The rise of the pandemic has certainly changed our world in so many ways. As a result, the way we stay fit has changed dramatically and most of us now do online training. Even before Covid-19 there already was an “online training fitness world” but never on such a big scale.
Whether it is with apps, online training platforms, streaming programs, virtual tutoring, social media, live or recorded classes the way we now do our workouts is certainly different.
There are however challenges to overcome and we all have wondered at some point if training online is as effective as the one in the gym or outdoors but face to face.
There are strengths and weaknesses with online training:
With pre-recorded videos or Wi-Fi clients can train from anywhere, the bedroom, garden or even an hotel room. A good trainer will be available to give alternatives to exercises and equipment so that it will be possible to swap a dumbbell for a bottle of water or a can of beans, a gym step for a chair.
Exercising around a busy schedule and use of any spare time is possible with the flexibility of online training. This is key to clients joining your services. Find out times that work best for your audience. Start with maximum availability then trim down to most attended classes but keep your clients happy.
Training is just once click away! Limitless classes, trainers from around the world and many different types of exercises. Diversify your offer within your area of interest. Include progressive level of classes this will make everyone feel they can progress.
Diversity & Inclusion
Whether live-streamed or pre-recorded make classes as inclusive as possible. It is to be said that the wellness industry lacks diversity. Think out of the box and also target the diversity of your audience. Consider injuries and pre-existing conditions, the WHO says that 15% of the world’s population has some type of disability and over 70% of people aged 20 and over are overweight or struggle with obesity. Allow your client to fit it, be prepared to accommodate the needs of your clients.
Online training offers complete convenience. This is one of the reasons it is very popular. You can work out late at night or in the mornings or at any time of the day that suits.
Strength or weakness? Or both? It depends how you use it. Make sure you pick the right tools to interact with your clients. Running virtual live classes and syncing appointments with a popular app like Zoom can make life easier.
Successful businesses are the ones that can adapt to the changing needs of their customers. The ability of an organization to adapt to new trends is a competitive advantage. Listen to your audience, foresee changes and lookout for new trends. Consider how consumer behavior impacts fitness trends.
The consensus is however that a structured environment is required.
Clients expect trainers to be organized. Class times to be scheduled in advance. They need to be easy to book, ideally just in a few clicks. Payments need to go through smoothly. As a trainer, you need to find the tools that work for you and make your life easier
Most of your clients would benefit from a personalized program, meal plans, 24/7 guidance. With few online fitness programs allowing interaction, the clients might have to really consider their level of fitness, knowledge of training, and what they want to achieve. Make sure you provide various options once you have clearly identified the audience you want to market to.
Would clients benefit more from the interaction with a trainer or from an online video? Many companies have taken to platforms like Zoom to replicate their indoor / face to face training experience.
Fitness clients are likely to see a trainer with a well organised program as a differentiator from the competition because they would have better access and more training options to go with our lifestyle and rely on accountability.
A successful trainer will focus on certain key points:
Speak to each client directly but also build a community. People with the same ideals work well together. A social media page like Facebook or Instagram might also be an option to keep in touch with the community or create a WhatsApp group.
Help your clients find motivation, it is difficult to stay motivated in difficult times. Help your clients create a schedule, ask them to find a dedicated space for their online training. Challenge and push your client to make time and stop with excuses.
Show how to preform movements, make sure your clients are exercising correctly to avoid injuries. It is difficult to follow a training session online on a small screen, instructions need to be clear and there has to be a certain amount of repetition to make it easier to follow the training
Variety is good, but classes need to be well structured and easy to follow
Client attendance and progress
Monitoring is necessary, if clients feel on track they are more likely to carry on with the program. A virtual fitness challenge with a clear fitness goal in a set period of time can help the community engage in a healthy competition and will keep your clients motivated during online training and offline too.
Accountability is key. Help clients make the most out of it! An Instagram page might help your clients feel included and you can make your business stand out at the same time
Keep everyone engaged. Understand your customers.
Listen to feedback
Always be ready to improve. Regularly check how classes are going with your clients. Improve your problem-solving skills, positively engage with your clients.
The rise of virtual fitness is now a reality but is it really the future of working out? With the world currently fighting a major contagion, nationwide lockdowns imposed, and people stuck inside four walls, there is tremendous growth for the opportunity. The marvels of modern technology and management software make it possible.
Whether it is a boot camp, yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Circuits, meditation or a strength and tone class, trainers can now easily manage their online gym and do what they really love. But, is online training really here to stay? If it is the time is now. Gyms ad studios will get back to their status quo, some clients will stick to at-home-workouts. Trainers need to use this opportunity to positively engage clients and find ways to support their community during these challenging times and long after!