The fitness industry has had to quickly learn how to adapt its business to help meet the needs of its members while navigating the gym closures and social distancing challenges. From well-implemented cleaning and distancing protocols to outdoor fitness classes, fitness professionals are showing everyone their resiliency.
Certified personal trainers have quickly pivoted to virtual training to support their clients. The exciting thing is that there are many ways to virtually train clients. Trainers can coach clients live or in recorded sessions. Clients can also be trained in groups or one-on-one. To help support you with the transition to the online personal training world, we've put together a list of tips you will want to consider when setting up your personal training space for virtual training videos.
A proper online personal training space is important for maintaining your brand and professionalism as well as your safety and your clients' motivation and interest. Although most of the following recommendations are fairly simple, it is important to consider each of them in an attempt to provide the best personal training experience for your clients.
When you are considering where you want to capture your footage, make sure you have enough space front to back and side to side, and an appropriate ceiling height. You don't want to be kicking over plants or hitting the ceiling fan in the middle of your burpee demonstration. You should have enough room to move freely without the risk of injury.
Although it seems like a small detail, you may want to consider a room with appropriate airflow. If you are moving throughout the session as you lead clients through their workout, a window or some kind of floor or ceiling fan will be important to help you stay cool.
The space and background that you choose should be simple. The room should be clean and uncluttered with a solid background, if possible. You want your clients to be able to see you and your movements clearly and be able to focus on you without anything in the video distracting them.
Whether you are capturing live footage or recording fitness content, proper lighting is extremely important for the user experience. Clients should be able to see you clearly. Often times, if the light is behind you, it will be hard for clients to see you. You will want to consider the placement of both electric and natural light as well as ensure the light isn't creating any distracting shadows or glare.
We recommend that you do a test recording before you begin so you can ensure that clients can hear you properly. Is your recording device not picking up your voice because you are too far away? Is the hum of the ceiling fan overpowering your voice? Is your recording device picking up static? These are all important things to consider before you go live.
Having the proper recording device and setup is essential. The device should be placed in a stable position without any risk of tipping over as you're moving around. And, the camera should be placed in a position that captures your entire body throughout the workout. As you move from side to side, are you still in the frame? Is your head out of the frame each time you jump? The camera should be far enough for you to have adequate space to capture all your movements but close enough to see you clearly.
If you are planning to use background music during your fitness routine, you will want to have your song selection ahead of time. And, you will want to make sure it aligns with the tempo of your workout. You will also want to consider the volume, ensure appropriate language, and obtain the appropriate music licenses for online usage.
Many personal training clients aren't going to have a full gym at home. Make sure you take that into consideration as you plan your workout. Check with your clients to see what they have ahead of time. Bands, jump ropes, dumbbells, and yoga mats may all be possibilities. Otherwise, you will want to structure the workout with bodyweight exercises or provide options to modify exercises for those with and without weights.
You will want to be organized and ready prior to your first session. There are a handful of things you can do ahead of time to make the personal training sessions run smoothly. The following list includes a few things you will want to work through in advance:
The entire fitness routine should be planned prior to training. You should know who you're programming for and have their individualized or group workout plan ready to go.
Ensure you have the proper fitness equipment organized and easy to access.
Test your video frame and volume ahead of time.
Work through any client login issues ahead of time.
Encourage clients to play the training session on the largest screen possible. If they have the ability to and the space, they may want to consider streaming it on a big screen tv.
Go over basic expectations with clients ahead of time (be on time, 5-minute warm-up ahead of time, etc.)
If you are streaming live, make sure you check your internet connection ahead of time. You will want to make sure you are in a location that has a stable internet connection. Choppy service or a dropped connection on a consistent basis will provide a negative user experience.
Decide on a communication platform that works for you. Whether you use Zoom, Skype, Facebook live, YouTube, or some other platform or app, you want to make sure you understand how to use the platform and can provide the proper instructions to your clients to access the platform. Not everyone is on social media and not everyone is tech-savvy.
An online personal training software or app may also have a video feature you can use. These platforms are design specifically for the personal trainer and their clients. It may also offer services for tracking fitness goals, setting up a training program, help meal planning, and more.
There are a few things to consider when selecting the appropriate outfit for your virtual session:
Consider wearing solid colors that contrast the background and are form-fitting. The tighter clothing and contrasting colors will make it easier for clients to see proper form as you move through the workout.
Make sure your attire is professional and appropriate for movement. If you don't want your shirt falling during headstands or your pants slipping during jumping jacks, you will want to ensure your clothing is appropriate for all exercises included in your routine.
If you are primarily coaching clients (mostly verbal instruction and cues versus doing the workout yourself), consider wearing the same professional attire you would normally wear when you train your clients to maintain consistency and professionalism with your clientele.
Unless all your clients are available at a certain time or you are presenting an individualized workout, you may want to consider recording your fitness video for future viewing. Both options can be valuable. Many clients miss the live interaction and instruction, but the recorded versions also make it convenient for those that are unable to attend the live version.
Your space is incredibly important, however, home workouts or virtual training may or may not be new for your clients. So, it will be important that you give them some proper guidance and direction so they can be successful.
Encourage clients to ask questions if they don't understand. Whether you prefer email, text, or phone call as the best way to contact you, making sure you create space for your personal training clients' questions is important. And, make sure you are clear on the plan and what is expected so that you can help your clients be successful.
Although you should be on time, professional, prepared, and organized, you are navigating a new normal, as we all are. There may be a few kinks in the road.
Having a clean and clutter-free space that provides enough room for their workout and safety is important.
Virtual training is a convenient way to help your clients stay in shape, stay safe, and keep working towards their goals. Make it fun, have fun, and keep being resilient!
Are you looking for a way to work from home, help others with their fitness journey, and truly make a difference? Get certified with ISSA's Certified Personal Training Course and start making money and positively impacting people's lives. Plus, add on ISSA's Online Coach Certification to take your virtual training to the next level!
The ISSA Online Coaching Certification is the fastest way to transition a fitness coaching business online. This course allows you to pick and choose what you need to learn about so it fits the needs of a new or seasoned trainer. The on-demand information is delivered in bite-sized chunks and it includes everything from how to set up email campaigns and FaceBook ads to positioning and selling your product to prospective clients.