SAN DIEGO (Dec. 9, 2008)—The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s leading authority on fitness and one of the largest fitness certification, education and training organizations in the world, today announced the top ten fitness trends for 2009 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. Findings conclude that boot camp-style workouts, which were named the most popular workout in 2008, will remain the top fitness trend in 2009. Additionally, consumers will tighten their wallets when it comes to staying in shape in a struggling economy.
“The overarching theme for fitness in 2009 is getting more bang for the buck,” says ACE’s Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. “Consumers will engage in workouts that provide multiple benefits due to time and economic limitations. We will also see continued trends from 2008 including boot-camp style workouts, technology-based workouts, out-of-the-box programming and an increased interest in fitness for those who are over 50 years old.”
The following represents ACE’s listing of the top fitness trends for 2009:
• Boot Camp-Style Workouts: Boot camp workouts remain extremely popular because they provide a total-body workout that’s varied, fun and challenging. Up to 600 calories can be burned during a boot camp session, which is obviously going to facilitate weight loss. But in addition to a great cardiovascular workout, muscles are strengthened through high- and low-intensity exercises such as pushups, squats and lunges. You don’t typically experience significant muscle fitness benefits in other aerobic exercises.
• Budget-Friendly Workouts: With today’s economy showing no signs of strengthening, more people will cut costs to stay in shape. Of the ACE-certified professionals surveyed, 48 percent said that gym memberships will decrease in 2009 and 52 percent said less people will hire personal trainers. Look for more people to use the resources around them as their gym and equipment.
• Specialty Classes: While yoga and Pilates will remain strong, dance-based classes are all the rage this year! Zumba, a fitness program inspired by Latin dance, combines South American rhythms with cardiovascular exercise. Bollywood, ballroom, Afro-Cuban and other exotic dance styles are growing in popularity thanks to shows such as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
• Getting Back to Basics: Despite the fact that many exercises and equipment are becoming more advanced and trendy, trainers will continue to focus on basic movements and techniques with their clients again.
• Circuit Training: Studies have shown that interval training combining strength training and cardiovascular activity at different intensities provides a more time-efficient workout than participating in traditional aerobic and weight training sessions. With an increase in popularity of circuit training, many gyms are even setting up their own circuits to allow their members an easy path to fitness.
• Kettlebells: The reason for the surge in kettlebell training is that it gets back to basic training that requires functional, whole body fitness. Kettlebells require an individual to focus on whole-body conditioning because lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, particularly the core, to contract as a group, simultaneously developing strength and stability. Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscle groups, making it a great way to get a whole body workout in a relatively short period of time.
• Boomer Fitness: Individuals age 50+ have the means, motivation and desire to enhance their quality of life through physical activity—and they are only growing. The 50+ audience continues to redefine our expectations about age, vitality and life, and has highlighted the importance of physical activity as we age. Since September 2007, AARP’s fitness initiative for boomers—aimed at providing a wide range of affordable fitness services to its 39 million members—has been going strong.
• Technology-Based Fitness: From iPods to Cardio Cinema to exergaming (i.e., Wii Fit, Expresso Bikes) the latest in technology will continue to infuse itself in all aspects of fitness. Look for 2009 to provide more interactive video games that provide fitness benefits, as well as new inventions to make exercising a more engaging experience.
• Event or Sport-Specific Exercises: Despite the emergence of new and trendy workouts, sports or recreational activities will remain a popular way to stay in shape. Participating in a friendly game of basketball or volleyball, training for a marathon, or taking a day-long bike ride are just a few ways that people are staying in shape and having fun doing so!
• Mixing It Up: Traditional programming is changing from what we called linear progression to undulating as research shows similar if not better results. For example, mixing low-intensity cardio with intervals on different days, and mixing high-volume, low- intensity weight training with low-volume, high-intensity training on alternate days.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s premier certification, education and training organization, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.