KeepMe
KeepMe
KeepMe
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Ask the experts: Catering to introverts

Is the health and fitness industry more geared up to meet the needs of extroverts and overlooking more introverted customers? Kath Hudson investigates

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Clubs should offer a variety of different classes and instructors, to appeal to different personality types / PHOTO: Shutterstock/GPointStudio
Clubs should offer a variety of different classes and instructors, to appeal to different personality types / PHOTO: Shutterstock/GPointStudio

In a world set up to reward extrovert behaviour, introverts are commonly misunderstood and judged – labelled as shy, lacking in confidence or even boring. Even the dictionary definition is reductive and fails to appreciate the many nuances of the introvert personality.

The scientific difference between introverts and extroverts is how they respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine: a chemical released in the brain that provides the motivation to seek external rewards.

Dopamine makes everyone more talkative, alert to their surroundings and motivated to take risks. Extroverts enjoy this feeling, even crave it, but it makes introverts feel overstimulated, so after a dopamine rush they need to withdraw to recharge their batteries.

Introverts thrive on a different neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which allows for deep thought and reflection. In short it means that introverts can act like extroverts – and even be mistaken for them – but doing this drains their batteries and then they’ll need to withdraw. Put simply, extroverts recharge with people and introverts recharge on their own.

The world has been set up to be pleasing to extroverts, so let’s make sure that health clubs lead the way by offering inclusive, welcoming environments that introverts will want to visit, before we lose this group of members to digital streaming services.

So how can you make your club more appealing to introverts? We ask the experts.

Jacque Crockford
American Council on Exercise: Exercise physiology content manager
Jacque Crockford

It’s the instructors’ role to meet participants where they are on that day. Instructors should check in with each participant, individually before class if time allows, and address the class as a whole with inclusive, motivating language.

Instructors, and the industry, should celebrate personality differences and strive to be as inclusive as possible. Inclusive language in marketing material is one way the industry may be able to drive participation by introverts.

"Instructors, and the industry, should celebrate personality differences and strive to be as inclusive as possible"

Generally, group exercise participants return to classes because of the instructor. If the instructor can meet each participant where they are in their exercise journey and mood that day, they will be successful with introverts.

This means giving clear instructions and modifications to the whole group and creating an inclusive, fun and encouraging environment that engages everyone.

Dan Maroun
Les Mills US: Assessor, presenter, trainer
Dan Maroun

One of the biggest things I’d love for people to understand is that introversion and extroversion do play a role in what we enjoy, or what we find fun in life, and so creating awareness of this topic is very important. Because they have higher thresholds of stimulation, extroverts lean towards varied, high-intensity modalities in exercise, with constantly shifting movements and high-paced programming.

Combine this with social factors of team-training, small-group, or group fitness and you have a recipe for success for those who self-identify as extroverts.

Although we have to be careful not to generalise too much, the opposite can be said for introverts. Over-stimulation is going to turn them off. They prefer workouts where they know what’s coming or can anticipate shifts.

They prefer longer sets of a movement and some argue they enjoy the melodic and pace-oriented setting of a group class set to music, which moves with the beat.

It’s hypothesised that the rhythm of the music gives them control in the workout in terms of tempos.

"Introversion and extroversion do play a role in what we enjoy, or what we find fun in life, and so creating awareness of this topic is very important"

In a group exercise setting, we can appeal to extroverts through higher intensity and variability, combine that with high-paced music and possibly programming which prefers various pyramids, ladders and AMRAPS.

Introverts, on the other hand, are going to feel more secure working out in a group fitness setting where the stimulation factors are controlled and where the workout is somewhat isolated, even, independent and non-competitive.

To appeal to both groups, each day you should include a variety of classes which maximise the combination of formats and instructors across the board, with a welcoming, inclusive, and fun atmosphere which makes people want to be there.

Joanna Rawbone
Flourishing Introverts: founder
Joanna Rawbone

Introverts will pick their time to visit the gym – when it’s not so busy, or when their ‘type’ of people visit. As they typically don’t enjoy making small talk, removing the points where they might usually be obliged to make conversation can be a relief.

