Fitness Programs | Top Ten Fitness Trends for 2010

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Top Ten Fitness Trends for 2010

ExergamingThe American Council on Exercise announced the top ten fitness trends for 2010 based on an annual survey of its extensive worldwide network of personal trainers, group fitness experts, advanced health and fitness specialists and lifestyle and weight management consultants.  These findings conclude that, in the New Year, consumers will be looking to arrange their fitness regimens with time and money in mind.  Tighter budgets and hectic schedules will also bring unique and efficient workouts to the forefront of the fitness world.

“Consumers will really look to maximize their workout results while maintaining a close eye on their budgets this year,” said ACE’s Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D.  “Along with financial constraints, we understand that people are busier than ever and will look for workouts that offer the results they seek while fitting within their already jam-packed schedules.  Aside from these limitations, we will continue to see a trend toward alternative fitness programming and classes as well as a continued growth among aging adults who are choosing to maintain active, healthy lifestyles.”

The following represents ACE’s listing of the top fitness trends for 2010:

  • Cost-Conscious Workouts at Fitness Clubs and at Home: The impact of the economy continues to affect the choices of fitness enthusiasts and health clubs alike.  Gyms will alter programming and training to better serve the needs of the cost-conscious member, while in-home workouts utilizing small, portable fitness equipment will be popular among individuals watching their budgets.
  • Group Training: Individuals will scale back on personal training sessions to take advantage of small-group training and group class participation as another way to save on expenses. Health clubs may alter some programs to better suit the needs of larger groups.  Likewise, individuals may find that the group setting offers additional motivation and support of their fitness efforts.
  • Time-Efficient Workouts for the Time-Pressured American: Shorter yet higher-intensity workouts will be more appealing to those with busy schedules because they can reap significant fitness rewards with relatively minimal time investment.  Boot-camp style workouts will continue to be one of the most popular of these trends in 2010, offering the ability to burn sufficiently large number of calories while simultaneously improving muscular fitness.  Circuit training will also be a time-efficient workout of choice due to its combined strength and endurance activities.
  • Exergaming: Exergames will continue to climb in popularity and be taken to the next level: fitness clubs.  By integrating fitness-based video games into their programming, clubs will offer unique exercise sessions for game-lovers and those looking for variety within their workouts.  Studies conducted by ACE on exergaming-type systems, including Nintendo’s Wii Sports and Wii Fit and the PC-based Dancetown, offer insight into the true fitness benefits associated with these alternative fitness options.
  • Boomer-Specific Programs: Special fitness programming for aging adults will remain a strong trend next year.  Growing numbers of boomers recognize the multitude of benefits that come along with regular exercise participation, from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to maintaining one’s functional independence and overall wellbeing.
  • Functional Training Workouts: Functional training workouts will increase in variety, including popular suspension training tools such as TRX.  The portability and time-efficiency of these workouts will appeal to people looking to stay fit at home, the office, the gym or while traveling.
  • Health and Fitness Awareness: The importance of health and fitness is gaining greater awareness among commercial and governmental organizations.  There will be a strong movement towards collaboration between these groups and health and fitness organizations throughout the New Year.  These diverse groups will work together in the fight against physical inactivity and obesity.
  • Importance of Proper Professional Credentials: Health and fitness clubs are recognizing the need for, and the importance of, hiring trainers who hold high-quality, reputable professional credentials. NCCA-accredited fitness certification is fast becoming the recognized stamp of approval for credentialing quality in the fitness industry.  ACE is among the few organizations to which the National Commission for Certifying Agencies grants this accreditation for certification programs.
  • Specialty Exercise Classes:  Specialty classes such as ethnic dance, hooping, pole dancing and Zumba will remain popular due in part to the continued success of shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.  Fusion-type classes will be popular among fitness enthusiasts that want to switch up their typical workout programs.  Additionally, more gyms will offer unique group exercise programs and mind-body activities.
  • Fitness Training Tools: Technology is continuing to infiltrate the fitness world.  The use of tracking and online training and scheduling tools will increase in the coming year with more people looking to better gauge their progress by accessing and monitoring details of their fitness programs.  Some popular examples of tracking gadgets include GoWear fit and Fitbit, while online tools such as TrainingPeaks software offer fitness programs and meal plans that people can access 24-7.  Mobile applications are even bringing fitness on-the-go through iPhone applications and other downloadable programming.


  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)
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