Yet again the American College of Sports Medicine has predicted the most popular fitness trends for 2015–and what makes the top of this list may surprise you.
Hint hint: It’s definitely not the Shake Weight.
“Appearing for the first time in the trends survey in 2013 (at no. 3) was body weight training, and it has taken over the top spot from last year’s first-time entry high-intensity interval training,” says Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, vice president of the ACSM Board of Trustees. “As the no. 2 position in the survey suggested last year, body weight training is a trend to watch for the future.”
Along with body weight training, there are some surprising entries in this year’s predictions–so what made the list?
1. High intensity interval training. Also known as HIIT, high intensity interval training “involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest,” repeated over and over for a 10 to 30 minute period. Though it ranked on top during last year’s report, it’s fallen down to number 2 due to increased reports of injury–something that may leave some fitness enthusiasts wary.
You need not fear, however, say fitness experts: Practicing HIIT with an instructor can help lessen your risk of injury.
2. Strength training. When people envision strength training, they usually think of sweaty bodybuilders lifting weights in a gym–but now that’s soon becoming a myth. Strength training has now paved its way as an exercise for both men and women who don’t necessarily want to bodybuild, and its effects on bone health have even the elderly interested.
Bad news, though: It’s fallen to the no. 4 spot on ACSM’s list due to the rising popularity of body weight training, which requires no weights at all.
3. Yoga. Although yoga appeared in ACSM’s list back in 2008, it’s now rising to the no. 7 spot due to an increased awareness of its many forms–and benefits. Studies published in 2014 note that yoga may also lessen high cholesterol, blood pressure, and even improve weight loss, making it the perfect workout for many fitness enthusiasts.
4. Outdoor activities. We hardly imagine outdoor activities such as canoeing or hiking as workouts, but now that perception seems to be changing according to ACSM. Rising to the no. 12 spot from no. 25 in 2010, more and more people are looking to the outdoors for excitement as indoor-based activities fall out of favor–and the reasons why are numerous. Its social element–that is, being able to work out with friends or family as well–is no doubt one reason choose this activity over more traditional home-based workouts.
5. Circuit training. Rising four spots from 2013, circuit training is a stationary, bike-based workout that can be completed alone or in a group–and its ability to also incorporate high intensity interval training, or HIIT, may explain its surge in popularity. “Some respondents pointed out that circuit training is similar to high-intensity interval training but at a much lower intensity,” Thompson says, and the variety of intensities involved in this workout may also be a reason why so many people are eager to try it.
As for what’s bottomed out as trends for 2015, bad news for Zumba lovers: Both Zumba and indoor cycling are out of trend for next year. Instead, it seems more and more consumers prefer to get their hands dirty, focusing on their physical strength instead.
Readers: Which trend would you try?