It's been a fast and frantic learning curve, moving from regular in-person bootcamp sessions five times a day, to creating a complete and robust online workout program - ours is called HIT35 LIVE. Along with creating static video workouts that clients can follow at home, we're now also running two daily Zoom workout sessions, for the duration of the Covid-19 lockdown.
1. You can still have the same energy and atmosphere online
Our biggest concern was that Zoom workouts just wouldn't feel the same - there's something special about seeing all of your clients in person, having chats and getting updates on their lives and their progress. But even though it's different, that connection and the relationship we have with our clients hasn't changed. The only difference is that you're communicating through a screen instead of face-to-face. Once we learnt to embrace the change and understand that it's just temporary, things almost felt like normal.
The energy generated at bootcamp comes from interaction, think of it as 'bootcamp banter'. That's not something that changes online and even though during the workout people can only see the coach, the way the coach interacts with each individual is what determines enjoyment and effort. Our aim, especially online, but obviously during normal bootcamp as well, is to make sure every client is smiling and laughing as often as possible. IF you can get smiles and laughs, the rest takes care of itself.
2. You must create a simple, robust platform for hosting your workouts and Zoom booking
It took an absolutely huge amount of work to get HIT35 LIVE up and running properly. It's easy to create budget-looking videos recorded in portrait mode and stick them on YouTube for people to see and follow, but we're believers in quality over pretty much everything. Could we have done what nearly everyone else is doing? Of course. But we don't want to be the same as everyone else, we want to be better. That's why we created the HIT35 LIVE platform.
In the early stages of development, the platform wasn't simple to understand nor straightforward enough for clients to follow, which resulted in endless numbers of question being asked that we had to deal with - that was our fault. We then worked on improving the platform as much as possible to ensure each client was able to find what they needed, without having to resort to asking questions they already had the answers to (but previously, the couldn't find those answers easily). We created a lot of extra work for ourselves in the beginning.
3. You must understand that lots of clients will want to freeze their membership
This is definitely one of the hardest things to deal with. The client base that you worked so hard to build up over time, will instantly shrink and there's nothing you can do about it. Countless clients will have lost their jobs, been made redundant or been furloughed. Those clients who were self-employed may well be the ones struggling the most. Having lots of members ask to freeze their membership is quite depressing and in all honesty, mentally crippling to begin with, but there's nothing anybody can do about it and ultimately, our job is to take care of our clients - if that means freezing their membership so that they can afford to pay their rent or buy food, then so be it. Suck it up and come up with a plan to add online clients to your home workout program.
4. Your job as a coach isn't any less important than it was before
Our role as a coach is to help people reach their fitness goals, whether it be weight loss, improvements in general fitness and wanting to get stronger. You do this by creating content and the opportunity for your clients to still see you live, face-to-face (so to speak) if they still want to.
We've had countless messages from clients saying that HIT35 LIVE and the Zoom workouts are their lifeline, as they simply can't find the motivation to do it one their own. And that's absolutely fine, because that's what we're here for.