Should you be following what’s hot in fitness? Science shows we get the best results when we do workouts we personally enjoy, which isn’t always what TikTok suggests. But, if you bury your head in the sand and ignore the trends, there’s a risk you might miss out on something new and exciting. So read on to find out what’s hot in the exercise space – and then you can choose to try the trends that suit you best.
Trend #1: Getting strong – the top trend in fitness
In 2022, strength-training knocked HIIT off its perch to become the most popular way to train. When in the gym, 82% of Gen Z exercisers are focusing on strength gains by using pin-loaded weight machines, and 82% enjoy using free weights on the gym floor. But that’s not the only way modern movers are getting stronger… 50% of those doing group training are opting for strength classes.
Trend #2: ‘Out of the box’ ways to build strength
Almost two-thirds of Gen Z movers say they enjoy exploring different ways to train – and that’s where boutique strength and conditioning workouts such as sculpt classes come in. On top of novel core conditioning and functional training workouts, the popularity of Pilates is taking off, with 64% of Gen Z gymgoers doing reformer Pilates workouts and 55% doing mat Pilates workouts.
Trend #3 Tapping into the energy of many
Group training is something that 81% of Gen Z gym goers are enjoying. Group strength workouts are the most popular, but yoga and stretch/mobility classes are also pumping. While 43% say it's the energy of others that attracts them to group workouts, 33% rate the music as the biggest attraction, and a quarter are drawn to the guidance provided by an Instructor. “My favorite element of a group workout is the music. When it’s really hyped it makes you feel like you’re part of something really cool and big,” says Millie, 25.
“My favorite element of a group workout is the music. When it’s really hyped it makes you feel like you’re part of something really cool and big,” says Millie, 25
Trend #4 Choosing more mindful motivation
Forget workouts for chiseled abs or the perfect peach, these days most people have diverse motivations driving their workouts. Gen Z movers still cite getting fitter as the number one reason to work out, but the importance of feeling better, reducing stress and looking after mental health are also key tenets. According to the Mindbody 2022 Fitness Report, over a third of Gen Z say the pandemic negatively impacted their physical health, but that rises to 57% when asked about the impact on their mental health. So it’s no surprise that now four of the top five reasons to work out are tied to intrinsic aspects of wellness. That means the feelings you get from working out, not the actual physical results associated with exercise.
Trend #5: Exercise in all sorts of settings
While ticking off an hour in the gym each day is a great habit, it’s not the only way to get your fitness in check. Modern movers spread their fitness efforts across their days and look to embrace fitness in all sorts of formats. Training in a motivating environment is paramount, with 92% of gym users doing at least half of their workouts in the gym. But there is still plenty of action outside the gym, with 72% of regular exercisers doing both in and out-of-gym workouts. Those who do a hybrid mix of training, work out 60% more than gym-only exercisers. “I prefer lifting at the gym, but I also love boxing and whenever the weather is nice I'll be running along the lakefront. Then if I'm ever pressed for time, I'll do a home workout,” explains one mover. By embracing different types of workouts in different settings, tracking training efforts becomes increasingly valuable. Using an app to record workouts and monitor progress is a great way to hold yourself to account.
GET YOUR FIX: Use LES MILLS+ to enjoy different workouts in different settings.
These findings come from Gen Z Fitness: Cracking the Code – a 2023 global report examining Gen Z fitness habits, their motivations to work out, and the barriers holding them back.