• Beth

TOP 10 Fitness Trends of 2020

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), polls it's global network of fitness professional each year to find their top 10 trends. A 'trend' differs from a 'fad'.

Trends have a much longer lifespan than fads. In fact, they can continue to be fashionable for years and even decades. The primary difference between a trend and a fad is that trends have the potential to be long-term influencers on the market. In addition, trends often involve altered classics.

In Late Night fashion, here they are:


This means facilities, programs and individuals find it important to hire CERTIFIED, ACCREDITED, knowledgeable and experienced true professionals. Not everyone advertising as a personal trainer , coach or instructor is deemed professional.


This is a growing trend to integrate behavioral science into health promotion and lifestyle medicine programs. Health/Wellness coaching uses a one-on-one (and at times small group) approach with the coach providing support, goal setting, guidance, and encouragement. The health/wellness coach focuses on the client’s values, needs, vision, and short- and long-term goals using behavior change intervention strategies.


"Hey Boomer"

This trend continues to stress the fitness needs of the Baby Boom and older generations. These individuals in general have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts do, and fitness clubs may be able to capitalize on this growing market. People are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active much longer.


Bodyweight training uses minimal equipment, is inexpensive and rather portable I might say. It moves the way you move for everyday 'functional' strength and mobility benefits. Up, down, front, back, right and left because life exists in many planes.


Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) is a global health initiative that focuses on encouraging primary care physicians and other health-care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals. In addition, EIM recognizes fitness professionals as part of the health-care team in their local communities.


One-on-one training continues to be a trend as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online, in health clubs, in the home, and in worksites that have fitness facilities. Personal training includes fitness testing and goal setting with the trainer working one on one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to clients’ individual needs and goals. The consumer is smarter and wants results from their money.


Previous surveys included a category described as “strength training.” Determined to be too broad a category, strength training was dropped in favor of the more specific free weight training. Free weights, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine ball classes do not just incorporate barbells into another functional class or activity. Instructors start by teaching proper form for each exercise and then progressively increase the resistance once the correct form is accomplished. New exercises are added periodically, and those begin at the form or movement level. So get up off of your fanny on that giant piece of equipment and move over to that scary free weight area!


'Misery Loves Company'

Defined as more than five participants, group exercise instructors teach, lead, and motivate individuals through intentionally designed larger in-person group movement classes. Group classes are designed to be effective, motivational sessions for different fitness levels with instructors teaching many types of classes and equipment, from cardio-based classes and indoor cycling to dance-based classes to step classes. 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. So grab your TRIBE or become part of a new healthier one. There are many types of classes. Find one you LIKE!


These exercise programs typically involve short bursts of high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. While a part of the survey as a possible trend in previous years but not making the top 20, HIIT was no. 1 in the survey for 2014 and 2018 (dropped to no. 3 in 2016 and 2017) and has been in the top 5 between 2014 and 2020. Although there are several commercial club examples of HIIT, all emphasize higher intensities (above 90%) of maximum during the increased intensity segments followed by periods of rest and recovery. Despite warnings by some fitness professionals of potentially increased injury rates using HIIT, this form of exercise has been popular in gyms all over the world.

Important things to consider here: Everyone's level of fitness and conditioning is unique. Therefore don't let the "90%" idea frighten you off. This is a very effective modality of exercise. Try it but do YOUR 90%, not your neighbors.



Wearable technology was again the no. 1 trend as it has been since 2016 (the only exception was a drop to no. 3 in 2018) and includes fitness trackers, smart watches, HR monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Examples include fitness and activity trackers like those manufactured by Fitbit®, Samsung Gear Fit2®, Misfit®, Garmin®, and Apple®. These devices can track HR, calories, sitting time, and much more. While there was some question of accuracy, these issues have seemed to be resolved well enough. Wearable technology has been estimated to be about a $95 billion industry.

Would you drive your car without a gas gauge, speedometer or oil gauge? The feedback/information from wearable technology is KNOWLEDGE about how to get the most out of your time exercising to see results and stay SAFE doing it.

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