Italic font text: HighLow Fitness views and acknowledging our examples aligned with the trends
Normal font text: Extracts from A study from the American Counsel of Sports Medicine by Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM
The fitness industry is evolving faster than ever and with so many options for the consumer and now more that ever it is critically important to stay up with the trends… or face being left behind and becoming extinct. The global market size is now over $78 billion which is a fantastic number but now there are so many options and with most club chains gunning for more share via expansion, there is certain to be a saturation point which means there will be casualties.
HighLow Fitness can proudly boast covering all of the Top 10 Fitness Trends below as researched and surveyed by the ACSM Council. We believe this has been an integral part of our success and why we will continue to strive to deliver the best member experience possible for anybody who chooses to try our High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Body Wellness sessions.
It is now obvious that “Selling a membership” via pitching a CHEAP PRICE is now not an easy and expected quick win for a fitness facility as the consumer are now more educated and won’t sign up hoping for a result in an environment they are unsure of it solving their personal situation. Between researching via friends who have got results and using all the research available online via search engines, we are now dealing with a larger volume of consumers who are far more educated which is great news. Helping people cut through the noise and in many cases “Old world thinking” that maybe jumping on a treadmill and then hitting the strength area and doing some almost robotic single station routines is not spending their time well for what they are trying to achieve. “New world thinking” is about helping them use an independent and well researched independent body like the American Counsel of Sports Medicine and educating them about the TOP FITNESS TRENDS in the industry which will be key to them staying engaged and most importantly getting them results they desire!
INTRODUCTION (American Counsel of Sports Medicine)
An annual survey of worldwide fitness trends is now in its 10th year, the 2016 American Counsel of Sports Medicine (ACSM )Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends* continues to support previous trends and important business (and consumer fitness) decisions should be based on emerging trends embraced by health fitness professionals and not the latest exercise innovation marketed during late-night infomercials on television or the next hottest celebrity endorsing a product.(which are seriously painful viewing for passionate fitness solution providers to witness!)
During the last 10 years, the editors of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® have disseminated this electronic survey to thousands of professionals worldwide to determine health and fitness trends. The results helps guide health fitness programming efforts for 2016. a survey of trends, respondents were asked to first make the very important distinction between a “fad” and a “trend.”
Trend: “a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving” (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/).
Fad: “a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period” (http://dictionary.reference.com/).
The ACSM survey makes no attempt to evaluate gym equipment or other exercise machines that may appear in clubs or recreation centers or show up during late-night television infomercials, often seen during the winter holidays or the week prior to and a few weeks into the New Year. The survey has been designed to confirm or to introduce new trends (not fads) that have a perceived impact on the industry according to the international respondents. By using this survey construct, some of the trends identified in earlier surveys would quite naturally appear for several years. Likewise, fads may appear but will predictably drop off the list in subsequent years. The potential market impact of new equipment, exercise device, or program is not evaluated by this annual survey
Trends have been defined as a general development that takes some time and then stays for a period (usually described as a behavior change), whereas a fad comes and goes.
The Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016 are:
- Wearable Technology
- Body Weight Training.
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
- Strength Training.
- Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals.
- Personal Training.
- Functional Fitness.
- Fitness Programs for Older Adults.
- Exercise and Weight Loss.
- Wearable technology.Introduced just a few years ago, wearable technology includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices. Some business analysts have predicted that the Apple Watch® will sell more than 485 million devices by the year 2018 (https://www.abiresearch.com/) and that the wearable technology market will approach $6 billion dollars by 2016 (https://technology.ihs.com/). It seems as though the “back to basics” philosophy of the industry that was driven by the weak economy might be fading.
Myzone is the ultimate solution in this fastest growing trend that is driving fitness awareness and participation. Fitbit, Garmin and iWatch wearable technologies are other examples and huge sellers in department stores and online purchasing and we are personally so happy watching so many “Early adapters” getting on board. We believe in the reality of this number one trend being as obvious and regular as smart phone use in the future. If you do your homework you will see why we have aligned our gym with the most effective and amazing option that Myzone is. Live streaming heart rate and performance data to large TVs in our gym is something all our members adapt to quickly (and seriously enjoy!) and like smart phones, they wonder how they lived without them prior! The beauty is the report it sends to them via a free app after a session on top of it now able to stream to a smart phone. Get on board and trial it in a FREE SESSION with us and silence your OLD WORLD THINKING!
