ACSM Announce 2016 Fitness Trends


Leading fitness experts from the Australian Institute of Fitness, Cameron Byrnes and Rosemary Marchese share their thoughts on the ACSM’s top ten fitness trend predictions for next year.

If you map out your workout session on a GPS, track the calories you burn and then share these results across social media for your friends to see, you’re following the number one predicted fitness trend for 2016 – Wearable Technology, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) who has just announced its annual fitness trend forecast for 2016.

Now in its tenth year, the survey was completed by more than 2,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide, many certified by ACSM, and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments.

Forty potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM, including a few new additions to last year’s list, one of which rose immediately to the number one spot.

“The results are a little surprising”, said Rosemary Marchese, National Training Maestro for the Australian Institute of Fitness. “Whilst body weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are still star performers, it seems that there has been a shift away from the ‘do-it-yourself’ and less expensive options of body weight training, to consumers being willing to spend the dollars to get their fitness into shape.”

“Another little surprise is that weight loss programs have dropped from spot number 6 last year to 9 for next year. That’s a little shock considering the well-known issue we are having with climbing obesity and chronic illness rates. Rather than the weight loss programs incorporating regular exercise and calorie restriction for better weight control, tech devices are being used more often to change the way workouts are being planned and managed.”

Cameron Byrnes, Institute graduate, Celebrity PT and Fitness Expert believes the predicted trends will empower everyone to become smarter, train more effectively and monitor progress easier.

“Wearable technology makes an individual more aware of their activity and can help to achieve their fitness goals easier. It means more people will be able to train on their own and use tech devices to plan their own workouts. What it also means is that PT’s and fitness coaches will be held more accountable. Their clients are likely to be more health savvy and demand more from their workouts and then even more from their fitness education providers if they want to go that one step further and have a career in fitness themselves.”

Cameron also comments, “It’s great to see that body weight, HIIT and strength training are high on trend list again for this year. All of these types of training are a highly effective way of getting and staying in shape, can be done at home or in the gym, on your own or with a PT. Therefore, it suits most age groups and fitness levels.”

The top 10 fitness trends for 2016 are:

1. Wearable Technology: includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.

2. Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

4. Strength Training: Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders (the other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility).

5. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: Given the large number of organisations offering health and fitness certifications, it’s important that consumers choose professionals certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), such as those offered by ACSM. ACSM is one of the largest and most prestigious fitness-certification organisations in the world.

6. Personal Training: More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, which indicates that they are preparing themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialling for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them.

7. Functional Fitness: This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.

8. Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

9. Exercise and Weight Loss: In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

10. Yoga: Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

About Cameron Byrnes, Australian Institute of Fitness graduate, Celebrity PT and Fitness Expert

Cameron has over 13 years’ experience in the fitness industry and has trained clients like KISS FM’s Jackie O and pop-star Samantha Jade. In 2014 Cameron was featured as a Personal Trainer on Channel Seven’s Bringing Sexy Back and is regularly featured on television and in a variety of media publications. Cameron has recently partnered with Channel 7’s Larry Emdur on a men’s 12-week transformation program called If Not Now, When?

About Rosemary Marchese, National Training Maestro for the Australian Institute of Fitness

Rosemary develops learning materials for the Australian Institute of Fitness, ensuring that courses are evidence-based and innovative. She has a degree in physiotherapy and over 20 years’ experience in the fitness industry as an author, freelance writer, trainer and assessor.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Summer 2015 edition of the WNiF Magazine, which includes a 2016 industry forecast according to some of the key players in the Australian industry. 

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