Although social and open introverts might be happy to engage with a member of staff at reception, classic introverts prefer to walk in with headphones on and go straight to their preferred place in the studio.

Online booking and payment, and opening the studio ten minutes early facilitates this. It means they can take their space and get into their own zone, rather than having to queue among chattering groups in the corridor. If I’m going to a class, I like to sit with my headphones on and do a quiet meditation beforehand.

Subdued lighting, rather than harsh lighting, is appropriate, as it allows introverts to be private. But a dark studio with neon lights can be overwhelming and over stimulating. Natural lighting is good.

"Subdued lighting, rather than harsh lighting, is appropriate, as it allows introverts to be private. But a dark studio with neon lights can be overwhelming and over stimulating"

Although home fitness offers a draw to introverts, there are many reasons they will want to visit the gym and take part in a group exercise class – for example to learn from a passionate and knowledgeable instructor or take part in a challenging workout. Silent disco concepts can be effective, as they allow introverts to be part of an uplifting group activity, while the headphones assure them of their own space.

Introverts will be drawn to instructors with a calmer manner, possibly the type of people who may have been previously overlooked by employers, or who thought they wouldn’t be suitable to lead a group fitness class. Positive language should also be used when describing this type of class – avoiding the term introvert, which still has negative connotations – instead using positive words like quiet or calm.

Frances Mikuriya
Body Machine: owner
Frances Mikuriya

This is a fascinating subject and I think it’s important that the industry starts to acknowledge that not everyone is the same and not everyone wants loud.

As an architect, I believe it’s possible to design spaces that can accommodate any personality and make people feel good.

There’s been a tendency in the industry to create nightclubby spaces in the belief that loud music and neon lighting are the only way to create an immersive environment. Many people actually find this a distraction from the workout. It’s better to make the experience immersive through a well designed and structured class, with an attentive instructor.

My architecture partner, Jorgen Tandberg, and I spent a long time looking for a site that benefitted from natural light, and we designed my club differently from the industry standard, using a light palette of colours that make people feel calm and relaxed. Many people spend all day indoors, with little natural light, and it’s important for circadian rhythms and stress release to come into contact with it. Studies also prove that working out with natural light is beneficial.

"Shouting, singing and high fiving will not suit everyone. It goes without saying that instructors should be discreet when speaking about personal things"

I believe many introverts enjoy group fitness, especially concepts involving equipment which then allows them to inhabit their own space, and especially if rooms aren’t overcrowded. However, the trend towards broadcasting data on a big screen at the front of the class may also introduce an element of competition which introverts don’t welcome.

The role of the instructor is key and so employing a range of personality types is important, so everyone can find an instructor they can relate to.

Shouting, singing and high fiving will not suit everyone. And of course it goes without saying that the instructor should be discreet and speak to people about any conditions or injuries privately.

Removing the need for small talk at the gym can make introverts feel more comfortable / PHOTO: Shutterstock/ Hryshchyshen Serhii
Removing the need for small talk at the gym can make introverts feel more comfortable / PHOTO: Shutterstock/ Hryshchyshen Serhii
Calm colours and natural light may suit introverts better than nightclub-inspired interiors / shutterstock_GingerKitten
Calm colours and natural light may suit introverts better than nightclub-inspired interiors / shutterstock_GingerKitten
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/984201_229625.jpg
Is the fitness industry meeting the needs of introverts as well as extroverts? We ask the experts...
Jacque Crockford, American Council on Exercise: exercise physiology content manager Dan Maroun, Les Mills US: assessor, presenter, trainer Joanna Rawbone, Flourishing Introverts: founder Frances Mikuriya, Body Machine: owner,extroverts, Introverts, neurotransmitter dopamine, Jacque Crockford, Dan Marou, Joanna Rawbone, Frances Mikuriya,
People
HCM people

Aaron Brooks-Thornett

Freely Given PT: founder
A donation-based payment system creates a non-discriminatory environment and empowers people to give what they think the service is worth. This also challenges me to keep service levels high
People
I see potential for another 30 or so David Lloyd Clubs in the UK
People
HCM people

