Here They Are: The Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2015

Exploring Intensity

Here They Are: The Top 20 Fitness Trends of 2015

If you are interested in what your fellow fitness freaks are doing, this list of 2015’s fitness trends released by the American College of Sports Medicine is a worthwhile read.  There is a lot to muddle through here, with each of the top 20 being defined for clarity. Here is a digested read to see if you’re sweating along with any of the latest trends. Our list would include specific workouts and rapidly growing companies like Soul Cycle, Orange Theory and Pure Barre.

  1. Body weight training – This evolution of the standard push-ups and pull-ups we all know has become the number one trend, in part due to the popularity of brief workout programs that can be done anywhere – like the NY Times 7 Minute Workout.
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training – This debuted on the list last year at #1 even though there were large contingents of skeptics as to whether these short, intense workouts were truly incredible or kind of dangerous. And with new benefits being reported left and right, along with an increasing fascination in HIIT, this may stay up near the top for a while.
  3. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals – With more and more trainers getting jobs, this trend retained its #3 spot as people like the motivation and coaching that comes with a trainer.
  4. Strength training – Weights are still popular and while this has dropped slightly from a few years ago, we feel that lifting something heavy until you can’t lift it anymore will always be a pretty popular exercise idea.
  5. Personal training – Uh, by everything we could understand, this is pretty much the same as #3, so we’ll skip it.
  6. Exercise and weight loss – This is another one that we’re not really sure why it’s included, as most fitness is accompanied with diet, but okay.
  7. Yoga – This has been yo-yoing around the list for a while, but has been climbing in recent years, as you are probably not surprised to hear. Yoga gear is booming, and yoga studios are offering a wider array of styles than in previous years.
  8. Fitness programs for older adults – “The Athletic Old” are the baby boomers that have a little extra cash and are more aware than their parents that exercise is not only possible at their age, but it is very important to ward off dozens of health issues. We can only see this trend increasing as programs geared to the silver haired demographic increase.
  9. Functional fitness – This is essentially training designed to help you get through the day without tripping or pulling a muscle; balance work, squats, suitcase carry, etc.
  10. Group personal training – While personal training has already appeared twice on here, the more budget-friendly group sessions (as well as the herd mentality of programs like Crossfit) appeal to anyone watching their budget.
  11. Worksite health promotion – Your company pays you to workout and gives you an excuse to skip out on a meeting to get on the treadmill (see #19). This is mostly just your workplace management begging you to please get up from your desk occasionally, and please don’t eat all the donuts that were brought in this morning.
  12. Outdoor activities – Getting outside and sweating in nature may be a little lower than you expected, but hey, mother nature doesn’t have TVs.
  13. Wellness coaching – Another personal trainer, this time with a different name and a more touchy-feely method. Sort of like Tony Robbins, but wearing shorts.
  14. Circuit training – This is considered MIIT, Moderate-intensity interval training. A circuit of exercises that work a variety of muscles and help to alleviate boredom.
  15. Core training – This is abs and lower back, mostly. This was one of the top trends for years, but it looks like it may be slipping off the top 20 soon.
  16. Sport-specific training – This is mostly training for a sport during the off season, and while it was once popular, and may come back, this clearly doesn’t have the universal appeal of most of these trends.
  17. Children and exercise for the treatment/prevention of obesity – This is maybe the saddest one. This was in the top 5 for years, but it’s falling away just when we seem to need it.
  18. apple-microsoft-watchesOutcome measurement – Fitbits, Apple Watch, and everything that allows you to have a measurable way to figure out if you’re actually doing your body good. We would have ranked this trend in the top 5.
  19. Worker incentive programs – As mentioned, this is the one where you are actually rewarded in some meaningful way to remain healthy. It’s still in the top 20, but until the obesity epidemic gets worse, we don’t think it will crack the top 10.
  20. Boot camp – This was once in the top 10, but is now clinging for life. It seems that people want the intensity and the do or die feeling of pushing themselves to their limits, but they don’t really like the idea of doing it military-style.


Less-than-honorable mentions – Also, here are some things that have fallen off and are being checked for a pulse by the ACSM: Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Mixed Martial Arts, Online Training, Medical Ball Slamming and Bowka, whatever that is.



Comments are closed.