Gamification Is Revolutionising The Fitness Industry

Gamification is revolutionising the fitness industry: these men are leading the way

Working out is undergoing a major transformation. Under gamification, fitness is becoming fun again. These are some of the trailblazers spearheading the movement.

GETTING FIT HAS never been as fun as it is right now. Or at least, it hasn’t for a long while. Millenia ago, ancient cultures like the Spartans and Romans didn’t treat exercise as an occasion to lament, but as a necessary aspect of life that allows you to better yourself among your peers. It’s no surprise that mindsets like that crystallised in grandiose celebrations of physical prowess like the Olympics.

Somewhere along the way though, humanity’s approach to fitness shifted. Soon enough, working out was no longer fun. We stopped exercising with friends in favour of embarking on solitary runs and frequenting claustrophobic rooms filled with sweaty strangers. Instead of like-minded individuals pushing us to work harder and grow, we began to rely on the hounding commands of tyrannical personal trainers as our primary source of motivation. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as some forward-thinking gamification innovators are proving.

The principles of gamification are fairly simple, and they’re not isolated to the fitness sector. Gamification involves incorporating video game elements in non-video game spaces. While the end product may differ, the central idea is to make typically mundane tasks more engaging, immersive and most of all, fun. It also has the science to back it up, as studies have shown that gamification is effective in building healthy habits and promoting activity.

Some of the bigger players in the fitness market like Peloton and Strava have already hopped on the bandwagon by introducing gaming elements—and if you use either, you’ll likely already be familiar with the changes—but the movement is trickling down into just about every gym, fitness company and FitTech supplier. The future really is now, and the fitness landscape proves it.

“The biggest challenge that gyms are facing is keeping members engaged and attending classes,” says Cameron Falloon, founder of Body Fit Training (BFT), a fitness franchise with more than 300 locations around the world. “Gamification is a great way to leverage automation and technology as another avenue to motivate people. To have them compete against themselves, and even others if they want to, can be highly motivating.”

Falloon is a veritable fitness guru. He’s worked as an elite strength and conditioning coach for multiple AFL teams and even briefly served as a personal trainer to Princess Diana in the ’90s. As the CEO of one of Australia’s fastest growing fitness companies, Falloon is always looking for ways to deliver results more effectively and efficiently. So gamification plays right into his wheelhouse.


Gamification Fitness


“We’ve implemented gamification into the BFT experience through our various integrated technology systems including our bespoke heart rate monitoring system, in-studio screens and the recent re-release of our BFT performance app,” Falloon says.

In the fitness industry, gamification is most easily applicable to cardio exercises, but as a strength and conditioning focused studio, BFT has found alternative avenues of implementing gamification. “We needed a different solution to help members know when they should be pushing harder, or pulling back and controlling their heart rate to get the most out of each exercise,” Falloon says.

For an exercise like running, it’s easy to link performance with high speeds, high inclines and high heart rates. But when it comes to lifting weights, maintaining a consistently high heart rate won’t necessarily translate to increased muscle growth. Instead, BFT studios implores members to keep their heart rates within an optimal range, with a number of screens dedicated to displaying the desired range for each specific exercise. “The beauty of doing this through heart rate tech is that it’s not based on weight or physical appearance,” says Falloon. “It’s all about working with your own ability and heart rate to get the most out of your training.”

At the conclusion of a session, BFT members are awarded medals based on how well they managed to keep their heart rate in the desired zone. Over time, they can work their way up multiple levels, starting with rookie and finishing with immortal. Members’ accomplishments and data is filtered back into the BFT performance app, where users can see statistics on every session they complete, as well as their workout streaks and milestones. Falloon has no doubts about the new system’s effectiveness. “Our attendance records since we introduced the BFT heart rate system has definitely seen more consistency for members,” he says.

Falloon and BFT aren’t the only ones blazing the trails of gamification. FitTech company Vitruvian also views gamification as the future of fitness. Vitruvian combines the principles of gamification with recent developments in artificial intelligence to deliver innovative, efficient and eminently motivating workouts. “The implementation of gaming elements within Vitruvian is about more than just adding fun to fitness, it’s about leveraging these elements to create a more immersive, engaging, and effective workout experience,” says Vitruvian founder Jon Gregory.

Vitruvian’s flagship product, the Trainer+, is an all-in-one home gym package that adapts to users’ strengths. If you’re struggling through a set and the bar feels too heavy, the Trainer+ adjusts the weight so you can power through and achieve optimal results. “We’ve integrated real-time feedback and adaptive challenges that mimic the dynamic nature of video games,” Gregory says. “Just as a game adjusts to the player’s level, Vitruvian’s technology adapts the workout intensity in real-time based on the user’s performance.”


Gamification Fitness


The Trainer+ is able to do this by utilising AI technology, as Gregory explains. “One of the key features of our AI is its ability to dynamically adjust the weight resistance in real-time. Whether a user needs more challenge or less, our AI responds.” The technology’s usage extends to the next workout, as the system tracks performance and adapts accordingly. “This means you’re always challenged just enough to improve, but not so much that you risk burnout or plateauing.”

Where Vitruvian’s gamification elements really shine is in their app, where users can track their progress on a global leaderboard—competitiveness is always a motivator—participate in challenges and connect with friends. “This approach not only keeps users engaged but also deeply motivates them,” Gregory says. “The added layers of external competition and social interaction complement this by fostering a supportive and motivating community.”

Vitruvian is planning to take its gamification even further. “We believe fitness should be as engaging as it is effective,” Gregory says. “That’s why we’re exploring the integration of actual games into our training system.” According to Gregory, that could involve the introduction of interactive workout sessions and achievement-based challenges that allow users to progress through a narrative. “Our aim is to make each workout session something our users look forward to,” he says.


Gamification Fitness


Regardless of how you prefer to workout, one thing is clear: gamification will be the future of fitness. And the industry experts agree. “Gamification is not just a part of the future of fitness, it’s central to it,” Gregory says. “The future is about bringing together technology, personalisation, and gamification to create experiences that inspire lasting lifestyle changes.” Falloon, for one, takes a similar view. “Gamification in fitness is getting more popular and refined as the technology continues developing, I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.”



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By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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