Many people exercise for different reasons, to stay fit, healthy, happy, and look good aesthetically.
But, have you ever wondered about the reasons people don’t exercise?
According to this article by Well+Good, people can get easily fed up and bored by exercising if it becomes repetitive. That means if you’re a gym owner, you face the challenge of providing engaging activities and services to stop your membership retention rate from decreasing.
One fun way to take your members’ minds off the monotonous routines and repetition of working out is by offering interval training classes and workouts. In this article, we will look at what interval training actually is, some examples of interval training, and what the benefits of interval training are for your business.
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What is interval training?
Interval training involves a mixture of repeated short and high-intensity bursts of activity combined with periods of rest and recovery periods. This type of training involves aerobic (using oxygen) and anaerobic (exercise without exercise) methods.
Aerobic exercise helps you walk, run and exercise over long distances using oxygen to convert carbohydrates to energy. At the same time, anaerobic uses energy from carbohydrates to fuel high-energy short bursts of exercise like sprinting, jumping, and lifting heavy objects. The benefits of interval training allow lactic acid and waste products to be removed from the body.
Examples of interval training
Interval training is being implemented all around us and probably in your gym without you even realizing it. To give you an insight into what interval training is, here are some common examples:
Tabata is a workout that is a form of high-intensity interval training. This workout is unique as it involves a set of exercises that only last 4 minutes in total. Every exercise in the 4 minute workout will be for a certain period of time, i.e., 20 seconds followed by 10 minutes rest, totaling 4 minutes.
There are many benefits to doing Tabata; some of the main ones are: it raises your heart rate, helps increase lean muscle mass, boots anaerobic and aerobic fitness levels. One of the fantastic factors about Tabata is that it can be inside or outside the gym with little equipment.
Full body HIIT
A form of workout done at different intervals involving just your body weight and no free weights. The purpose of a full-body HIIT workout is to help build muscle and increase cardiovascular fitness. Full body HIIT workouts are fast-paced and can involve exercise machines like bikes, rowers, and treadmills.
HIIT using weights
HIIT is a type of interval training that involves cardio and weights. Typically these workouts incorporate free weights doing fewer reps for a short period of time. This type of workout helps many people achieve a sculpted look.
HIIT involving running
A type of running that involves running across different intervals. In addition to this, there’s walking and periods of rest integrated into the workout. Normally this type of running makes people exercise at 80-90 percent of their maximum heart rate before recovering.
Another fantastic type of interval training is spinning, a form of indoor cycling. This workout is great for people that don’t like to run or use weights. This workout is mainly cardio-based, and gym members cycle to different speeds on a stationary bike at intensities. Again, these workouts weave in recovery, fast cycles, and slow cycles.
EMOM is an acronym for every minute on the minute and a popular type of interval training primarily used in CrossFit. The main challenge is to complete a certain number of reps in 60 seconds or less. Then if you complete the exercise before the time is up, you then use that remaining time to rest before moving on to the next set.
AMRAP is also an acronym for as many rounds as possible. This basically means completing as many reps or rounds in a specific amount of time. The reason why it’s a form of interval training is that it has a primary focus on pushing yourself as hard and fast as possible in a short time, with only a small break between each exercise.
9 benefits of interval training
Now you have an idea of the different types of interval training, let’s explore the major benefits for gym members and gym owners.
1. Calories are burned long after exercise
Many gym members attend your gym not only to feel good, but it’s most likely they will want to see results. In addition to having a good diet, sleep, and mindset, one of their top priorities is that they will want to burn a lot of calories to achieve goals surrounding their weight.
While weight training can provide this, interval training can allow them to burn a high amount in just a short time, as little as 30 minutes. This is because it involves something called excess post exercise consumption (EPOC). Basically, this means the more intense the workout, the longer time it takes for your body to supply oxygen back to the muscles.
Therefore, the bursts of intense exercise involved in interval training make your body work harder long after the exercise has finished, so it can return to its resting state. As a result, more calories are burned.
