Strength, Trainers, Weights Are Key Trends

Use of trainers is on the rise, and fitness is for everyone, from dieters to kindergarten kids to retirees, according to a survey.


Strength training and using the right trainer head the top 10 list of personal exercise trends, found the seventh annual American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends. The core remains an area of focus, and there is even a trend to split the cost of a personal trainer.  

Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals. As the market for fitness professionals becomes more crowded and competitive, professionals with a national third-party accreditation differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Strength Training. At the second position for the second consecutive year but a strong trend since the first year of this survey, this trend calls for both men and women to incorporate strength training into their exercise routines or to use it as the primary form of exercise.

Body Weight Training. Appearing for the first time, body weight training has only now become popular (as a defined trend) in gyms around the world. This training often uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive way to exercise effectively.

Children and Obesity. Pediatricians and fitness experts are all but begging schools to reinstate daily gym class and put recess back into the school day for pre-K through 6th graders. Many schools have wiped out gym class and recess, while others allow gym once a week and maybe 15 minutes of recess.

Exercise and Weight Loss. For many years, weight loss programs have been trying to infuse a regular exercise program into caloric-restriction diets. This has been a growing trend since the survey began, and the combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight loss maintenance.

Fitness Programs for Older Adults. Concern for the health of aging adults has consistently been at the top of the survey, and the Baby Boomer generation now aging into retirement has clearly heeded the examples of their parents and research that claimed staying fit can dramatically improve the quality of life into retirement.

Personal Training. As more professional personal trainers are educated and become certified (see trend No. 1), they become more accessible to more people in all sectors of the health and fitness industry.

Functional Fitness. This may be defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power and endurance to improve one’s ability to perform activities of daily living.

Core Training. Stressing strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back, core training typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back and abdomen to improve overall stability of the trunk and transfer that to the extremities. Core training often uses stability balls, wobble boards, foam rollers and other equipment.

Group Personal Training. The answer for the persistently sluggish global economy is to join a small group and share the cost for “semi-personal” training.