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The Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2016 [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you’re aiming to get in shape this year, check out the top 10 Fitness Trends for 2016, according to The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
fitness trends 2016

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1) Wearable Technology
Wearable tech is all the rage, and these unique devices can help you to get the most out of your workouts. Examples of wearable tech include smart watches and fitness trackers (like Apple Watch, Garmin and Fitbit), heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking units. Wearable tech can help you keep track of valuable fitness data, like total calories burned, distance, and heart rate.

How can you participate? Wearable tech is available commercially. Prices are decreasing as the tech becomes increasingly popular.

2) Body Weight Training
Body weight training is pretty old school—basically, it involves using your own body weight to train and exercise your muscles. Push-ups and pull-ups are classic examples of effective body-weight training exercises. When done correctly, and performed consistently, this type of training can be extremely efficient when it comes to burning fat and building muscle.

How can you participate? The great thing about body weight exercises is that they can be done anywhere!

3) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
A relatively new workout, HIIT features intense bursts of activity over short time periods with brief intervals of rest in between. HIIT workouts are only done for about 30 minute periods, and they typically feature exercises like running, push-ups, burpees, or squatting all blended together. HIIT is an extremely effective workout: HIIT keeps intensity high, which helps to boost a person’s aerobic and anaerobic endurance levels. Because HIIT often blends multiple high-intensity exercises together, some argue that HIIT is a more effective workout than more traditional cardio activities, like running.

How can you participate? HIIT can be done at home, though some gyms offer HIIT classes too.

4) Strength Training
Strength training basically involves using weighted resistance (e.g. free weights or weight machines) to build muscle strength, increase flexibility and boost overall aerobic levels. A classic workout, strength training is a mainstay of most gyms, and it’s a great and fun way to build muscle.

How can you participate? You can use free weights at home, or you can use larger weights or weight machines at a gym.

5) Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
People are more concerned about their health and fitness than ever before. That’s why there’s an increased demand for fitness professionals who understand all aspects of health and fitness, from exercise to dieting. There’s a growing need for fully certified fitness professionals who have a wide ranging but detailed fitness education, and individuals are actively looking for professionals who can help them make the lifestyle changes needed to accomplish their fitness goals.

How can you participate? From personal trainers to nutritionists, there are plenty of fitness professionals out there who are available for consultation.

6) Personal Training
Personal trainers are educated and certified fitness professionals who specialize in helping their clients achieve their fitness goals. Some personal trainers focus solely on exercising, while others offer advice and guidance on both exercise and important lifestyle changes, such as dieting. A personal trainer can create a custom workout that can help a person accomplish specific goals (e.g. build core strength, lose weight, etc.), and they can also assist by motivating a person when they’re having a tough time with a workout.

How can you participate? Most gyms offer personal training.

7) Functional Fitness
Functional fitness is exactly what it sounds like: it’s meant to be functional, helping individuals to build overall strength to make certain everyday, practical activities or movements easier. Functional fitness and fitness programs for older adults are similar—they both focus on helping individuals improve mobility and strength, and they help to make certain movements (which could become challenging for older individuals) a little easier. However, functional fitness is meant for a wide range of adults, while fitness for older adults is mostly meant for the elderly.

How can you participate? Functional fitness can be done at home, but there are also gyms and community centers that offer functional fitness programs.

8) Fitness Programs for Older Adults
By using lightweights and performing certain aerobic exercises on a regular basis, an elderly or older adult can gradually boost their mobility and strength, which can improve their overall quality of living.

How can you participate? Gyms, community centers and senior care centers often offer fitness programs for older adults.

9) Exercise and Weight Loss
According to the CDC, over 1/3 of adults (that’s roughly 78.6 million) are obese. One of the best ways to prevent obesity and lose weight is through regular, daily exercise—that’s why weight-loss-targeting exercise is becoming exceedingly popular throughout the U.S.

How can you participate? Weight-loss exercises, like running or strength training, can be done at home, at a gym or with others in a fitness class.