2. They’re not boring
Many people undergo exercise routines like long distance running, cycling and weights only to find the workouts are quite boring and repetitious. Moreover, as the workouts have the same intensity, often people feel like they can last a long time, making it an unpleasurable experience. Plus, once you become bored, you have a lot of time to think about workouts and everything else going on in your life.
With interval training, you don’t have time to think about how you feel or other things on your mind. The constant change of intervals keeps you fast on your feet and allows workouts to feel like they’re happening quickly. Moreover, the variety of different paces can prevent you from becoming bored. Furthermore, the short periods of rest can allow individuals to feel like they’ve earned the rest making the workout a more rewarding experience.
3. Increased endurance
There are many physiological benefits interval training can provide, one of which is better endurance. This is due to the high intensity involved, which can help increase your oxygen consumption.
There’s research that supports this, showing that if individuals who underwent HIIT workouts 20 minutes each day for only 4 times in a week, for a period of 5 weeks, increased their oxygen capacity by 9%. There’s even evidence that suggests interval training can be just as effective as traditional endurance training.
This is because the different speeds and intensities can work harder to remove a build up of lactic acid in your body, increasing your oxygen efficiency. However, you must work out at an intensity rate of 80%-90% for this to happen.
4. Better cardiovascular health
There is scientific research that demonstrates interval training can lower heart rate and blood pressure in individuals who are overweight and obese. Part of this is because interval training can pressure your heart by forcing it to work hard and then recover.
Therefore doing this several times in one workout can cause your heart to become more efficient and responsive to the demands required from your body. Moreover, some research demonstrates if you take part in interval training regularly, your blood pressure could be significantly lower instead of moderate-intensity exercise.
5. Members are less likely to give up
If you host interval training classes like spinning, running, HIIT with or without weights, you might have fewer members drop out from class. Not only do these sessions feel like they’re flying by due to the intervals, but they’re also unpredictable. For example, if you have an instructor teaching a spinning class, the members won’t be able to expect when they will be told when to cycle faster or slower. Therefore, this element of unpredictability can make it more enjoyable for them.
6. It helps sedentary people gain muscle
For those gym members who are beginners to working out but intimidating to using weights, interval training can be a great introduction to gaining muscle. There’s research that shows people who aren’t that active can gain more muscle in their legs than previously.
However, this does not apply to people who are already active. Furthermore, this benefit can also give new members the confidence to explore other gym services.
7. Speeds up metabolism
Interval training can speed up the production of a hormone known as Human Growth Hormone (HGH) following your workout. It’s believed that the production of this hormone can be increased by up to 450% in just 24 hours. While this hormone does not cause you to burn calories, it will help slow down your aging process and speed up your metabolism.
8. More time-efficient
These workouts are highly beneficial for those who live busy or fast paced lifestyles. Most of the time, these workouts are for 15-30 minutes, compared to 1 hour of training.
Plus, if the person works hard enough, they can get many results from a short workout in the allotted space of time. In addition to this, it’s also great for gyms as they can offer more workout classes due to the little time required.
9. Little equipment is needed
For a good exercise class to happen, normally, you need a good instructor, equipment, and dedicated individuals. When it comes to interval training, you don’t need anything fancy or even any equipment; body weight is just as effective for this form of exercise.
Moreover, if equipment is required, it’s usually only very little such as weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and plyo boxes. Similarly, if you’re a gym owner just setting up your gym, this can be useful for you as it costs very little to host. Plus, due to the little equipment needed, you can host these classes indoors and outdoors.
Overall, interval training has many benefits for both gym members and gym owners. Some of which is that it can burn a lot of calories in a short time, is time-efficient, betters cardiovascular health, endurance and involves little equipment.
Most importantly, interval training can stop people from getting bored easily, allowing them to stay consistent with their exercise. Furthermore, interval training is perfect for busy people, athletes, long-distance runners, and swimmers.