The sports and fitness industry continues to face incredible disruption, from new forms of wearable technology to innovative workout types. This change and innovation has definitely brought forth many challenges, however it has also opened the door to a lot of unique opportunities to target new audiences and try new things.
Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine releases a report of the top fitness trends for the coming year. This report aggregates survey data from more than 4,500 health and fitness professionals, including owners/ operators, personal trainers, medical professionals, and more.
As we settle into the new year, do you have a pulse on the greater trends of the industry? Here, we outline the top 7 industry trends you should look out for in 2022.
The Top 7 Industry Trends, According to Experts
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training is a popular form of exercise that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest. The popularity of HIIT largely stems from the efficiency and adaptability of this workout-type. Rather than complete a 60 or 90 minute cardio workout, you can achieve similar results through a 30-40 minute HIIT workout. These workouts can be completed individually or in groups, bodyweight or weighted, and online or in-person, making them a very accessible type of training for all levels.
#6 Personal Training
Coming in at #6, one-on-one training again finds itself as one of the top fitness trends in 2022. As people continue to set health and fitness goals, many are unsure about how to achieve them. There are many benefits to working with a personal trainer, from education to accountability. Personal training provides clients with one-on-one workouts and individualized feedback tailored to their specific needs and goals. The ability to work with a personal trainer both in person and virtually makes this investment even more appealing.
#5 Exercise for Weight Loss
As many people found themselves “stuck” inside or without a gym, as well as managing the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, exercise for weight loss found its way back into the top 5 fitness trends in 2022. Additionally, education on the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight in order to combat illness and disease. After all, one way to fight COVID is to be physically fit and healthy. Now more than ever, coaches and trainers have the ability to create change and contribute to a healthier world.
#4 Strength Training with Free Weights
Many athletes and coaches strength train using free weights, leading this category to fall back within the top 5 fitness trends in 2022. Free weights include barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls. Here, instructors and coaches utilize these various free weights to teach proper form, and progressively increase the resistance as strength grows. Not only are these resistance exercises incorporated into other classes or activities, but they can also be stand alone sessions.
#3 Outdoor Activities
In part due to the lasting effects of COVID-19, outdoor activities have continued to climb in popularity over the past 2 years. For example, Strava’s Year in Sport Report found a 38% YoY increase in activities logged on their app in 2021. Outdoor activities encompass various forms of exercise and events, from solo runs to small group bike rides to weeklong hiking expeditions. Research shows that spending time outdoors lowers blood pressure and improves mood, making this form of exercise especially popular in the midst of continued stress and anxiety brought by the pandemic.
#2 Home Exercise Gyms
For the first time, home exercise gyms have found a spot on the top fitness trends list, coming in at #2. As people continue to navigate the consequences of the pandemic, they continue to take advantage of the plethora of at-home fitness equipment and workout options available to them. Home gyms will remain a popular gym alternative. But, as the world begins to turn toward pre-pandemic normalcy, these equipment companies will have to continue to adapt to compete with brick and mortar facilities.
#1 Wearable Technology
Making its way back up to the top fitness trend in 2022 is wearable technology. Wearable technology encompasses a variety of equipment, including heart rate monitors, smart watches, GPS tracking devices, and more. As a result, this technology is able to monitor sleep, heart rate, distance traveled, and more. More recently, these innovations have found ways to track things such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation, electrocardiograms, and more. Wearable technology has been booming, with reports estimating that it is a $100B industry.