It's crucial that personal trainers stay up to date with trends to ensure that clients are getting the best training possible and the most bang for their buck. Trends commonly include current concerns of personal trainers as well as what types of exercises are growing in popularity.
Personal Trainer Credentials
The No. 1 fitness trend, according to a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, is the increased support for proper training and credentials of personal trainers. This is excellent news for the consumer; more qualified trainers means a higher quality fitness program. There has been a steady push for education, certification and experience in the career field of personal training.
Types of Exercise
When it comes to current popular trends in types of exercise, fitness professionals are going old school -- strength training and body-weight training are making a comeback, says the ACSM. Trainers are urging men and women of all ages to incorporate strength training into their routines or to even use it as a primary form of exercise. This emphasis earned strength training the No. 2 spot on the organization's top 10 fitness trends list for 2013. Body-weight training was named the ACSM's No. 3 trend as personal trainers increasingly guide clients back to the basics with exercises such as planks, squats and pushups. This also gives trainers more job flexibility, allowing them to work outside the gym when necessary.
Obesity and Weight Loss
The ACSM and the American Council on Exercise both consider obesity, or rather the fight against obesity, to be a fitness trend. While the ACSM survey trends are focused on childhood obesity, ACE cites obesity awareness for all genders and ages, stating that weight loss is the No. 1 reason people seek out the assistance of a personal trainer. Both organizations have found that fitness professionals have a keen desire to reverse the obesity epidemic throughout the United States.
Rather than just focusing on one aspect of physical fitness, personal trainers are now working to help improve your life as a whole. ACE says there is increased interest, on the part of trainers and clients, in a comprehensive fitness approach. By working with nutritionists, physical therapists and psychologists, personal trainers are addressing health and fitness holistically and placing an emphasis on overall well-being.
Another growing personal trainer trend includes behavior modification and accountability. This is happening in response to a former trend that emphasized dieting as the optimum method for losing weight.
Senior and Youth Specialties
Previously, personal trainers found themselves working primarily with young to middle-aged adults, but the clientele is now broadening to include youths and seniors. Personal trainers are meeting these changes by earning specialty certifications in programs that target young clients as well as those age 50 and older.
Every year different workouts hit the market and take the fitness world by storm. While some personal trainers take advantage of these popular trends, others tend to stick with what works. Functional fitness, core training, Zumba, yoga, boot camps, circuit training and outdoor activities all made the list for ACSM's survey of fitness trends. The economical benefits of offering training to small groups -- two to four people -- makes this kind of approach popular with personal trainers and clients, as well.
- ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal; World Survey of Fitness Trends for 2013; Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM; November/December 2012
- American Council on Exercise: Roadmap for the Future: ACE’s 2012 Fitness Trends to Watch
- ACSM: Body Weight Training: Emerging Trend in Annual ACSM Fitness Survey
About the Author
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University and is an American College of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer.