Popular fitness trends


If you are even remotely into fitness and nutrition, are looking to mix up your routine, or if your typical desk salad is starting to bore you, then you’ve probably at least heard of the recent fitness trends out there. Fortunately, there are many ways you can mix things up, but it’s a little difficult to try something new when you have no idea what it is.

Even if all of these have been around for ages, trends fade and reappear, especially in the fitness industry. Here’s a rundown of some of the latest fitness trends so that you’re up to speed on what’s out there. If you have a gym membership, you can see if these diets and workouts are the right choice for you. If you’re a gym or fitness club owner, it’s important to have the lowdown so that your gym is keeping up with all types of people.

Popular Fitness Trends You Should Know About


Before you go thinking that this is some fancy exercise program that you have to buy, it’s actually just an acronym for a type of workout. Arguably one of the most popular fitness trends out there right now, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. According to Daily Burn, it’s a training technique that involves giving maximum effort during intense bursts of exercise and is followed by quick and slightly active recovery periods.

People are all about HIIT because they don’t have to spend hours working out. It typically clocks in just shy of 30 minutes and because it keeps your heart rate up with intense “bursts,” fat is also burned quicker. Effective and fast is exactly what majority of people look for when it comes to exercise, and HIIT usually doesn’t require equipment, so if you’re at the gym, short on time but don’t want your workout to feel like a waste, and most machines or free weights are already taken, a HIIT bodyweight workout is probably your best bet. HIIT exercises can be anything, but usually combine cardio and bodyweight.


  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Knee-highs
  • Mountain climbers


You’ve probably heard about Tabata and thought, “what in the world is that?” Initially, most people think that HIIT and Tabata are two different types of workouts, when actually Tabata is a branch off of the HIIT family tree, and it has sparked interest in those who are looking for a quick workout that supplies fast results. So… everyone? The name “Tabata” comes from a physician named Dr. Izumi Tabata who was researching the benefits of interval training.

Just like your typical HIIT workout with intense bursts of movement followed by brief rest periods, Tabata follows a specific 20/10 rule, meaning you do an exercise using maximum effort for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat this process eight times, equaling a total of four minutes for each small workout, rest in between each “set” for one minute, which adds up to about an overall 20-minute workout. Although HIIT workouts usually only require bodyweight, you can increase the difficulty level by adding free weights or kettlebells.


  • Jumping rope (4 minutes total)
    • Jump rope for as fast as you can for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Kettlebell swings (4 minutes total)
    • Swing for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Push-ups (4 minutes total)
    • Do as many push-ups as possible in 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times
  • Burpees (4 minutes total)
    • Do as many burpees as possible for 20 seconds
    • Rest for 10
    • Repeat eight more times

According to Breaking Muscle, HIIT workouts like Tabata were initially created to help improve cardiovascular functions. Because of the intense and fast nature, HIIT workouts like Tabata boost your metabolism because your body has to work much harder to keep up with the movements. So even after your sweat session is over, your body is still burning fat, which is why HIIT workouts are encouraged for people who want to lose fat or are on weight-loss journeys.


Offering HIIT group classes is a great way to keep your members engaged and not take up too much of their time. It’s also a great opportunity for you to market to members who are trying to lose weight–whether that’s in the form of group classes or personal training. Overall, it’s important to share this information with your members who most likely don’t know what these workouts are.

If your members don’t know what something is, or worse, have gym intimidation, they’re not going to try different things, and working out will eventually become stale, which could lead to membership cancellations. It’s little things like being up to date with fitness trends and informing your members of them via social media or personal training so that you’re offering variety.


The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet has sparked a lot of interest lately because carbs tend to have a bad rap. According to the Rule.Me, this diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet where the body enters a state known as ketosis and produces ketones in the liver that are used as energy.

From the pro-keto standpoint, a diet with standard carb intake means that the body produces glucose and insulin and uses these as main energy sources, which means that fat is not needed for energy and is usually stored. Rule.Me also says that ketosis is basically the body entering carb-survival mode, which results in using ketones as its main energy source, which is said to promote weight loss and other health benefits.

