ACSM Survey Predicts 2010 Fitness Trends
lasting trend is developing in health and fitness, according to an
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) survey published in the
November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness
Journal®. The importance of experienced and educated fitness
professionals remains the top predicted fitness trend for the third
survey, now in its fourth year, was distributed to ACSM certified
health and fitness professionals worldwide and was designed to reveal
trends in various fitness environments. Nearly 1,500 completed surveys
were received from respondents around the world. Thirty-seven potential
trends were given as choices, with the top 20 ranked and published by
with 2009 results, the elevated importance of experienced and educated
fitness professionals was identified as the top trend of 2010, likely
due to increased industry regulation and an influx of specialty
certifications and educational programs available for these
professionals. This trend has moved up the list since the
survey’s inception in 2007, when it ranked third.
training surged to second in the rankings, an indicator of the
increased focus on strength training for various populations. Though
strength training once was viewed only as a training method for male
bodybuilders, more average exercisers and women are realizing its
importance for healthy bones, muscles and aging.
Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, lead author of the fitness trends survey, says
the 2010 predicted trends reflect consumer intelligence.
are more conscious of their finances than ever," he said. "If
they’re going to work with a fitness professional to improve
their health, they’re going to do their homework and find someone
who’s educated, experienced and certified by a reputable
organization such as ACSM."
The top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2010 are:
1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals.
Because of an increase in the number of organizations offering health
and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose
professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the
National Commission for Certifying Agencies, such as those offered by
2. Strength training.
Strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity
program – for all physical activity levels and genders. In
addition, some health clubs still focus exclusively on weight lifting
and strength training.
3. Children and obesity.
Health and fitness professionals see the growing problem of childhood
obesity as an opportunity to reverse an alarming trend. There is also
an increasing market demand for programs tailored to overweight and
4. Personal training.
Education, training and proper credentialing for health and fitness
professionals who act as personal trainers has become increasingly
important, and is an integral part of staffing for health and fitness
5. Core training.
Different from strength training, this type of training specifically
emphasizes conditioning of the middle-body muscles, including the
pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen –all of which provide needed
support for the spine.
6. Special fitness programs for older adults.
With more and more of the baby boomer population reaching retirement
age, health and fitness professionals are designing age-appropriate
fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and happy well into their
7. Functional fitness.
This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and
ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs
for older adults are closely related.
8. Sport-specific training.
This trend distinctly relates to young athletes. High school athletes
are incorporating training into their off-seasons in order to stay in
top shape for their sports, and might join a health and fitness club or
local community health organization to increase strength and endurance.
Incorporating core training using the entire body, Pilates classes have
become a mainstay of many health and fitness clubs. Pilates also
improves flexibility and posture.
10. Group personal training.
Perhaps the most surprising top-10 trend of the survey, group personal
training involves small groups, in lieu of one-on-one instruction. The
trend may reflect economic difficulties and makes financial sense for
both the client and the trainer.
The full list (Top 20 trends) is available in the article "Worldwide Survey Reveals Fitness Trends for 2010." http://www.informz.net/acsm/data/images/fitnesstrends2010.pdf
For more information on the American College of Sports Medicine, visit www.acsm.org.