integratron dome in Joshua Tree, California, is famous for mindfulness sessions in which singing bowls are amplified in a special acoustic chamber. The method, which also uses chimes and gongs, dates back to Buddhist practices throughout Asia. Now spas, retreats, and hip mindfulness workshops like the Santa Monica studio Unplug Meditation and Brooklyn’s Maha Rose Center for Healing are bringing it into the mainstream.

Gym Crowd to Avoid

First you let the powerlifting bro have the squat rack; now you have to escape comic-book obsessives and GoT superfans. Gyms like Nerdstrong, in L.A., create workouts around kicking down dungeon doors and raiding temples, while Camp Nerd Fitness, in Georgia, sold out its second annual gathering this fall, with geeks traveling from across the globe to engage in medieval combat and gaming, as well as boot camps and yoga.

A (Very) Abridged Gym-to-English Dictionary

AMRAP (adj. \’am-rap\ )
As Many Rounds As Possible (repeating a move as often as possible within a time limit).
Popular at: CrossFit
Used in a sentence: “Each set is 10 push-ups and 20 air squats, amrap-style. The time is 15 minutes. And . . . GO!”

AFTERBURN (noun \’af-ter-‘bern\ )
A boost in metabolism that lasts for hours after a strenuous workout.
Popular at: Orangetheory Fitness
Used in a sentence: “Keep that heart rate up on the rowers if you want the full afterburn.”

POOD (noun \’püd\ )
A Russian unit of weight equal to about 36 pounds.
Popular at: Kettlebell class
Used in a sentence: “Dude’s a beast—I saw him doing single-arm swings with a two-pood bell!”

ROOSTER SQUAD (noun \’rüs-ter ‘skwäd\ )
The group attending the earliest class of the day.
Popular at: SoulCycle
Used in a sentence: “I have to hit the sack. I’m trying to make the rooster squad tomorrow.”


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