Adala Bolto

Founder, ZADI Training
I saw the need to create a bespoke, female-specific and results-driven boutique offering that was on-trend as well as being sexy and backed by exercise science when it came to getting results
Features
Body scanning
Body scanning has become a major fitness trend, offering both operators and members alike insight into their body composition, muscle mass and fat percentage. Operators offering body scanning share their experiences
Features
HCM research
Researchers say obesity ‘should be considered as premature ageing’, with some negative effects on the immune system being permanent and not reversible by weight loss
Features
Supplier showcase
DW Fitness First and Gympass have extended their partnership to attract more corporate customers
Features
Research
A new study by Decathlon looks at the most popular types of physical activity by region and time of year, revealing some interesting insights into the health and fitness industry
Features
Changing rooms
Great changing rooms are one of the main reasons people join a gym. Get inspired by HCM’s roundup of the latest high-end installations
Features
Policy
CIMSPA and UK Coaching are combining REPs and the CIMSPA Exercise and Fitness Directory. Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA and Mark Gannon, CEO of UK Coaching, explain what it means for exercise professionals and employers
Features
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness has collaborated with luxury health club operator Third Space to supply state-the-art strength equipment to its new site in London
Features
Latest News
One of the factors that has made the coronavirus outbreak so severe across the globe ...
Latest News
Mindfulness app provider, Headspace, is making a bid to support US-based healthcare professionals curb anxiety ...
Latest News
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s health and fitness clubs are currently ...
Latest News
Although the facts may seem less relevant now due to the coroavirus pandemic, new numbers ...
Latest News
Fitness professionals should use the coronavirus-induced lockdown – where possible – to enhance their knowledge ...
Latest News
The US government has passed a motion that will see gig workers, independent contractors and ...
Latest News
The physical activity sector is adapting to the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), according ...
Latest News
Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: RLSS UK - First choice for all aquatic rescue, pool management, first aid qualifications and training
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is proud to be the industry leader in water-related safety qualifications and training. More than 40,000 pool lifeguards qualify with a RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) every year.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: FORA works with Power Plate to raise awareness of sitting disease through movement and vibration
With office workers spending over eight hours per day sitting at their desks, and one in six affected by mental health issues every year, it is no surprise that businesses are looking to introduce ‘wellness’ to the workplace
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
DFC: We do more...
DFC
DFC are a leading direct debit collection company, providing cash flow solutions to happy clients from all over the UK. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Ask the experts: Catering to introverts

Is the health and fitness industry more geared up to meet the needs of extroverts and overlooking more introverted customers? Kath Hudson investigates

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 3
Clubs should offer a variety of different classes and instructors, to appeal to different personality types / PHOTO: Shutterstock/GPointStudio
Clubs should offer a variety of different classes and instructors, to appeal to different personality types / PHOTO: Shutterstock/GPointStudio

In a world set up to reward extrovert behaviour, introverts are commonly misunderstood and judged – labelled as shy, lacking in confidence or even boring. Even the dictionary definition is reductive and fails to appreciate the many nuances of the introvert personality.

The scientific difference between introverts and extroverts is how they respond to the neurotransmitter dopamine: a chemical released in the brain that provides the motivation to seek external rewards.

Dopamine makes everyone more talkative, alert to their surroundings and motivated to take risks. Extroverts enjoy this feeling, even crave it, but it makes introverts feel overstimulated, so after a dopamine rush they need to withdraw to recharge their batteries.

Introverts thrive on a different neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which allows for deep thought and reflection. In short it means that introverts can act like extroverts – and even be mistaken for them – but doing this drains their batteries and then they’ll need to withdraw. Put simply, extroverts recharge with people and introverts recharge on their own.

The world has been set up to be pleasing to extroverts, so let’s make sure that health clubs lead the way by offering inclusive, welcoming environments that introverts will want to visit, before we lose this group of members to digital streaming services.

So how can you make your club more appealing to introverts? We ask the experts.

Jacque Crockford
American Council on Exercise: Exercise physiology content manager
Jacque Crockford

It’s the instructors’ role to meet participants where they are on that day. Instructors should check in with each participant, individually before class if time allows, and address the class as a whole with inclusive, motivating language.

