Fitness Trends to Keep Up with in 2020

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(Editors' Note: This sponsored article by Precor is part of Club Industry's report, "Fitness Trends: Spotlight on 2020.")

The start of this new year (and new decade) offers us a chance to reflect on both the past and the future. Is your fitness facility keeping up with the latest trends that will appeal to your exercisers?

To find out, let’s do a quick rundown of the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) top five trends for this year.

1. Wearable technology

It’s hard to avoid the presence of wearable technology these days. Smart watches, heart rate monitors, fitness trackers and GPS tracking devices appeal to a wide audience, from those just beginning their fitness journey by counting steps and tracking sleep, to seasoned athletes who record every single workout to analyze their performance over time.

ACSM Past President Walter R. Thompson, said: “Wearable tech has become ingrained in today’s culture, and the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Tech advances have made it easier than ever for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and health care providers to improve exercise efficiency, develop healthy lifestyles, manage chronic diseases and, ultimately, increase quality of life.”

To adapt to this trend, it’s time to make wearable tech part of your facility. You can do that by integrating leaderboards in your group training environments. Leaderboards sync with the heart rate monitors of exercise participants, giving them the opportunity to view their performance data in real-time. They increase the competition factor, motivating exercisers to push harder to surpass their friends.

2. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Unsurprisingly, the HIIT style of training remains a popular trend in the fitness industry. In 30 minutes or less, exercisers can achieve an efficient, results-driven workout of high-intensity exercise followed by short rest breaks. HIIT training incorporates strength training, cardiovascular exercise, or a mix of the two, and can be done solo or as part of a group training class.

Although many boutique studios and small fitness chains specializing in HIIT training are popping up across the United States and around the world, don’t be discouraged if you’re a larger fitness facility. Building out a strong group training offering for your facility that includes HIIT training, among other styles of training, will allow you to keep up with the competition.

3. Group training

Similar to HIIT, group training involves five or more participants in a variety of workouts and exercise styles led by an instructor. Strength and toning class, yoga, indoor cycling, barre – these classes are everywhere—and with good reason. Group training programs are designed to be effective for people of different fitness levels, creating a highly motivating environment that holds them accountable and helps foster a tribe-like mentality.

4. Training with free weights

New to the 2020 survey is the more specific category of free weight training – the previous category of strength training was deemed too broad. Free weight training includes free weights, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and medicine balls. This style of training can be done individually or as a class. The emphasis of free weight training is on ensuring proper form for each exercise. Once form is mastered, resistance and new exercises are added to build progressively.

5. Personal training

Since the ACSM survey was first published in 2006, personal training has been among the top 10 trends. Tried and true, this style of training involves one-on-one sessions among trainers and clients where specific workouts are prescribed to help the client reach their unique needs and goals. Over the years, personal training has grown from being in-club to being available in-home, at workplaces and online.


Katie Alleven is the global social and content manager at Precor. Alleven is a self-proclaimed food connoisseur who loves playing in the great outdoors, traveling and learning new things. You can find out more about Precor by emailing [email protected]

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.