6 Hot Fitness Trends for 2015

While staying healthy and fit is always in fashion, exercise trends come and go. (Anyone remember step aerobics?) If you’re someone who’s happy with your long-time fitness regimen, by all means keep doing it—but remember that our bodies can become accustomed to performing the same exercises over and over, meaning you may see fewer results from your hard work. Consider shaking things up from time to time with one of these hot workout trends:

  1. Indoor cycling classes. While indoor cycling, or spinning, has been around for a couple of decades, the addition of several new features has caused a surge in popularity. The basics remain the same: led by an instructor, you pedal alongside others to a motivating soundtrack, sometimes with the lights dimmed for ambience. But now, new technology that lets you know how hard you’re working. "All [the] bike manufacturers are making power meters," says Pete McCall, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) spokesperson and ACE-certified personal trainer in San Diego. Power meters attach to the bike and display wattage, a unit of measurement that shows how much power a rider is generating with each wheel rotation. Most power meters also display calories burned. This kind of feedback can be immensely satisfying at the end of a workout, and gives cyclists a way to set goals beyond time and mileage.
  2. ActivMotion bar. This four-foot long hollow bar is filled with ball bearings that move and shift as a person works out, forcing the body to constantly balance and stabilize. Compared to free weights, which are solid, the ActivMotion bar offers a different challenge to muscles. The creators of the bar call this kind of conditioning "disruptive training," emphasizing the variable and ever-changing resistance it provides. The bar can be bought in six-, eight-, 10-, 15- and 18-pound varieties, depending on how strong or advanced a user is. The bar is sold with DVDs that guide the user through circuit-style workouts designed to build muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and cardio endurance.
  3. Boutique studios. Many of the newest gyms are small and geared to just one type of exercise, like boxing, yoga, group cycling, boot camp, or ballet/barre, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. In fact, these specialized fitness studios accounted for 21 percent of the market in 2013. Some studios charge per class, so you won’t be on the hook for a membership fee if you decide the workout is not for you.
  4. Group training. Group fitness classes are nothing new, of course, but even those activities that used to appeal to exercise soloists now lend themselves to collaboration. For instance, instead of banging away on their treadmills at home, lots of folks are signing up for group treadmill classes led by an instructor. Also popular is small group training, in which two or three people work out with a personal trainer. Not only is this method easier on the wallet than a one-on-one session, it’s also good for morale. "Group training develops camaraderie and cohesiveness, which keeps you coming back for more," McCall enthuses.
  5. Online options. Advances in technology mean you have access to a wider array of workout options online. Subscription services are gaining traction, giving users a large database of workouts that can be changed up and customized. You can watch on a TV or laptop, either in the privacy of your home or in the motivating environment of a gym.
  6. Wearable trackers. Fitbit, Jawbone, and Garmin are just a few of the brands that are helping people take some of the guesswork out of staying in shape. Worn on the wrist or clipped to a pocket, these devices track data things like daily steps, miles covered, heart rate, and sleep quality. Synced with phone apps and websites, users can also create exercise and food logs. This kind of information can work wonders for motivation and achieving goals. If you're not in a rush to spend money on a new gadget, check the gadgets you already own—many smartphones offer pedometer and food-tracking apps. And according to McCall, at least one fitness equipment manufacturer is developing a way to have the stats from a user’s workout—the workout duration, intensity, and calories burned—sent directly to his or her phone to be stored.

With all these options available, 2015’s a great time to switch up your workout.

Pete McCall, ACE-certified personal trainer, reviewed this article.


Pete McCall, ACE-certified personal trainer. Phone conversation with source on March 11, 2015.

"The ActivMotion Bar Will Change the Way You Train." ActivMotion. Accessed March 16, 2015.

"Get Fit, Increase Core Strength and Improve Every Aspect of Your Fitness With Disruptive Training." ActivMotion. Accessed March 16, 2015.

Internicola, Dorene. "Boutique Fitness Studios Harden Bodies With Personalized Approach." Reuters. November 24, 2014.