The Workout Trends Everyone Is Talking About

Photographed by Geordy Pearson.
The results from the ninth annual American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) fitness trend survey are in, and, the top picks are telling. What workouts will everyone will be doing in 2015? There are some usual suspects, but a few surprising changes as well.
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The top trend: bodyweight training. It seems pretty basic, and honestly a bit boring; did we really want a 2015 fitness plan filled with squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks? Never fear: Our latest bodyweight workout takes inspiration from the movement patterns of animals. It's innovative, and it lets you strengthen your abs without having to do another crunch.
What’s interesting about this year's survey results versus last year's? Bodyweight training took over the number-one spot previously held by high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These intense workouts (now in second place) are still exceptionally popular, but this may be a signal of a larger shift away from extreme training. HIIT is kind of like a “shortcut” workout: effective, short, but not, you know, fun. Still, we don’t expect it to disappear from gym schedules anytime soon. Of course, it’s important to note that you can use bodyweight exercises in a HIIT format by selecting equipment-free exercises for your next Tabata session, so these trends are not mutually exclusive.
To pinpoint next year’s most talked-about workouts, the ACSM team polled health and fitness professionals worldwide; over 3,400 people responded. Participants were provided with 39 trends — some were top performers over the past few years, and some were potential new additions.
Outdoor activities are also on the up-and-up, ranked their highest (spot 12) since debuting on the list in 2010. This category can include anything from hiking to kayaking to running to boot-camp classes. This seems to signal another shift in mindset: Exercising doesn't have to mean dragging yourself to the gym. Leisure activities and fun sports (Rock climbing, anyone?) count as workouts too. To the gym, and beyond!
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