Should You Follow the Biggest Fitness Trends in 2019?

biggest fitness trends in 2019The Predicted Fitness Trends in 2019

The annual survey of the biggest fitness trends in 2019 results are in. This year marks the 13thyear of the survey that polls fitness professionals around the world and asks them what is true and what they expect to continue to be true for their business in the coming year.

So lets unpack the real question.

If everyone else is following these biggest fitness trends in 2019, should you?

“If everyone was jumping on off a bridge would you do that, too?”must be written in the parent handbook somewhere. In this case, I hope you’ll consider your goals, your return on investment of your time. Trying new things is fun.

Results, I think, always tend to be more fun.

I will share the results and some details about those polled below. More important to me is what we do with information like this as we’re choosing how to exercise and spend our limited time in 2019. A trend means a lot of people are doing something. A fad means it’s short lived. In this case, we have fitness professionals predicting a trend. They’re giving their honest opinion about what they see consumers doing and expect them to keep doing.

If you can’t tie one of the biggest fitness trends in 2019 to your goals knowing it will get you what you want or need for health, my recommendation would be to think hard about spending a lot of time doing it. You may consciously decide that jumping into an activity on the fitness trends in 2019 sounds fun and motivates you when something else doesn’t. That in fact, may be reason enough for you.

My goal with this is to arm you with the information you need to make a conscious choice.

The Top Fitness Trends in 2019

  1. Wearable technology took over this spot after dropping to #3 last year. That’s potentially related to corrections in inaccuracies of the past.
  2. Group Training is back and strong holding the #2 spot the last two years.
  3. HIIT fell to #3 from #1 in 2018 (and 2014).
  4. Older adult fitness programming is back at #4 after falling off the top 10 in 2017 and then returning to #9 in 2018. This one I believe is here to stay.
  5. Bodyweight training first came on the top 20 list in 2013

Things not appearing on the (top 20) list that surprised fitness professionals after release of the survey in November:

  • Circuit weight training
  • Bootcamp (to which this professional says THANK YOU, Jesus)
  • Dance-based fitness (Barre options)
  • Pilates
  • Boxing, kickboxing
  • Water workouts

It’s important to remember that a regional trend won’t necessarily land on a global survey. It is slightly puzzling however since older adult programming is 4ththat water exercise and circuit weight training are not higher. This may be simple fault of a survey to be inclusive of all scenarios.

A few key facts about the survey:

  1. It’s a report on the survey responses of a little over 2000 fitness professionals all over the world (13thannual)
  2. Their opinions about what will be popular in the next year and meaningful to the fitness industry.
  3. Intended for the fitness industry based on profitability as much as it is on what is popular among clients and customers.
  4. Over a third of the respondents were 22-34 and in their first careers. Another 21% was 35-44. That’s well over half of respondents were between 22-44.
  5. About 39% of the respondents were 45 and older. These most likely made up the segment of survey respondents with 20 or more years experience.
  6. 35% of the respondents were in private business, another 16% in commercial fitness centers, and 20% were employed in hospital-based programs.
  7. 10% of personal trainers surveyed were part time trainers (working less than 30 hours a week – potentially much less). Twenty percent were either clinical exercise physiologists or health/fitness directors (the group fitness manager or personal training director at a club for instance) and most likely to be making decisions about classes offered based on demand.

fitness trends in 2019

My interpretations on the fitness trends for 2019 survey:

More than any other year I’ve reviewed this list I’m struck by the weight historically given to this, especially when it falls into consumer-targeted articles. The survey is not about what someone should dofor optimal health.

The survey reveals more about a collective of things:

How well fitness professionals are doing relaying research and outcome based results to consumers to motivate you to participate.

How well marketers with products and programs to sell are doing to appeal to your  desires and wants.

The profitability of programs and products for the businesses, agencies, and fitness professionals providing them.

The age and experience level of the fitness professional responding.

The random nature of what qualified someone to be on the email list of targeted respondents. 

Your turn to define the fitness trends in 2019

If all this talk about surveys has you curious about whether you’re connecting your physical activity to your goals, take this survey, then read the blog post where I give you the answers (no peeking)!

Want to WATCH a video chat about the fitness trends in 2019 survey? I did a live Facebook on this in early December you can watch here.

Like the Flipping50 page and click on notifications if you’d like to know when I hop on and chat live.


ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal 22(6): 10-17, November/December 2018.

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