Instructors, and the industry, should celebrate personality differences and strive to be as inclusive as possible. Inclusive language in marketing material is one way the industry may be able to drive participation by introverts.

"Instructors, and the industry, should celebrate personality differences and strive to be as inclusive as possible"

Generally, group exercise participants return to classes because of the instructor. If the instructor can meet each participant where they are in their exercise journey and mood that day, they will be successful with introverts.

This means giving clear instructions and modifications to the whole group and creating an inclusive, fun and encouraging environment that engages everyone.

Dan Maroun
Les Mills US: Assessor, presenter, trainer
Dan Maroun

One of the biggest things I’d love for people to understand is that introversion and extroversion do play a role in what we enjoy, or what we find fun in life, and so creating awareness of this topic is very important. Because they have higher thresholds of stimulation, extroverts lean towards varied, high-intensity modalities in exercise, with constantly shifting movements and high-paced programming.

Combine this with social factors of team-training, small-group, or group fitness and you have a recipe for success for those who self-identify as extroverts.

Although we have to be careful not to generalise too much, the opposite can be said for introverts. Over-stimulation is going to turn them off. They prefer workouts where they know what’s coming or can anticipate shifts.

They prefer longer sets of a movement and some argue they enjoy the melodic and pace-oriented setting of a group class set to music, which moves with the beat.

It’s hypothesised that the rhythm of the music gives them control in the workout in terms of tempos.

"Introversion and extroversion do play a role in what we enjoy, or what we find fun in life, and so creating awareness of this topic is very important"

In a group exercise setting, we can appeal to extroverts through higher intensity and variability, combine that with high-paced music and possibly programming which prefers various pyramids, ladders and AMRAPS.

Introverts, on the other hand, are going to feel more secure working out in a group fitness setting where the stimulation factors are controlled and where the workout is somewhat isolated, even, independent and non-competitive.

To appeal to both groups, each day you should include a variety of classes which maximise the combination of formats and instructors across the board, with a welcoming, inclusive, and fun atmosphere which makes people want to be there.

Joanna Rawbone
Flourishing Introverts: founder
Joanna Rawbone

Introverts will pick their time to visit the gym – when it’s not so busy, or when their ‘type’ of people visit. As they typically don’t enjoy making small talk, removing the points where they might usually be obliged to make conversation can be a relief.

Although social and open introverts might be happy to engage with a member of staff at reception, classic introverts prefer to walk in with headphones on and go straight to their preferred place in the studio.

Online booking and payment, and opening the studio ten minutes early facilitates this. It means they can take their space and get into their own zone, rather than having to queue among chattering groups in the corridor. If I’m going to a class, I like to sit with my headphones on and do a quiet meditation beforehand.

Subdued lighting, rather than harsh lighting, is appropriate, as it allows introverts to be private. But a dark studio with neon lights can be overwhelming and over stimulating. Natural lighting is good.

"Subdued lighting, rather than harsh lighting, is appropriate, as it allows introverts to be private. But a dark studio with neon lights can be overwhelming and over stimulating"

Although home fitness offers a draw to introverts, there are many reasons they will want to visit the gym and take part in a group exercise class – for example to learn from a passionate and knowledgeable instructor or take part in a challenging workout. Silent disco concepts can be effective, as they allow introverts to be part of an uplifting group activity, while the headphones assure them of their own space.

Introverts will be drawn to instructors with a calmer manner, possibly the type of people who may have been previously overlooked by employers, or who thought they wouldn’t be suitable to lead a group fitness class. Positive language should also be used when describing this type of class – avoiding the term introvert, which still has negative connotations – instead using positive words like quiet or calm.

Frances Mikuriya
Body Machine: owner
Frances Mikuriya

This is a fascinating subject and I think it’s important that the industry starts to acknowledge that not everyone is the same and not everyone wants loud.

As an architect, I believe it’s possible to design spaces that can accommodate any personality and make people feel good.

There’s been a tendency in the industry to create nightclubby spaces in the belief that loud music and neon lighting are the only way to create an immersive environment. Many people actually find this a distraction from the workout. It’s better to make the experience immersive through a well designed and structured class, with an attentive instructor.

