Michelle Bridges celebrates a decade of transforming Aussie lives by counting down the top 10 most notable health and fitness trends of the past 10 years
Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) program has revolutionised the lives of half a million everyday Australians, with membership numbers in the hundreds of thousands, countless physical and psychological transformations, and a weight loss count of 1.8 million kilograms.
To mark the 10 year anniversary of 12WBT and the next round kicking off on November 16, Bridges has released her top 10 favourite 12WBT recipes to the public for free. She’s also counting down the past decade’s top 10 most notable health and fitness trends – the hits (and a few misses) that made a mark on the world of health and fitness – for better or worse.
All-time favourite 12WBT recipes – available now for free!
To celebrate 12WBT’s decade milestone, Michelle Bridges is releasing her top 10 all-time favourite recipes from the 12WBT program, available here for everyone to access for the next six weeks. Testimonials over the last 10 years have shown that it’s the recipes that people love and recognise 12BWT for the most. Who says you can’t have banana bread on a weight loss program? Michelle and her team have mastered the balance between nutritious, delicious, and well-portioned recipes. Some of Michelle’s favourites over the last decade include the Mini Chocolate Fudge Cakes with Ice Cream, Beef and Guinness Pie with Potato Topping and theNot So Naughty Nachos.
Michelle’s top 10 notable health and fitness trends of the past 10 years
1. Online health and fitness programs
“Why is this my top trend? Online workouts came into full force this decade and allowed fitness to be accessible to everyone! For those without gym memberships; those who live rurally; those with time constraints; and, more recently, the whole country during COVID lockdown. Online workouts have seriously changed the fitness game, by creating a range of training environments to support each and every person, in a location that suited them best. This is a trend that I see only growing in the future as technology continues to evolve,” says Michelle.
“I’m pretty sure this trend was so powerful it invented a word – ‘Athleisure’. Who remembers *that* viral video from 2015?! I had my mouth open for the entirety of my first time viewing it but I do think it pretty much sums it up – we started doing everything in our activewear! No longer reserved for the gym, activewear became a mainstay of everyday lifestyle fashion – to be worn anywhere and everywhere. I don’t know who started or drove this trend but I’d like to thank them. Comfort, ease, multi-purpose. It also meant saying goodbye to the days when you’d pack an extra outfit in your gym bag,” adds Michelle.
3. Smashed avo on toast
“What started as a Sydney millennial brunch served at pricey, boutiquey cafes, is now a staple snack or meal for Aussies all over the country – and boy am I glad to hear it! Avocados have never been so popular and, as a result, they’re available to purchase at the supermarket all year round. Avocado contains a rich amount of healthy fats and is the perfect accompaniment for all sorts of yummy toast toppings – eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon… or how I like it, with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon – yum!” Michelle says.
4. Wearable technology
“Wearable technology includes everything from fitness trackers to smart watches to HR monitors,”says Michelle. “The humble pedometer and wristwatch have come a long way! Over the last decade, we’ve seen wearable technology become a billion dollar industry worldwide. The information made available to us through wearable technology (heart rate, calories burned, stress levels) has empowered so many people on their fitness journeys. Knowledge is power! And knowing these stats at all times is helpful to everyone from a beginner road-running for the first time, to a professional athlete. Wearables have transformed the health and fitness landscape – and for the better!”
“CrossFit skyrocketed in popularity through the 2010s and is still going strong today,” says Michelle.“A combination of gymnastics, weights, and functional training, CrossFit focuses on training the whole body, and conquering strenuous obstacles at the same time. It’s high-intensity and the aim is to build proficiency and strength in the type of movements you perform in everyday life which allows our bodies to continue functioning at their best! CrossFit has a range of great benefits but, like any exercise, it’s important you’re performing the movements with correct form, in line with what is healthy for your own body.”
“I know so many people who fell hard for Zumba – those in the fitness industry and everyday Aussies alike,” says Michelle. “Dancing became a MAJOR form of fitness in the 2010s, and Zumba led the charge. It grew exponentially, with (mostly) women flocking to their gym to try the salsa-inspired, high-energy, I-dare-you-to-get-bored Zumba classes. They were inclusive, fun-filled, and made cardio feel like a party! Finally!”
