It’s been a rough year for the fitness industry, but a recent survey found the pandemic has fed demand for online and virtual content, renewed enthusiasm for bodyweight and functional exercises, and prompted fitness professionals to offer a broader range of services and expertise. These are the key findings from the 2021 canfitpro Fitness Trends survey that reflects fitness professionals’ opinions about changes in the industry and predictions for the year to come.

Fitness professionals also expressed how important it is to make the fitness field more diverse and inclusive to people of all cultures, religions, genders and abilities.

Some key trends fitness professionals expect to continue into 2021 include:

Work outs with limited equipment

With gyms temporarily closed or restricted in some provinces, people are looking for workout options that require minimal equipment. Body weight training and functional fitness were among the top 4 trends for 2021. Fitness lovers are looking to get back to basics this year with exercises that use body weight for resistance and more exercises that simulate and reinforce real-life movements.

More online personal training and group fitness

More fitness professionals are adapting to deliver personal training and group fitness classes online, supplementing their in-person sessions as the waves of the pandemic move across the country. In 2021, there will be more digital fitness options than ever to keep fitness lovers connected with their favourite classes and experts.

For people who can’t make it to the gym for their favourite group fitness class, there’s a huge range of online fitness classes including everything from cardio kickboxing to core moves to dance-inspired fitness classes. With online group fitness, participants have access to an instructor and other class participants in real time – the next best thing to an in-club experience.

Also, many personal trainers are supplementing their in-person sessions with online training customized to the clients’ home environment. Online personal training offers convenience, accountability and convenience to keep many Canadians on track during lockdown. 

Outdoor fitness options

Move it outside. That has been the common refrain for many activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the numbers of new runners and outdoor boot camps recently, fitness is no exception. Canadian fitness professionals are looking at the year ahead and developing programs that can be delivered outdoors, offering more flexibility to keep their clients moving.

Focus on overall health

Fitness in 2021 promises to play a greater role in overall wellbeing. Canadians have become more sedentary during the pandemic, which aggravates chronic diseases, mental health issues, substance use, and injuries over time.

Canadian fitness professionals are expanding their training into areas such as healthy eating and weight loss, meditation and mindfulness, stress resiliency, pre- and post-natal fitness, fascial stretch therapy and post-rehab exercise. New credentials will enable them to be part of a more comprehensive approach to healthcare.