Fitness Fads and Fitness Trends: What Will Drive the Market in 2016?

Every year, the ACSM conducts a survey among thousands of fitness professionals to determine the top fitness trends in the industry, as well as finding out what may have been a fad and seen its time pass. Last year, we took a deeper look at the 2015 trends and excitedly shared information about how Cybex offerings paired nicely with several of the trends. With 2016's list now available, we again are at the forefront of offering the best solutions in the industry for many of the trends that fitness professionals deem the most important of the coming year.

2016 Worldwide Top Fitness Trends Survey

This is the tenth year of the ACSM worldwide fitness trends survey. The survey is designed to confirm or introduce new trends that have a perceived impact on the industry. It is not intended to recognize or discuss fitness fads, which do not have the impact that a trend does, even if it has, in some cases, more enthusiasm behind it than a trend.

The survey lists 40 possible trends and asked over 25,000 professionals from the health and fitness industries (corporate, clinical, community, and commercial) as well as academic professionals. Nearly 3,000 respondents submitted their feedback on the survey, representing more than an 11% return rate. These results were used to determine the top twenty trends for 2016.


Fitness Fads vs. Fitness Trends

In the ACSM survey results, they define a trend as "a general development or change in a situation or in the way that people are behaving." A fad is defined as "a fashion that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period."

These two definitions, combined with the nine years of results, help us understand why things like Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals and Strength Training have remained strong fitness trends for years. It clarifies why things like Body Weight Training and HIIT Training have risen steadily into the trend category, and why activities such as Zumba had instant success but quickly faded from the list. Indoor cycling may not have made the list, but it is a staple activity in most full-service health clubs.