The Top 20 Workout Trends for 2014, According to the Pros

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Prepare yourself for more CrossFit fanatics. Fitness professionals are predicting high-intensity interval training — like CrossFit and P90X — to be one of the biggest workout trends of 2014. Body-weight resistance exercises and yoga (yes, still) are also among top trend predictions for 2014, according to a new American College of Sports Medicine survey. Off this year's list? Zumba (thankfully), Pilates, spinning, kickboxing, and stability-ball workouts. Here are the top 20 trends that gym and health club professionals foresee growing in 2014. 

1. High-Intensity Interval Training:

Short bursts of intense activity followed by a short period of rest, usually performed in less than 30 minutes. Think CrossFit, P90X, Tabata.

2. Body Weight Training: 

Body weight training uses minimal equipment. You mostly rely on your own body for resistance, so exercises can be done anywhere. Think planks, wall sits, push-ups, crunches, and shoulder bridges.  

3. More certified fitness professionals:

The number of community college, undergraduate, and graduate programs in clinical fitness continues to grow, the ACSM says. Credentials (and standardizing these credentials) is going to become more important. 

4. Strength Training: 

Strength-training is a sort of broad concept that includes free weight lifting, weight machines, and body weight resistance exercises. 

5. Exercise + diet programs: 

Weight-loss programs that include both exercise and nutrition components. 

6. Personal Trainers:

Community programs, commercial gyms and corporate wellness programs all continue to rely on personal trainers, a trend that's been in the top 10 of the ACSM's list for the past eight years. Recently a number of states, including California, New Jersey and Georgia, have introduced (ultimately failed) legislation for state licensing of personal trainers. 

7. Fitness classes and programs for older adults:

Not only are aging adults a growing market, but fitness programs for retired people can "fill the time during the day when most gyms are underutilized," the ACSM notes. 

8. Functional Fitness: 

Functional fitness programs incorporate strength training exercises that can make daily activities easier (such as balance exercises) and are usually aimed at older adults. 

9. Group Personal Training: 

When times get tough, personal trainers offer group training sessions.  

10. Yoga: 

"Yoga seems to be making a comeback in 2014," the ACSM says. "Yoga appeared in the top 10 in this survey in 2008 but fell out of the top 20 in 2009. Last year it was number 14. 

11. Exercises programs aimed at preventing childhood obesity:

As public school systems continue to cut gym classes and recess programs, more community and commercial fitness programs for youth have been popping up, according to the survey. 

12. Worksite programs: 

Employers are continuing to offer health and fitness promotion programs at workplaces or through contracts with local programs. 

13. Core training: 

More than just an ab workout, core exercises strengthen and stabilize your abs, thorax, hips, spine and back (your whole core). Think: crunches, exercise balls, foam rollers.

14. Outdoor activities: 

More fitness professionals are offering outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking and sports as part of their exercise activities. 

15. Circuit training: 

Like high-intensity interval training but with less intensity, circuit training involves groups of six to 10 exercises completed one after another in a predetermined sequence, for a specified number of repetitions or a set period. 

16. Outcome measurements: 

Efforts to define and track fitness progress will be increasingly popular, considering the "proliferation of technology ... to support these efforts," the ACSM says. 

17. Wellness coaching: 

Wellness coaches tend to merge exercise, disease prevention and motivational activities for an integrated health and fitness coaching approach. 

18. Sports Specific Training:

Programs designed to help young athletes work on skills during sports off-seasons "could possibly attract a new market to the commercial and community (fitness) clubs," the ACSM says.  

19. Worker Incentive Programs: 

Employers continue to run programs that encourage healthy behavior by offering incentives like discounted insurance rates or discounts on gym memberships. 

20. Boot Camp:

High-intensity aerobic exercise programs patterned (often loosely) after military-style training. 

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