Prediction of the top fitness trends for 2018

Interval training and Group classes: The top fitness trends for 2018

By Susan Scutti, CNN

High-intensity interval training will be the No. 1 fitness trend in the coming year, while smartphone exercise apps that prompt your activities will be out or so says the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018. Such training, known as HIIT, typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery: intermittently sprinting for 30 seconds, for example, during a moderate-pace jog.

Over the past 12 years, the editors of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal have circulated an electronic survey to thousands of professionals, including personal trainers and physical therapists, to predict the biggest health and fitness trends for the coming year.

This year’s survey, which included responses from 4,133 fitness professionals around the globe, placed “group training“, classes involving more than five participants, in the No. 2 slot. Meanwhile, “wearable technology” — such as activity trackers and smartwatches — came in third, and “body weight training“, the use of your own body weight as a form of resistance while doing modified push-ups and other exercises, came in fourth. “Strength training,” or the use of barbells and weights, placed fifth.

Three new trends found a place on the top 20 list: “licensure for fitness professionals”, “core training” and “sport-specific Training.” Licensure refers to the general trend toward more regulation of fitness professionals, such as personal trainers. Core work stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back. Sport-specific exercising is usually geared toward younger athletes and focuses on a single sport, such as tennis or boxing.

One of the biggest surprises on the 2018 list was the “re-emergence of group exercise programs,” said Thompson, who remembers “back in the day when that was all we did.”

Personal training, which was introduced around 2000, reduced the popularity of group training, he noted. However, after the recession, less expensive group training sessions re-emerged and apparently continue to thrive.

Another trend for 2018 will be older adults being welcomed back into fitness clubs.

Most gyms still see their greatest revenue source as the 25- to 35-year-old age bracket. But the “really smart clubs” are changing music and lighting during slower times when the typical gym-goer is at work, so that now, the 60-year-old feels comfortable going into the gym. It makes total sense.

Finally, yoga remains in the top 10, where it has been since the survey started, Yoga keeps reinventing itself.

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