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What’s Trending for 2012

Posted Dec 08 2011 7:45am

Morning All! :)

Happy (almost) end of week! How are you doing today? I just finished a lovely run and strength training workout at the gym and am pretty sure I’ll feel the effects tomorrow. Usually I start to wind down the intensity of my workouts towards the end of the week because I know I’ll be more tired than Mondays and Tuesdays, but this morning I was unusually energetic and ready to sweat. It was a back-and-arms day with a bit of core thrown in for good measure, and I’m pleased to report that I think I’m actually making some strength gains now. Woohoo!

Anyways, onto today’s topic. I recently found a few articles that talked about the top 10 fitness trends predicted by the American College of Sports Medicine for 2012 . These trends are based on a survey that was completed by over 2,600 fitness professionals worldwide.


According to the results, these are the hot topics for next year:

1. Educated and experienced fitness professionals. There are a lot of organizations that offer fitness certifications, but demand for fitness professionals certified through companies with accredited programs is due to rise.  If you’re looking to become a fitness professional in the US, the organization that you gain your certification through should be recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

2. Strength training. As you probably already know, an important issue for people of all ages.


3. Fitness programs for older adults. Age-appropriate fitness programs for boomers entering retirement are in demand.

4. Exercise and weight loss. Fitness professionals will incorporate an increasing amount of emphasis on balanced nutrition and regular exercise in their clients’ programs to promote weight loss.

5. Children and obesity. This trend is being viewed as an opportunity to create more programs designed specifically for obese children and teens.


6. Personal training. Numbers for enrollment in university kinesiology programs are up, meaning that in a few years time, there will be more qualified professionals in the industry. This ties back to trend #1 on the importance of proper certification and credentialing.

7. Core training. A specific focus on the core, including abs, hips, lower back, pelvis, and (depending on whose definition you’re reading) the glutes. The importance of this is becoming even more apparent, especially given the huge number of people sitting behind a desk all day with poor posture and weak core strength. (Pssst – if you’re a GoodLife member here in Canada, or if your gym offers Les Mills branded programs, there’s a great core class coming your way soon in the new year – stay tuned!!)


8. Group personal training. A great option for those that don’t want to dish out hundreds for personal training, this type of workout, offered by a personal trainer, is done with a small group of participants. Benefits to you? Lower cost to participate, and you still get more personal attention than you would in a group exercise class. TRX suspension training is one example of a program that is often delivered in this format, and the multi-muscle compound moves involved also engage the core – evidence that trend #7 is proving true already!


9. Zumba and other dance workouts. Although I can’t claim to be a Zumba enthusiast, this craze, along with other dance-inspired workouts is due to get even bigger. (Again, if you’re a GoodLife member or member of a club with Les Mills programs, there’s a dance-y class coming your way in 2012 – and it’s so easy and so fun that even I can do it!!)

10. Functional fitness. This refers to strength training that develops the muscles you use in every-day movements, hence making basic activities (like carrying groceries, getting up and down stairs, carrying children, etc) easier. As you might have guessed, emphasis on this is growing as the boomer demographic ages.


In addition to these, the American Council on Exercise also came up with a few of their own hot trends-to-be for 2012. A few include…

1. Whole-Life Training: This refers to being fit not only physically, but in terms of your mind, diet, and stress management. It’s all about a holistic approach!

2. High-Tech Fitness: ACE figures 2012 will be a huge year for fitness mobile-based apps (more on this in an upcoming post!), social media and online/remote fitness classes. I’m curious to see what these online classes are all about!

3. Workplace Support: Healthy employees are happy employees, and ACE predicts that more employers will outsource corporate wellness programs, leveraging local gyms to provide reduced membership rates for employees.

Some of these sound pretty common-sense to me – for example, of course we want fitness professionals that are highly skilled through accredited programs. And yes, the general population should probably strength train more and perform exercises that make functional movements easier. But there are a few that I am very pleased to see on the list and I really hope they prove true next year.


My favourite on the list is the whole-life training trend. I’ve met several people that think their hour spent in the gym will compensate for poor eating habits, or magically enable them to be a couch potato for the following week. One of the overarching concepts emphasized when I became certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Specialist was that fitness isn’t just about how fast you can run a mile or how much you can bench press. It’s just as much about the physical aspect as it is about emotional health, the mind-body-soul connection, and proper nutrition. Focus on exercise only and your body will likely lack the nutrients it needs to repair muscles and energy stores. Focus on nutrition only and you’ll be missing out on the glorious endorphins that working up a good sweat brings. Focus on only nutrition and exercise and you could very easily burn out because you lack an appropriate outlet for relaxation.


This brings me to my big question for today:

Do you feel like you’ve got a good balance going between physical exercise, nutrition, and emotional/mental health? If you’re feeling unbalanced in one area, what is holding you back?

And on a lighter note…

  • What do you think of the trends listed above? Are you dying to dive into a fitness program like TRX or Zumba in the new year?
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