- Body weight training.Appearing for the first time in the trends survey in 2013 (at no. 3) was body weight training, and it had taken over the top spot from last year’s first-time entry, high-intensity interval training. Body weight training did not appear as an option before 2013 because it only became popular (as a defined trend) in gyms around the world during the last couple of years. This is not to say that body weight training had not been used previously; in fact, people have been using their own body weight for centuries as a form of resistance training. But new packaging, particularly by commercial clubs, has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms. Most people think of body weight training as being limited to push-ups and pull-ups, but it can be much more than that. As the no. 1 position in the survey suggested last year, body weight training is a trend to watch for the future.
At Highlow we not only acknowledge body weight training is extremely important to everybody who exercises but we think of REGRESSIONS and PROGRESSIONS to ensure we appeal to a wider audience and they can get more out of body weight training. As an example we use an accessory called an Equaliser By Lebert to do our push ups and other weight bearing exercises on. This limits the stress on wrists but more importantly gives people “negative space” to work in. So whether doing a regression on their knees or the progression of a full push up, the participant can go deeper and work the chest more effectively by not being limited by the floor. This is our approach to everything body weight related when we design our sessions to help participants get the most out of themselves in a LOW IMPACT method.
- High-intensity interval training.Falling from the top spot in the 2015 survey, high-intensity interval training typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest or recovery and typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform (although it is not uncommon for these programs to be much longer in duration). While being offered as a possible trend in previous surveys but not making the top 20, high-intensity interval training was no. 1 in the survey for 2014 despite the warnings of many survey respondents about potential dangers.. Despite the warnings by some health and fitness professionals of potentially increased injury rates using high-intensity interval training, this form of exercise remains popular in gyms all over the world.
This is truly why we do what we are all about and have defined our existence … “If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you.” Anyone who exercises in either situation of being new to exercise or they have been doing the same thing for years at the same gym it is seriously a must try! We love watching participants try this on their own accord or even better wait till their friends have experienced accelerated results through HIIT and then they almost forced try it…. Either way everybody will have to question where they stand on this form of session and it is really an inevitable debate for them…So the sooner they embrace what works the sooner they can accelerate their results and never look back!
- Strength training.Strength training remains popular in all sectors of the health and fitness industry and for many different kinds of clients. Strength training dropped to no. 4 in last year’s survey and maintains that position for 2016 after being at the no. 2 position for 2 years but has been a strong trend since the first year of this survey. Many contemporary health and fitness professionals incorporate some form of strength training into a comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and patients. It is not uncommon at all for cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation or metabolic disease management programs to include weight training in the exercise programs for their patients.
Amen to this staying in the top 5! We use great products like Powerblocks so somebody can use a 1.8 KG (4 lb) dumbbell or a 14.5 kg (32 lb) dumbbell and work at their STRENGTH CAPABILITY then GROW IT! It’s not rocket science our body gets use to one level of strength work and natural progression leads to the body asking for more workload and the participant realising it (to add more weight or increasing repetitions )or more often than not they ask a trainer why they “Aren’t getting in the higher heart rate zones anymore”( from the feedback of their Myzone wearable technology )and we get to announce the good news that their body has grown stronger and is ready for more action.
- Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals.Falling to no. 3 last year and to no. 5 this year, this is a trend that continues now that there are accreditations offered by national third-party accrediting organizations for health and fitness and clinical exercise program professionals. There continues to be exponential growth of educational programs at community colleges and colleges and universities that have become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Anybody who has had a great PT experience never leaves that relationship and the many that haven’t tried it (and justified the spend on their health) never know what they are missing out on and maybe why this trend has fallen. From our view point, our 1 x 1 PT usage is growing after members that start with regular Group PT sessions ( which we have over 80 a week on offer)and then either plateau or increase their personal goals like training for a new challenge like an event (5km, 10km ,21km running or Spartan/Tough Mudder) or wanting to accelerate body composition results or whatever else.
- Personal training.As more professional personal trainers are educated and become certified (see trend no. 5), they are increasingly more accessible in all sectors of the health and fitness industry. Personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey for the past 9 years.While there have been some minor variations of personal training (g., small groups as opposed to one-on-one), respondents to this survey believe that personal trainers will continue to be an important part of the professional staff of health and fitness centers.
