The Coronavirus is hitting the Fitness Industry hard. Gyms across the entire world are shutting down for weeks (and in many areas for months) while we face down this global pandemic.
As a business owner myself, I feel your pain. I can’t express enough how saddened I am to see our IFPA Family members, being forced to shut down their gyms and businesses.
During challenging times in business, the worst thing you can do is curl up in a ball and accept defeat.
Does this suck? Yes.
But can we think outside of the box and adapt? If you are a business owner and want to continue to be a business owner, the answer is…We must!
Unfortunately, my friends, if you are new to the business, you will soon learn there is always something happening that could destroy you. There is a reason why most people chose not to start their own businesses.
While the rewards can be great, the risk of failure is high.
The Coronavirus is just like any other “faceless opponent” we must outmaneuver.
We will conquer this thing and come out stronger on the other side.
There are a couple of ways to maintain your clients from afar, but it will require some flexibility, patience, and grit.
For Fitness Professionals, that work with clients one-on-one, whether they travel to you or you travel to them, it’s time to tap into technology.
The most basic thing you can do is text/email your clients their workouts.
Of course, there are immediate challenges with this.
Your clients might not have access to weights at home. You will need to completely adjust their works out, to hit their goals.
Remember, there is a reason it is called PERSONAL training.
Look at each of your client’s goals and rework their workouts with body-weight exercises and cardio they can do on their own.
If they have access to weights or equipment, then modify as necessary. You will need to check in with every single client and figure out what they have at their disposal and make their workouts as effective as possible.
Another problem is, they might have never done some or any of these exercises before. It might be difficult for your clients to complete these workouts.
The real solution is to email/text your clients their workouts, then schedule a time to Facetime/Skype/WhatsApp/etc, to tackle the Personal Training session together.
While there is sexy Personal Trainer Software out there and you are more than welcome to invest in it, it’s not necessary.
I’m a big believer when you begin anything in life, start with what you have available to you.
The last thing you may want to do is invest a lot of money in software, you may not even like or don’t plan to use in the future.
Is using your phone or laptop the perfect solution? No. But is it a solution for you to keep working out with your clients in the meantime? Absolutely.
Perhaps you find, this is completely doable. Now when a client is out of town, you can continue their workouts this way.
Also, keep in mind, that kids are home from school.
So you can (A) try to schedule some night sessions with your clients, (B) prerecord a session of you doing every movement and have your clients do them on their own, or (C) be an awesome trainer and let everyone else in the house join in free of charge.
Show modifications for each exercise. Have your client text the names of their spouse and children before the session, so you can call out names when needed for form corrections.
It might get crazy, there might be screaming, yelling and you witness first-hand how difficult the tiny terrors can be when they are on lockdown for weeks. But there is also the chance it could be epic. You might get kids exercising and into fitness.
Regardless, offering options to your clients, shows them you care. Even if they don’t take you up on it, they know you did everything in your power to make it work.
Be exceptional in these exceptionally difficult times.
Be the trainer your clients will brag about when they get back to work, of how you did everything you could, went way above and beyond during this awful time.
Another thing I highly, highly recommend, and this goes for both Gym Owners and Personal Trainers, is to offer some free classes online for the public.
Set up a class, announce to the world of your intentions and then go live.
Call/email/text, your friends, family, and all your members. Ask everyone to tell their friends and family about it as well. Whether you have a website, or just use Facebook/Youtube, there are tons of people sitting at home with nothing to do.
Just like anything else, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Go big. Create a schedule before the workout. Let Monday morning be an “easy” workout, set Monday afternoon for an “intermediate” workout.
Are your kids and spouse at home? Fantastic, put them to work. While you are doing the actual workout, let your spouse do an easier variation of each exercise and your son a more advanced variation.
For instance, if the exercise is a “Pushup” have your spouse the designated “beginner variation” perform the pushup on his/her knees, while your son the designated “advanced variation” complete the exercise with his feet on an elevated surface.
This is a way to keep your clients involved and promote your business.
Gym owners, while your clients can’t be in your Group Class Rooms, that doesn’t mean you can’t be.
Perform the classes and stream them. Be mindful of what your members will have in their homes. A spinning class would be a poor choice, but a Bootcamp is completely doable.
Again, whether you have access to a website, Facebook or Youtube, post educational content, daily if possible.
Create leader boards for those that tune in. Create prizes like a free Personal Trainer Session or a gift card for a massage, for those that tune in the most.
There are so many ways to stay relevant and provide meaningful activities for your clients, families and your overall community during this time. Use what you’ve got and get to work.
In the end, the Coronavirus might just be the best thing that could have happened to your personal training business.
When you are forced to adapt, the transformation might just result in something better than you could have ever imagined!
The IFPA has over 60 certifications, almost all of which can be completed completely distance learning.
To tap into some new exercises, that require minimal-to-no equipment, check out our High Intensity Training Certification, Flexibility Specialist and Strength Band Specialist, all available at 30% off with code TAKE30 at checkout. Payment plans for all IFPA Certifications, including these three, are always available to you, over the phone.