Fitness trends come and go (squatting on an exercise ball, anyone?). Stay ahead of the curve by looking ahead at the hottest fitness trends of 2016.

Can you believe we are already at the end of 2015 and another year is fast approaching? How are those New Year Resolutions working out for you?

As with all other forms of society, the fitness industry is evolving as the year goes by. So we decided to peak into the crystal ball and see what the fitness world will look like in 2016.

We can see some trends continue to grow while others may be on their way out or at least notice a decline. We’ll try to keep it positive and focus more on what will be better.

1. CrossFit Will Lose Some Popularity

Over the past few years, CrossFit has caused quite a stir within the fitness industry. Boxes have been packed with athletes and beginners alike as they have been pushing through WOD after WOD.

The CrossFit community has grown by leaps and bounds, but it looks like CrossFit will lose a little popularity in 2016. Memberships to some boxes can be expensive and there are rumors circulating (whether true or not) about the high injury rates, but as with any other fitness endeavor, people are looking for the next big thing.

2016 Fitness Trend: Decline in CrossFit

It’s not likely that CrossFit will ultimately end anytime soon, but we do think they will take their first hit.

2. Powerlifting will Gain Popularity

As opposed to CrossFit which hasn’t been around for too long, powerlifting has been around for decades. Some athletes have been squatting, benching, and pulling for decades.

It hasn’t been as popular as bodybuilding or CrossFit, but many new programs in recent years have been focused on the “big three” and how you can use a powerlifting split to make hypertrophic progress. It would only make sense that the sport of powerlifting itself will see a new rise in popularity.

You'll see beginners take part in their first meets, more coverage of big time powerlifting events, and even a few big name lifters getting sponsorships from major supplement companies.

3. "Old School" Training Logs Will Be No More

Even in 2015, there have still been people going to gyms with their notebooks and pens to write out their workouts so they can monitor their progress and look back on past workouts to see what works and what hasn’t.

Although it was inevitable with the advancement of technology, 2016 will be when we finally see the ultimate end of the old school notebook log. Workouts will be tracked more than ever on cell phones, tablets, and social media because we all know if you don’t post a selfie on Instagram then the workout didn’t happen, right?

2016 Fitness Trend: Fitness apps for workouts

There are popular apps out there already like My Fitness Pal or Map My Run, but others will help you track weight training workouts as well like PumpUp. PumpUp is a social network app which hopes to harvest the positivity of fitness with modern technology so you can track workouts, share pics, read members’ favorite routines, and more.

4. Magazines See a Short Return to Glory

Wait, we just talked about technology advancing so why would magazines do well again?

Although in recent years people have said that print is dying, we think that although it may be short in time, magazines will see a brief return to glory like we saw in previous years before the advancement of smart phones and the ease of access to info online. Why?

Let me ask you a question.

When have models or athletes been posting pictures of themselves on the cover of a website? Now when have they boasted about being on the cover of a magazine?

It’s still a big deal to make the cover of a magazine and as they promote themselves and the cover, people will search for the newsstand and find that magazine. This will lead to a new rise for print. Whether it will last or not will remain to be seen.

5. More People Training at Home

There are many benefits to training at home: no membership costs, no waiting on equipment, and you can cater the environment to what motivates you as the lifter.

Although gyms will still do very well, we can see athletes and new lifters creating their own space at their houses so they can train when and how they want.

Related: Home Gyms vs Gym Memberships - Which One is Right for You?

Technology is backing this up because of new items being produced for the residential athletes like the Bowflex Select Tech 560 Dumbbell. This dumbbell will help the lifter track rep count and speed. It can also transfer the info via Bluetooth to your smart phone.

2016 Fitness Trend: Training at home

Even with the new pieces of equipment coming out, you might be wondering why home gyms will boom because there still aren’t as many equipment options in a home gym like machines and cables. For the answer to that, keep reading.

6. DIY Fitness

Many other industries and fields are seeing a growth in “do it yourself," and this trend will make its own impact in the fitness world.

There are new ideas being shared and promoted online every day with ways to create training equipment that can help people who want to train at home. Many of these options are very inexpensive and some of them can be made with stuff you already have in your own home or garage.

Mark my words, DIY will become the new big group of initials in the fitness industry in 2016.

Related: Intense Home Cardio Workout with DIY Sandbag

7. Wearable Technology

As if technology hasn’t impacted the world enough, we have seen that there has been an even bigger advancement in the fitness world. Clothing lines are catering to this advancement with intricate monitoring systems built into their apparel. Not to mention the FitBit has exploded in popularity over the years.

This is a trend that will only grow and this is evidenced by Google getting in on the action. In 2016, Google will join the fitness tech game with their Nexus Band. It will be a form of Android Wear that will help athletes track all the major numbers like heart rate, calories burned, and will have other functions that can help consumers in their everyday lives such as a texting function and access to a calendar for scheduling.

8. Podcasts

For many years, lifters have achieved new PRs and had great workouts thanks to having their favorite tunes blaring on their headphones. This has been happening long before smartphones and dates back to cassettes and the Walkman.

2016 Fitness Trend: Podcasts

Believe it or not, we think there will be a change here - lifters will be preparing for their set by listening to their favorite podcasts rather than music.

Obviously there are several out there and they interview many of your favorite athletes and industry personalities. Imagine getting ready to bench and listening to CT Fletcher talking to an interviewer about setting world records and asking which of his opponents will come in second.

Or perhaps you are getting ready for a big set of rows and Phil Heath is talking about preparing for the Olympia. Will it replace music completely? Highly doubtful but we will see a growth in fitness podcasting next year.

Looking Ahead

How do you think we did? Did we miss anything? Do you think there is a new trend that will take the industry by storm? Let us know what you think in the comments section and share your own predictions for the new year!

Posted on: Fri, 01/08/2016 - 08:14

I can't see Crossfit get less popular as a concept. I can see boxes getting less popular. Crossfit preaches WOD's and Olympic Lifting. In the gym's I visit in Ireland I'm seeing more and more normal gyms advising people of the same i.e. do OLY for strength and circuits (WOD's essentially) for conditioning. Now people don't need to pay for a box, they can do the same training (and are advised of it) at their local gym.

Posted on: Mon, 01/04/2016 - 03:23

Seems logical.

I'm curious though, was this based on any research/statistical analysis or are these educated guesses drawn from anecdotal experience and intuition ?

It would have been good to see some references for those of us who work in the industry to tweak our approach for 2016 and beyond. Otherwise, nice article!