My architecture partner, Jorgen Tandberg, and I spent a long time looking for a site that benefitted from natural light, and we designed my club differently from the industry standard, using a light palette of colours that make people feel calm and relaxed. Many people spend all day indoors, with little natural light, and it’s important for circadian rhythms and stress release to come into contact with it. Studies also prove that working out with natural light is beneficial.

"Shouting, singing and high fiving will not suit everyone. It goes without saying that instructors should be discreet when speaking about personal things"

I believe many introverts enjoy group fitness, especially concepts involving equipment which then allows them to inhabit their own space, and especially if rooms aren’t overcrowded. However, the trend towards broadcasting data on a big screen at the front of the class may also introduce an element of competition which introverts don’t welcome.

The role of the instructor is key and so employing a range of personality types is important, so everyone can find an instructor they can relate to.

Shouting, singing and high fiving will not suit everyone. And of course it goes without saying that the instructor should be discreet and speak to people about any conditions or injuries privately.

Removing the need for small talk at the gym can make introverts feel more comfortable / PHOTO: Shutterstock/ Hryshchyshen Serhii
Removing the need for small talk at the gym can make introverts feel more comfortable / PHOTO: Shutterstock/ Hryshchyshen Serhii
Calm colours and natural light may suit introverts better than nightclub-inspired interiors / shutterstock_GingerKitten
Calm colours and natural light may suit introverts better than nightclub-inspired interiors / shutterstock_GingerKitten
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/2020/984201_229625.jpg
Is the fitness industry meeting the needs of introverts as well as extroverts? We ask the experts...
Jacque Crockford, American Council on Exercise: exercise physiology content manager Dan Maroun, Les Mills US: assessor, presenter, trainer Joanna Rawbone, Flourishing Introverts: founder Frances Mikuriya, Body Machine: owner,extroverts, Introverts, neurotransmitter dopamine, Jacque Crockford, Dan Marou, Joanna Rawbone, Frances Mikuriya,
Latest News
One of the factors that has made the coronavirus outbreak so severe across the globe ...
Latest News
Mindfulness app provider, Headspace, is making a bid to support US-based healthcare professionals curb anxiety ...
Latest News
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) of the world’s health and fitness clubs are currently ...
Latest News
Although the facts may seem less relevant now due to the coroavirus pandemic, new numbers ...
Latest News
Fitness professionals should use the coronavirus-induced lockdown – where possible – to enhance their knowledge ...
Latest News
The US government has passed a motion that will see gig workers, independent contractors and ...
Latest News
The physical activity sector is adapting to the difficult circumstances caused by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), according ...
Latest News
Joe Wicks, the personal trainer who has become a global star thanks to his daily ...
Latest News
Physical activity sector bodies have welcomed the government's measures to help the UK's self-employed workers ...
Latest News
Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth is making his online fitness programme Centrfit available for free for ...
Latest News
American Council on Exercise (ACE) has urged US policymakers to not leave the fitness sector's ...
Job search
POST YOUR JOB
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: RLSS UK - First choice for all aquatic rescue, pool management, first aid qualifications and training
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is proud to be the industry leader in water-related safety qualifications and training. More than 40,000 pool lifeguards qualify with a RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) every year.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: FORA works with Power Plate to raise awareness of sitting disease through movement and vibration
With office workers spending over eight hours per day sitting at their desks, and one in six affected by mental health issues every year, it is no surprise that businesses are looking to introduce ‘wellness’ to the workplace
Opinion
promotion
The modern training gym champions functional fitness in a small group personal training model, with a premium service experience at its heart
Opinion: Overcome membership attrition with this surprising new industry trend: the modern training gym
Video Gallery
DFC: We do more...
DFC
DFC are a leading direct debit collection company, providing cash flow solutions to happy clients from all over the UK. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
At Matrix Fitness, our goal is to make innovative commercial fitness equipment that stands out ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Fitness equipment
TRX Training: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Debit Finance Collections: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Fitness software
Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Greywell, Hampshire
Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
Property & Tenders
Derby City Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
17-18 Jun 2020
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
06-07 Jul 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2020
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
30-31 Oct 2020
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
KeepMe
KeepMe