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Group training workouts characterize top fitness trends in 2012

Lisa Johnson's picture
Lisa Johnson Fitness Trainer

Fitness trends seem to come and go as quickly as fashion. One minute it's TRX training the next minute we are all trying out CrossFit. When is a trend something to hop on to and when is it a fad we should leave behind? Below are some ideas for you to try in 2012.

Group Personal Training

Group personal training has been strong the last few years according to IHRSA, a fitness industry group that surveys health club owners. It’s a cost effective way to get a great work out in under the guidance of a professional. You’ll also find the other members of the group will motivate you and challenge you, there’s usually a lot of camaraderie to tap! See IHRSA for reference.

Half Marathons

There are oodles of runners out there, 5K and 10Ks have been popular for years, but more runners are stretching their distance to the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles. According to Running USA it’s the fastest growing segment of road races for the past 5 years. Maybe you should give it a go. The training isn’t as rigorous as a marathon and there are bound to be plenty in your area. (Reference: Runningusa)

Hula Hooping

You might have just done a double-take when you read hula hooping. Yes, the kid’s toy has a grown up version and it’s becoming a very popular form of exercise. Starting in Los Angeles (where else?) Hoop Troops have been popping up all over the country. Great for toning the legs, arms, back and abs it also burns a lot of calories, as much as 7.5 calories per minute, the same as a Bootcamp class!


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Speaking of bootcamp, it’s been the number one group exercise class for the last two years according to IHRSA. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon yet, perhaps it’s time to give it a whirl. The classes are usually held at your local gym or in a nearby park. Think calisthenics and lots of pushups. You’ll be sweating buckets and possibly getting yelled at by a guy in camouflage gear! Do a Google search to find a class in your area.


Yoga continues to gain numbers. A recent New York Times article said it’s expected to grow 5% per year over the next five years. Nowadays yoga can be everything from rock and roll to woo woo. Classes can combine anything from ancient movements to technomusic. The styles vary also from gentle and restorative to totally hard body. Check out a few local classes before you decide the best option for you. You’ll notice a lot of differences by instructor and class format. (Reference: WSJ)


The same article predicted similar growth for Pilates studios. Pilates used to be an exclusive, pricey endeavor. But nowadays mat classes can be as little as $10 and equipment classes can be as little as $20. Check out your local offerings. Pilates focuses on building a strong core, the muscles of the spine and the abdominals. But Pilates works your body from head to toe, creating taut, lean lines. Maybe why it’s so popular in Hollywood!


Last but not least check out CrossFit. CrossFit gyms are popping up all over the country. They are usually small training studios with a lot of old fashioned gym equipment. Expect to do a lot of bootcamp style exercises, think pushups, burpees (squat thrusts), standing squats and that sort of thing. They also do weight training and you might even find yourself trying to climb a rope. The gyms mix up the exercises all the time so it’s always fresh to you and your body. If you want to relive your glory days as a high school or college athlete this might be for you.

There are so many options to try out there, some might appeal to you and some you might want to skip. That’s the beauty of fitness, there are so many different ways to workout that there really is something for everyone. You just have to find your favorite combination.

Lisa Johnson is a fitness blogger at LisaJohnsonFitness.com. She has been a personal trainer since 1997 and a Pilates instructor since 1998 and owns Modern Pilates in Brookline, MA