Fitness Trends 2012 – What’s In and What’s Out

The fitness industry is constantly changing.

New scientific research is added to old school workouts and then blended with the latest in music and social trends.

What we end up with… this list:

Fitness Trends 2012 – What’s In and What’s Out

What’s In

  1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals –  #1 trend for the past 5 years. Not too surprising considering that ACSM is a fitness professional certification body.
  2. Strength training. Consistently in the top 5 trends, strength training is the life blood of most health clubs.
  3. Fitness programs for older adults. The boomers have been driving economic trends for decades and they aren’t getting any younger.
  4. Exercise and weight loss. In case you haven’t noticed, just about every affluent country in the world is struggling with an explosion in obesity rates. The fitness industry is uniquely placed to capitalize on this problem.
  5. Children and obesity. It isn’t just the adults who are fat. Our kids may be even worse off than we are.
  6. Personal training. One of the fasting growing job markets is for personal trainers.
  7. Core training. No longer just for Pilates or Yoga devotees, core training has gone mainstream.
  8. Group personal training.  Not everyone is willing to pay for 1 on 1 personal training. Group training is a great way to get expert guidance at a reduced rate.
  9. Zumba and other dance workouts. Aerobics classes wrapped up in a latin beat.
  10. Functional fitness. This trend is tied into the aging boomer population. More trainees are moving away from bodybuilding programs designed to pump up individual muscle groups and are looking to make their body stronger, faster, better as a whole.
  11. Yoga. Yoga continues to be a strong trend even as it splinters into a thousand different styles.
  12. Comprehensive Health Promotion Programming at the Worksite. Worksite health promotion programs are becoming a big business as the cost of health insurance continues to climb and insurers force businesses to institute these programs or face higher premiums.
  13. Boot Camp. Like small-group personal training, boot camp workouts hybridize personal training and group classes in order to save their clients significant money.
  14. Outdoor Activities. Last year, this trend was #25 – watch out for it to explode in popularity in the coming year.
  15. Reaching New Markets. The health & fitness industry is making a strong effort to make exercise more popular with the vast majority of people who just don’t do it.
  16. Spinning (Indoor Cycling). Spinning continues to be one of the most popular and lucrative forms of group fitness.
  17. Sport-specific Training. Falling from the #8 spot in 2010, sport specific training has been primarily marketed to young athletes as a way to help them perform better at their sport(s) of choice.
  18. Worker Incentive Programs. An offshoot of worksite health promotion activities, these programs include incentives for off-worksite health & fitness programs like gym memberships and fitness equipment.
  19. Wellness Coaching. Focusing on behavior change, goal setting, etc, wellness coaching fell from the #13 spot in 2010.
  20. Physician Referrals. Another example of how fitness & exercise are slowly but surely being integrated into the healthcare system

What’s Out

Sadly, not every fitness trend has staying power.

According to ACSM, these formerly hot fitness trends have dropped in popularity

  • Pilates – I find this one hard to believe. Pilates is still pretty popular up here in Toronto
  • Stability Ball and Balance Training – ex. Bosu et al
  • Un-monitored Fitness Facilities – ex. Snap Fitness

Well…that’s what the experts have to say.

What about you?

How are you going to be getting fit in 2012???



Douglas Robb

Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, and a student of nutrition and exercise science. He's also the co-founder of the Hive Health Media. Since 2008, Doug has expanded his impact by bringing his real-world experience online via the health & fitness blog – Health Habits.

One thought on “Fitness Trends 2012 – What’s In and What’s Out

  • November 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Very interesting wellness coaches number 9


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