10 Fitness Trends for 2014: Right For Your Club?

Just last week, we warned club owners of the risks of chasing the latest fitness craze in hopes of making a quick buck. But in case you just can’t resist, today we’re going to tell you what the next crazes are. Sure it may be contradictory, but we want to make sure that if an independent health club owner is going to chase a craze, he or she at least knows what to chase.

Now, this list from the American College of Sports Medicine isn’t the only list of expected fitness trends for 2014, but it is one of the first ones released this pre-holiday season.

ACSM’s Top 10 Trends for 2014

   1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
   2. Body Weight Training
   3. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals  
   4. Strength Training
   5. Exercise and Weight Loss  
   6. Personal Training
   7. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
   8. Functional Fitness
   9. Group Personal Training
  10. Yoga

Many of these fitness modalities are already in place at health clubs in one way or another, while others are about to get even bigger and perhaps help drive in more members.

RELATED: Chasing the Latest Craze Can Hurt Long-Term Profits

Perhaps most interestingly about the list is that the number one spot is held by a newcomer to the list if not the fitness world, High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.)

“High Intensity Interval Training made its first appearance on this list this year,” Walter Thompson, the lead author of the survey said in a press release. “Its appearance in the top spot on the list reflects how this form of exercise has taken the fitness community by storm in recent months.”
While a newcomer holds the first spot another new one checks in at number two.

Body weight training holds down that second spot and shows that the trend away from sitting on strength machines and logging endless hours on cardio pieces may actually be one worth chasing. Not only are they popular with fitness professionals and growing among members, they can be implemented with minimal costs for equipment and can turn into big profit centers when combined with personal and small group training, which both hold down spots on ACSM’s top 10 list as well.

Of course, these trend lists are not perfect. While we really can’t see into the future, with Zumba, indoor cycling and sport-specific training falling off the list, there is no guarantee that what is a trend today, will be one tomorrow. Of course, just because something falls off the list doesn’t mean it won’t still be popular for the next year or five or 10.

There will be other lists from the leading fitness organizations over the next couple of months both looking ahead and back, and some will have these or similar fitness trends that independent health club owners will want to be aware of. They will also have some different ones that may or may not grow from a trend to a staple that can make health clubs money, such as perennial list-makers yoga, better educated fitness professionals and strength training.

It really is up to each club owner to know his or her market and not just jump on the next trend, but evaluate each one and make sure that next big trend adds value to the club and its membership base.


John Agoglia has spent nearly two decades either working in health clubs or writing about them. He currently writes for several digital and print publications in and out of the fitness industry.

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