Every year for the past 14 years the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys trends of commercial, clinical, community, and corporate fitness & health industry to give a state of the trends. It is designed to confirm or identify trends that have a positive effect on the industry. That is, profit, participation, and is according to the opinion of the survey respondents. The intention of the survey is for readers to determine the application to their business model. This survey of fitness trends then is for profit optimization by fitness agencies.
Please note that last statement!! This survey is not intended to provide end-users, participants, with suggestions or confirm they’re using the right programs. This survey is about “perceived positive effect on the industry.”
This survey is for the fitness professional and health club industry. It is not intended to be a suggestion for participation. It is not a top 10 of best exercise modalities. Though it is often misconstrued as that. In fact, results were reported by US News, in an article ending with “Which trend should you choose?”
This survey has been helpful in identifying trends vs fads.
Fad: being a fashion taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period
And a trend: a general development or change in a situation or in a way that people are behaving.
A trend then, has sticking power. Those items that make the top 20 list repeatedly and specifically the top 10 have the most sticking power. Keep in mind that can be for many reasons and can benefit all involved. While some may enjoy wild participation by numbers but not long term results. Nothing here speaks to optimal results, or to injury rates. Just be mindful as you listen or read.
At least 3000 fitness professionals all over the world were surveyed about 2020 fitness trends. Respondents’ demographics including years of experience, occupation, income are revealed as part of the results. There is a wide variety of occupations at a variety of agencies included: personal trainer, fitness gym owner, university professor, clinical physiologist, registered dietitian. Most were recruited from within the American College of Sports Medicine certified pros, social media followers, and summit attendees.
1 Wearable technology
This trend has held this spot since 2016.
It’s a $95 billion industry. If you’ve got a Fit Bit, an Apple watch or a Garmin you’re contributing to this one. We seem to love our technology. I’m all for tracking, in fact if it’s “lacking the tracking” it probably won’t stick. But what is still illusive is whether or not you’re tracking the things that matter and if your tech tool is accurate.
Best to track? Body composition. Hands down if you’re only tracking weight you’re missing the importance of this health and longevity factor. That said, it’s not a wearable, yet. Tracking sleep, and heart rate, especially if you have done a test to know where it should be during exercise (math equations don’t cut it) is valuable information.
You do have control over quality and quantity of sleep. Click here for more.
2 High-Intensity interval training (HIIT) HIIT was #1 in 2014 and 2018, #3 in 2016 and 2017 top 5 between 2014 and 2020.
Despite warnings about increased injury rates that have coincided with the popularity of high-intensity interval training this one is still a top trend.
Fast twitch-focused intervals ARE important for adults 50+. Fast twitch fibers are lost twice as fast as slow. You don’t want to lose this direct connection to metabolism and reaction skills that will prevent falls and keep you safely active.
3 Group training in 2020 Fitness Trends Group training is defined as more than 5 participants. It made the top 20 list first in 2017, then jumped to #2 in 2018 and 2019. Is it popular because of the group training push by trainers and gyms for monetizing space and money or by increased results and benefit? Or because certainly there are socialization benefits in gathering people of like-minded goals together.
4 Training with free weights This trend debuts at #4 in 2020 as a unique category by itself. Free weight training is nothing new. Yet, survey administrators thought it deserved a unique category potentially because the free weight space in gyms today compared to 10 years ago reveals a more equalitarian use across ages and genders.
This? Is a girl’s best friend at any age. Lift. Love. Do Life. Check the next STRONGER program.
5 Personal training This category includes trainers online, at health clubs, home, and worksites. It’s been a top 10 trend since 2006 when the survey first published.
6 Exercise is Medicine This is up in 2020 from 7, 12, and 10 in recent past years.
This trademarked term is the project of the American Medical Association and The American College of Sports Medicine. Activity assessments and integrated…