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Back to basics: Body weight, circuit training debut on fitness trends list for 2013

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Results from the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine’s "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends" prove that strong is indeed the new sexy. It also suggests that people are stripping down their workouts, getting back to basics and searching for a quality workout experience.

Body weight training, an effective and inexpensive form of exercise that uses your own body weight or minimal equipment, made its debut on the top 20 list for the first time at an impressive No. 3 spot. Body weight training is also a great form of functional exercise, since you’re working your muscles three-dimensionally rather than on a machine. With the popularity of such programs as the TRX system, we’re surprised it took this long for it to make the list.

We love that “outcome measurements” are back on the top 20 list at No. 17. Outcome measurements are a way to determine progress in clubs and wellness programs. The ACSM said that accountability to owners and operators of health and fitness facilities will provide important metrics to determine if new programs are cost-effective and if old programs are actually working.

Another no-frills form of training, circuit training appeared on the top 20 list for the first time at No. 18. According to the ACSM, circuit training is a group of six to 10 exercises that are completed one after another and in a predetermined sequence. Each exercise is performed for a specified number of repetitions or for a set period before having a quick rest and moving on to the next exercise.

With preventive health care more important than ever, we’re glad to see that worker incentive programs and worksite health promotion not only stayed in the top 20, but also moved down to the No. 11 and 15 spots. The ACSM said this trend represents a resurgence of corporate health promotion programs as a result of rising healthcare costs experienced by both small and large companies and corporations. It also may be a response to recent healthcare reform legislation in the United States. Worker incentive programs also are associated with the trend to provide worksite health promotion programs in an attempt to reduce healthcare costs.

Quality control is also prevalent as educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals hold steady at No. 1 for the sixth year in a row! There are more fitness educator programs available in colleges, which mean a more competitive industry for fitness professionals. For us consumers, this can lead to more quality trainers at lower prices.

“I am pleased to see that educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals remains at the top of the list because individuals have to be informed of the impact that exercise can make on society," said Trudy Moore-Harrison, lecturer and graduate practicum supervisor for the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal. "Fitness professionals have to continue to lead the way by encouraging physical activity every day.”

 

Top 20 worldwide fitness trends for 2013

1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
2. Strength training
3. Body weight training *
4. Children and obesity
5. Exercise and weight loss
6. Fitness programs for older adults
7. Personal training
8. Functional fitness
9. Core training
10. Group personal training
11. Worksite health promotion
12. Zumba and other dance workouts
13. Outdoor activities
14. Yoga
15. Worker incentive programs
16. Boot camp
17. Outcome measurements
18. Circuit training
19. Reaching new markets
20. Wellness coaching

* Indicates a top 20 position new for 2012
Source: American College of Sports Medicine

Check out the whole report at Journals.lww.com.

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