HIIT: The Secret to Keeping Members Happy
Sticking to an exercise plan requires finding the time to exercise, but the exercise itself must also be enjoyable. We know about half of the people who drop out of any exercise routine do so because of lack of time. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is increasingly being recognized as being as, if not more, beneficial for health1 than the traditional Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (MICT). And, as HIIT compresses the amount of time required to exercise, it might also be more enjoyable.
Over a series of different exercise classes, healthy volunteers completed a questionnaire known as the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. In this study2, 92 percent of participants enjoyed HIIT workouts more than traditional MICT exercise. The enjoyment associated with HIIT is tied to the fact that it works.
Several studies conducted with sedentary adults provide compelling evidence that HIIT can rapidly build fitness. And it’s not just exercise newbies who can benefit. In two separate studies, Dr Jinger Gottschall and a team of researchers at Penn State University have proved that HIIT programs can transform the fitness of regular exercisers3, burning 9 percent more fat and be 17 percent more effective than your standard aerobic or “steady state” training.
It’s no surprise that the short yet highly effective nature of HIIT is what’s making it a hit with the swelling millennial market.
“Millennials don’t want to mill around the weight room or spend hours on cardio equipment; they want short workouts and bang for their buck,” explains Les Mills Jnr, Program Director for LES MILLS GRIT.
The enjoyment and results born from solid HIIT programming, not only improves member retention and acquisition, it can be great for building a strong instructor team too.
“Adding a best-in-class HIIT program has been great for instructors,” explains Elaine Denton, David Lloyd’s Health and Fitness Support manager. “They feel that it has elevated them to a different level of coaching and understanding of how to get more from members – how to focus on individuals as well as groups, how to coach rather than teach. They like the music, the 30-minute format, and the variety.”
Greater quality of programming backed by science allows you to guarantee a far more consistent experience across instructors. By reinvigorating your HIIT offering, along with your other high quality programs, you can add more value to your membership and create much greater market appeal. With the right class schedule and approach, you can make HIIT a massive success in your facility, and increase your profitability by getting more people moving, more often.
Batacan, Romeo B., et al. “Effects of high-intensity interval training on cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention studies.”Br J Sports Med 6 (2017): 494-503.
Thum, Jacob S., et al. “High-Intensity Interval Training Elicits Higher Enjoyment than Moderate Intensity Continuous Exercise.”PloS one 1 (2017): e0166299.
Petersen, Bailey A., Bryce Hastings, and Jinger S. Gottschall. “High Intensity Interval Cycling Improves Physical Fitness in Trained Adults.”Journal of Fitness Research (2016).