Are You Ready For The Future of Fitness? - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Are You Ready For The Future of Fitness?

The Ask Men’s Health podcast is back to discuss the direction of the fitness industry after a year of unprecedented changes.

Over the past year, we’ve racked up more burpees, push ups and air squats than we care to count.

When lockdown forced us to stay at home, the traditional gym model – long the epicentre of the fitness world – was put at risk. Some gyms were able to innovate, pivoting their service to an online model that enabled members to train from home.

While others were less fortunate, with the reduced footfall forcing them to close their doors permanently. On the gym-goer side of things, a similar dichotomy occurred.

Some of us relished the opportunity to shake things up, while it prompted others to stop training altogether. Elsewhere, those of us not accustomed to regular exercise, found it to be their only ability to leave the house, and in many cases, to relieve stress. As such, new habits were formed; some good, some less so.

Now that lockdown has ended (touch wood), we’re left to make sense of the past year and ask which changes we’d like to cary forward and which we can leave in 2021.

On this week’s episode of Ask Men’s Health, powered by Samsung, we attempt to make sense of these seismic shifts within the fitness industry, before assessing what the future might entail. To do so, we’re joined by Shaun Townsend, exercise physiologist at the innovative Lockeroom Gym.

While many gyms were going all-in on remote training programs over the past year, Lockeroom doubled down in the opposite direction, opening a high end gym dedicated to the in-person training experience.

As a trainer who has worked on both sides of the fence – at a major gym franchise and, now, a more boutique offering – Townsend offers his opinion on the value of in-person training versus remote or online training, and offers his vision for the future of fitness, one that involves greater attention to mastering the fundamentals of movement.

Having trained clients throughout the pandemic, Townsend breaks down the vital link between mental and physical health and the role of exercise in helping us counter stress and operate in a high performance environment. With the help of Men’s Health editor Scott Henderson we also look to the future and assess the merits of virtual reality training.

It’s a conversation on the changing nature of gyms and what they can offer. But more than that, it’s an opportunity to reevaluate our relationship with exercise and what we want from it.

Check out the full episode below.



By Christopher Riley

Christopher Riley is the editorial director of Men’s Health and Women’s Health, and the editor-in-chief of Esquire Australia. Formerly deputy editor of GQ, Riley published his first book in 2022, with Penguin Random House.

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