“Busy is the new status symbol when you ask people how they’re doing,” said Brent Gallagher, the co-owner of Avenu Fitness. As a result, he predicts 30-minute workouts will be a top fitness trend in coming years, as customers strive to maximize their time.
Gallagher feels so confident in this trend, his entire gym’s model revolves around it. Avenu Fitness, located in Houston, Texas, only offers workouts that are 30 minutes in length.
According to Gallagher, when paired with proper sleep and nutrition, 30-minute training sessions can be just as effective for a club’s members as traditional, hour-long stints of exercise.
The key here is “proper sleep and nutrition.” To ensure Avenu Fitness’ clients get the most out of their 30-minute workouts, the club offers a Lifestyle program that takes an in-depth look into members’ sleeping habits, nutrition choices and stress levels.
Nutrition habits are especially emphasized. Like all workout programs, if a member isn’t fueling his or her body correctly, they won’t see as good of results — no matter how long they exercise.
For Gallagher, another key factor to offering 30-minute workouts is having trainers that believe in the program. “For my team and I, why I feel like we’ve done so well with this 30-minute thing, is because our team believes in this,” he said. “We eat, sleep and breathe the whole 30-minute side of things. [We also train] for 30 minutes ourselves — we’re not hypocrites.”
Don Suarez, the manager of The HitFit Gym, agreed with this sentiment. At The HitFit Gym’s three locations in Florida, its 35-minute classes would become stale if there weren’t great instructors leading the program.
“Your facility is essentially a box with exercise equipment in it — there’s really nothing innovative in terms of the exercises that are being done,” said Suarez. “Hire good people — you have to have good quality people that can deliver a good experience.”
When it comes to 30-minute personal training sessions, another benefit is that trainers are able to double the amount of clients they see per hour. If priced correctly, this can mean more profits for the trainer and gym.
Time-sensitive workouts can also protect your trainers from burn-out. Gallagher said he’s seen instances of trainers overloading their schedules or working long hours. Now, 30-minute workouts provide an opportunity for trainers to make great money, while not necessarily working as long.
To build a strong foundation for 30-minute workouts — whether it’s a group class or one-on-one sessions — gym owners and employees also need to ensure their members buy-in to the concept. Try to dispel the myth that hour-long workouts are necessary to become fit in your gym.
“The majority of marketing strategies relay messages that if you aren’t working out for an hour then you’re not fit enough,” said Gallagher.
According to Suarez, this perception is fundamentally wrong. “Yeah I can stretch my workout for an hour, an hour and a half, but calorically could I have burned the same amount of calories if I pushed harder in 30 minutes? Yes,” he said.
Members are only going to get busier. What are you doing to ensure they can workout in your gym in 30 minutes or less?
“This day and age everyone is on a time crunch, nobody has time for anything anymore,” said Suarez. “Our average members don’t have to come in and bust out an hour workout [to get results]. It’s quality over quantity.”