“From essential oils to meditation, wellness has really come to the forefront of the health and fitness space in the last decade. With a focus on mindfulness and emotional and mental health, wellness practices now sit alongside fitness and good nutrition in terms of how we take care of our bodies. These past ten years have seen meditation practices become more mainstream, helping many people around the world feel more centered and self-aware. Now, more than ever, we explore forms of alternative therapies, including breath work, cupping, acupuncture, infrared saunas, aromatherapy… for physical pain and stress relief and to help with anxiety, digestion, and mood. And there’s an app for everything now too!” Michelle says.
8. Meal Kits
“Making it convenient to eat healthier without having to worry about what’s on the menu, meal kits and subscription services have popped up EVERYWHERE in the last few years especially,” notes Michelle.“Their popularity comes down to their speed and convenience, matched with good taste and healthy ingredients. I have to admit, the food is often really good! And with the price often being on the steeper side, more brands are now expanding in-store to cut down on delivery fees, partnering with some of our major retailers in the process.”
“Fitness professionals have had to adapt to this brave new world of fitness influencers and the limitless resources that they promote,” Michelle says. “Scoff as some may, fitness influencers have well and truly made fitness relatable and accessible. They’ve encouraged a whole new generation of people to consider health and fitness an essential part of their lives. Previous to this last decade, I’d argue the fitness industry felt very exclusive, and you’d only see celebrities or professional athletes selling the idea of fit living. Now, in a lot of cases, it’s so much more believable to hear it from a regular person on social media, who happens to have thousands or millions of followers. Their content is often free, so pick your influencer right (this part is very important – look for their accreditations), and you’ll be able to access some awesome, effective workouts and advice.”
10. Fit is not a body type
“Weight is not the only indicator of someone’s health or fitness,” says Michelle.“Over the last 10 years, we really saw the body-positivity movement explode into public consciousness. The champions of this movement – in fitness, fashion and media – made a real splash, workout hard, loud and proud, with self love and self respect. As an industry, we needed this shift. Both ladies and lads addressed weight bias in all sorts of ways, from assumptions about health to normalising body types and positive body image. Importantly, for women, strong (not just ‘skinny’) was championed, and this is an important shift that holds many benefits for both physical and mental health. Fitness is for everybody, no matter who you are or what you look like!”
Finally, the trends of the last decade that got people talking
“We’ve seen a number of health and fitness trends make a lot of noise in the health and fitness world – some have been great. Others…have raised more than a few eyebrows,” Michelle says.
“Who could forget the infamous waist trainers? They were plugged hard by American celebrity influencers and eventually made their way to our Aussie shores. Worn while ‘working out’, the compressive abdominal tube supposedly ‘targeted fat loss’ in the ab area – helping you to sweat more and contour the body into a more hourglass shape. I’m not sure there was any scientific proof to back these claims and it’s a pass from me!”
“But that doesn’t mean we didn’t try every other ‘miracle fix’ we could get our hands on,” adds Michelle. “Who remembers those awful Detox teas – they were everywhere! Detox teas are essentially laxatives and prolonged use can cause diarrhea, cramps and bowel dysfunction. Not something I’d ever sign up for. I’m a big advocate for taking your time and putting in the effort to get the results you want. Work hard, eat right, and you can make a change to your body, mind and soul that can last a lifetime, not just a few days or months.”
“Stationary vibration plates were another big thing for a while,” Michelle says. “These bad boys promised to break up cellulite, improve muscle strength and increase bone density. If you’ve ever been home watching TV between the hours of 9am-11am, you’ve probably seen the infomercials selling the latest and greatest fitness machines that will magically make you fit and healthy (with the six-pack of your DREAMS). It just doesn’t work like that, folks! We’re far better off exercising, improving our nutrition and watching our overall energy expenditure.”
“It seems during this time, we were all obsessed with ‘cleansing’, and this last one falls under that umbrella too,” Michelle adds.“I’m talking about juice cleanses – the unrealistic and potentially dangerous notion that drinking only juice for days on end would clear out all the ‘bad stuff’. The human body does not need any help ridding itself of toxins – we have a liver and kidney for that!”