The 10 biggest fitness trends for 2018

There are always new things in the field of sports. Be it completely new sports or novel methods to enrich the training, for example by wearing fitness trackers. But what is decisive about something new is: is it a fitness trend or a short-term phenomenon? A trend is a development that is sustainable and profound. A short-term phenomenon, on the other hand, is over again after a short period of success.

To predict which fitness trends await us next year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has conducted its annual survey. Which sports and fitness trends have the best chance of succeeding next year?

How did the survey go?

The ACSM has put together 40 potential fitness trends. These consist of the 25 top trends of the last year as well as 15 potential fitness trends, which the editors of the ACSM fitness magazine have themselves determined. All 40 trends were briefly presented in a questionnaire sent to more than 114,000 people who are professionally active in the fitness industry. It took into account several countries from each continent. The task of the participants was to evaluate each trend on a scale from 1 (very low trend potential) to 10 (very high trend potential). In total, more than 4,100 completed questionnaires came back.

The result: the ten biggest fitness trends for 2018

1st place: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a training method in which you train for a short time with a particularly high load, then take a short break, and then repeat the whole thing. As a rule, a training session lasts no longer than 30 minutes. It could also be that HIIT enjoys increasing popularity: It takes only little time and can therefore be integrated by busy people in everyday life.


2nd place: group training

The group training makes a big leap forward: from sixth place to second place. In group training, a fitness trainer manages a group of more than five people (fewer participants, according to ACSM, are group personal training). Group training can be used in many different sports, such as aerobics or trim cycling. This kind of training draws its charm from the fact that the fitness trainer guides, motivates and quickly corrects the participants.


3rd place: wearable technology

Last year still in first place, this trend slips back two places. Wearable technology includes devices such as fitness bracelets, smartwatches, and GPS trackers. Typical representatives of this area are Apple’s iWatch and fitness bracelets from manufacturers such as Fitbit and Garmin. ACSM makes it difficult to predict how wearable technology will evolve over the next decade.


4th place: Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training is a relatively young trend. It first appeared in the survey in 2013. Actually, bodyweight training is nothing new. In fact, people have been using their own weight as a drag on sport for a long time. Once again, bodyweight training has become salient, with fitness clubs and fitness experts like Mark Lauren conveying and packaging it in a timely fashion.


5th place: strength training

Strength training is something of a modern classic. Since the first study 12 years ago, strength training has been among the top priorities. Many young men train in gyms exclusively with weights. However, strength training is increasingly being practiced by other groups, such as seniors and young women. More and more fitness experts are integrating strength training units into their programs, for example with dumbbells or kettlebells.


6th place: occupations in the fitness industry

The interest in working even in the sports and fitness sector seems to continue to be a trend among young people. There are more and more courses, training courses and subjects designed for a professional career in the fitness industry. In addition, social media makes it relatively easy to point out your own offers and services.


7th place: Yoga

With one exception (2008), yoga remains a constant in the survey of the biggest sports and fitness trends. Yoga has the great advantage that it has many different subcategories like Power Yoga and Yoga Salads. As a result, yoga is aimed at people with very different needs and fitness goals. Numerous books, videos and the yoga offer in gyms contribute to the lasting popularity of yoga.


8th place: personal training

Personal trainers are in demand in many fitness areas. They are either employees in a gym, responsible for the fitness of employees in a particular company, or work independently. Personal trainers are hired by people who want to work on building their muscles or lose weight.


9th place: fitness training for the elderly

Today people age differently than their predecessors. Thanks to better medical care and nutrition, they are still relatively mobile in old age. ACSM recommends that gyms take this into account and offer special programs for this age group.


10th place: functional fitness

Functional fitness is a workout that aims to improve coordination, balance and stamina. All of this aims to do everyday tasks better. Therefore, many participants in the survey claim that functional fitness is a training for the elderly in particular.

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