2020 is underway and we’re sharing some of the workout trends that are predicted to be the most popular this year. Will you try any of these fitness favorites?

Looking to spice things up this year in the fitness department? Keep your workouts stimulating and stay on-trend this year with the right gear, the toughest group fitness classes – and don’t forget to balance it all out with some relaxation. 


None of these trends are brand-new by any means, but they are doable and scalable for any age or skill level. This might explain why they could potentially see a spike in participation as 2020 goes on. 


Here are five fitness trends for the year that sparked our interest most: 


1. Fitness Watches/Trackers


Wearable technology is all the rage, particularly fitness watches. In the last couple years, these gadgets have come a long way – most are now capable of tracking your heart rate, steps, calories burned, and sleep, but many go as far as utilizing GPS and even goal-setting features. Watches have now morphed into total health trackers, with apps that assess and report on multiple health markers to help motivate you in adjusting your habits. Many have reminders for you to stand, move, and get more sleep, acting as your new accountability partner. The most popular brands include Apple, FitBit, and Garmin. Each has its benefits over the others, so shop around before you commit! 

2. Group Fitness


Whether it’s pole fitness or rock climbing, martial arts or CrossFit, any fitness-ing done in a group will make you a fad-follower this year – but in the best way possible! Most people find that sticking to a workout plan is much easier when you’re amongst a group of other people with similar goals. It’s hard to beat the appealing combination of camaraderie and friendly competition!


Group fitness franchises are popping up all over the United States. Some of the fastest-growing among them include F45 Training, iLoveKickboxing, Burn Boot Camp, Orange Theory, and countless more on the horizon. Some classes combine cardio and strength, while others simply focus on one core skill or practice. If you love community and sweat, be sure to Google “group fitness near me” – if you live close to a major city, you’ll have no shortage of options!

3. Virtual Training


While some may always stay true to the in-person 1:1 sessions with a personal trainer, make no mistake – virtual fitness training is encroaching upon these brick-and-mortar professionals. Full fitness classes led by instructors can be accessed from your phone/laptop/tablet, making workouts convenient when you can’t make a scheduled group class. Some are pre-recorded series, and some are even available live!


Another perk? These platforms often offer hundreds of workouts to choose from or training programs specifically for your goals, so you’re never bored and always on track. 


Fitness apps that allow you to track workouts and measure progress are quickly becoming the norm in almost any fitness circle. Platforms like True Coach and TrainHeroic allow coaches and trainers to plug their programming straight into the app with prescribed sets, reps, loads, rest times, and space for notes. They can also add their own demo videos, or upload from YouTube. Even well-known fitness brands are creating similar apps of their own to serve their established audiences. 

4. Meditation


Meditation, often affiliated with yoga practice, has been around for thousands of years – why is it gaining traction now? Some could argue that our fast-paced lifestyles and busy schedules have us stressed out to the max – nearly 55% of people in the U.S. experience work-related stress during the day. This is 20% higher than the 35% globally [1]. Perhaps people are finally seeing the importance of unwinding for the sake of their mental health – which most definitely impacts the physical. 


This practice is for training the mind to become more aware and attentive to the present, clearing it of any other thoughts and emotions to reach a sense of complete calmness. The idea is to create a regular habit of it and increase the time spent in a meditative state, but it can take time to master this – so don’t get discouraged if you aren’t perfect at it! 


A simple search will yield millions of hits on the internet for in-depth looks at meditation and how to implement this practice into your own life, or you can use apps like Headspace or Calm to guide you. 

5. Strength training over cardio


It’s a pretty common sight in a gym to see the cardio equipment full during prime-time gym hours, while the weights section has just a few men lugging dumbbells around. But that might finally be a changed story.

As more research has emerged over the years regarding the benefits of strength training, the more people are trickling over to the weight room. The list of pluses is long and hard to ignore when you’re seeking a better body and better health – weight training helps build lean muscle, burn fat, increase your metabolism, and reduce back pain. It may also help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, help pain from arthritis, and build bone density, to name a few [2]. If those aren’t reason enough, there is variety and fun (yes, FUN!) in challenging your body with resistance training – free weights, cables, bands, kettlebells, and barbells are all facets of strength training that can be worked into a program to reap these benefits.


Clearly, fitness is not one-dimensional, so don’t get caught up in the idea of only doing one type of workout this year. If something isn’t enjoyable or you find it hard to stick to, there are plenty of options to switch to, and tools to help you reach your goals!


  1. Milenkovic, Milja. “42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics.” The American Institute of Stress, 25 Sept. 2019, www.stress.org/42-worrying-workplace-stress-statistics. 

2. Westcott, Wayne L. “Resistance Training Is Medicine.” Current Sports Medicine Reports, vol. 11, no. 4, 2012, pp. 209–216.