Every year for the past seven, the American College of Sports Medicine has received plenty of coverage, both in print and on the web, for its annual survey of fitness trends for the New Year.
If you go
Goal-oriented training clinics to kick off the new year:What: From Couch to 5K Training Program. Eight weeks of preparation for the Catch the Leprechaun Run on March 14. The program is oriented to people who want to complete a 5K. It will be led by Noah Moore, USA Track & Field-certified coach.When: 7 a.m. SundaysWhere: Meet at Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant.Cost: $50 (includes 20 percent discount on Catch the Leprechaun fee)More info: www.mooreonrunning.comWhat: The 12-week Official Bridge Run Training Clinic. The coaches are Benita Schlau, assistant director of the Cooper River Bridge Run; Tyler Cross, personal trainer and local runner; and Katie Blaylock, personal trainer.When & where: 6 p.m. Tuesdays starting Jan. 15 at the MUSC Wellness Center, Charleston.6 a.m. Wednesdays starting Jan. 16 at the MUSC Wellness Center.6 p.m. Wednesdays starting Jan. 16 at the Mount Pleasant Municipal Complex track.Cost: $75More info: www.bridgerun.comWhat: Parris Island Triathlon Training Camp, an eight-week program to prepare for the Parris Island sprint triathlon or other early season triathlons. Rip Oldmeadow, a former professional triathlete who has competed in five Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, is the coach.When: Information meeting at 4 p.m. SaturdayWhere: TrySports, Mount Pleasant; training sessions will take place at various locations.Cost: $500 (includes personalized training program, group training sessions throughout the week, $100 discount for personal training at Shaping Concepts and a free TrySports Believe Achieve Club membership during the eight weeks).More info: www.trysports.com/article/view/mptritrainingWhat: Beat the Bridge Run Training Clinic, sponsored by The Foot Store and Brooks. The coashes are Brian Johnson and Ryan Thompson, both USA Track & Field-certified coaches, former collegiate coaches and accomplished local runners. The clinic lasts 10 weeks.When: 6-7 p.m. Thursdays starting Jan. 24Where: Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront ParkCost: $65 (includes a Good Form Running Clinic and Evaluation)More info: www.footstore.comWhat: TrySports Bridge Run Training Program. The coaches are Shelley Smith and Peggy Klimecki, experienced runners. The 10 weeks of training are geared toward beginner and intermediate runners.When & where: Info session is 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at TrySports in Mount Pleasant. Training will be held at 6 a.m. at Alhambra Hall or 6:15 p.m. at Patriots Point on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 7 a.m. Saturdays at the former Red & White grocery store on the Isle of Palms.Cost: $50More info: www.trysports.com/location/mount-pleasantWhat: Y in Training. The coaches are Lucinda Hughes for Monday/Wednesday session; Kendall Shows for Tuesday/Thursday; and Nicole Moore for Wednesday/Friday. The 10-week program prepares runners and walkers to participate in the Shamrock Shuffle, formerly known as the Flowertown Run, a 10K and 5K on March 16 in downtown Summerville.When & where: 10 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays starting Jan. 7 at the Summerville Family YMCA at The Ponds.6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Jan. 8 at the Summerville Y in downtown Summerville.9 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays starting Jan. 9 at the Y in downtown Summerville.8 a.m. Saturdays at various locations.Cost: $60 for Y members; $85 for nonmembersMore info: www.ymcashamrockshuffle.orgWhat: TrySports Half Marathon Training Program. The coaches are Shelley Smith and Peggy Klimecki, experienced runners. The 14-week program prepares runners and walkers to complete in either the Greer Earth Day Half Marathon on April 20 or the women-only Diva Half Marathon on April 28 in North Myrtle Beach.When & where: Info session is 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at TrySports in Mount Pleasant.Training will be held at 6 a.m. at Alhambra Hall or 6:15 p.m. at Patriot’s Point on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 7 a.m. Saturdays at the former Red & White grocery store on the Isle of Palms.Cost: $75Website: www.trysports.com/location/mount-pleasant
I’m among those who write about the survey, in part, because it’s the only one of its kind.
Top 20 fitness trends of 2013
1. Hiring educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals2. Strength training3. Body-weight training4. Programming to prevent childhood obesity5. Weight loss programs with exercise component6. Programming for seniors7. Personal training8. Functional fitness9. Core training10. Group personal training11. Work site health promotion12. Zumba, other dance workouts13. Outdoor activities14. Yoga15. Worker incentive programs16. Boot camps17. Outcome measurements18. Circuit training19. Reaching new markets20. Wellness coachingSOURCE: American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends, 2013.
And yet I have a major qualm with the survey. It seems to serve the interests of personal trainers and the certification industry.
This year’s survey is based on the opinions of 3,346 “international health professionals” and surprise, surprise, the No. 1 “trend” this year, as it has been for the last six, is demand for “educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals.”
To a degree, that’s true.
The New York Times did a fascinating piece, “A Jobs Boom Built on Sweat in an Age of Belt-Tightening,” on June 30 on the boom in the numbers of personal trainers in the past decade: a 44 percent increase to 231,500, from 2001 to 2011, according to the Labor Department.
But personal trainers as the top trend for six years?
That aside, the survey has value in little nuggets and threads that I see to varying degrees in Charleston’s fitness community.
For example, while “group personal training” comes in 10th, I see continued popularity in people working out in groups, whether in one of the more than a dozen CrossFit “boxes” in the area to jam-packed classes in conventional gyms and studios, such as Charleston RIDE Spinning studios.
Programming to prevent childhood obesity (No. 4), such as efforts by Charleston County School District’s Wellness Committees, Charleston Tri-County Eat Smart Move More, Chucktown Squash and Louie’s Kids, show continued promise for the future health of our community.
At No. 5, “weight loss programs with an exercise component,” comes in as the Medical University of South Carolina Wellness Center’s Healthy Charleston Challenge celebrated a total of 20,000 pounds of weight loss in 10 sessions over the past five years.
Much like other broad brush strokes, the international survey can’t match what’s happening in local communities. While indoor cycling, known usually by the trade name of Spinning, fell out of the Top 20, I probably could make a case for it being in the Top 10 in Charleston.
Likewise, while yoga ranks 14th, I know very few active females who haven’t participated in at least a few sessions in the past year. Other activities that don’t involve a trainer or a facility also never get listed on the Top 20.
This year, however, a vague “outdoor activities” came in at No. 13, up from 27th in 2011. ACSM described the category as “activities (that) can be done with family and with friends, with a group or by yourself ... such as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and games or sports.”
One of the reasons Charleston is emerging as a fitness hub is its outdoor activities from massive road races such as the Cooper River Bridge Run, Turkey Day Run and Race for the Cure to paddleboard races, surfing contests and the growing presence of cyclists on the roadways.
It’s great to live in a town where exercise, both indoors and out, is a priority.
Now take advantage of it.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.