Fitness trends: what’s next?

The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal undertook their ninth annual survey of fitness trends for 2015. The survey was sent out to thousands of fitness professionals worldwide, asking them to rank 39 fitness trends.

It’s often challenging to identify trends in the industry because of all the white noise created by the latest fad. As a PT, the ability to wade through differences between trends and fads is critical.

Below are the top trends identified by more than 3400 survey respondents.

  1. Body weight training
    This is most definitely not a new trend – the ancient Greeks and Romans were big on push ups and sit ups thousands of years ago, but the term is a little more recent. What is new is the way commercial gyms are promoting it, which has seen a surge in its popularity.
  2. High-intensity interval training (HIT)
    Undertaking short, intense bursts of activity with a short rest period generally takes less than 30 minutes. HIT’s popularity comes despite survey respondents warning this type of training may have a potentially high injury rate.
  3. Educated, certified and experienced personal trainers
    This is a trend we are very happy to see. The more registered trainers we have, the more accountability our industry has a whole. Registering with organisations such as Physical Activity Australia provides trainers with ongoing support and professional development opportunities to ensure they are offering the best possible service to their clients.
  4. Strength training
    The survey respondents recognised strength training as being an essential part of a complete exercise program for everyone, regardless of fitness level, age or gender.
  5. Personal training
    Demand for personal trainers in Australia has grown by nine percent in the last five years, as Australians have become more health conscious and more aware of weight-loss programs and fitness regimes.

Rounding out the top 10 trends were: exercise and weight loss; yoga; fitness programs for older adults; functional fitness and group personal training.

Fitness trends expected to drop over the course of the year include Zumba, indoor cycling, pilates, and stability balls.

Lead author of the survey, Walter R Thompson, wasn’t surprised to see body weight training claiming top spot this year. “These kinds of exercises provide the benefit of requiring little to no equipment and are incorporated into many fitness programs that are currently popular,” he said.

PAA will be organising a webinar in the near future about what these trends mean for you.

Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015: What’s driving the market?
ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal

Personal Trainers in Australia: Market Research Report, April 2015