The pandemic brought a rise in several key fitness trends, including a sharp rise in online programming and wearables. Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) forecasts emerging trends. For 2023, we’re seeing a reshaping of sorts.
According to the ACSM’s user data:
In 2021, online training was number 1, wearables were number 2.
In 2022, wearables were number 1, home exercise gyms were number 2.
This year, the top trend to watch is, again, wearables, followed by strength training—number 4 in 2022 and 8 in 2021.
So, why are we seeing a renewed passion for strength training?
It might be, at least, in part, based on a pandemic “hangover” of sorts. When gyms began reopening, many had “the 6 feet rule” in place, so exercising in close quarters was discouraged. To some degree, members may not be ready to work out in close proximity to each other. Generally, strength training requires more floor space for an individual user, giving people the distance they want.
Another issue could well be FOMO—fear of missing out.
“During the pandemic, people did not have the luxury of having their favorite strength training machines and accessories in their home or apartment,” notes Ruben Mejia, executive vice president at SportsArt. “Some had access to a few dumbbells and/or kettlebells, but those exercises got boring really fast, and gains were typically limited.
“As soon as gyms started opening, people flocked to the strength machines to train on muscles they hadn’t been able to since the pandemic. They missed racking the weights and they missed adding variety to their workout.”