Fitness trends can be tricky to predict, but the ACSM’s Worldwide Trends Survey usually does a pretty good job. Top of the list for 2018 is tough but effective high intensity interval training (HIIT).


Last year we highlighted a 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 yoga, functional, HIIT, and body weight training) all feature in the top 10.


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However equipment-based activities (like indoor cycling, stability ball workouts, and suspension training) are nowhere to be seen. Even the popularity of wearable technology seems to be declining, dropping from the top spot to #3 this year. Perhaps the allure of stylish smartwatches and GPS trackers is starting to fade, as people question how effective they actually are for achieving goals.


Fitness Trends – Minimalism & Millennials

This overall trend wasn’t highlighted in the 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.


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 10 fitness trends for 2018 – feel free to share with anyone who might find it useful…


Fitness Trends 2018 Infographic WellCo


So there you have a summarised version of the ACSM fitness trends survey results.


You might now be wondering what didn’t make the top trends… Well, the exercise is medicine program, exercise and weight loss, indoor cycling, Zumba classes, and sports-specific training were all notably absent.


Perhaps most surprising though, was that exercise programs for overweight and obese children were no longer featured. With childhood obesity on the increase, it’s a little concerning that the focus on supporting this area seems to be declining.


However, 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.


2019 Fitness Industry Report

This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date health and fitness industry research report available. Unlike others, you get lifetime access to the 2019 edition, including any updates that are made as new market data becomes available. Ideal for business planning, the report includes;


  • Health and fitness industry growth, revenue & future predictions
  • 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 boutique, budget & mid-market segments
  • Data on fitness product, equipment & wearables markets
  • Evidence-based predictions for the future of the industry


Fitness Marketing Ideas Ebook AdWhat do you think about these fitness trends for 2018? Are any of them surprising? Is there anything you think is missing? Let us know your thoughts…