If you add number 6 and the number 5 votes together these similar trends must be right up there and so they should be. Our team motivate, educate and ensure the content in our group and personal training sessions will get results and without that guidance it is extremely hard to get a comparable workout in a standard gym session where they are sharing the equipment with the masses and getting interrupted as you wait to use specific cardio and strength equipment. It generally comes down to being affordable or more likely justifying the extra spend which we have learnt can occur as a member’s priorities change and they mysteriously find budget when “Feeling awesome” and “Increasing their health and wellbeing” goes up the list!
- Functional fitness.Replicating actual physical activities someone might do as a function of his or her daily routine, functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Some of the survey respondents said that they typically pair functional fitness with fitness programs for older adults (see trend no. 8) depending on the needs of the client. Functional fitness also is used in clinical programs to replicate activities done around the home.
Functional fitness is so much more practical for the body when you consider we move in three planes of motion and a single station gym piece only moves us in one. Making our bodies stronger and more agile is a far more beneficial programme and it still delivers amazing body composition results. We use Crank it suspension straps and fantastic accessories like PowerBlocks and Institute approved kettle bells to name afew. Our trainers have a serious war chest of different exercises that make every session engaging and continually challenging the body in different ways to enhance results.
- Fitness programs for older adults.Health and fitness professionals should take advantage of this exponentially growing market by providing age-appropriate and safe exercise programs for the aging sector of the population. The highly active older adult (the athletic old) can be targeted by commercial and community-based organizations to participate in more rigorous exercise programs including strength training and team sports. Even the frail elderly can improve their balance and ability to perform activities of daily living when provided appropriate functional fitness activities. The concern for the health of aging adults has been consistently at the top of this survey, and this year is no different. The “baby boom generation” is now aging into retirement.Fitness programs for older adults will remain a strong trend for 2016.
Our 55+ year old sessions have been growing well in the number of participants which is fantastic to give HighLow the opportunity to add more to the timetable. Having a diluted version of our High Intensity Interval Training sessions for them has been very interesting to observe how all of them are enjoying having more energy and feeling so much more confident with their cardio fitness after just afew sessions. It proves you are never too old to get started with our oldest member being 79 years old and there are so many individual stories of achievement that are truly inspirational.
- Weight loss.The combination of exercise and weight loss is a trend toward incorporating weight loss programs that emphasize caloric restriction with a sensible exercise program. Exercise in weight loss programs has been a trend since the survey began. Organizations, particularly those that are for-profit and are in the business of providing weight loss programs, will continue to incorporate regular exercise as well as caloric restriction for weight control according to the 2016 survey. The combination of exercise and diet is essential for weight loss maintenance and can improve compliance to caloric restriction diets and in particular weight loss programs.
Weight loss would have to be the strongest reason that prompts many people to exercise in the general population and between what people put in their mouths and how effective their choices are in choosing what form of cardio and strength sessions (and frequency) will always determine the end result. Our sessions are a one hour solution that include a dynamic warm up followed by a main body of 40-45 minutes then a cool down/stretch conclusion. Adding in extra periodical goals into a calendar year like 8 Week Transforms and helping people prepare for walking and running eventsover the cooler months are examples of the way we are trying to ensure our members have a year round consistent strategy and avoid feeling gym visits are just monotonous regimes that consequently lead to fad training, like hitting the gym just before summer. We also offer in depth FREE fitness evaluations, nutrition education and portion strategies. It’s all about being having an annual 360 degree solution rather than hoping they stay engaged and motivated to visit us occasionally .
- Moving slightly down the list for 2016 is yoga after occupying the no. 7 spot last year.. Yoga comes in a variety of forms, including Power Yoga, Yogalates, and Bikram Yoga (the one done in hot and humid environments). Other forms of yoga include Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Anuara Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Sivananda Yoga. Instructional tapes and books are abundant, as are the growing numbers of certifications for the many yoga formats. Yoga seems to reinvent and refresh itself every year, making it a more attractive form of exercise.
