Fitness has finally begun to mirror Society 2.0, and like a culture bent on distilling all information to 140 characters or less, its more mobile, fast-paced, and celebrity obsessed than ever. Were living in a decidedly post-bootcamp world, where intensity is king and rivalries between spin classes put March Madness beef to shame. Its a lot to process for even the most die-hard gym rats, but below are five of the hottest trends to follow this season and how theyre changing the way we work out forever. 
The 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games. For all those who still label CrossFit a passing fitness fad, weve got bad news: Its here to stay, and in a big way. This years CrossFit Open an early qualifying stage for the Games attracted nearly 140,000 participants worldwide. Top athletes from the Open will compete in their respective regions in late May, and the best of the best will then advance to the Games, held from July 22nd to the 28th at Los Angeles Home Depot Home Depot Center. Tune in on ESPN2 to see two-time champs Rich Froning and Annie Thorisdottir defend their titles and compete for the $250,000 grand prizes in a grueling series of workouts designed to test skill, strength, endurance, and mental fortitude.
The Battle for Indoor Cycling Supremacy. Those in New York City might know of indoor cycling chains SoulCycle and Flywheel, but the whole world is about to get a little more familiar with spinning. SoulCycle was founded in 2006, and the Equinox-owned company is undergoing a massive expansion to add to its 15 locations on both coasts. But Flywheel founded in 2009 by a former SoulCycle partner is also growing fast and already boasts 23 locations in the U.S. and Dubai. The two companies and their dedicated followers are locked in a sweaty, pedal-pumping race to the top, and no matter the weather, this summer will see them battling over new converts who prefer to get their fix indoors.
Brick Goes Bi-Coastal. Already one of the West Coasts hottest gyms, Brick CrossFit is coming to NYC. The Chelsea location is slated to open mid to late summer and is the companys first expansion outside of West Hollywood. With celebrity clients including Bob Harper and The New Girl actor Max Greenfield, Brick brings a bit of showbiz flare to functional fitness. Whether that attitude translates into a CrossFit-obsessed New York market is one of the Northeast fitness communitys biggest questions for the summer.
Obstacle Races Become the New Marathon. Chances are youve either run an obstacle race, know someone whos run an obstacle race, or know someone whos trying their hardest to recruit you for an obstacle race. The meteoric rise of companies like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, and Warrior Dash has added some new twists to distance running, and more people are ditching the marathon in favor of races that include climbing walls, electrified barbed wire, and lots and lots of mud. Big-name fitness companies are making moves to gain entry into the budding sport, and Reebok and Spartan Race led the way by signing a title sponsorship in January.
America (Finally) Embraces Bike Sharing. This ones a win for our health and the environment. A longtime mainstay of European plazas, bike share programs have been slower to catch on stateside. The first U.S. program opened in 2008 and allowed prospective peddlers to rent and drop off bikes at stations in cities like Atlanta and Denver. Now the bike sharing stations have finally come to NYC, and sunny weather could mean more people choosing bikes over a tourist-laden subway system. Happy riding!
David Tao is the Chief Research Officer at Greatist, the webs most trusted health and fitness resource. Get health and fitness tips at Greatist and follow the author @d_tao.
- ^ intensity is king (www.forbes.com)
- ^ Games (www.forbes.com)
- ^ CrossFit Open (games.crossfit.com)
- ^ Home Depot (www.forbes.com)
- ^ Home Depot (www.forbes.com)
- ^ SoulCycle (www.soul-cycle.com)
- ^ Flywheel (www.flywheelsports.com)
- ^ race to the top (www.slate.com)
- ^ Brick CrossFit (brickcrossfit.com)
- ^ Chelsea location (commercialobserver.com)
- ^ Max Greenfield (games.crossfit.com)
- ^ Reebok and Spartan Race (shop.reebok.com)
- ^ bike sharing stations have finally come to NYC (greatist.com)
- ^ Greatist (greatist.com)
- ^ Get health and fitness tips at Greatist (greatist.com)
- ^ @d_tao (twitter.com)
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