As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be felt across the globe, the fitness and wellness industry is learning how to adapt to changing times. Social distancing and self-isolation are real and important practices to nearly every fitness enthusiast around the world, so bringing workouts home is essential.
“Digital fitness has always been something ClassPass has been excited about,” says Marina Pardee, Director of Operations at ClassPass. “Although the circumstances now aren’t what we’d wish for, it’s fun to see people discovering that they can get a great workout from anywhere, including their living rooms. Similarly, it’s exciting to see studios and instructors developing the muscle of filming and translating their classes to an online format so that they are able to extend their core business and reach more people than ever before.”
Whether you’re already holding workouts online, or just starting the research phase, we’ve rounded up considerations as you launch into the digital age of fitness. Read on for more information and advice from the experts.
Set up your space
Use what you have, but be mindful that your recording space will be visible to all participants of your online workout classes. The more minimal the space the better — if you can move big pieces of furniture or de-clutter the area, the fewer distractions the better.
Provide ample client communication
Tatiana Kuzmowycz, Creative Director at ClassPass, says setting expectations early is the key to great customer experience. “It’s important to let your clients know what they should expect from your livestreaming classes,” explains Kuzmowycz, “which means everything from what equipment to have on hand to what types of movements they’ll be covering in their workout. Given how many different tools and platforms are used for livestreaming classes, it’s a great idea to give your clients helpful tips about the technology, including whether or not they should play their own music, put their microphone on mute or take other considerations. Everyone is trying to make do with the space and resources they have, and helpful tips and information can easily set you apart.”
Ensure you send out clear instructions as well as any necessary logins or links so clients are well-prepared.
Consider the tunes
Don’t play music during your online class unless you have the licenses to use it globally. The host of the online workout is responsible for ensuring they have all the necessary rights — so you may want to do a check on this. Other options:
- No music, no problem — many workouts only include the instructor’s cues
- Create a playlist and send around to the class in advance, allowing participants to play from their own homes independently when the class starts
Test the tech
Ensure your internet connection is strong and reliable. If you’re using external equipment (like microphones), double-check they’re connected and ready. Ask a friend, co-worker or studio staffer to dial in before class begins so you can quickly test your sound and video.
Cultivate your class experience
Kuzmowycz shares a few insights about how to maximize the experience. “For so many people right now, their normal fitness routines are disrupted. Having a little fun with things will go a long way. Clients are looking for that in-class experience, albeit digital.” Think back to typical in-studio classes and don’t forget the basics; offer modifications and suggestions for all levels.
Facilitators, trainers and instructors — who are always a large part of the class experience — will be the most important part of the experience, now. “Make sure your instructors are fully prepared and can be clearly seen as they demonstrate movements, have them provide real-time feedback if possible (nothing helps with accountability more than knowing someone is actually watching you) and amp up the positivity,” says Kuzmowycz. “These are difficult times — anything that helps people break a sweat and have a laugh will go far.”