From chunky, neon sweatbands to the silky, sweat-wicking patterned type you see at the gym today, fitness trends are as likely to evolve as your heart is to race when you do cardio. Some of the trends of the past were awful, some even dangerous. Many were helpful though, and have endured in different forms up through today.

Fitness trends

Walk with us through this fitness trend hall of fame:

The Best Fitness Trends of the Last 30 Years

Moving to the Music

It started with leg warmers and trends like “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” and Jazzercise. Aerobic workouts set to music became popular as commercial gyms and exercise videos boomed. They’re still going strong. You’ll find Zumba and other forms of dancercise classes helping people shed weight and stay fit in most gyms and online workout programs today.

Fitness trends 1Tae Bo

The 80s was a time to move to music- and combine different forms of exercise. Tae Bo was developed as a combination of martial arts, boxing, dance, and more. It’s generally regarded as effective for weight loss and remains a fun, popular option.

Boot Camps

People like the idea of a short-term commitment paying off in better health and fitness for the long haul. That’s the notion behind boot camps, which really took off in the late 90s. These short-term, intense exercise programs can be efficient, motivational, and highly effective.

Fitness Apps

In recent years, apps and fitness technology have been revolutionizing the way people workout. There are tons of popular apps that help with tracking your health and monitoring fitness progress. It’s likely that this trend will only grow.

The Worst Fitness Trends of the Last 3 Decades

Fitness trends 2

Sauna Suits

Since sweating can help you burn more calories, sauna suits were created to make people sweat more while working out. However, they are unsafe and unhealthy!


Tech like video games has enabled people to practice exergaming. Defined as exercising by playing video games, exergaming is widely regarded as ineffective.

Ab Machines

Ab belts, the ab rocket, and the ab circle pro are all examples of the ab machine craze. Purported to help vibrate and shake the weight away, these machines weren’t good for the joints. They also didn’t prove to make much of a difference!

Diet Pills

Magic pills for weight loss became popular in the early 2000s. All sorts of miracle diet pills and powders have emerged since. Besides being ineffective, some are outright bad for you too. Healthy weight loss supplements and protein, however, can be very effective! More information on that here.

Tried and True Trends You Can Count On

Some workouts are less sensational. These reliable types of exercise are always great choices because they are classics.

  • Functional Training
  • Marathon Training
  • Yoga
  • Lifting
  • Aerobics

Try out the best fitness trends and use these classics to work towards your goal. Get your FREE 30-Day VIP Pass!

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