In a fitness culture where the majority of people want a quick fix, at OPEX Saint Cloud we’ve chosen to go against the grain. Or more accurately, you could say we’ve brought things back towards the center, and in my humble opinion, found the sweet spot.
A decade or more ago, I would work out in those gyms with the area (full of machines) for “cardio” another (full of machines) for “strength”, maybe a few racquetball courts, as well as a sauna, pool, hot-tub and other amenities not directly tied to accomplishing fitness goals. What I noticed was there were people that would literally spend HOURS there. Like 2, 3 even 4 hours! As if more time in the gym would somehow equate to better fitness. Don’t ask me how I know but maybe, just maybe I shared this inaccurate belief at the time.
On the other hand, there was the get fit quick stuff. Remember 8 Minute Abs? We’ll just say if that worked to get a six pack without a total diet and lifestyle overhaul, we’d all be doing it today!
Now, this is not to say that shortening workouts and adding a bit of intensity over the 4-hour bro sessions at the globo-gym (think Dodgeball) wasn’t a long-needed correction, it was. But was it an over-correction?
These days, the most common training time allowed for group fitness gyms like CrossFit, Orange Theory or most bootcamps is 60 minutes. If you are doing simple movements, if you are doing a workout you are familiar with, if you are just showing up to sweat for a bit, you very likely can achieve this in that amount of time. In fact, many exercise professionals say after forty-five minutes energy levels can drop.
So what’s the problem? Why would you need more time? Is it possible that there are things we need before or after that 45 minute window of optimal exercise? Is there really just one best amount of time for a session? Or does 60 minutes just work great for scheduling classes? What if your program requires longer than 45 minute aerobic pieces or intervals that should have longer rests between them? Shouldn’t client results and satisfaction trump client-count per hour for the gym with your best interest in mind?
As we created Hybrid Farm’s OPEX Saint Cloud gym, we listened to our founding members and they shared with us several of their thoughts on training. And we listened.
Here are a few reasons against 60 minutes and for longer 90-minute training blocks that our clients pointed out:
Not enough warmup time
#nowarmup sounds great but if you are fighting old injuries, stiffness from inactivity or maybe sat at a desk all day for work you can sure bring more to the core parts of your workout when you have ample time to warm-up. A 90-minute workout provides time to bring your body up to speed before bringing the heat.
No time to work on new skills
Not enough time actually getting coached
I’ve coached literally thousands of hours of 60-minute training sessions. I’ll tell it to you straight. In a group class, it’s tough to get more than 2-3 minutes of real coaching time with a client. If you are trying to refine skills and need feedback, personal or small-group personal training and longer training blocks will optimize the amount of time you can actually be coached for what you spend on your membership. It’s a few bucks more, but a much higher value.
They still wanted just a bit of the old-school gym chit-chat… but not too much
- As in: tangible/measureable results
- a real working relationship with an actual person who can guide them to their goals
- and a fun community environment with like-minded people.
As it turns out, not being herded through a workout like cattle allows for more communication and camaraderie with fellow fitness enthusiasts. At the same time, still having a time-cap on the session keeps our members moving through their personalized fitness programs.
No time to cool down properly and appreciate the work they completed.
Coach Ryan Avery, Head Coach – OPEX Saint Cloud
Coach Ryan has worked with adults and youth in group and personalized fitness for over 20 years. He holds the following certifications: OPEX CCP, Certified CrossFit Trainer [CF-L3], Precision Nutrition 1, USA Powerlifting – CC, Kukkiwon Certified 4th Degree Black Belt Taekwondo; and the following specialty certificates: CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Adv., Mobility, Powerlifting, Conjugate Methods, Endurance, m|wod performance