The Top Up and Coming 10 Fitness Trends for 2016

The results of a Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016, published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® was completed by more than 2,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide.

The top Up and Coming 10 fitness trends for 2016 included:


  1. Wearable Technology: This includes fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices.

COMMENT: In my opinion, the technology/accuracy is not quite there yet. I use a Fitbit Surge and have found it to be the best fitness tracker. Other devices such as the Microsoft Band and Android Samsung wearables are a bit bulky. In addition, there is constant communication via Bluetooth, which I think could have potential long-term health consequences (No major studies to my knowledge, but I would rather not be part of a future epidemiological one)!


  1. Body Weight Training: Bodyweight training uses minimal equipment making it versatile and affordable. This trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

COMMENT: This method of training can be intense, especially if done “Cross-Fit Style”, e.g. 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats for as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes. Keep in mind that in order to make progressive adaptations, at some point you will need to add weight.


  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a brief period of recovery. HIIT training is very convenient and effective. It  can be performed in less than 30 minutes.

COMMENT:   I use HIIT 2x/week, either as part of my resistance training, running hills, or climbing stairs. HIIT is great for conditioning, building muscles and losing fat. Be careful not to overtrain, i.e. limit HIIT to 2-3x/week and not on consecutive days.


  1. Strength Training: Strength training remains a central focus for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels, ages and genders.

COMMENT:  There are a number of benefits to strength training

Improves  Health

  • Increases HDL – High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
  • Reduces risk of diabetes and insulin needs.
  • Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lower high blood pressure.
  • Lowers risk of breast cancer – reduces high estrogen levels linked to the disease.
  • Decreases or minimizes risk of osteoporosis by building bone mass.
  • Reduces symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
  • Reduces stress and anxiety.
  • Decreases colds and illness.

Increases Strength

Increases  Flexibility

Reduces the likelihood of Injury (If done correctly)

Improves Body Composition

Enhances Muscle Tone

Improves Posture

Enhances State of Mind


  1. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals: There are a large number of organizations offering health and fitness certifications. As a  consumer, it is important to  choose professionals certified through legitimate programs and organizations.

COMMENT:  In my opinion, fitness professionals should possess an AA degree or diploma from a technical college at the very least. Preferably, they should have a Bachelors or Masters degree and a certification from one of the following organizations: NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition).


  1. Personal Training as a Career: More and more students are majoring in kinesiology, in order to  prepare themselves for careers in allied health fields such as personal training. Education, training and proper credentialing for personal trainers have become increasingly important to the health and fitness facilities that employ them. If you are looking for a personal trainer,  find one who specializes in what you are looking for, e.g. conditioning, performance, weight loss, bodybuilding, special populations (Elderly, Youth), etc.

Comment: SEE  #5


  1. Functional Fitness: This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and activities of daily living. It is also inline with doing exercises that mimic functional movements such as pushing, pulling, lunging, squatting and hip hinging. Exercises should be multiplanar and progressive.

COMMENT:  In my opinion, Functional Fitness should be Integrated, i.e. include: Flexibility, Cardiorespiratory, Stabilization (core, balance, power) and Resistance training


  1. Fitness/Lifestyle  Programs for Baby Boomers:  As the Baby Boomer generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money  and are looking for means to enhance their quality of life and slow down the aging process. Many health and fitness professionals focus on this generation to create age-appropriate fitness, nutrition and lifestyle programs to keep this generation healthy and active.

Comment: See My blog on using SPEED to Biohack Your Metabolism


  1. Exercise and Weight Loss: In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

Comment: In the past, exercise recommendations for weight loss have focused on steady state cardio in the “Fat Burning Zone”. The trend and evidence now points to combining strength training, HIIT and energy balanced, sustainable eating as the best approach for weight loss.


  1. Yoga:  Yoga utilizes a series of specific postures practiced for health, conditioning and relaxation.

Comment: Yoga is the perfect combination of flexibility, core strengthening,  balance and meditation. It should be part of an Integrated exercise program. Pilates is also good for core strengthening and flexibility.


What Health and Fitness Trends will you be following in 2016?

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin