With a fitness industry saturated in a range of classes and constantly evolving fitness trends, it’s understandable that it might be difficult to come up with something original. Fitness is huge business, with the popularity of fitness fashion, active retreats and studios with smoothie bars constantly on the rise. The market just seems to be getting bigger and as a result, fitness companies are constantly looking to offer something fresh and new to the market. As fitness bloggers we are often invited to try out new classes (SUP yoga – great fun, dancing in the dark with neon lights – not so much) but in general we never veer far from our running trainers, circuits class and the yoga mat. If if ain’t broke, why fix it seems to be our motto.
However, we received an invitation recently that got us thinking about the lengths that some companies go to to find a potential gap in the market; more importantly, it highlighted to us how easily these trends can change from being exciting new ways to stay fit to down right ridiculous and possibly dangerous. With social media playing such a pivotal role in the industry, it is worrying that the market seems to be unregulated leaving companies free to entice their clients any way they choose. The class in questions was called ‘Flatline’: it claims to be the toughest fitness class in the world, boasting that, ‘it is so tough, and potentially deadly, that emergency medics are in attendance and participants need to sign a disclaimer waiver before starting… you might even want to sign the organ donor register.’ In case you were wondering, it also has a compulsory oxygen station installed as part of the cool-down… If you weren’t feeling tempted already, the company reminds you that many people’s dream is “to have a body to die for. With Flatline that will be a lot closer than some people think.” Now is it just me, or is this absolute madness? Of course a lot of this is probably bravado, but it does beggar belief that this company seems to be glamourising the possibility of cardiac arrest in its attempt to lure me in. Doesn’t this cardiologist have something better and more worthwhile to do with his time than attend a faddy fitness class?! Having seen one man tragically suffering from cardiac arrest at the Royal Parks Half Marathon and Jess having helped a man in a similar situation at another event, this class seems utterly irresponsible to me,
In their defence, the company does state that you must be in prime fitness to take part, but then again I was invited without having to tell them anything about my fitness levels or experience. It might seem exciting (the treadmill is mind-numbingly boring after all) but I wonder what would happen if someone did collapse in a class and had to receive treatment from the cardiologist? What if this person, like the man I saw at the half-marathon, wasn’t able to be saved? Would it then seem new or exciting? I think not. Don’t get me wrong, I love to challenge my body and push my limits, that’s why I’ve run marathons and taken part in triathlons. The difference is, I train for these events over many months so that when I compete I know that my body is capable of making it to the finish line. Would it be able to get through a Flatline class? I’m afraid I’m not willing to find out. For the time being, I’d much rather stick to my yoga mat.
What’s your view on fitness trends?