Top Fitness Picks for 2013

by Michelle Fiscus. 0 Comments

Three criteria to keep in mind when planning your workout

The New Year offers a way to close one chapter on a part of your life and open another. You get a clean slate, complete with new goals. Oftentimes, people gravitate toward improving their health and fitness.

If you’re looking for advice on those topics, thoughts on the latest diet everyone is following, or ideas to advance your workouts… this is your place! “The Fit Side of Frederick” is a new column for The Frederick News-Post. Hopefully it will be your go to guide for fitness in 2013 and beyond.

Just as you might reflect on what happened and what is to come, so does the fitness industry. Every year, the American College of Sports Medicine (or ACSM) releases a list of what trends are gaining popularity.

This isn’t just any list. It’s the culmination of a worldwide survey that analyzes fitness trends. The ACSM tries to only focus on trends compared to fads. They define a trend as a general development within the industry (think group training), whereas a fad is something that is taken up with great enthusiasm for a brief period (like the shake weight).

Here’s how it works. The ACSM picked 37 possible trends. They included the top 25 from last year and added 12 with potential to take off in the future. They sent the list to nearly 30,000 distinguished health and fitness professionals who scored the trends. The results produced the 2013 Top 20 list.

The list gives trainers, fitness enthusiasts and even the work out novice ideas to focus on. It’s also interesting to see what turns into a fad and drops off the list completely and what advancements become workout staples.

What made the top spot?

Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals has been the number one category for the last six years and for good reason. There are many personal trainers out there. You want to find yourself one that has a certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (or NCCA). ASCM, NSCA, and NASM are a few of the top ones. You can also look for someone who earned credentials through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (or CAAHEP).

That may seem like a lot of letters to keep track of, but it’s important. You want someone who knows what they’re doing to prevent injury, keep you progressing, and stay on top of industry changes.

Strength training made the number two spot for the second year in a row. It implies that both men and women use weights in their exercise regimen, whether along with cardio or by itself. Besides improving strength, lifting weights can improve bone density, change your appearance, make every day movements easier, and even has a part in medical rehabilitation of diseases. To find a strength training program that works for you, research a certified professional using the criteria explained above.

Rounding out the top three and appearing for the first time was body weight training. It’s a form of resistance training that uses your own body to provide the weights. For example, instead of doing a bench press, you would do a push up. Because you don’t need a lot of equipment or access to a gym, you can get a workout in with minimal equipment and cost. Its surge may also be attributed to the number of DVD workout programs that focus on this type of training.

Right now, there is no way to say whether body weight training is a fad or a major trend to watch. But, whether you are trying to save some money or feel intimidated by lifting weights, this is one type of exercise than can be modified to any fitness level and almost anyone can try.

So hopefully that gives you a glance of what to expect in 2013. To read more about the top ten, you can visit the ACSM site. And remember the “Fit Side of Frederick” will be covering all sorts of health related issues. If you have a story idea or to ask a question, email Michelle at


Michelle Fiscus and her husband own a personal training and nutrition business based in Frederick County and hold industry certifications and credentials. She writes a regular column for

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