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The State of Group Exercise in 2019

group exercise

The future is bright for group exercise, according to the 13th annual survey of worldwide fitness trends by ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. If you like to follow the trends as I do, then take a look at the results at acsm-healthfitness.org.

The thought that comes to mind when I look at this list is: opportunity.

There is so much opportunity for fitness professionals, including a growing opportunity to align with and collaborate alongside medical and healthcare professionals, as well as corporate wellness leaders.

Group training ranks No. 2 for the second year in a row. This trend is defined as “larger, in person, group movement classes  — more than five participants — led by group exercise instructors.”

The authors of this survey agree that while group exercise has been around for a long time, it only made the top 20 list in 2017, listed at No. 6, and then jumped to No. 2 in 2018, where it is forecasted to remain in 2019.

One can only assume, at least I hope, that the industry has been focused on group exercise over the past couple of years, seeing the great opportunity it can bring to fitness businesses.

Personally, I have seen even more diversity in class concepts and equipment this past year than ever before. Many of the popular group classes on schedules today are standalone top 20 trends themselves. These include: HIIT, older-adult programs, bodyweight training, yoga and functional fitness training.

In addition, wearable technology claims the No. 1 spot for 2019, and I am seeing more and more of this technology appearing in classes. Instructors, including myself, are teaching and coaching with these technology tools to help motivate participants to move better and drive for results.

I would encourage fitness professionals to watch out for the trends leading us into 2019, as this information can serve to support your passion and your purpose — as well as grow your profits. Don’t have your head in the sand.


Mo Hagan is the vice president of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness and canfitpro.

Mo Hagan

Mo Hagan is the VP of program innovation for GoodLife Fitness.

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