Making HIIT happen with AV
Usability, aesthetics, control.
According to the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends 2018, high intensity interval training (HIIT) has outpaced its rivals to steal the number one fitness trend spot once again. This is great news for HIIT operators, but with so many classes on offer, how can you make sure that your own HIIT experience stands out? Hutchison-t have been driving and shaping the emergence of AV-enhanced HIIT since the very first HIIT workouts migrated from the sports science lab to the gym. Here’s how we use AV to help leading European fitness operators and global content providers deliver the best HIIT experiences around.
The audio and acoustic challenges of HIIT
Intense instructors, motivational mantras, clattering equipment, boxing rounds, and struggling through each set - HIIT sessions are challenging environments when it comes to ambient noise. Add an unconventional layout into the mix, especially in circuit-style sessions with people spread in pockets around the room, and traditional audio systems will fall short in terms of quality and consistency of sound.
Instead, have your studio mapped by an audio professional and go for distributed audio. A distributed audio system uses multiple smaller speakers precision positioned to ensure equal audio coverage right across a space. This added flexibility means audio can be tailored to difficult environments, giving every class member an equally smooth and engaging audio experience including vibrant music, clear countdown cues, and intelligible instructor speech.
Pre-installation, there are a range of professional acoustic treatments available that will minimise music and speech reverberation, many of which can add an additional design element to your studio. Post-installation, a digital signal processor (DSP) will do a lot of enhanced audio and acoustic work for you. Using the DSP, our engineers can digitally optimise audio output to the conditions of the room. Taken together, acoustic treatment, a bespoke distributed audio system, and a skilfully programmed DSP will keep your HIIT sessions sounding crisp and clear.
And if it’s a sunny day? For the ultimate in flexible programming we recommend a portable pro speaker solution such as the Bose S1 Pro®. Paired with our instructor iPad and a bespoke audio countdown feature, operators have the freedom to run slick, impromptu pop-up HIIT sessions anywhere in the club or outdoors.
Whether you’re a dedicated boutique HIIT studio or a larger operator introducing HIIT as part of your broader offering – developing a focused HIIT experience that makes sense for your brand ethos will help inspire loyalty from existing members, while encouraging engagement from an ever-growing pool of Millennial and Gen-Y gym-goers on the lookout for authentic new fitness experiences. A well-designed playlist filled with carefully curated, tempo-tailored tracks is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Our Instructor Music Portal lets operators leverage potential allegiances and rev up the HIIT experience while empowering instructors to be independent and creative. Compile a library of approved tracks that are tagged by BPM, then let instructors build their very own motivational HIIT soundtracks – each one perfectly tailored to the workout and totally unique, but still intelligible in the context of your club’s broader philosophy. Instructors create their playlists using an online portal then download them prior to a class, with in-class access via a simple iPad user app.
Variations on visual
A new breed of user-centric and versatile visual technologies are helping instructors and class members navigate the high-octane HIIT environment while leveraging the experience to the max. Large format digital display screens can be used for aspirational class video content and instruction, and can be “dual-purposed” to display digital countdown clocks and other visual cues as well. No more stopwatches, no more phones on the floor – just an elegant and hassle-free way to keep the class on track.
How about “gamifying” your HIIT experience to motivate class members? We’re expert third party integrators and can seamlessly incorporate any application into your HIIT offering. For instance, ever-popular Myzone® provides serious performance metrics, but it’s also great for creating the “exertainment” vibe that so many gym-goers are looking for as they turn to exercise for broader lifestyle and wellness reasons, rather than purely for fitness.
For circuit-style HIIT, Feature & FX lighting is an intuitive way to accentuate zones and distinguish circuit stations without using physical barriers – a visually impressive solution that’s great for maintaining an interactive group dynamic. Plus, our smart lighting features are easily programmable in any configuration. Set lighting to the beat of the music when each round is in full swing, programme pulses for the countdown, green for go, red for stop, chill-out blues for the cooldown.
The best of the rest
Easy access and intuitive control are crucial components of the best AV-driven experiences, and nowhere is this truer than in the demanding, time-short world of HIIT. If you want your instructors to be free to move and engage dynamically with the class, start with a good wireless microphone system, then give them fully reactive, mobile control of the studio audio, visual and lighting.
To do this, we developed Auto-AV and Control-AV – the proprietary software making professional-grade AV displays more accessible to operators and instructors. Designed specifically for studios and GroupX, this technology translates complex AV commands into an easy and readable form that can be managed through a studio iPad GUI, giving instructors real-time control of all class AV plus the incredibly convenient ability to schedule and automate everything in advance.
Keeping it real
Don’t just throw any AV at your HIIT concept. Keeping the experience focused and authentic is a key consideration. Take a look at our mini HIIT snapshots below to see how six of our most brand-aware clients are using AV for HIIT in a way that’s relevant to their members and needs
Centric: 3Tribes "Simplify to intensify"
WARRIOR by Centric:3Tribes is an intense, full-body HIIT workout that puts simplicity and functionality centre stage. Sixteen large LED spotlights suspended on a trilite truss illuminate two distinct training zones while providing a dramatic, theatre-like aesthetic. Instructors can design their own motivational lighting, helping class-goers unleash their inner fitness warrior when the house lights go down and the music goes up.
Nuffield Health “HIIT on the move”
Nuffield Health are one of the first major operators to get on board with portable HIIT. Using a premium Bose portable audio solution with our instructor iPad and a preloaded audio countdown, Nuffield’s instructors can devise and run flexible pop-up HIIT sessions anywhere on the gym floor. This lets individual clubs tailor their classes to their own fantastic ranges of equipment, unique schedules, and usable workout spaces.
Virgin Active GRID “The original”
Virgin Active were one of the first major high-end operators to tap into the boutique fitness trend by providing their members with a tailored HIIT experience from the convenience of a club. All GRID studios include premium Bose audio, interactive instructor touchscreen, digital countdowns, Myzone integration, and instructor iPad control, resulting in an intuitive environment where members can battle it out against themselves and one another.
Gymbox "The rule-breakers"
London’s coolest “anti-gym” and pioneers of boutique-style pro-audio-for-fitness. A functional & flexible pro AV system lets Gymbox focus on the creative development of their HIIT-with-a-twist class concepts. HIIT never sounded as good as it does with distributed audio for rich, rounded beats; while instructor iPad control and digital timer screens let instructors go all out on challenging the class and helping them hone their technique.
Blaze “Intensity redefined”
Blaze harnesses the power of HIIT and unleashes its full potential through the use of intelligent AV. Energising music, dynamic lighting, motivational visuals, and automation and control technology enables total instructor engagement and intensifies the group dynamic. This combo motivates class members to push themselves to the absolute limit, burning anything up to a staggering 1000 calories per hour.
Victus Soul “The boutique”
Opening soon, this boutique London operator has gone all in with two unique HIIT concepts and nothing else. Victus Soul will be delivering HIIT & RUN and HIIT & BOX from a custom studio in the heart of the capital. Pro sound by Martin Audio and feature lighting including par-cans, perimeter accents and an RGBW LED version of the gladiatorial Victus Soul logo gives these gritty live workouts a seriously sophisticated edge.