We are very surprised this is so far down the list when you see the strong attendance in sessions offered by all clubs with a timetable offering yoga, Pilates and Les Mills Body Balance. HighLow has a Body Wellness product new to the market from Matrix & Johnny G called In-Trinity. This has been extremely well received and we are continually adding more sessions to cope with the demand. The genius of the product is being a hybrid of yoga, Pilates with elements of Tai Chi and martial arts that caters for all fitness and flexibility levels. The In-Trinity product and well supported back end programming included could potentially end up as its own individual trend category in years to come.
The HighLow Fitness Difference
Improving our members and visitors lifestyle through High Intensity Interval Training and Body Wellness Sessions (with over 80 per week on offer)and ensuring they reach their goals and get results is our true passion and mission. These core values are backed up by the facts that we are NO CONTRACTS and all about VALUE via weekly or multiple pass options. We welcome anybody to come visit us for a FREE SESSION and experience the trends discussed above and enjoy the friendly atmosphere our trainers and members have created and feel the difference.
VISIT 332 Rocky Point Road Ramsgate NSW Sydney 2217
There were 40 possible trends in the 2016 survey. The top 25 trends from previous years were included in the survey, as were some potentially emerging trends identified by the staff and editors ofACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®. To establish equity, the editors represent all four sectors of the health fitness industry (corporate, clinical, community, commercial), as well as academia. In the survey, potential trends were first identified. Then, a short explanation was written to offer the respondent a few details without inconveniencing them with too much reading, analysis, or interpretation. The survey was designed to be completed in 15 minutes or less. As an incentive to complete the survey, ACSM made available nine books published by Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins or Human Kineticsand a $100 MasterCard gift card. These incentives helped increase participation in the survey.
The 40 potential items on the survey were constructed using a Likert-type scale ranging from a low score of 1 (least likely to be a trend) to a high score of 10 (most likely to be a trend). After each scoring opportunity, space was allowed for the respondent to add comments. At the conclusion of the survey, additional space was left for the respondent to include comments or potential fitness trends left off the list to be considered for future surveys. The next step was to send the survey electronically to a defined list of health and fitness professionals (n = 26,933) using Survey Monkey (surveymonkey.com). This list included current ACSM-certified professionals, ACSM Alliance members, nonmember ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® subscribers, ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®Associate Editors, and ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® Editorial Board members. In addition, a link was posted on the journal’s Web site, ACSM Journals Facebook page, and on the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® Twitter page.
After 3 weeks and two additional notices, 2,833 responses were received, which represent an excellent return rate of 11%, one that is very similar to the return rates from prior years. Responses were received from just about every continent and included the countries of Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States. Demographics of the survey respondents included 66% females across a wide variability in ages (Figure 1), with nearly half (46%) having more than 10 years of experience in the industry (Figure 2) and 23% with more than 20 years of experience. Almost 32% of the survey respondents earned an annual salary of more than $50,000, which included 5% who earned more than $100,000 a year (Figure 3). Respondents were asked to identify their occupations (Table 1), with 24% indicating that they were full-time or part-time personal trainers. When asked if they worked full time or part time, 62% indicated full time and 31% part time. The remaining respondents either worked between 20 and 40 hours a week or were full-time students who worked when they could, however inconsistently. Nearly 40% of the respondents said that this was their first job, whereas 35% said it was their second job after a career change. The remaining 28% said that they had worked more than two jobs before their current job. Figure 4 indicates where respondents work.
The first step in the analysis was to collate the responses and then to rank order them from highest (most popular trend) to lowest (least popular trend). Only the top 20 for 2016 are described in this report. After rank ordering the responses, four internationally recognized experts representing all sectors in the health and fitness industry commented on the findings. Their analysis and commentary are included at the end of this report. For a comparison of the top 10 trends from the past 9 years’ surveys (1–9), please see the comprehensive comparison table online (available athttp:links.lww.com/FIT/A27).
The same top trends identified in 2008 to 2012 appeared as top trends for 2013, just in a different order, with educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals maintaining the no. 1 spot; fitness programs for older adults dropping to no. 6; and strength training remaining at no. 2. Introduced in 2013 for the first time was body weight training, which landed at no. 2 in this year’s survey. The 2016 survey results (Table 2) seem to reinforce the findings of previous years, which was expected when tracking trends and not fads. Remaining out of the top 20 trends for 2016 were Zumba, Pilates, and indoor cycling. New to the top 20 trends for 2016 are wearable technology (no. 1), flexibility and mobility rollers (no. 16), and smart phone exercise apps (no. 17).