The 10 fitness trends of 2024, according to the ACSM (one will surprise you beyond belief)


As every year, The American College of Sports Medicine releases the most relevant list on the major trends that will dominate physical activity worldwide. We analyze the 'top 10' with professionals, where, for the first time, mental health features

The 10 fitness trends of 2024, according to the ACSM (one will surprise you beyond belief)

Will we go to CrossFit more or opt for solo workouts at the gym? Will we continue exercising at home like during the pandemic or switch it up with outdoor workouts? Will we prefer technology or in-person interaction in group classes? There is no greater predictor of fitness trends than the official list from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

The Indianapolis-based organization has been conducting a worldwide survey since 2006, which includes input from 2,000 researchers, physicians and industry professionals.

The aim is to provide official information as opposed to "fitness fads", which contribute little or nothing to the physical activity and sports sector. Since 2016, wearable technology has dominated the scene, ranking high until finally claiming the number one spot in 2024. And this is the most obvious conclusion from the report.

Just take a look around any sporting environment. No workout is complete without a timer, with many tracking burned calories on their cells or smart watches. Those running on the streets record their split times to gauge improvement, while kickboxers integrate gaming tech into their strikes against punching bags, competing with their peers. All of this, of course, after having previously reserved the session through an app, where, of course, results are shared and uploaded. The persistence of the so-called "wearables" and fitness-related technological programs is, therefore, no surprise. But what is surprising, however, is their use for community connection and social support, ACSM points out.

"It's important for exercise professionals to harness the capabilities of wearable technology to enhance client adherence and autonomy," admits A'Naja Newsome, co-author of the ACSM Trends, in this report. Another point to note among the list is that the importance of choosing well-trained trainers who accompany people in taking care of their health from an early age to the end, increasing their well-being in the life process, is re-emerging.

But most noteworthy of all is how fitness is being used to alleviate symptoms of mental illnesses, placing mental health for the first time among these top 10 trends, at number eight.


  1. Wearable technology: Physical activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices, including technology that can monitor heart rate, calories, time spent sitting, sleep, menstruation, glucose, water intake, macronutrients, weekly physical activity days, and more.
  2. Workplace health promotion: Programs and benefits that enhance employee wellness, such as incorporating gyms in the workplace. (*)
  3. Fitness programs for older adults: Focusing on the preventive value of physical activity against diseases and addressing the unique needs of a growing aging population.
  4. Exercise for weight loss: Weight loss programs combining personalized diets with exercise routines.
  5. Qualified Exercise Professionals (QEPs): Greater training requirements from fitness centers and policies favoring investment in personnel.
  6. Hiring specialists: Accredited and certified professionals, closely linked to the previous point.
  7. Mobile exercise apps: Smartphones and related apps aiding in exercise programming or execution. (*)
  8. Exercise for mental health: Enhancing mental wellbeing through physical activity. The power of endorphins for concentration, being present in the moment, forgetting problems... (*)
  9. Youth athletic development: Involving young people in sports and related activities. (*)
  10. Personal Training: Including goal-setting, fitness assessment, and exercise programming with a trainer in individual settings.

(*) Indicates fIrst time in the top ten.


Are these trends accurate according to professionals who are directly engaging with users? Which trends stand out above others or seem more accurate to them? "It's very interesting that sport is promoted from an early age and that it is encouraged among the elderly. But, of the 10 fitness trends 2024, perhaps not the most important, although the most necessary, is the importance of mental health when exercising," highlights Andrea de Ayala, trainer at Studio1 by Smart-Club and creator of her own fitness app, EntrenaconAndre.

A significant portion of her students attend her classes with an objective that goes beyond the physical or aesthetic. They train their minds, she says. "They disconnect from work, from day-to-day issues, make friends with like-minded people... Many arrive serious, burdened with thoughts, and leave completely carefree," she continues. "When the class begins, they disconnect from all of that to connect with the positive energy in the room and a smile appears on their faces," explains the instructor.

The same occurs with her fifty clients in her running program, where 100% of attendees affirm that they join because running helps them on a psychological level. "I can assure you that to cross a finish line, your mind is much more critical than your legs. If your legs fail, you can continue walking or half-crawling, but when your mind fails, no matter how physically prepared you are, you stop. The saying 'a healthy mind in a healthy body' is entirely true because you need to be well internally to look good externally," asserts Ayala.

Self-love, discipline, consistency, the desire to overcome challenges... "I realize the number of values one develops through sports as I gain experience over the years. Everything you learn while training helps you become stronger in life when facing its toughest challenges. And that's what I've experienced myself: tell me how you train, and I'll tell you who you are," adds Ayala, witnessing insecure individuals, lacking self-esteem, and always carrying the "I can't" mindset transforming as they adhere to physical exercise.

"All of that needs to be worked on. Your mind will always be the limiting factor or, conversely, the one allowing you to reach wherever you desire. Through sports, so much is channeled that you arrive with a different mindset after releasing endorphins and dopamine. It's real and proven in studies. It produces an effect where problems don't vanish, but you learn to see them from a less personal standpoint."

Training is prioritizing and taking care of oneself, she opines. "Dedicating time to yourself," points out the trainer. "Giving yourself the place you deserve: putting yourself ahead of everything and focusing on what makes you feel good." When you achieve that, everything else falls into place. "Priorities align, you differentiate between urgent and important matters. Through the mind, incredible achievements with your body are possible, and that's where everything improves, and success arrives," concludes this trainer who works both in gyms and online.

On the other hand, from the CrossFit world, after analyzing the chart, Francisco Ruiz, CEO of Coraje and creator of Boxes Prep., the first Spanish training for CrossFit box owners, highlights that the top positions are dedicated to performance-monitoring technology. "It's growing significantly among the general population, whether due to injury or illness, athletes who've used it for years, or individuals now getting into sports. People are realizing that online programs along with activity tracking and control make you feel less lost in the facilities."

Every bit counts, and the total investment is higher, but you have everything you need, he states. "That's why it's crucial, as ACSM highlights, to choose qualified and certified professionals." Remote work can be very comfortable because it's just a click away, but it also generates more uncertainty, he details. "You need that backing that brings credibility to the work. It's a demand from those who start training independently in a facility or with a personal trainer, as well as those following their personalized plan outdoors to achieve their goals. Everything needs to have purpose and discipline to turn it into a habit. And when that habit becomes constant, progress follows."