Virtual is the 2014 fitness trend

Fitness, Trends | Von Peter van der Steege

16 December 2013 0 reactie

Every year the SGMA investigates fitness trends in the United States of America. Usually, the US is ahead of other parts of the world when in comes to fitness. According to the SGMA, the biggest trend in 2011 was walking for fitness, based on a national survey with 38.742 interviews, completed by 15.038 individuals.

In 2012, the American College Sports Medicine executed a survey in 2,600 fitness professionals to define the top 20 fitness trends. The study shows the top 10 programs which include personal training; core training; group personal training and zumba. In can be concluded that different studies show different trends, often caused by interviewing different groups (populations).  Middelkamp & Rieger (2013) cluster the wide range of fitness programs in five arbitrary groups; see Table 1. 

The fitness trends of several studies can be labeled in clusters like individual fitness (e.g. fitness walking), group (e.g. zumba), small group training (e.g. orange theory; a chain that offers small group training, heart rate based), personal training and virtual training. For 2014, new programs and trends are expected in all five categories. Mostly driven by the self-service clubs, the virtual programs will be exploding. A simple reason for this is that all other categories can be put into a virtual program. And this is exactly what will happen in 2014!





Members follow a self-designed program or program designed by a fitness professional, usually after a short guided introduction program of 2 to 4 weeks.


Members participate in free-style or pre-scripted programs with a large number of other members, e.g. more than 10 per class, often exercise-to-music, under guidance of an instructor on site.

Small group training

Members exercise in a fee-based small group of 2 to 8 participants, guided by a personal trainer. The fees for programs like this vary from 5 to 20 euro per session, per person, per hour.

Personal training

Members hire a personal trainer for one-on-one sessions or one trainer for two members. The member pays a fee per 30 or 60 minutes, that varies from 20 to 100 euro per hour.


Members exercise by looking at a TV or video screen with classes executed by a virtual instructor, usually videotaped.

Table 1: Categories of fitness programs in fitness clubs