Fitness trends can be tricky to predict, even more so given the craziness that was last year. But there are a few organisations that usually do a pretty good job. The ACSM’s Worldwide Trends Survey and ClassPass trends report are both particularly good and can help you get ahead of the curve.
In this article – we analyse the latest fitness industry trends and summarise them in a handy infographic.
Top of the list for 2021 is online training, followed by wearable tech and bodyweight training. Given that millions of people globally were forced to stay at home, it’s no surprise that these trends are reflective. Outdoor activities, HIIT, and virtual training have also been popular and look set to continue.
In recent years, we’ve also highlighted the industry shift towards more minimalist fitness – something that’s become even more evident in the latest survey.
Activities that don’t require any special equipment (such as HIIT, outdoor activities, and bodyweight training) all feature in ACSM’s top 10. However equipment-based activities (like indoor cycling, stability ball workouts, and suspension training) are nowhere to be seen.
Despite the trend towards minimalism, wearables have maintained their top-two spot for three years straight (and hovered around the top 3 prior to that).
The allure of stylish smartwatches and GPS trackers doesn’t seem to be fading, although questions remain over their effectiveness in supporting fitness goals.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the top 10 fitness trends for 2021 (and how they’ve changed since last year)…
- Online Training ↑
- Wearable Technology ↓
- Bodyweight Training ↑
- Outdoor Activities ↑
- High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) ↓
- Virtual Training NEW
- Exercise Is Medicine® ↓
- Training With Free Weights ↓
- Fitness Programs For Older Adults ↓
- Personal Training ↓
Since the full survey write-up is several thousand words long, we thought we’d summarise the results into a handy infographic. It provides an overview of the top fitness trends – feel free to share with anyone who might find it useful…
So there you have a summarised version of the ACSM fitness trends survey results. Now let’s dive into some of the more detailed analysis…
Fitness Trends – Minimalism & Millennials
This overall trend wasn’t highlighted in the ACSM survey analysis but seems to mirror a larger cultural shift towards simpler living. The tiny house movement, minimalist product design, and preferences for real food over processed, all reflect our desire for a simpler lifestyle.
It also appears to reflect millennial preferences towards personalisation and experiences over material things – as demonstrated by the rise of boutique studios. This is hardly surprising given that fitness pros aged 22-34 were the biggest number of respondents to the survey.
You might now be wondering what didn’t make the top trends… Well, indoor cycling, Zumba classes, small group PT, and sports-specific training were all notably absent.
Surprisingly, exercise programs for overweight and obese children were no longer in the top 20. With childhood obesity on the increase, it’s a little concerning that the focus on supporting this area seems to be declining.
However, Exercise Is Medicine and fitness programs for older adults did make it into the top 10, as the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement and looking for ways to stay active.
2021 Fitness Industry Report
This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date health and fitness industry research report available. Unlike others, you get extended access to the 2021 edition, including any updates that are made as new market data becomes available. Ideal for business planning, the report includes;
- Health & fitness industry growth, revenue & future predictions
- Online & virtual fitness market developments
- Impact of recent global events & estimated recovery timelines
- Number of gyms, members & retention statistics
- Growth markets, segments & audiences including Millennials
- Latest industry trends & how to capitalise on them
- Financial information for the largest club operators globally
- Biggest & fastest growing fitness franchises
- Insights into the personal training & boutique market segments
- Data on fitness product, equipment & wearables markets
- Evidence-based predictions for the future of the industry
- 14-day money-back guarantee, no questions or hassle
What do you think about these fitness trends for 2021? Are any of them surprising? Is there anything you think is missing? Let us know your thoughts…