Bloomberg Businessweek


Want to know why your New Year’s fitness resolution is already kaput? Because you don’t like exercise. But that can change
A spinning class at 4Ward Fitness in Hong Kong

By the most optimistic of guesses, only about 30 percent of New Year’s resolutions to get healthy will succeed. And yet the global fitness industry has been filling classrooms more than ever, inventing creative, intense workouts that draw users over and over again. Look at Orangetheory Fitness, with its 600,000 members worldwide, or Peloton Interactive Inc., which has 1 million. CrossFit has quadrupled its gyms, to almost 14,000 since 2012, and Barry’s Bootcamp gets 900,000 hardy souls in its studios every week. The fitness-booking MindBody app processes 5.5 million classes every day.

What have those people got that you ain’t got?

Time isn’t an excuse. Studios now offer half-hour classes, often with more intensity and fewer breaks—think of Mile High Run Club’s Dirty 30 treadmill class or the fast-paced Four30 at Project by Equinox. “We are definitely seeing a trend toward shorter workouts,” says Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, who adds that short classes can be a fun way to test something new.

But according to Metzl, the best way to stick with a workout is to find a place where

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