Fitness & Health, Sport & Exercise Science

Top fitness trends for 2014

High intensity interval trainingThe top two fitness trends for 2014 will be high-intensity interval training, such as P90X and CrossFit, and body-weight training such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and planks, according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual fitness trends survey which has just been published.

Previous hot trends that didn’t make the new top 20 list: Zumba (Latin-inspired dance workouts), Pilates, spinning, kickboxing, barefoot walking and running, and stability-ball workouts.

ACSM surveyed more than 3,800 fitness professionals who work in commercial, clinical, community and corporate gyms and health clubs around the world to identify the top 20 fitness trends for next year.

High-intensity interval training involves working out as hard as you can for a short period of time followed by a short, less-intense period using a combination of exercises such as plyometrics (jumping), strength training, yoga, cardiovascular exercise and stretching and are aimed at people who are already accustomed to exercise and are looking for something different and challenging.

Several of the top 10 trends, including body-weight training and group personal training, may be a reflection of the tight economy, with people going back to basics and using relatively low-cost ways to get in shape.

Leading dietitian Nancy Clark, author of Human Kinetics’ Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, says for some people high-intensity interval training “is a way to relieve stress and work out frustrations.”

But she is not convinced this trend will last long. “If Zumba has moved off the charts — and that is fun — how long will high-intensity exercise hang on? We’ll find out. Likely longer among Type A, time-pressed people who are dedicated to maintaining their health.”

Here is the top 10 list for 2014, released in the November/December issue of the ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal:

  • High-intensity interval training, such as P90X and CrossFit
  • Body-weight training such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and planks
  • Employment of educated and experienced fitness professionals.
  • Strength training. The exercises can be done at the gym or at home with free weights, machines or tried-and-true callisthenics.
  • Exercise and weight loss.
  • Personal training. Still popular but showing a slight decrease in the one-on-one training.
  • Fitness programmes for older adults. Many fitness professionals are creating age-appropriate fitness programmes to keep older adults healthy and active.
  • Functional fitness. This is closely related to special fitness programs for older adults. The goal of this trend is to use strength training to improve balance, coordination, endurance and people’s ability to perform activities of daily living.
  • Group personal training. Personal trainers who work with two or four people can offer deep discounts to each member of the group.
  • Yoga. It utilises a series of specific body postures practised for health and relaxation. It retains its popularity by instructors changing their yoga routines enough that it remains attractive to participants.

Other trends in the top 20: exercise for the treatment and prevention of obesity in children; work site health promotion; core training; outdoor activities; circuit training; outcome measurements (track outcomes to make sure the program is working); wellness coaching; sport-specific training; worker incentive programs; boot camp.

Source: Health and Fitness Journal

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