6 Trends in Aerobics, Fitness Classes

BY Courtney Huckabay
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The writers at PopSugar are seeing some trends emerge in fitness, giving a solid indication of what kinds of workouts are going to be super popular in 2017. And while they don't see fitness class members' favorite bootcamp or cycling classes losing any momentum, there are some up-​and-​comers that will totally dominate in 2017.

1. Boxing

"With the rise of boutique boxing studios and the addition of beginner classes to traditional boxing gyms, boxing will see an even bigger year in 2017 than it did in 2016," Dominique Astorino wrote. "Bonus: you don't even have to jump in the ring to reap the benefits of this total-​body exercise, as many studios are geared toward a no-​contact style of fitness. And with added visibility from celebrities sharing their boxing workouts, we know that more women than ever will be hitting the heavy bags in the coming year."

These fitness trends can get new and old gym members in the door! The latest AudienceSCAN survey found 9.8% of adults participated in aerobics/​pilates activities at least once and would like to do so again sometime in the future.

2. Megaformer (The Lagree Method)

"Like Pilates on crack, a Megaformer class gives you an intense reformer workout that'll make your muscles shake, burn, and possibly hate you for the next 72 hours. The classes are rooted in the Lagree method, named after trainer and Megaformer creator Sebastien Lagree. The workout is HARD, but so, so good."

Gyms and studios can highlight their Lagree Method classes with daily deals (like Groupon or LivingSocial). The most current AudienceSCAN study reported 32% of Aerobics/​Fitness Class Members took action based on daily deals they saw in the past 30 days.

3. Dance Cardio

"People want to move in a way that doesn't feel like exercise — and if the explosion of The Fitness Marshall's popularity was any indicator, dance cardio workouts are going to be more popular than ever this year. These classes feel more like a party than they do a workout."

Ads/​Coupons in mailboxes can target Aerobics/​Fitness Class Members looking for dancey workouts. According to AudienceSCAN data, 41.4% of them took action after checking their mail in the past month.

4. Mixed Format Classes

"Speedplay, Orange Theory, Barry's Bootcamp, YAS — these classes all have one thing in common, and it's their hybrid format. They mix multiple workouts into one class! While in many classes you'll be on one machine or doing one particular style of exercise for 45–60 minutes, these studios deliver workouts that combine strength training and cardio, which is the most effective way to burn calories."

"We talked to superstar trainer Jeanette Jenkins, and she had the same thought — these mixed format classes will be huge in the coming year. Why? "They prevent overuse [injury] on the joints of doing the exact same thing over and over again."

"Whether you like a combo of yoga and Spin in one class, a mixed format HIIT session, or a bootcamp-​style training that combines multiple machines and floor work, there's something for everyone out there. And we're even more excited to see what else will pop up as this trend continues to build in 2017. Maybe a boxing-​slash-​Megaformer class??"

5. Workout Apps

"Many are needing to fill the void with another convenient, do-​whenever, wherever-​you-​are workout. And how does one do that in a cost-​effective way? With apps and at-​home workouts."

"Apps like Kayla Itsines's Sweat With Kayla and Nike Women's refreshed NTC saw a rise in popularity year, and we predict they'll do even better in 2017 — especially after Kayla told POPSUGAR in an interview earlier this year that exciting new updates were coming for the SWK app."

"Newer apps like Aaptiv and Sworkit are building their followings, too, bringing on-​demand training and coaching to your phone with a variety of workouts and styles to choose from."

Fitness centers can promote their own apps with workouts loaded into them through mobile smartphone app ads or text message ads. 32% of Aerobics/​Fitness Class Members took action after receiving these in the past month.

6. Live-​Stream Classes

"Welcome to the future. You don't have to live in a major metro to try new, exciting fitness classes anymore thanks to the rise of livestream video. Now, from anywhere in the world, you can bring the high-​energy workout to you. Why stream Netflix when you could stream a high-​intensity, body-​transforming workout?"

"We're seeing the trend go from the DVD workouts to streaming workouts to livestream workouts — following in parallel to the rise of live-​streaming on social media with platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope."

"Brands like Peloton cycling are leading the charge for fitness, with goals of bringing that in-​class energy and power to your solo at-​home sweat sesh. Not every studio and brand is streaming live classes just yet, but we anticipate the shift will happen this year en masse. Many brands have been making general streaming available — FitFusion lets you take classes from Jillian Michaels or Tone It Up's Karena and Katrina; Barre3 brings the muscle-​shaking studio class to your home with the ability to schedule your week just like you would with physical studio classes; New York's Ballet Beautiful lets you pay per stream/​workout."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.