Top Fitness Trends for 2011: An Introduction

Dec 22, 2010
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Over the past five years, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has conducted an annual survey to determine what individuals in the fitness industry believe will be the top trends for the coming year. This year, ACSM certified fitness professionals were asked to give each of 31 possible trends a ranking from 1 (least likely to be a trend) to 10 (most likely to be a trend). Of the nearly 19,000 individuals that received the survey, 2,200 completed it and their responses were combined to reveal the top 20 predicted fitness trends for 2011.

The results from this year’s survey were published in the 2010 November/December issue of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal and are shown below.

Top 20 Trends for 2011 (in order):

  1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals
  2. Fitness programs for older adults
  3. Strength training
  4. Children and obesity
  5. Personal training
  6. Core training
  7. Exercise and weight loss
  8. Boot camp
  9. Functional fitness
  10. Physician referrals
  11. Yoga
  12. Worksite health promotion
  13. Outcome measurements
  14. Group personal training
  15. Spinning (indoor cycling)
  16. Sport-specific training
  17. Worker incentive programs
  18. Clinical integration/Medical fitness
  19. Reaching new markets
  20. Wellness coaching

Interestingly, the same six trends have remained at the top for the past four years, with only their order changing. This year, balance training, Pilates, and stability ball dropped out of the top 20 while worker incentive programs, clinical integration, and reaching new markets appeared for the first time.

The hope of the authors is that the survey will help to guide the design and implementation of programs at all types of health- and fitness-related facilities. Although there has been critique that publishing results from a survey of this nature will only give professionals in the field tunnel-vision and restrict expansion and exploration of other options, the results do give meaningful insight into the current state of the industry.

Because it will likely have a great impact on what we see in facilities next year, for the next several weeks I plan to look more closely at many of the top trends. I hope to discuss what I think about where each item falls on the list and how it relates to disability, inclusive programming, and accessible facilities. As I go through this process, I would love your feedback about what you have experienced with each of these trends or ways you think they can be made inclusive or used as a means to influence the inclusivity of the industry.

Author: Carolyn