Top Fitness Trends

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Last week we looked at five of the Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2015.  Here's the remainder of the list from The American Council on Exercise.

6. Participation in one-on-one personal training will decline at large health clubs in favor of small group or semi-private training programs.

Small-group training programs will continue to grow in popularity and more health clubs will feature fee-based small-group programs as the primary way to deliver an instructor-led workout experience to their members. This may be the year we see revenue from small-group programming surpass revenue generated by one-on-one personal training.

7. Workout programs will move away from pure High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and start featuring more intelligent program design that allows for proper recovery from the stresses of exercise.

Recovery is the component of the workout program that is most often overlooked, even though the body becomes stronger in the time period after workout, not during the workout itself. HIIT is popular because it produces results, but performing too much high-intensity training too frequently could lead to overtraining or soft-tissue injury. It also could be a reason why participants stop exercising. This is starting to change as educated fitness professionals are beginning to recognize that recovery is key for their clients’ success.

8. Trainers and clients will begin to use biomarkers to track progress from an exercise program.

For years, researchers have used hormone levels and metabolic markers in the bloodstream to study how exercise affects human physiology. As the costs of blood tests drop, 2015 will see personal trainers starting to use blood testing to help assess a client’s fitness level and physiological status. Don’t worry—personal trainers won’t be taking blood from their clients. Clients will use a dedicated collection sight to withdraw blood, which will then be sent to a lab for processing. Personal trainers will not diagnose any health issues, but instead will watch markers such as testosterone or cortisol to identify whether a client is in an optimal anabolic (muscle building) state or is experiencing a period of stress, which could elevate levels of cortisol and be an indicator of overtraining.

9. Competitive formats like American Ninja Warrior, parkour, Spartan Race and obstacle course races will continue to grow in popularity.

Thanks in part to the success of Kacy Catanzaro in the American Ninja Warrior challenge, the fact that NBC Sports is now televising Spartan Races, and the emergence of gyms designed specifically for parkour or free-running, this category of extreme bodyweight training will continue to experience exponential growth over the coming year.

10. Old-school group-exercise programs and full-service health clubs will make a comeback.

This is my long-shot, against-the-grain prediction, but I do think that 2015 may become the year for the retro workout craze as many group exercise programs that have faded from the mainstream will make a resurgence. We may see a return of programs like dance aerobics, instructor-led treadmill and stair climber-based workouts and group kickboxing classes. In addition, while small studios have turned the industry on its head over the past five years, in 2015 we will begin to see fitness enthusiasts gravitate back to multipurpose health clubs that can offer a variety of different workout experiences under a single roof.

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