2018 Fitness Trends

From the 70s jogging craze to televised Aerobics and the more recent explosion of the athleisure fashion industry, the world of fitness has always been dominated by trends.

While some trends are short-lived, others are enduring – which is evidenced by the annual American College of Sports Medicine global fitness trends survey. Every year, the smart folk at ACSM gather information from around the world to predict coming trends that we can expect to see in the year ahead.

Some of 2018’s predicted trends are nothing new – for instance, the trend of educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals (number 6 in 2018) has been a trend since the first survey was conducted in 2007. Similarly, strength training (number 5 in 2018) has been at the top of the list since 2007, too. But there are some new trends that seem to be emerging for 2018, such as licensure for fitness professionals (number 16) core training (number 19) and sport specific training (number 20).

One important thing to note is that there is a big difference between a trend and a fad. As the Cambridge dictionary defines it, a trend is “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving.” So, while there’s no denying the popularity of current fads like doggie yoga (and even goat yoga?!) you won’t see these on the ACSM list. Instead, this list defines trends which will have a more ongoing impact. 

Below are the top ten workout trends for 2018:

1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This one’s been around for awhile, but for the first year now claims the top spot. HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery, these exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

2. Group Training: These include any program led by exercise instructors, designed to motivate individuals though through group classes. Group programs are designed to be effective for people at different fitness levels, with instructors using leadership techniques that help individuals in their classes achieve fitness goals.

3. Wearable Technology: includes fitness trackers, smartwatches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.

4. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get back to the basics of fitness.

5. Strength Training: Strength training remains a dominant trend for most health clubs. Incorporating strength training is now recognised as an essential part of a ‘complete exercise program,’ alongside the other essential components: aerobic exercise and flexibility.

6. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: Given the large number of organisations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s becoming increasingly important that consumers choose professionals with legitimate, industry recognised qualifications.

7. Yoga: Again, nothing new here. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilises a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

8. Personal Training: More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

9. Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. This is why many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

10. Functional Fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. These functional fitness programs are closely related to special fitness programs for older adults.

See the full list of 20 ranked trends at: ACSM Survey Results