The ACSM has released its list of trends to watch out for.

Each year since 2006, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) compiles their list of fitness trends that are predicted to emerge around the world in the year ahead.

The aim of the ACSM trend list is to help commercial, clinical, community and corporate health clubs build or establish paths to follow in the future and develop potential new markets.

The authors say in the original article published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, “The health and fitness industry should carefully and thoughtfully apply this information to its own unique setting.”

Here are our takeaway messages from the 2019 fitness trends:

The rise of wearable technology continues 

Wearable tech once again took top spot, as it did in 2016 and 2017 thanks to the rising popularity of fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. As our friends over at the Life Fitness US blog put it: “That’s a sure sign that fitness professionals realize how technology can help exercisers, and that plenty of exercisers are using wearables in their daily routines.” Being able to seamlessly connect with members through wearable technology and cardio consoles is crucial in the evolving fitness tech space.

Mobile exercise apps also made the list at number 13. This sends a strong message about the impact of fitness technology in the market and the importance of providing training apps with workout tracking to stay ahead of the trend.

People love training together

Once again, Group Training was in the number two spot, after first appearing in just 2017. It’s jumped from 20 to 2 in a year, so don’t expect this one to go away anytime soon. Life Fitness and Hammer Strength have been at the forefront when it comes to group training, with our bridgerigs, racks and SYNRGY systems providing multiple group fitness options.

Similarly, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was in the number three position, down from the top spot for 2018. In addition, we find body weight training in fifth and functional fitness training in ninth. All of these are often involved in group fitness and provide a glimpse into what types of training members like and will remain popular.

Fitness programs for older adults

Fourth in this year’s list was Fitness Programs for Older Adults which is a jump from ninth last year.

As we see more and more research on the importance of exercising well into life, it’s only natural that older adults are wanting to maintain their health and fitness for as long as possible.

The message for health clubs is to make sure this important demographic is catered for, with equipment such as SCIFIT, which is designed for people of all ages to stay active, and the Life Fitness Circuit Series of strength equipment.

Professionals matter

‘Employing certified fitness professionals’ came in at number six. Along with Personal Training coming in at number eight. Members of health clubs around the world are relying more and more on specialised programs to benefit them as individuals. This trend doesn’t look likely to go away any time soon.

As Life Fitness US put it: “Certified trainers provide safe and efficient workout guidance. They can also form connections with their exercisers, which keeps them coming back to the gym. Fitness facilities should make sure they are adequately staffed when it comes to certified trainers.”

Medical professionals take note

The 10th and 11th most popular trends to watch for in 2019 are Exercise is Medicine (EIM) and Health/Wellness Coaching. Exercise is Medicine encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and related treatments as part of patient visits, as well as referring patients to exercise professionals. Health and Wellness Coaching incorporates “behavioural science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs for individuals”.

Full list of the ACSM fitness trends to look out for in 2019:
  1. Wearable technology
  2. Group training
  3. HIIT
  4. Fitness programs for older adults
  5. Bodyweight training
  6. Employing certified fitness professionals
  7. Yoga
  8. Personal training
  9. Functional fitness training
  10. Exercise is medicine
  11. Health/wellness coaching
  12. Exercise for weight loss
  13. Mobile exercise apps
  14. Mobility/myofascial devices
  15. Worksite health promotion and workplace well-being programs
  16. Outcome measurements
  17. Outdoor activities
  18. Licensure for fitness professionals
  19. Small group personal training
  20. Post-rehabilitation classes

For more information on the ACSM fitness trends, you can read the full report here.

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