10) Yoga
An ancient physical art form, yoga has experienced a spike in popularity in recent decades. Yoga, generally speaking, is an exercise that features a number of postures and poses, which when done regularly, can help to improve mobility, strength, flexibility, breathing and blood flow. There are a number of different yoga disciplines. For example, Ananda Yoga focuses on meditation, Bikram is physically demanding (since it involves performing tough poses in a 105-degree-heated room) and Power Yoga is designed to help boost muscle strength.

How can you participate? Yoga studios are extremely common—it’s all about trying to find the right studio that fits your fitness needs.


Other trends for 2016:

  • Group Personal Training
  • Worksite Health Promotion
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Sport-specific Training
  • Flexibility and Mobility Rollers
  • Smartphone Exercise Apps
  • Circuit Training
  • Core Training
  • Outcome Measurements
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Shifting into Shape: The Evolution of Fitness Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Slow and Steady Wins the Race? OR Fast and Efficient Gets Results?

We’ve seen a huge change in fitness trends over the past few decades. We’ve altered the way we define effective cardio and strength training, and on top of that we’ve added an incredible amount of technology into the mix. Our workouts today focus on reaching results faster and more efficiently.

Check out this infographic to see how we’ve managed to make our workouts more powerful than ever!

evolution of fitness infographic

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Cardio Trends

  • Past Trend: Used to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to reach fat-burning levels.
  • Current Trend: Now we reach higher fat-burning levels in under 20 minutes.
    • The workout – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) #2 Fitness Trend of 2015 (according to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal)
    • What’s the logic behind that? When you “damage” your muscle tissues (as you do in this type of extreme workout), your body uses up more energy to repair those tissues.
    • This tissue repair ramps up your metabolism during the workout and maintains it for hours after.
  • Past Trend: Cardio is not used to build muscle mass.
  • Current Trend: Cardio exercises can help you gain muscle faster.
    • Hours upon hours of cardio may hold back some of your muscle gain, but quick and intense cardio workouts (i.e. getting your heart rate up to max levels for shorter periods of time) boost your metabolism and help you build muscle faster.
    • Keep in mind that if muscle building is your goal, then you should be consuming more calories than you’re burning.
    • Cardio also gives you a healthier heart and better blood circulation, pushing nutrients to your muscle tissue and repairing your muscles faster.

Weight Training & Strengthening Trends

  • Past Trend: Get a perfect six-pack with weighted ab crunches.
  • Current Trend: Use stabilizing exercises to get that gorgeous six-pack.
    • Weighted crunches can definitely help define your six-pack, but what that’s really doing is growing your muscle.
    • If you do too many weighted crunches you can end up looking bulky in your stomach rather than lean.
    • Stability training and balancing exercises engage your core and all the muscle fibers in your abs.
    • This core engagement tones your abs while burning calories, creating a leaner look.
  • Past Trend: Add muscle mass through isolated strengthening exercises.
  • Current Trend: Get faster, more desirable muscle-building results with compound exercises.
    • The muscle growth hormone is released proportionally to how many muscle fibers you hit, so the logic here is that the more comprehensive your exercise, the more growth hormones are released.
    • Compound exercises include: Squats with weight, lunges, deadlifts, etc.
    • You can do fewer reps and sets, and quickly get out of the gym and on with your day.

Technology + Fitness Trends


  • Thighmaster – A small, simple device you place between your legs which you squeeze together to work out your hip adductors.
  • ROM Gym – A full-body workout machine that works muscles, cardio, and flexibility (looks like stationary bike with extra features).


  • MyFitnessPal – an app for the iPhone which allows users to track their workouts and eating habits, as well as share their progress with the user community.
  • Wii Fit – A video game workout you have to interact with to “play”. The game features yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games that you can play with your friends and family.


  • Flywheel – Data-driven, competitive spin classes featuring high-tech stationary bikes.
  • OMsignal – Fitness tech clothing that can track your heart rate, steps, breath and more.

Today (2014-2015)

  • Blast Motion Technology – A wearable fitness tech piece that links to your smartphone or GoPro and captures highlights of your fitness activities. The technology replays your highlights with metrics laid over the footage. Used for sports like baseball, basketball, and golf; action sports like BMX, motocross, and skateboarding; and other activities like gymnastics, weightlifting, and volleyball.
  • HealthKit – An app that centralizes all of your health- and fitness-related information by linking to other third-party apps.