As the new year begins, many of us are thinking about resolutions and how best to achieve our fitness goals. Why not find out what the best fitness experts are telling their clients to do?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveyed more than 4,000 fitness professionals to find out what trends they’re predicting will grow. After compiling the results, the organization released their annual list of the top trends to expect in the new year.

Which ones made the cut? Here are ACSM’s top 10 fitness trends for 2018:

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

HIIT has been around since the early 20th century but is just now gaining popularity among the masses. Characterized by short periods of high-intensity bursts of exercise separated by short recovery bouts, HIIT allows people to exercise more effectively and in less time, which is typically 30 minutes or less. Proponents of HIIT say the workouts are so short and varied that people are less likely to quit doing them. Because of the lack of monotony, long-term adherence to the program is often greater. Cardiorespiratory improvements are among the greatest benefits seen with HIIT.

2. Group training

Although you may enjoy your solo workouts, research shows that those who work out in a group or with a partner are more likely to vary their workouts and work out more effectively. You may train longer when alone, but more efficiently with a partner. Training with others helps you stay accountable as well; you’re less likely to skip the gym if you know there are others counting on you to show up.

3. Wearable technology

It’s difficult to walk down the street these days without seeing someone wearing a fitness device. From tracking step count, heart rate, and sleep time, wearable technology allows users to follow their individual fitness and health outcomes each day. Wearable technology fell from the top spot in 2017 but remains in the top five for another year.

4. Body-weight training

The ability to work out anytime, anywhere, without any expensive or fancy equipment, is a huge draw to many people. Pushups, planks, squats, and lunges are all great body-weight exercises that help build strength, flexibility, and balance.

5. Strength training

Consistency is key to the greatest gains with strength training. The reason why strength training is trending is because it likely can help limit the decline of muscle strength as we age as well as improve balance and quality of life. ACSM recommends two to four sets of eight to 12 repetitions on two to three nonconsecutive days each week to improve strength and power.

6. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals

More and more organizations are offering fitness certifications these days as the job market for fitness professionals becomes more and more competitive. Certifications are a way for professionals to stand out among their peers. Among the top certifications are those offered for personal training, group fitness, clinical exercise science, and strength and conditioning.

7. Yoga

Yoga has been around for centuries as a form of relaxation and overall health. There is a type of yoga for everyone. Some of the top yoga styles are Vinyasa Flow, with fast-paced, fluid movements; Hatha yoga, a slower-paced stretching style of yoga; and Restorative yoga, a relaxing, slow form that is great before bedtime.

8. Personal training

With kinesiology or exercise science becoming one of the fastest-growing college degrees today, the availability of personal training is growing, too. Personal training is one option for graduates of exercise science that doesn’t take an advanced degree; also, certification is an option. Personal trainers can be employed by gyms, corporate wellness programs, medical settings, and others.

9. Fitness programs for older adults

As the baby-boomer generation heads into retirement age, many fitness professionals are designing programs specifically for older adults. Maintaining strength, balance, and flexibility are often the goal to sustain and improve quality of life.

10. Functional fitness

The goal of functional fitness exercises is to improve all aspects of everyday living – core strength, stability, and balance. Most functional fitness programs include exercises that use multiple joints and muscles (i.e., squats and multidirectional lunges). They’re designed as all-around programs to help to improve joint mobility, release tight muscles, and strengthen weak muscles.

A regimen that you might also wish to check out is the PRISE protocol, which incorporates several of the above and is shown to improve performance when combined with Isagenix products. Before jumping on any of these fitness trends in the new year, check them with your doctor.


Thompson WR. Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2018. ACSM’s Health and Fitness J. 2017 Nov/Dec; 21(6): 10-19. doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000341.

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