Fitness trends change from year to year depending on many influences, but are largely driven by consumers like you and me. What we want to spend our time, money, and energy on is of great interest to fitness professionals, product developers, and retailers because it can make our break their success.

That’s why, for the past ten years, the American College of Sports Medicine has gathered survey input from thousands of fitness professionals across the world, compiling a revealing list of what these experts predict to be hot (or not) in fitness ideas and platforms in the upcoming year. Take a look at the findings from the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016.

#1: Wearable fitness tech. Smart watches, fitness trackers, heart rate monitors, and GPS watches aren’t new, but until this year, they’ve never made it into the top 20 (Incidentally, fitness apps, at position#17, also made the top 20). In addition to our increasingly digital and ‘connected’ lifestyles, market experts think the upturning economy has something to do with it. Whatever the case, fitness-related tech. is going to be hot in 2016.

#2: Body weight training. This one isn’t new to the top ten, and it’s no wonder why. Body weight training involves no equipment beyond your own body, so it’s an extremely affordable way to get in shape (not to mention the great results). Watch for this trend to continue in newly released fitness programs.

 #3: HIIT Training. High-intensity interval training is where it’s at, according to many fitness experts. Using the popular Tabata method, periods of max-intensity work are followed by brief periods of rest in ultra-compact workouts of 4-10 minutes — a platform that’s been linked to higher post-workout calorie burning (not to mention it gets the job done in a fraction of the time it normally takes to do a workout).

#4: Strength training. You’ve probably heard the cliché phrase “strong is the new skinny” in recent years. Men and women of all ages are embracing muscle as a sign of peek physical health, a welcomed alternative to being afraid of the ‘bulk’ miss-associated with heavy weight training, particularly in the case of women. It turns out using heavier weights won’t necessarily make you bulkier (unless you’re a power lifter), but leaner and tighter…and who doesn’t want that?

#5 Certified/experienced fitness professionals. This shows people’s seriousness about getting sound advice about health and fitness, which is also promising for the formation of long-lasting habits and results.

#6 Personal Training. Hand-in-hand with the previous trend, this one is here to stay if placement in the top 10 for the last nine years is any indication. Most people don’t just want expert advice, they want personal, customized training that addresses their unique needs and requires greater accountability. In a culture full of numerous distractions, accountability is more important than ever before.   

#7 Functional Fitness. Sure, you can bench press a ton of weight, but can you lift, pivot, and carry a heavy box down the stairs without throwing your back out? Functional fitness includes movements like Cross Fit, kettlebells, and integrated training. By focusing on core strength and everyday movements, this type of training prepares people to deal with the actual demands placed on their body in the course of everyday life.

#8 Fitness for Older Adults. The Baby Boomer generation continues to age, and many of them are concerned about staying fit and active well into their 90s.

#9 Exercise and weight loss. What exactly is role of exercise in weight loss, versus just dieting? This topic will continue to be important to the fitness community in the coming year.

#10 Yoga. This practice has been around for literally centuries, but has experienced a comeback in recent years thanks to its 21st-century relevance for stress-relief and injury prevention.

There you have it: the top 10 fitness trends for 2016. Which of these are most interesting to you?

Portrait of young man doing physical exercise for stretching
Portrait of young man doing physical exercise for stretching