ACSM Survey Has Good News for ASBA Members

Forget the pumpkins, the turkeys and the shopping for gifts. As far as the fitness industry is concerned, the next big season starts on January 1.

You know, when crowds of people make a beeline for health clubs, the running tracks and the courts, all promising themselves they’re going to work out religiously.

And that is where the American College of Sports Medicine comes in. Each fall, ACSM releases its forecast of fitness trends – generally, a top-20 list of its predictions for what’s going to be popular among those who work out. The Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 was just published and contains some interesting insights.

This year, trends we have come to know as the usual suspects were present; these include personal training, exercise for weight loss and group exercise classes. However, there were a few others, and those are something ASBA members should take note of. After all, not all fitness takes place in a gym and not all workout enthusiasts share the same goals. Consider these trends that ACSM identified:

Fitness Programs for Older Adults: Weighing in at number 9 on the list, these could be viewed as anything that would appeal to baby boomers (hello, pickleball) and beyond. It’s something that should be expected to grow, given the increase in spending among those age 50 and up. Think of just about any sport – tennis, running, racewalking, track & field, swimming, softball and more – and you’ll find the older age groups are interested in it. That can lead to increased usage of facilities and an increased need for owners to keep their facilities up to date.

Functional Fitness: CrossFit, anyone? It’s number 10 on the list. The functional fitness workout has taken off among all age groups and across all demographics. There are competitions at the local regional, national and international levels, meaning a demand not only among CrossFit boxes but for space in fieldhouses and more. In fact, parts of the Reebok CrossFit Games have been held outdoors on sports fields with great success.

Outdoor Activities: It can mean hiking, bicycling or running; on the other hand, it can also mean tennis, golf or any other sport played outdoors. Either way, it’s number 14 and it bodes well for builders of facilities outdoor enthusiasts use – as well as those who train for them in indoor gyms during the offseason.

Circuit Training: Number 17 on the list means indoor facility builders should see a continued interest from club owners who want to keep their facilities up to date. Combine that with number five (strength training) and you have a good reason to be optimistic as an industry member.

Sport-Specific Training: It’s number 20 on the list and it’s by no means the least important. From Cardio Tennis to Healthy Golf and everything in between, these are going to impact not just the indoor fitness market but the market for those facilities when played outdoors. Expect savvy club owners to begin marketing programs for other sports as well: softball, basketball, even pickleball, as they respond to the demand from members who want to perform better at their sports and avoid injuries.

The ACSM also identified a number of other trends that can be found on the survey. Now, if they could only identify how long people will stick with those forms of fitness after January 1…

Forget the pumpkins, the turkeys and the shopping for gifts. As far as the fitness industry is concerned, the next big season starts on January 1.

You know, when crowds of people make a beeline for health clubs, the running tracks and the courts, all promising themselves they’re going to work out religiously.

And that is where the American College of Sports Medicine comes in. Each fall, ACSM releases its forecast of fitness trends – generally, a top-20 list of its predictions for what’s going to be popular among those who work out. The Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 was just published and contains some interesting insights.

This year, trends we have come to know as the usual suspects were present; these include personal training, exercise for weight loss and group exercise classes. However, there were a few others, and those are something ASBA members should take note of. After all, not all fitness takes place in a gym and not all workout enthusiasts share the same goals. Consider these trends that ACSM identified:

Fitness Programs for Older Adults: Weighing in at number 9 on the list, these could be viewed as anything that would appeal to baby boomers (hello, pickleball) and beyond. It’s something that should be expected to grow, given the increase in spending among those age 50 and up. Think of just about any sport – tennis, running, racewalking, track & field, swimming, softball and more – and you’ll find the older age groups are interested in it. That can lead to increased usage of facilities and an increased need for owners to keep their facilities up to date.

Functional Fitness: CrossFit, anyone? It’s number 10 on the list. The functional fitness workout has taken off among all age groups and across all demographics. There are competitions at the local regional, national and international levels, meaning a demand not only among CrossFit boxes but for space in fieldhouses and more. In fact, parts of the Reebok CrossFit Games have been held outdoors on sports fields with great success.

Outdoor Activities: It can mean hiking, bicycling or running; on the other hand, it can also mean tennis, golf or any other sport played outdoors. Either way, it’s number 14 and it bodes well for builders of facilities outdoor enthusiasts use – as well as those who train for them in indoor gyms during the offseason.

Circuit Training: Number 17 on the list means indoor facility builders should see a continued interest from club owners who want to keep their facilities up to date. Combine that with number five (strength training) and you have a good reason to be optimistic as an industry member.

Sport-Specific Training: It’s number 20 on the list and it’s by no means the least important. From Cardio Tennis to Healthy Golf and everything in between, these are going to impact not just the indoor fitness market but the market for those facilities when played outdoors. Expect savvy club owners to begin marketing programs for other sports as well: softball, basketball, even pickleball, as they respond to the demand from members who want to perform better at their sports and avoid injuries.

The ACSM also identified a number of other trends that can be found on the survey. Now, if they could only identify how long people will stick with those forms of fitness after January 1…

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