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American College of Sports Medicine - 2019 Predicted Top Fitness Trends

2019 Predicted Top Fitness Trends

Now in it’s 13th year, the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends, compiled by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has released the top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019.

ACSM asked 2,000 fitness professionals to rank 39 trends (defined as “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving”), in order of importance and popularity.

Leading author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta Walter R. Thompson commented “Technology is a must-have in our daily lives, and wearable tech can be an invaluable tool for those looking to get and stay physically active.” Here are the predicated top 10 fitness trends for 2019.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those made by Misfit®, Garmin®, and Apple®. These devices can track heart rate, calories, sitting time, and more. First appearing in 2016, wearable technology took top spot in 2016 & 2017, dropping back to#3 for 2018.

Group Training

Previously titled ‘Large Group Training’, group exercise training programs have been around for a long time and have appeared as a potential worldwide trend since this survey was originally constructed. However, it was only in 2017 that group exercise training made the top 20, coming in at #6, and then #2 in the 2018 survey.

High Intensity Interval Training

Although offered as a ‘possible’ trend in previous surveys, but not making the top 20, HIIT was #1 in the survey for 2014 and 2018 and has been in the top five every year since 2014. Despite the warnings by some fitness professionals of potential increased injury rates using HIIT, this form of exercise has been popular in gyms all over the world.

Fitness Training for Older Adults

People are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active much longer. This trend is making a strong return after being in the top 10 since 2007 (when it was the #2 trend) before dropping to #11 for 2017. Last year, fitness programs for older adults was the #9 trend.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training often uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive functional way to exercise effectively. Appearing for the first time in the trends in 2013 (at #3) and was in the #2 position for 2017 and #4 for 2018.

Employing Certified FitPro’s

The importance of hiring certified health/fitness professionals through educational programs and certification programs that are fully accredited for health/ fitness professionals is more important than ever for club operators.


Yoga has taken on a variety of forms within the past year (including Power Yoga, Yogilates, yoga in hot environments, and others). The popularity of Yoga has yo-yoed over the years, but ranked #7 the last two years.

Personal Training

This trend continues as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online, in health clubs, in the home, and in worksites that have fitness facilities. Since this survey was first published in 2006, personal training has been a top 10 trend.

Functional Fitness Training

This is a trend toward using strength training and other activities/movements to improve balance, coordination, strength, and endurance to improve activities of daily living. Replicating actual physical activities someone might do as a function of their daily routine, functional fitness first appeared in 2007 in the #4 position in but fell to #8 in 2008 and #11 in 2009.

Exercise in Medicine

Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment & associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals. EIM was the #7 trend in 2017 and #12 for 2018.

You can read the full report from ACSM, which ranks the top 20 Fitness Trends for 2019 click here.

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