Opening A Niche Fitness Studio? Here’s What You Should Know About HIIT Training

Important fundamentals prospective gym owners should know about high-intensity interval training, the fitness trend that’s taking the world by storm.

If you’re planning to launch your own niche fitness studio or gym, you need to think about what you want to offer customers. Do you want your gym to be a room full of equipment where members can work out in peace and isolation, or do you want it to create a stimulating and interactive environment?

As fitness trends change, gyms continually adapt. The era of monotonous exercise routines is long gone. Today, fitness is more than just building muscle or losing weight––it is a lifestyle. When choosing a gym, customers are now considering those new exercise routines that keep them engaged and make them feel good. A move toward healthier eating has also made a mark, prompting gyms to provide nutritional guidance to clients with a variety of fitness goals.

These expectations have fueled the rapid growth of high-intensity interval training, which has become a staple component within the fitness industry. Back in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported that many conventional health clubs began scaling back on exercise equipment and investing more in group fitness classes to meet consumer demand.


What is HIIT training?

HIIT is not a single workout style, but a range of quick cardio and strength exercises followed by short periods of recovery. According to F45 studio owner Keith Palermo, “When you turn up for a session, every workout is a unique experience. As exercise combinations and classes change daily, there is no opportunity for your body to ever get used to the training. One day you could be skipping, pushing a sled or using plyometric boxes, and another you could be on a bosu ball, lifting sandbags or using a TRX suspension trainer.”

The reason HIIT is so popular among fitness enthusiasts is that it burns calories fast. But there’s a whole bunch of other rewards to reap as well, including increased metabolism, better heart health, lean muscle development, and improved blood circulation.


Business basics of HIIT

HIIT is a great way for entrepreneurs to break into the fitness industry. The startup costs are lower than those of big box gyms, as expensive, bulky equipment and a spacious room with floor-to-ceiling mirrors are not required. Currently, there are two ways to tap into this market––either you can incorporate HIIT classes into your existing gym to increase membership, or you can start a fitness studio specializing in HIIT workouts.

Niche fitness studio ideas
© Jacob Lund, YFS Magazine

While big box gyms are designed around fixed resistance equipment, high-intensity focused studios are designed solely for HIIT classes. The setup has been carefully planned to maximize the effectiveness of the workout. While functionality is the primary concern, the fitness studio layout should also be aesthetically pleasing to get members motivated and ready for an intense workout session.


Creating your own HIIT class

1. Consider the length of the class

Begin by deciding how long your classes should last. An entire workout doesn’t have to be long; while experts say 30 minutes is the optimal duration of a session, it can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. Design each workout according to the time frame selected.

2. Offer individual exercise circuits

Arrange individual exercises in the order in which the participant will complete them. You may choose to set up a preorganized circuit that includes varying short exercises such as skipping, squatting and weightlifting.

3. Structure each fitness challenge

Finally, determine how many seconds participants should spend completing a challenge before the changeover and next set. As some sets may be easier than others, you should base the interval on the intensity level of each exercise.



With HIIT gaining followers worldwide, it’s clear this trending workout method is the future of fitness. The popularity of HIIT training has allowed many entrepreneurs to kickstart successful fitness studios.

If you choose to open a fitness studio that offers niche workouts, it’s likely that you’ll spend less money on rent and equipment. However, as with any venture, taking steps towards entrepreneurship is a leap into the unknown. The risks are especially high if you go in alone.

One viable option is to buy a franchise in an existing network, which gives you the benefit of an established business model and brand following–all you need is a suitable location and the capital to fund your operation and your passion.


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