Introducing Gamification in Workouts: The Secret to Motivation and Results

Thanks to Prue Harvey, Education Coordinator at BFT, for this article.

The concept of gamification is nothing new in fitness – think Apple watches, heart rate monitors, etc – but how it’s executed can change the game for your product or business. The use of gamification in workouts has been showing increasing popularity, from virtual marathons where milestones and medals can be achieved over several months by individuals to VR headsets used in fitness apps.

Gamification involves incorporating game elements, such as competition, rewards, and challenges, into non-game contexts, like fitness routines. For those who respond positively to it, it has shown an increase in motivation, as clients have something that is instantly rewarding them rather than relying on delayed gratification with a long-term goal like weight loss. This recent study showed how gamification can enhance fitness by making exercise more fun, rewarding, and social. It helps people set achievable goals and smaller milestones to achieve along the way. Gamification is also great for community, social engagement, and data tracking.

How does BFT use gamification in workouts?

Global franchise, Body Fit Training (BFT) have invested heavily in the past few years in real-time technology to help members gamify every workout they do inside a BFT studio, along with their 8-week challenges. The result is a training environment where members receive positive reinforcement for effort, consistency, and progress.

Here are some of the key features that have been implemented:

 BFT³- Heart rate specific tech: Most heart rate monitors only reward high heart rates, however as BFT is very strength training orientated, a high heart rate will not help a client achieve their desired results in every workout BFT offers. Therefore, BFT have created a bespoke tracking system that rewards clients for being in the right heart rate zone, not just the highest. On the wall-mounted screens, you will be able to see if you are in the right zone throughout your workout, and after the session, participants are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal (or nothing), according to how closely they were able to stay in the optimum heart rate zones. 

Status levels: In addition to the medals, the BFT³ system also rewards people for consistently training, by accumulating points for every session, resulting in status upgrades. This means that commitment and consistency earn positive feedback, which can be a great motivator for those who may be struggling with health conditions, injury, or a lack of motivation to get to the gym.

Leaderboards: BFT is known for its 8-week challenges, and with the addition of its heart rate technology and its app, they have been able to implement leaderboards as part of its 8WC offering. These leaderboards reward members for medals they have achieved in the studio.  

BFT gamification
BFT introducing gamification to our workouts

Why does using gamification in workouts get results?

Just as the ping of a social media ‘like’ has us reaching for our phones, the dopamine hit of instant gratification does wonders for making us feel that sense of reward when it comes to our efforts in the gym. The bespoke BFT heart rate system -BFT³ – is designed to reward members directly after they complete their workout. If members reach within a certain percentage of a target, they will be awarded a (virtual) gold, silver, or bronze medal. This instant gratification is addictive and makes members feel a sense of achievement for the efforts put into their workout straight away, rather than relying on the long-term benefits that are felt from exercise.
 
The chest strap devices are calibrated to an individual’s health data, and accuracy improves over a few wears, so members are being measured according to their own metrics, not lumped into the same pool as everyone else with varying fitness levels.
 
Along with instant medal rewards, there are also status levels for members to achieve as they keep earning points, the longer they stay with the brand. Bridie Hopkins, Studio Manager at BFT Wollongong says, “Traditionally, you might see people getting rewarded for having the fastest time, the max reps, or getting their heart rate up the most in a class, but for someone just starting their fitness journey, this can feel demotivating. It’s great for members to be able to earn status levels for consistency, as sometimes just showing up can be the hardest part.”
 
The 8WC Leaderboards rank members based on their medal tally. The idea is to promote camaraderie and some healthy competition between members and push individuals to hit the session target in order to get the optimal reward.
gamification of fitness BFT australia

With BFT sitting at the number four ranking on the Australian Financial Review’s 2023 Fast Global List, and the brand expanding rapidly across the globe, the gamification of workouts obviously resonates with its members. Since we’ve all accepted how susceptible our brains are to positive reinforcement technology when it comes to social media and gambling, why not turn these mind hacks into developing positive habits like regular, and effective training?

About Body Fit Training:

BFT is Australia’s fastest growing fitness franchise. The brand’s advanced, group training methodology is now hitting the UK and Ireland. Launched in 2018, BFT now has over 300 franchisees around the world. Franchisees benefit from a cutting edge training system, a compelling cash flow opportunity, a commitment that’s based on fairness and support to help them succeed, and an exploding brand that members will love.

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