Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management


People profile: Bryce Hastings, Les Mills

Head of research, Les Mills

Published in Health Club Management 2018 issue 5
Bryce Hastings
Bryce Hastings
Our research, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, showed certain types of exercise trigger greater fat-burning

Tell us about your new research
Our work, published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport showed certain types of exercise trigger greater fat-burning than calorie counting suggests.

For the study, 12 healthy females cycled on a stationary bike and did a Les Mills Bodypump class. On all counts, the results showed a greater response to Bodypump than to the calorie-matched, steady-state cardio workout.

When blood lactate levels were examined, they were 81 per cent higher after Bodypump than cycling. Human growth hormone was 56 per cent higher.

Research like this fundamentally changes the way we think about calories.

Why does this research matter?
Monitoring exercise via calorie trackers is becoming more popular and while burning calories is an important factor when considering the effectiveness of training, it’s not the only one.
Long-term changes in body composition result from a variety of biochemical responses. This study reveals that two workouts – with the exact same calorie expenditure – can have very different effects on the hormonal responses that determine long-term changes in fitness and body composition.

This reinforces the fact that calorie measures alone don’t paint the full picture of exercise effectiveness.

Have any other research findings surprised you?
Last year, we set out to explore the effects of our immersive cycling programme – called The Trip – on the rate of perceived exertion.

We discovered that combining immersive audio-visual effects with a structured workout gets novice exercises so absorbed while working out, they barely notice how hard they’ve exercised.

Research like this could change the way clubs structure the group fitness environment for newcomers, as they can get into higher heart rate zones and get fitter faster, without feeling the discomfort of this intensity level.

What other research do you do?
To date, we’ve had 17 articles published in scientific journals investigating the various physiological effects of our programmes.

These studies have ranged from the effects of high intensity training on heart disease to Bodypump’s effect on bone health and from behaviour change to the best ways to get kids more active.

How is the research conducted?
We partner with universities around the world to investigate areas of exercise science we want to find more about.

Our research is independent, peer-reviewed and industry-recognised.

How does it feed into the business?
We invest heavily in research – it’s an important part of our business and in doing this, we’re assuring our club partners and their members our programmes are effective and safe.
We know people expect results, so we aim to provide evidence-based workouts which do what they say they’ll do.

What’s next?
Exercise we’ve researched recently includes CXWORX and running, a study of group dynamics and another focusing on doing push-ups on knees and toes.

This year we’ll be carrying out studies on stress and training loads, as well as doing a study to examine the anti-ageing benefits of Les Mills Bodypump.

Hastings has undertaken research into immersive cycling programme The Trip and its impact on perceived exertion
Hastings has undertaken research into immersive cycling programme The Trip and its impact on perceived exertion
Bodypump workouts trigger greater fat burning than calorie counting suggests
Bodypump workouts trigger greater fat burning than calorie counting suggests
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains his latest research into calorie burn
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