The annual Survey of Fitness Trends 2016 By Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, (ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal: November/December 2015 – Volume 19 – Issue 6 – p 9–18) reflects the most current and emerging trends (not fads) in the fitness industry is now in its 10th year, and keeps helping the health and fitness professionals, including personal trainers, to make important investment and their career decisions. The survey takes into account trends that have a significant impact on the industry according to the international respondents.
New hot trend for 2016 is wearable technology that includes fitness trackers, smart watches, smart glasses, smart fabrics and interactive textiles, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. It has taken over the top spot proving that “back to basics” philosophy has had its day. Also new to the top 20 trends are flexibility and mobility rollers (no. 16), and smart phone exercise apps (no. 17).
Dropping out of the top 20 for 2016 were children and exercise for the treatment/prevention of obesity (no.17 in 2015), worker incentive programs (no.19 in 2015), and boot camp programs (no.20 in 2015). Zumba, Pilates, and indoor cycling are also remaining out of the top 20 trends for 2016.
Still Going Strong
Strength training, fitness programs for older adults and wellness coaching maintain their positions for 2016. Personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey for the past 9 years. Attention recently has been paid to the education and certification of personal trainers. Additionally, legislation has been introduced to license personal trainers in a number of states (California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, and several others) and the District of Columbia. It continually proves to be a steady trend only being pushed down by a spot in this year survey.
Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2016
(Rating changes in comparison to 2015)
↕0 1. Wearable technology New
↓1 2. Body weight training
↓1 3. High-intensity interval training
↕0 4. Strength training
↓2 5. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
↓1 6. Personal training
↑2 7. Functional fitness
↕0 8. Fitness programs for older adults
↓2 9. Exercise and weight loss
↓3 10. Yoga training
↓1 11. Group personal training
↓1 12. Worksite health promotion
↕0 13. Wellness coaching
↓2 14. Outdoor activities
↑1 15. Sport-specific training
↕0 16. Flexibility and mobility rollers New
↕0 17. Smart Phone Exercise Apps New
↓4 18. Circuit training
↓4 19. Core training
↓2 20. Outcome measurements