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The City of Goodyear Parks & Recreation Department shares emerging fitness equipment trends in 2022.

Fitness equipment has been a staple in community centers for years, but like most things, the popularity of specific equipment has ebbed and flowed. 

The most recent trend in equipment has come about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As facilities reopened, community recreation operators noticed a lot more people navigating toward strength equipment, since it wasn’t as accessible from home. This is backed by the annual ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey which ranked strength training with free weights the No. 4 trend for 2022, only falling behind wearables, home exercise gyms and outdoor activities. 

One facility seeing that trend is the City of Goodyear Parks & Recreation Department in Arizona. 

“Our strength equipment is always being utilized,” explained Dawn Stipe, the recreation coordinator of facility programs. “When we give tours or orientations, guests are most interested in our strength options, both selectorized equipment and free weights. Another trend we are noticing is an uptick in youth — ages 12 to 16 years — coming in with fitness goals and they are primarily looking to strength train.”

Despite the increased demand for strength training, Stipe said free weights are not the most used piece of equipment in their facility. 

“The treadmill is still the most used piece of equipment at the Goodyear Recreation Center, however, there is always someone on the floor using free weights or the Versa Strength Series from Matrix,” said Stipe. “We incorporated some more unique fitness pieces on our floor as well for users to switch out of their normal routine and possibly use the Jacob’s Ladder, AssaultRunner, the Matrix S-Force trainer and the Matrix S-Drive performance trainer. Fitness should be fun.”

A great way to make fitness fun is to keep up with emerging trends. One of the most recent trends is smart fitness equipment. In this data-driven world, not only can members track their fitness progress on their smartwatches, but also on exercise machines. 

The City of Goodyear Parks & Recreation Department has invested in smart fitness equipment to provide an optimized experience for members.

“We have Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy compatibility with all of our Matrix consoles,” said Stipe. “We see a lot of people using their fitness trackers during their workouts but not necessarily pairing it with a piece of equipment. The great thing about our consoles is once you create a login, you can sync your personal Netflix and social media accounts for each use.”

Smart fitness equipment is just one emerging trend. Like previously mentioned, popularity of specific equipment will continue to ebb and flow. But looking ahead, Stipe thinks incorporating technology and fitness will maintain growth. 

“As far as fitness equipment, I think in the future we are going to see more developments in biofeedback provided directly from the equipment and more individualized workout designs for users,” said Stipe. “Also, immersive spaces and equipment will continue to grow as far as continuing to incorporate imagery, lighting and ambiance during a workout.” 

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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