HellaWella works out the latest fitness trends


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The 2012 American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends is out. While this survey is meant for the health and fitness industry, there are a few interesting takeaways that HellaWella readers should know.

Trend or fad?
Zumba takes the No. 9 spot on the Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2012, while Pilates gets booted off completely. (Looks like we’re not the only ones that think “torture device” when looking at Pilates equipment.) Zumba made its debut on the list this year.

“While Zumba has experienced a rapid surge in popularity in the past year, future surveys will indicate if Zumba is truly a trend or simply a fad,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey, in a press release.

Pilates jumped right to No. 7 on the Top 20 list in 2008 and held strong in that position in 2009. By 2010, it fell back to No. 9. This year, it is completely wiped off the top 20 list. We’ll have to see how Zumba holds up in future surveys. HellaWella predicts that Zumba has more staying power than Pilates.

Fitness pros aplenty
Taking the No. 1 spot for the fifth year in a row are educated and experienced fitness professionals.

There are more fitness educator programs available in colleges, which means a more competitive industry for fitness professionals. For us consumers, this can lead to more quality trainers at lower prices (fingers crossed!).

According to the survey, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2008 there were approximately 261,100 employed fitness trainers and projects that by 2018 that number will increase to 337,900 (a difference of 76,800 workers, a 29% increase in the work force in just 10 years, wowee!).

“The [BLS] is predicting that jobs for fitness workers will increase much faster than other occupations,” said Thompson, an exercise physiologist at Georgia State University and spokesperson for the ACSM American Fitness IndexTM in a press release. “Educated and experienced fitness professionals – such as those with professional certifications – will have the best chances to get new jobs in an increasingly competitive field.”

“Thank you, Sir, may I have another?”
Ah, bootcamps. There’s something special about getting your ass handed to you after a long, military-style training session. Bootcamps made the 2008 survey at No. 26. It jumped a few notches to No. 23 in 2009; a few notches more to No. 16 in 2010; and No. 8 in 2011, but fell to No. 13 in 2012. Researchers are interested in seeing where bootcamps end up on next year’s list. We hope they don’t fade away from the mainstream – a good bootcamp keeps us in line!

So many activities!
You may have noticed an increase in outdoor fitness activities – just check Groupon. For $5 you can meet up in Central Park and do boxing-style workouts, how awesome is that? In 2010, outdoor activities ranked No. 25 but in 2011, it dropped it No. 27. This year it shot up to No. 14 on the list. Keep a look out for more outdoor-inspired workout near you. We can’t wait to start our snowshoe kickboxing class this winter.

Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends for 2012

1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals
2. Strength training
3. Fitness programs for older adults
4. Exercise and weight loss
5. Children and obesity
6. Personal training
7. Core training
8. Group personal training
9. ZUMBA and other dance workouts*
10. Functional fitness
11. Yoga
12. Comprehensive health promotion programming at the worksite
13. Boot camp
14. Outdoor activities*
15. Reaching new markets
16. Spinning (indoor cycling)
17. Sport-specific training
18. Worker incentive programs
19. Wellness coaching
20. Physician referrals

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


Tell us: What fitness trend or fad would you like to see go away?