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1 Workouts That Changed My Fitness Routine This Year
Nov 02, 2016

It’s easy to get stuck in a fitness rut, doing the same routine and following the same class schedule week after week. It’s especially easy to avoid mixing it up when they are workouts you truly enjoy doing.

But changing up your workout routine keeps you more engaged and present during your training session—when it’s something new, your mind and muscles can’t cruise on autopilot. “Variety in your workout routine can challenge you and push you in new ways,” Diana Mitrea, NYC-based trainer and co-founder of Stronger With Time previously told SELF. “One of the best ways to jumpstart your system back into full gear is finding a new workout.” So in order to continue seeing progress—whether it’s reaching a weight-loss goal, finding new strength gains, working toward a skill (like doing a pull-up), or setting a 5K record—you need to shake up your workout routine a bit.

As SELF’s senior digital fitness editor I’m constantly trying new classes and testing new fitness trends (and probably Instagramming about it). Here are the training styles that have caught my eye, and have helped remix my regular workout routine this year.

1. WOOM Center offers an immersive workout experience.

When done correctly, immersive fitness experiences can enhance your workout—think video installations and music timed to match the intensity of your training session. When used frivolously, it’s just a gimmick. But, the concept of sense-enhancing workouts has been gaining traction, and the workouts I’ve tried have been nothing short of weird and stimulating in all of the right ways. Earlier this month I stopped by the just-opened WOOM Center for a five-sensory yoga experience. The studio features an audio/visual system that displays projections throughout the Vinyasa sequence. There are also vocal and vibrational sound meditation segments, aromatherapy mists, and a tasty juice shot after practice. During class, the extra effects were used to intensify and enhance my focus—it felt like I was practicing yoga in the middle of a mandala—and the vibrational instruments utilized during restorative poses helped deepen my sense of relaxation.

I haven't had a chance to make it to a class at IMAXShift cycling studio yet, but my colleagues have told me that the class stadium is outfitted with a large movie theater screen and each ride will take you on a journey—think along the coastline or in outer space. Here the videos are used to create a fun distraction during a workout that can feel a bit repetitive at times.

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