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2013 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report

by Jan Schroeder, PhD and Ayla Donlin, MS on May 23, 2013

Results show there is something for almost everyone when it comes to facility and equipment offerings across North America.

The 17th IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report bears out that fitness professionals are becoming more specialized, yet more diverse, as the North American population ages and transforms its demographic markers. This year’s survey was distributed to the largest sample pool ever and garnered the largest number of responses in its history (2,818).

As in recent years, the programming and services offered clearly underscore a robust personal training and group exercise presence. Respondents report that half of their facilities are also offering mind-body activities.

Small equipment used innovatively by instructors and trainers to challenge and condition clients remains at the top of equipment trends. Portable and versatile pieces help fitness professionals meet clients’ training needs in settings ranging from large health clubs to clients’ homes. Pros are focusing on a multisystem approach, tailoring programs to improve cardiorespiratory, muscular and neuromuscular fitness. They are engineering their programming using little more than their creativity, clients’ body weight and key equipment pieces to get the job done.

The survey was redesigned this year to combine all data (program directors/managers, personal trainers and group exercise professionals are combined, except where indicated).

Click here to download the 2013 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report

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About the Authors

Jan Schroeder, PhD

Jan Schroeder, PhD IDEA Author/Presenter

Jan Schroeder, PhD, is a professor of kinesiology, specializing in fitness, at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Schroeder has authored over 40 research and applied science articles in the area of exercise physiology and fitness and presents regularly at national and international conferences. In addition, Jan is a certified group exercise instructor and teaches in the private and academic sector. Certifications: AFAA

Ayla Donlin, MS

Ayla Donlin, MS IDEA Author/Presenter

I am the Director of the LifeFit Center @ The Beach (, and I am a lecturer at Long Beach State University in the kinesiology department. I am a Master Trainer for Johnny G. Method - Krankcycle ( and IN-TRINITY ( I am also a Master Trainer for MYZONE (