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Gamification and Interval Training – a Winning Combination

September 8, 2013 • gal

The world of fitness and weight-loss world is undergoing a revolution. Research has shown that interval training actually works, upending many long held beliefs about how exercise should be done and for how long. The concept is as simple as it is effective: alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity works best. This is now perceived as more effective that steady-state pacing throughout the exercise.

Walking is a great example. If you’re in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. In this way, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you physically and mentally adapt to your routine.

Interval training improves your aerobic capability, strength and endurance; even more importantly, it keeps boredom away  and makes your work out goals more achievable, leaving you motivated for longer.

At the workplace, taking an interval training approach can elevate productivity on a personal and team level. This is where gamification can help. Gamification facilitates an interval training process since it provide clear calls to action to employees throughout the day, regardless of whether this is an on-boarding, sales or customer service scenario. Each call to action that is delivered through the gamification platform can be viewed as a high-intensity activity burst, or signal that we can take the easier route and rest a little. Doing so enhances employees’ focus and concentration by announcing the task at hand and the gamified rewards for completing it. It also provides them with the needed rests and encouragement for the more demanding tasks.

Interval Training Gamification:

 Using gamification correctly, managers can, therefore, control the length, frequency and required effort of each interval. Instead of expecting the Gamification platform to provide a constant behavior level, gamification can be used to create an interval training process that can boost motivation, and  keep it constant. Working in intervals reinforces the determination to achieve goals, knowing that even though the current interval is perhaps complex and challenging, the next one will be easier and will allow the user the needed downtime to recover. This strengthens the workforce’s determination to keep on applying itself in the face of complicated situations, making continual improvement possible and therefore achieving gamification’s ultimate goal.


One way to increase the intensity for a short period of time is to integrate “boosters” into everyday work. Boosters are quick challenges and competitions implemented in the Gamification platform, usually rewarding the first few that achieve a certain lower-level goal – for example, the first ten employees to open five new leads at a given amount of time. This sort of call to action clearly defines an attainable goal that requires a focused effort. It raises productivity and efficiency for a concentrated interval, leading to fast results without causing employees to burn out but constantly requiring everyone to compete on every level.


Another form of intervals used in Gamification is“accelerators”, a sort of gamified “happy hour” in which all rewards are doubled for a specific period of time. Utilizing this tool at the end of a month or a quarter could infuse the workforce with a sense of urgency and motivation to start the next interval as a higher ranked player due to the many points that can be accumulated during the accelerator phase.

Avoiding Burnout:

A workforce that is always pushed to its maximum ability can quickly become fatigued, apathetic to the firm’s goals and jaded towards any motivation efforts. Implementing intervals avoids this complication, permitting managers to control just how much effort is required of their employees, while ensuring that relaxation periods are taken into consideration. Gamification that is executed with an interval method in mind, provides an enjoyable platform that encourages employees’ engagement and improvement.

Do you have additional ideas for implementing interval Gamification ? Do you have additional ideas for Infinite Gamification process? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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