The fitness world can be overwhelming — it’s not just that you have to get comfortable with being sweaty. It’s also that there are so many options (Barre! Running! Pilates!). There are more ways to work out than there are specialty flavors of Oreo cookies (S’mores! Caramel coconut! Cookie dough!). One way to dunk your toe into the wellness scene is to go with the trends. And to help you with that, ClassPass just put out their big 2019 fitness trends report.
After analyzing 100 million workouts and class reservations booked by ClassPass members, the company — which allows access to various fitness studios in cities around the country — found that strength training was the most popular workout in North America.
There are plenty of reasons for this. Studies show that using weights (yes, even just your body weight) and resistance bands have myriad benefits. Harvard Health points out that it can help maintain muscle mass and improve strength, of course, but it can also play a role in slowing bone loss. Plus, a study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association found it may even improve mood. Shari Castelli, ClassPass director of partner expansion, points out that many workout classes incorporate it into their routines, such as Rumble and Barry’s Bootcamp.
“ClassPass is majorly catering to people who are brand new to fitness, which means new to strength training,” she says. “Or maybe before they only stuck to the cardio machines and didn’t have the knowledge base to do strength training. But at studios they can get into it, learn, and try something new.”
Another standout in the report was the rise of megaformers. These are similar to traditional Pilates reformers with a gliding carriage, but they also have some fancy additions including more springs and straps to help you seamlessly blend Pilates and low-impact cardio. ClassPass found that Megaformer Pilates classes were one of the fastest growing U.S. fitness trends.
There's been a 38.6% increase in Megaformer reservations in 2019, compared with the year prior. ClassPass users attended over a million of the classes just this year.
Aside from strength training and the trendy Pilates tool, the report also found that yoga was the most popular activity among those who classified themselves as wellness beginners. “Yoga is accessible, because people know what to expect,” Castelli says. “Part of the barrier to entry in fitness is all the unknowns. Will there be showers? What do I wear? Because most of us know a bit about yoga from pop culture, it’s easier to try out.” Plus, most teachers encourage students to take breaks, and check in with their body, so it’s a positive place to start.