2013 Fitness Trends

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently issued their 7th worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2013.  I can’t say anything in it was of any great surprise.  They introduced the word trend as “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving.”    They have been conducting surveys of professionals who work in commercial, clinical, community, and corporate sectors.

The list of trends was developed from a survey sent out, where the designers listed 37 possible trends.  (The top 25 of previous surveys were options, as well as 12 others).  It was sent electronically to currently certified ACSM professionals as well as various members of ACSM.  Social media were also used to advertise the survey.  They were able to get 3,346 responses over a 3 week period from people on almost every continent.  Pretty far-reaching.

Here is the 2013 list, as published by ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal:

  1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
  2. Strength training
  3. Body weight training
  4. Children and obesity
  5. Exercise and weight loss
  6. Fitness programs for older adults
  7. Personal training
  8. Functional fitness
  9. Core training
  10. Group personal training
  11. Worksite health promotion
  12. Zumba and other dance workouts
  13. Outdoor activities
  14. Yoga
  15. Worker incentive programs
  16. Boot camp
  17. Outcome measurements
  18. Circuit training
  19. Reaching new markets
  20. Wellness coaching

Here are some of the findings that I found interesting:

  • The number one trend identified was “Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals.  Hmmmm….send a survey to educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals and they indicated themselves as the number one trend.  I’m not sure there is any surprise there.
  • Of those who responded, about 9% were students.  One might think, “what do they know”, but I think this is actually a voice that needs to be better represented because no one knows about any kind of trend better than a student.  Many early adopters are students.
  • Of those who responded, the largest group was “other” at 15%. Who are they and what do they do? They are representing the largest proportion of responses, and yet we’re not totally clear who they are or what they are doing professionally.
  • SPINNING fell out of the top 20. I have seen slowly declining numbers in our SPINNING classes where I work.
  • A “new” trend to break the top 20 appeared at #3: Body Weight Training. This is something that has been around for as long as I know people have been exercising.  I guess it’s just being packaged and copyrighted, like everything else is these days.
  • This list should prove as a tool for new and emerging professionals, as well as seasoned, as a means to look at what to possibly consider in regards to education and skill development.

Photo of Richard Simmons, fitness legend, courtesy of Senika Harrison.

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