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ACSM Releases Results of 2015 Fitness Trends Survey

23 Dec, 2014

By: Tracey Schelmetic

When is a fitness movement a fad, and when is it a trend? Only time will tell, but the news doesn’t look good on Zumba becoming a real trend. Each year since 2006, the editors of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal have conducted a survey of thousands of fitness professionals worldwide to determine health and fitness trends. This year’s survey, conducted during 2014, is meant to represent trends for 2015. In the number one spot for next year is body weight training, which has bumped high-intensity interval training out of 2014’s number one spot.

The top 10 trends for 2015, according to the survey, include:

1.       Body weight training

2.       High-intensity interval training

3.       Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals

4.       Strength training

5.       Personal training

6.       Exercise and weight loss

7.       Yoga

8.       Fitness programs for older adults

9.       Functional fitness

10.   Group personal training

Four trends previously in the top 10 have fallen out of favor, according to the survey. Zumba®, which first appeared in the top 10 (no. 9) in 2012, fell to no. 13 in 2013, dropped off the list of top 20 last year, and dropped further down the list in 2015 (no. 28 in 2014 and no. 34 in 2015). Pilates, indoor cycling, stability ball, and balance training again failed to appear on the list of top 20 trends in the health and fitness industry, which the editors of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal say supports the theory that these were fads and not trends.

“Some of the survey respondents still argue that the persistent sluggish economy has influenced the results of this survey and that training programs requiring expensive equipment or technical instruction are not supported because of the increased cost,” wrote the report’s authors. “Still others argue that Zumba®, indoor cycling, and Pilates have run their useful course.”

The report is issued to be a critical tool for fitness professionals to make decisions of which fitness movements to support with programs, personnel and equipment during the coming year. The survey of fitness professionals can help businesses make decisions based on real trends and not hype, according to the report’s authors.

“Important business decisions should be based on emerging trends embraced by health fitness professionals and not the latest exercise innovation marketed during late-night television or the next hottest celebrity endorsing a product,” the wrote.

The professionals interviewed for the survey work in several branches of the overall fitness industry, including for-profit commercial companies; clinical settings, including medical fitness programs; community (not-for-profit) organizations; and corporate divisions of the industry. 

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