2019 Fitness Trends

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recently released its annual “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends For 2019” list. Here are a few standout items and a few new trends that we’re excited to see more in the coming year.

High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT consists of alternating short periods of intense exercise with recovery or rest periods and then followed by intense short period of exercise. HIIT has been used by pro athletes for years and has consistently been third in the top exercise trends every year.

Typical intense training periods last from 15 seconds to 4 minutes while the recovery phase is equal to or slightly longer than the training interval. The goal is to reach the 80 to 95% of the individual’s max heart rate and the intense training and recovery intervals are repeated 6 to 10 times.

The benefits include:

  • Improved overall fitness (aerobic and anaerobic fitness)
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance and lipid profiles
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Enhanced weight loss
  • Reduced fat

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends the following HIIT protocol:

  • 60 seconds Hard (7 on a 10-point scale)
  • 60 seconds Easy (4 to 5)
  • 30 seconds Hard (7 to 9)
  • 90 seconds Easy (4 to 5)
  • Repeat above sequence

Mixing one or two HIIT training sessions into your weekly training program is ideal.

Important: Researchers and health professionals caution that the risk for injuries like muscle strain and cardiac events is high with higher intensity workouts. We recommend consulting a medical professional if you have been inactive, are older or have chronic ailments before starting HIIT. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends consulting a certified exercise professional to create a personalized HIIT program for you.

Group Training

This involves more than five participants. In a group setting, you support each other while getting quality training from a certified professional for a fraction of the cost compared to one-on-one training. The good news is you can still do group training even from home using Google Hangouts, FaceTime or Skype. Fitness trainer Erin Oprea conducts live training packages via Google Hangouts. What you get is 45 minutes of workout followed by 15 minutes of cool down. She even has a Q&A at the end of the session. A group of about 15 to 25 people will cost $35 but larger groups are cheaper. So if you’ve always wanted a personal trainer but can’t afford the luxury; group training is for you!

American Ninja Warrior Gyms

After the success of American Ninja Warrior, there has been an increase in the number of gyms dedicated to the show. These gyms feature training and obstacles features on the show. If you’re looking to join one, there are a few online directories like mudrunguide.com and ninjawarriorgyms.com that have listings to Ninja gyms in your area. Unfortunately, this isn’t something a beginner should tackle on their own. Luckily, they have specialized instructors that can give one-on-one training.

Bodyweight Training

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) puts bodyweight training at number 5 in the top 20 fitness trends of 2019.

While certainly not a new trend (it first appeared in ACSM’s yearly survey in 2013), bodyweight training continues to generate buzz because of the benefits. First and foremost, it doesn’t require any training equipment or even a gym membership. Secondly, exercises that use your own weight as resistance (e.g. pushups, squats and lunges) are versatile, can be done anywhere and they improve overall strength and movement. And finally, they’re FREE!

Wearable Technology

The American College of Sports Medicine puts wearable technology at the top of its top 20 fitness trends of 2019.

Wearable technology includes a plethora of devices including fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.

For more information of fitness trackers, visit our blog post to find out if they work and which one is the best out of the bunch.

Exercise is Medicine

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), “Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit, and referring their patients to exercise professionals”.

In addition to the added importance of exercise in patient care, EIM seeks to recognize fitness professionals as “part of the health care team in their local communities”.


"High-Intensity Interval Training: Brought to you by the American College of Sports Medicine www.acsm.org" - American College of Sports Medicine, June, 2013
"The Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019, According to Fitness Pros" - Self, November 1, 2018
"The Nine Most Important Fitness Trends for 2019" - ISPO, November 29, 2018
"Live Training" - Tips By Erin
“Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends For 2019” - ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, December, 2018