Latest training trends can keep fitness fun
If 2012 is your year to get in shape, here is a guide from the American College of Sports Medicine on some of the trends expected to influence the physical fitness industry over the next 12 months.
In the ACSM forecast published in the November/December 2011 issue of its Health and Fitness Journal, Georgia State University Professor of Exercise Science Walter J. Thompson identifies the top 20 trends in the fitness industry for 2012.
The study provides valuable insight into various exercise programs and what more than 2,600 survey-responding fitness pros consider important for their clients and communities.
Education and experience
Topping the list for the fifth straight year are educated and experienced fitness professionals. Lincoln personal trainer Eileen Ternullo explains, “The reason you use a personal trainer is to get you to your fitness goals faster.”
The study cites the growing number of educational programs at community colleges plus undergraduate and graduate programs at colleges and universities as evidence of the increasing need for physical fitness professionals.
A mainstay in health clubs for many years, this category remains popular in programs focused primarily on increasing and maintaining strength for most age groups.
Lincoln Hills Fitness Director Brandy Garcia cited the need for maintaining strength and muscle tone as particularly important for seniors as joints and bones become more arthritic and fragile, creating conditions that could lead to falls, a leading cause of seniors’ long-term disability.
Lincoln Hills trainer Barry Cunningham added that he promotes cardio training, along with strength and flexibility ex-ercises, in an effort to restore clients’ balance and confidence.
The study predicted that baby boomers entering their retirement years in significant numbers will have the time and resources to provide a growing market for the fitness industry.
Locally, Sun City Rose-ville and Sun City Lincoln Hills are prime examples, as both have extensive workout facilities to serve their active seniors.
Although the senior market is expected to grow, Lincoln’s Gold’s Gym owner Joe Wenson noted that other younger clients are returning in increasing numbers as the economy improves. Trainers are seeking new ways to provide service with shorter, higher-intensity group sessions, thus saving patrons both time and money.
Working with multiple clients – personal training sessions that allow groups of two to five exercisers – was cited as a growing trend by several local fitness professionals.
Although training adults one on one will remain the mainstay of her business, according to Auburn’s ProActive Personal Training and Fitness Education owner Suzanne Gove, group sessions are becoming increasingly popular.
Zumba, which combines Latin rhythms and dance moves with interval-type exercises and resistance training, will be popular this year. TRX suspension training (using your own body weight) and interval training will also continue to be popular workouts.
Men seem to be enjoying boot camp instruction, according to Ternullo. Mo-deled on military basic training, this program stresses cardiovascular, strength, endurance and flexibility in indoor and outdoor environments.
Yoga, which had slipped in recent years, seems to be making a comeback, while Pilates fell out of the top rankings.