On its sixth year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently completed a worldwide fitness trend survey of 2,620 ACSM certified professionals from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North America and South America.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) also completed a fitness-trend survey of more than 1,500 experts and certified professionals. The two leading fitness organizations in the world seem to have quite similar 2012 worldwide fitness trend predictions.
Educated fitness professionals
ACSM’s number one fitness trend prediction concerns educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals. The fitness industry will continue to give importance to upgrading skills and knowledge of fitness professionals, and aside from the recognized certifications and continuing education, more professionals will seek advanced professional education and take related fitness and health courses to answer the demands of the growing health and fitness industry.
Lifestyle coaching and personal training
With qualified and upgraded fitness professionals, there will be a greater focus on whole-life training, as predicted by ACE. Whole-life training or lifestyle coaching will serve clients who are in need of stress, eating and exercise management to achieve their goals and get results faster.
Most fitness centers will even hire lifestyle coaches, nutritionists, and/or psychologists to incorporate their services and really give a holistic approach to their fitness programs. Also, according to ACE, behavior modification will enhance a client’s exercise motivation and adherence.
ACSM’s top fitness service trend predictions are still personal training and group personal training. Most people will still get the guidance of a personal trainer to get faster results, and others will join small group personal training sessions (two to four per session) to experience some fun and challenge while exercising, and to lessen the training cost.
Weight loss and strength training
More fitness consumers will still look for strength training as part of their fitness routine, and health and fitness practitioners will integrate this in their programs. ACSM predicted that people will look for strength training programs for maintenance, and not for body-building. Improved strength is always related to improved functional performance and weight management, as well.
Still weight loss
According to ACE, weight loss will still be the top reason fitness consumers will seek fitness services. ACSM predicted that weight-loss programs incorporating exercise will still be one of the most in-demand tools to answer the needs of the growing overweight and obese population, especially this 2012.
Fitness professionals will incorporate calorie management in their programs by expanding their focus to proper eating and exercise for weight loss.
Growing target markets: elderly and youth
According to ACE and ACSM, elderly and the youth will still be the growing fitness target markets of fitness professionals in 2012. The fitness program focus for children will still be on obesity prevention and management, and for the retirees, it will be more on functional training, helping them to perform their daily activities well and safely, and improve their sports like golf without developing injuries.
Hottest fitness workouts for 2012
According to ACE, clients and fitness trainers will focus on functional and integrated exercises emphasizing core muscles and using body weight as resistance (like the use of TRX), some calorie-burning exercises like boot camp and interval training, and fun group workouts like Zumba that combine Latin rhythms with interval-type exercise and resistance training.
ACE predicted that employers will give more wellness programs to their employees to reduce healthcare costs and improve productivity. They will outsource wellness programs so that health and fitness can be affordable.
Community fitness programs
ACE predicted that fitness programs will emerge from local gyms, parks, and recreational centers to give access to the local community and prevent the growing problem of obesity. There might be more local leaders who will take action in influencing their people to get into an active and healthy lifestyle. Therefore, fitness will be for everyone, since it will be more lifestyle-based, accessible, affordable and even enjoyable.
ACE predicted that social media and mobile-based apps for fitness will continue to become popular in the coming year, and fitness professionals will have the chance to be in contact with fitness consumers because of the latest technology. Fitness consumers will have more access to nutrition and fitness education, which is significant to maintain one’s motivation.
E-mail the author at mitchfelipe@ gmail.com.