Although some find this diet effective, it really depends on body type and fitness goals. On the opposing side, former Biggest Loser Trainer, Jillian Michaels does not recommend the keto diet if you’re trying to lose weight. In an article from Women’s Health Magazine, she says that keto is a popular fad because it significantly reduces insulin levels. While keto can be helpful for people with high insulin levels, she says it’s probably not going to do much for someone with normal eating habits. In other words, if you’re someone who practices balance with nutritious foods and small amounts of processed foods, you don’t need to do “keto.”


This is when you cycle between eating and fasting periods, according to HealthLine, and lately, many folks have picked up on the trend because it can aid in weight loss. Although you still need to eat healthy foods, this type of diet focuses solely on when to eat rather than what to eat. One of the most popular ways people intermittently fast is skipping breakfast, eating their first meal at noon and their last meal at 8 p.m.

Aside from the weight-loss perk, people are drawn to this type of diet for the simplicity. Planning meals is generally part of the game plan when going through a weight-loss journey and maintaining a healthy diet. For many, this can be time consuming and overall not effective because of the planned structure, which is why some people prefer to fast.

Some of the other fasting methods include the 5/2 rule, which means eating normally for five days then restricting your diet to 500-600 calories for two days. Sometimes people choose to fast every other day or fast during the day and feast at night, according to HealthLine.

While intermittent fasting helps some people feel healthier, POP Sugar strongly advises to stay away from it if you have an eating disorder history, are constantly preoccupied with food during the fast, and anyone under severe stress or who have hormonal issues.


Diets are tricky because it depends on the person, and you’re a gym owner, not a nutrition expert, right? Well regardless, fitness encompasses both exercise and a balanced diet, and your members can’t out-exercise poor diets. Most of the time, most gym-goers fall short or don’t see the results they want because they have no idea what they’re doing.

Simply posting the facts about these diets on your social media platforms will help your members, and even though some personal trainers aren’t registered dieticians and can’t legally give full-on dietary advice, they can provide structure and make small recommendations, which is usually expected in the job description. This is where knowing your members is crucial, especially those who seek personal training. Ensure that your trainers get to know your members, so they can better determine if either of these diets are compatible with their fitness goals and body types.


You’re probably wondering what the difference is between functional training and regular exercise. Doesn’t working out in general make you more functional? Yes, any exercise is better than none, but functional training has gained attention because rather than focusing on toning, building muscle or losing weight, functional training focuses on an individual performing daily activities like lifting heavy objects. If you’re someone with a bad back or bad knees, functional training might be the best type of workout for you so that you’re balancing all areas and preventing injuries by teaching your body to use the correct muscles for specific movements.

According to Beach Body On Demand, people refer to it as “real world” fitness, and it focuses on movements instead of muscles, particularly with core and mobility. It started out as physical therapy for soldiers returning from World War I who were unable to perform daily functions like sitting, standing and bending over. Typical functional training programs use free weights rather than machines and focus on full ranges of motion. In simple terms, functional training is exercise with an everyday purpose.


Although functional training can and should be recommended to everyone, it can be especially valuable to Generation X and veterans, particularly prospects in these categories. For example, you could offer a free functional training group class or personal training session to veterans for a Veteran’s Day promotion, where all veterans, members or not, are welcome to participate. People will appreciate your gym giving back to those who served, which helps enhance your brand.


This trend gives a whole new meaning to making a trash run. If you’re an active runner who’s always trying to do your part to help make the earth a better place, then plogging is probably the workout for you. According to the Washington Post, plogging is a European trend that began in Sweden by runners who were fed up with trash along their trails, and it eventually made its way to the U.S. The term itself combines the word “jogging” with the Swedish term, “plocka upp,” which translates to “pick up.”


Although plogging is a fitness craze that you might think will retract members from your gym, it can actually be a creative marketing opportunity for you to show your contribution to the environment. In this case, retention may not always be about ensuring members are coming in to your gym, but rather mixing up their fitness routines and enhancing your brand at the same time.

If this is something you think can enhance your gym’s marketing strategies, make it an annual Earth Day event for members and guests to plog together. It will help build more community in your health club and will especially attract those people who love the outdoors and are environmentally-conscious.



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