By Liz Callham, AFS Community Expert

Fitness is no different than many industries who are always looking to stay on top of trends. Fashion has its waves of top styles and colors, restaurants have the favorite dishes and flashy ingredients we all look to have on our plates. 

Being in fitness for 12 years myself, I have seen my share of what has stayed mainstream and what has fallen to the wayside.

We see a couple key trends due to a couple of factors.  Below I have outlined the top trends currently, as well as what you can do in order to implement them at your studio as you see fit.  These are clearly not all of the top trends, but I do believe these are the most versatile ones that you can use in order to increase retention and grow your business.

WEARABLES: Wearable technology has exploded over the past couple of years.  Consumers are able to collect data on every portion of their workouts, including calories, mileage, heart rate and more.  The great thing about wearables, is it gives you another way to communicate with clients and members. Setting up a mobile app challenge, or creating a landing page for individuals to post about their workouts allows you to build more community and motivate on a different platform. Learn more about special offers from AFS partners!

HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUTS: Yes the trend of being able to complete an obscene workout and run, lift, or even push harder than you ever thought possible is still hot.  The positive parts of workouts like these are that you can teach individuals to work smarter and not harder. By implementing 30-minute high intensity workouts into your private or group sessions, you teach individuals how to push themselves hard, but also in a controlled manner of up to 2 minutes at a time.  Keep in mind the types of exercises as well; you can make a wall sit or plank tough without making the person do jump squats or burpees.

FUNCTIONAL TRAINING: As the population we see in clubs and studios gets older and more de-conditioned, functional training is starting to peek back through in different forms. Kettle bells and mobility training are definitely on the rise, with the focus being teaching your client how to move better overall and re-learn basic mechanics of their body. An easy way to introduce this could be marketing for clients and members to learn more about moving better or improving flexibility. I’ve also seen group fitness instructors add in a little mobility into the warm-up that has improved movement patterns during class.

These are just three hot trends currently in fitness. Don’t try and chase and implement every trend into your club or studio. But take the time to research what would fit into your model and membership and go from there!


Liz Callham received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA and Health Fitness Specialist through ACSM. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.

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