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Active IQ – The UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Active Leisure, Learning and Wellbeing Sector – welcomes the latest Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018: The CREP Edition (Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM) published November 6, 2017. Furthermore, it is encouraged to see a number of its recent initiatives are ahead of curve predicted by the Survey to be influential 2018 trends.

ACSM cover

The November/December issue of the ACSM Health and Fitness Journal

Now in its 12th year, the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal® (FIT) survey is designed to confirm and/or introduce new trends that have a perceived positive impact on the industry according to the international respondents. It aims to help the health and fitness industry make some very important investment decisions for future growth and development.

The Top 20 trends in the 2018 survey are shown here (with their position in last year’s survey in brackets).

1)      HIIT Training (3)

2)      Group Training (6)

3)      Wearable Technology (1)

4)      Bodyweight Training (2)

5)      Strength Training (5)

6)      Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals (4)

7)      Yoga (8)

8)      Personal Training (9)

9)      Fitness Programmes Older adults (11)

10)  Functional Fitness (12)

11)  Exercise & Weight Loss (10)

12)  Exercise Is Medicine (7)

13)  Group Personal Training (14)

14)  Outdoor Activities (13)

15)  Flexibility and mobility rollers (20)

16)  Licensure for fitness professionals (first time in top 20)

17)  Circuit Training (19)

18)  Wellness Coaching (15)

19)  Core Training (not in Top 20 last year)

20)  Sport Specific Training (not in Top 20 last year)


One area where Active IQ is already making significant progress is the support of Group Training, as it finalises the refresh of its Level 2 qualifications for a New Year launch.

“It is very interesting to see Group Training rise up the trends table to number two from number six last year,” says Jenny Patrickson, Active IQ managing director.  “We agree that Group Training has a key role to play in the fitness industry and are in the process of refreshing our Level 2 training to make it more fit-for-purpose in today’s climate,”she says.  “Quite apart from upgrading students’ skills, we want to ensure the Level 2 Group Exercise instructors are valued as a professional group in their own right and not simply the ‘poor relation to PTs’.  By putting Group Training as the second strongest trend for 2018, this report vilifies this.”

The emphasis on having ‘Educated, Certified and Experienced fitness professionals’ is another key area for Active IQ which is in the process of introducing innovative programming work with universities to embed Level 2 and Level 3 training into exercise and sports science degree courses.

“We are embarking upon a number of innovative, tailor-made programmes for colleges and universities who recognise the value in combining academic studies with fitness professional training,” says Jenny.  “Universities including Sheffield Hallam and Lancaster University are early adopters of this concept and aiming to fulfil exactly what this Top 20 Trends report is calling for which is to harness third-party accreditations and clinical exercise programmes through supporting growth of educational programmes at community colleges and colleges and universities.  This is key to our plans for 2018 and beyond and agree it has great merit.”

Active IQ concurs with Strength Training holding its high position as the number five trend with its Level 4 Strength and Conditioning qualification enjoying a healthy uptake by trainers looking to add these skills.

Finally, the fact that Exercise is Medicine is highly ranked at number 7 in the Survey also sits well with Active IQ’s strategy. “It’s a global trend to encourage primary care physicians and health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients,” says Jenny.  “Our recent appointment of Dr Dane Vishnubala as our Chief Medical Adviser aims to do just that: give our fitness professionals more medical insight and encourage our GPs to refer their patients to fitness professionals with confidence.”

To see the full survey visit: