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Results of the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018

Hadyn Luke posted this on Monday 27th of November 2017 Hadyn Luke 27/11/2017

Tags: Industry news

Fitness trends 2018 large

Now in its 12th year, the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends looks ahead to identify the trends of interest to fitness professionals, from personal trainers to sports centre employees and fitness training companies like CMS Fitness Courses.

The survey is carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which consults a wide range of people working in various aspects of the fitness sector.

The 2018 survey sees two new trends enter the top 20 – Licensure for Fitness Professionals and Core Training, while others have moved up or down the list, or dropped off it altogether.

Analysis of the ACSM fitness reports for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 can also be found on our blog site.

No 1 fitness trend

Heading up the list for 2018 is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a trend that previously topped the survey in 2014.

Although some fitness professionals are less keen on using this method of training because of a perceived higher risk of injury, HIIT programmes are followed in gyms across the globe with the aim of seeing positive results fast (see our blogs on How a Personal Trainer can use interval training and The Crossfit Craze.

The rest of the top five

Group Training has also moved up the list, from number six in 2017 to number two for 2018. Group training classes might include aerobics, dance, step or spinning, and would typically have more than five people taking part.

While training in groups has been around for many years and has appeared on the list of fitness trends since it began, a more recent addition is Wearable Technology. This topped the survey of future trends for both 2016 and 2017 – the first two years it appeared on the list – but for 2018 it has dropped to number three.

At number four is another relatively recent trend, Bodyweight Training, down from the no 2 spot last year. While not new as a phenomenon, bodyweight training has only more recently been offered in gyms as a programmed session. In some classes or workouts, equipment such as bands might be used as well as bodyweight exercises, such as push ups.

Retaining its position at no five is Strength Training, popular not only with bodybuilders but also with gym goers who want to improve or maintain their muscular strength and bone density (see our blogs on: The 5 types of strength; Going to failure in strength training; The benefits of strength training for women; and Should young people do strength training?).

Trends 6 to 10

The remainder of the top 10 continues with Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals at no 6. It will come as no surprise that here at CMS Fitness Courses we are keen to see well-qualified personal trainers and fitness instructors in the industry, for the benefit of the public (see our blog on What qualifications do I need to become a PT?).

At no 7 is Yoga (see our blog on Yoga and mental health), up one place from last year. The broad range of classes on offer and the benefits to health and wellbeing are behind the popularity of this particular trend.

Personal Training is at no 8 and, as with Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals, this trend confirms the importance of qualified fitness professionals training individuals and offering advice in a gym environment. Indeed, personal training has been in the top 10 of fitness trends since the survey began in 2006.

At number 9 is Fitness Programs for Older Adults. Age-appropriate training is vital as we live longer, and even elderly people with restricted movement can benefit from taking some sort of exercise, especially under the supervision of a qualified fitness professional.

Finally, at no 10, we have Functional Fitness. This can be defined as using exercise (in particular strength training) to help us carry out everyday activities. For example, improving muscular strength to make it easier to lift shopping bags or get up from a chair, or increasing flexibility to allow us to reach for something in a cupboard.

These results were published in the ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal (November/December 2017) and you can read the full details here in the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018.

The top 20 for 2018

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training
  2. Group Training
  3. Wearable Technology
  4. Bodyweight Training
  5. Strength Training
  6. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals
  7. Yoga
  8. Personal Training
  9. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
  10. Functional Fitness
  11. Exercise and Weight Loss
  12. Exercise Is Medicine
  13. Group Personal Training
  14. Outdoor Activities
  15. Flexibility and Mobility Rollers
  16. Licensure for Fitness Professionals
  17. Circuit Training
  18. Wellness Coaching
  19. Core Training
  20. Sport-Specific Training
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