In 2006, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® developed and widely disseminated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals worldwide to determine trends in the health and fitness industry. Some of the trends first identified for 2007 have moved up and stayed at the top of the list since the first survey was published, whereas other new trends appear to be emerging for 2014, and still others have dropped out of the top 20.
To learn more, check out, the Top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2014:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): With rising rush against time, HIIT training is destined for greatness in 2014. High-intensity interval training, involves working out as hard as you can for a short burst of time, followed by a short, less-intense period. This type of exercise training is scientifically proven to burn nine times more ugly, unwanted body fat than ordinary exercise.
Body-Weight Training: This form of fitness training involves the use of minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive way to exercise effectively. Body weight training is not limited to push-ups and pull-ups, but it can be much more than that. As the no. 3 position suggested last year, Body Weight Training may be a trend to watch for the future.
Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: Rounding out the top three biggest fitness trends for the coming year is “Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to predict “…employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 24% from 2010 to 2020” ( http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Strength Training: Strength Training dropped to no. 4 in this year’s survey after being at the no. 2 position for 2 years but has been a strong trend since the first year of this survey. Weight training should be included in cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation or metabolic disease management programs.
Exercise and Weight loss: The combination of Exercise and Weight Loss is a trend toward incorporating all weight loss programs with a sensible exercise program. Exercise and Weight Loss has been a growing trend since the survey began. The combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight loss maintenance and can improve compliance to caloric restriction diets and in particular weight loss programs.
Personal Training: Attention has recently been paid to the education (through third-party accreditation of CAAHEP) and certification (through third-party accreditation by NCCA) of personal trainers. Although there have been some minor variations of personal training (e.g., small groups as opposed to one-on-one), respondents to this survey believe that personal trainers will continue to be an important part of the professional staff of health and fitness centers.
Fitness Programs for Older Adults: The concern for the health of aging adults has been consistently at the top of this survey, and this year is no different. Fitness Programs for Older Adults will remain a strong trend for 2014. Health and fitness professionals can take advantage of this growing population by providing age-appropriate and safe exercise programs. The highly active older adult (the athletic old) can be targeted by commercial and community-based organizations to participate in more rigorous exercise programs, including strength training and team sports.
Functional Fitness: Strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance and improved ability to perform activities of daily living is classified as functional fitness. Many exercise programs for the older age group are often composed of Functional Fitness activities. Functional Fitness also is used in clinical programs to imitate activities done around the home.
Group Personal Training: This trend allows the personal trainer to provide personal service to clients in a small group of two to four, offering potentially deep discounts to each member of the group. In these continuing challenging economic times when true personal income may be decreasing (and almost certainly discretionary spending), personal trainers must be more creative in the way they package personal training sessions. Training two or three people at the same time in a small group seems to make good economic sense for both the trainer and the client.
Yoga: Yoga seems to be making a comeback in 2014. Seemingly reinventing itself every year, Yoga comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (the one done in hot and humid environments). Other forms of Yoga include Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga. Instructional tapes and books are abundant, as are the growing numbers of certifications for the many Yoga formats.
The survey included more than 3,815 fitness professionals around the globe who were asked to pick their predictions for 2014 fitness trends.