Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2022 - ACSM

Hello Fellow Researchers!

The American Colleges of Sports Medicine (ACSM) releases an annual list of the top ten fitness trends for the upcoming year, and designed to be a systematic way to forecast health and fitness trends and inform health and fitness professionals on what is in demand within the fitness industry so they can better adapt to the changing environment.

#10 Health/Wellness Coaching

A health or wellness coach is a person who helps their clients learn about health and wellness, set clear health objectives and apply lifestyle changes to reach positive outcomes. This can include helping to identify key areas of their lifestyles that require improvements, set measurable and achievable wellness goals to improve lifestyle, mental and physical wellbeing, and educate and advise clients on effective techniques to make healthy lifestyle changes. Many of these coaches have backgrounds in nutrition, health science, dietetics and/or fitness and typically work in health clinics, fitness centers, and rehabilitation facilities, as well as in corporate settings. The skills that make someone a successful health and wellness coach are health and wellness management, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, organization and time management, and communication skills.

#9 Online Live and On-Demand Exercise Classes

A category similar to this one debuted at #3 in 2019’s Survey and has continued to be in the top 10 ever since. Online training was developed for the at-home exercise experience using digital streaming services to deliver group, individual, or instructional exercise programs online. Many instructors conduct live classes for their clientele, as well as provide recording of those workouts for those who can’t attend. This trend has also enabled consumers to participate in classes with instructors that may not have known before, adding choice and variety to their overall fitness routine.

#8 Body Weight Training

Bodyweight training is, in essence, the art of using your own body as the source of resistance during a workout session, without the use of dumbbells, kettlebells, or machines. Typical examples of bodyweight exercises include push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats, and pull-ups. Utilizing this type of exercise activates multiple muscle groups in each exercise, incorporates more balance, core strength, mobility, and stability, and it lends itself additional workout styles like circuit training. Other benefits of body weight training include making it easier to workout while traveling, being able to workout indoors and outdoors, especially when the weather is nice, and reducing the need for equipment, which reduces costs.

#7 High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

As the name implies, the basic flow for a session is: alternating short periods of high intensity exercise and short periods of rest or active recovery. In practice, however, the format (including actual intensity, duration, rest, and number of cycles) varies considerably. The common measure of intensity is the percentage of your maximal heart rate. For example, if a 40 year old wants to reach an intensity of 80% during a particular bout, they would need to get to 144 bpm. So, using a device like a FitBit could be helpful in gauging intensity during the session.

#6 Personal Training

A personal trainer's overall job is to guide their clients toward being a healthier and more functional person. This includes getting to know the client, conducting an initial assessment, setting and benchmarking goals, and educating the client on nutrition and exercise technique. The personal trainer is also there to coach their clients and motivate them to continue their progress when they leave the gym. Personal trainers are certified by an accredited fitness association and continue their education by regularly attending conferences, clinics, and in-person courses. Today, personal trainers work in a variety of settings, including within health clubs, visiting the home, at worksite fitness facilities, and online.

#5 Exercise for Weight Loss

To start, weight loss should begin with emphasis on a proper eating routine that will provide you with the nutrients that you need, but will result in a caloric deficit, which means you burn more calories than you ingest. And a great complement to eating right is the often recommended physical activity. This can include low-intensity exercise such as brisk walking or going to the park and running around with your kids, with high intensity exercise being running, swimming, and weight lifting. The increase in muscle will burn more calories at rest and enhance the level of hormones that control appetite. Aerobic exercise will lower the risk of heart disease and improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

#4 Strength Training with Free Weights

Strength training is an important style of exercise that is essential to muscular strength and endurance and also an effective aspect of weight management and a faster metabolism. The term “Free Weights” includes equipment like barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls and resistance bands, and more and more people have purchased these items for home use, especially in the last couple of years. When starting out on a new strength training routine or using a new piece of equipment, it is incredibly important to focus on mastering the technique of a particular exercise first. This way the muscles will learn the correct way to do the movement and then you’ll know sooner if your technique is off as you go to higher weights and intensities.

#3 Outdoor Activities

Setting aside the typical resistance training methods of exercise, outdoor activities, as defined by the ACSM, are ventures that include small group walks in the neighborhood or your local park, group rides to other locations, and hiking excursions. This trend is more communal in nature and enables people to socialize while also getting low-to-moderate intensity exercises over the course of a few hours. In a time when you’ve been in our homes far too long, an outdoor activity would be a great change of pace. Other considerations when planning to be active outside are clothing to address potential exposure to the sun, heat, and cold, as well as wearing proper footwear to avoid chronic injuries.

#2 Home Exercise Gyms

Working out at home is nothing new. We all know someone who owns an exercise bike, a multi exercise machine, or a set of old dusty weights in their garage. But more recently, there has been a surge in popularity for creating gyms within a person’s home. Results of these individual creations can vary wildly, from a simple black mat with some dumbbells and radio to an all out personalized gym that perfectly embodies the vision and workout style of its creator. There are also a number of groups on social media that celebrate this trend with members proudly posting about their unique home gym’s equipment, accessories, and style, and shows that a home gym is only limited by the owner’s imagination and pursuance of their fitness goals.

#1 Wearable Technology

Technology within the fitness industry has advanced considerably in recent years. There are a number of devices like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart-rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices that count your steps and track your heart rate, calories, and how far you’ve run and where. The information can then be analyzed and used to improve exercise performance, recovery, and overall lifestyle, as well as allow the wearer to stay consistent with an exercise routine by attempting to maintain or improve upon their own data. These types of devices are also used at the collegiate, professional, and international levels of competition in the hopes of getting an edge over their competitors, just like you pursuing to improve into your future self.

Thank you for reading this article. If you'd like to read the Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2023 by the ACSM, please click on the link below:

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2023 - ACSM (Written by the Suspension Scientist)


James Curley, Suspension Scientist. Science and Programming for Suspension Exercises and Elastic Bands. Related to TRX Suspension Training
James Curley, The Suspension Scientist 

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Science and Programming for Suspended Exercises and Elastic Bands: Live-Streaming
Science and Programming for Suspended Exercises and Elastic Bands: Live-Streaming