Fitness Trends for 2022
If you are planning to start a fitness program, it’s fun to consider what trends are on the horizon. Learn about some of the biggest fitness trends for 2022 here.
Hey hey! How’s the week treating ya? It’s been a busy but good one over here! I’ve been recording podcasts, filming workout videos (new barre video coming next week), and finally feel like our house is back in order after the holiday and birthday events.
For today’s post, I thought it would be fun to look into my fitness crystal ball and see if I can guess what the future will hold for fitness studios and workout popularity. I do these posts almost every year (here’s 2020’s when I thought it would be less dependent on technology. LOL) and it’s interesting to assess the climate of the industry and see where participants and trainers will focus their energy, spend their fitness budget, and prioritize in the new year.
I asked what you thought would be popular and here are some of the responses I received:
Fitness Trends for 2022
How did the pandemic affect gyms and fitness studios?
I think it’s not a shocker to anyone to say that the pandemic threw the fitness industry for a LOOP. Hands in the air if you wish you would have bought Zoom stock in early 2020! When the pandemic hit, I was in the process of potentially opening my own cycling franchise, and I’m so thankful the timing didn’t work out. While I know a lot of first-time studio owners who made it work, it would have been horrible paired with the Pilot’s first two years in the airlines.
Finally, after a rough couple of years, fitness studios are starting to see full classes and membership enrollment increase. I think that a lot of people got tired of working out at home, and were excited and ready to resume their favorite classes. At the same time, there’s still a significant amount of friends out there who feel more comfortable at home and aren’t ready to head back to in-person workouts yet.
What fitness programs will increase in popularity over the next year?
While there’s no way to know for sure, I think that we’ll see the following trends in the fitness industry:
Fitness programs shift outdoors and exercising in the fresh air
COVID-19 is a huge reason why many gyms and studios turned their focus to outdoor fitness options. One of my favorite gyms hosted multiple park workouts each day, and it was a great way to get an awesome workout outdoors. Our barre3 and pure barre studios both hosted outdoor workouts and continue to do so now.
I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon, and see outdoor bootcamp-style workouts (like Fit 4 Mom, Stroller Strides), running groups, park workouts and paddleboard yoga continuing to increase in popularity.
Gym workouts shift towards progressive training and mental health
I’ve seen a huge shift in gym workouts (FINALLY) focusing on more progressive training methods and an emphasis on mental health. I see this continuing in 2022 with meditation classes and workshops, restorative yoga, and more muscle-training splits, instead of crushing total body every.single.day (cough Orangetheory cough). It’s refreshing to see studios emphasizing mobility, foam rolling, and stretching classes, and I think this will continue in 2022.
HIIT is here to stay
YAY HIIT! It’s one of my favorite cardio strategies and it makes my heart happy to see its popularity. The benefits of HIIT training are numerous (I love it so much, I wrote two books about it), and is an effective way to build speed, strength, promote heart health, and improve metabolic function. A friendly HIIT reminder: only do HIIT-style workouts max 3x per week on non-consecutive day. Less is more in this case, mmm k?
The future of virtual fitness and online fitness classes
Virtual fitness is starting to evolve and I think that we’ll see more opportunities for Zoom-style live workouts and also fitness classes involving VR glasses, like Oculus. TBH I can see pros and cons of this. Personally, I don’t love the idea of VR classes for myself. It would make me feel lonely and uninspired, and there’s a true magic in attending live classes.
At the same time, I can see this as an amazing option for those who aren’t comfortable taking in-person (or even Zoom) fitness classes. It could encourage a lot of friends out there to move their bodies from the comfort of their own homes instead of remaining sedentary, and I’m cheering for that.
I see the popularity of online classes continue to grow in 2022, including studio On Demand classes (I love Sculpt Society) and livestreams, like YouTube and Instagram live workouts from personal trainers. Cycling and treadmill workouts with audio instructions from a coach will also remain popular online training options.
The continuation of fitness devices, wearable technology, and apps:
I think that fitness devices and wearable technology will continue to evolve past strictly estimating calories, distance and heart rate. I could see more fitness trackers offering similar tracking capabilities to the Oura ring (with sleep, sleep quality, recovery, temperature, heart rate variability, etc) and an emphasis on performance, sleep, fitness goals, and recovery. I really hope this year will be the year my Apple watch stops encouraging overtraining.
I imagine that fitness apps like Les Mills+, Peloton, Sweat, and strength training apps will continue to grow in 2022, particularly for home workout aficionados.
What’s OUT for 2022?
For 2022, I don’t think that a particular type of workout will decline. People really do love and take various classes from multiple studios/gyms and we’re so fortunate that there are so many options and formats out there.
As a theme, I see the “hustle until you injure yourself” mentality continuing to fade away into oblivion (praise be). I think after everything we’ve been through over the past couple of years, we’re yearning for connection (whether it’s virtual or in-person) and a form of nurturing for our bodies. 2022 can be the year that we all find a workout that makes us feel energized and not depleted, excited for our next session, and progressively working towards our goals.
If you have specific fitness goals for 2022, be sure to check out my Fit Team program here! New workouts go out on the 28th.
What do you think will be a fitness trend for 2022?
Love a good HIIT workout! Can you say more about the rationale for “less is more” and non-consecutive workout days?
absolutely! so if you want to promote muscle growth, you’d ideally train close to fatigue and give the muscle around 48 hours to repair. (when we train, we break down muscle) that’s why i don’t think total body everyday is a good idea. you’re setting yourself up for overuse injuries and not truly promoting muscle growth or allowing adequate recovery time
for HIIT, you’re training your heart to near maximum capacity. your heart is a muscle, so just like every other muscle group, it needs alternate intensities throughout the week so you don’t set yourself up for overtraining. after a certain point, you get diminishing returns from working so much and taxing your body to extremes on a consistent basis
hope this is helpful!
Great post. Thanks.