With the lack of physical connection due to continued stay at home orders in many cities across the country, people have been turning to social media to maintain their social relationships. Social media has always been a connecting “outlet” for personal interests, philosophies, politics, culture, and many things it should not. Previously, much of the fitness community connection was facilitated in person; whether it was at group workouts, meetups, expos, or something as simple as a potluck.
Those days of getting together in close quarters are weeks ahead of us, possibly even more. With a strong determination to support one another’s goal, fitness communities of interest have stepped up to the plate to ensure that their support system is there along the way — especially during this difficult time.
How have the fitness communities stayed in touch? When it comes to social media for individual trainers/influencers, connecting with their audience — which could be anywhere in the world — is evolving to a daily thing now like their morning latte. In comparison, when you look at facilities who thrive off human connection and community, offering exclusive live workouts, seminars, or challenges to their clients is just one-way health and fitness coaches can keep the community of their business alive. The shift to figure out how to maintain that connection beyond in-person workouts and consultations has allowed for some fantastic and creative ideas.
Social media has opened the opportunity for influencers, personal trainers, and some “middle-box” facilities to host virtual workouts that can be as exclusive and intimate as they want, to as large as anyone willing to watch. Smaller fitness communities are holding workouts or events virtually using platforms such as Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Any time you open up Instagram, you will find a dozen live workouts or seminars from health and fitness professionals on the top of your home screen. Bigger social media communities have stepped up, providing entertaining and engaging content not only to keep bodies healthy but promote healthy minds. Studios such as Modo Yoga NYC are offering as many as ten live classes to keep their community of enthusiasts connected with their minds, bodies and spirits.
Beyond working out at home, many clients have been asking their health and fitness coaches about nutrition tips. This has opened up an opportunity for registered dietitians, nutrition coaches, and even top chefs to host live cooking shows, teaching new skills and quarantine recipes for people to replicate at home. Top Chef alumna, Chef Ni Ni Nguyen, teamed up with the WayBetter app to host a cooking challenge that not only focuses on making top chef level meals but also builds culinary skills. Between nightly challenges delivered via a private YouTube link, she hosts Instagram Live classes you can follow along with at home in your kitchen.
TRX Training an example of a larger fitness community that already had a strong social media before companies were forced to continue connecting with their customers online. With their frequent TRX Moves of the Week posts, where they break down specific exercises on their Instagram page, to their Master Trainers posting full IGTV workouts – they are showing people that you don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment to get an effective workout.
With many personal trainers and fitness businesses temporarily shut down or furloughed, TRX is also offering the opportunity for fitness professionals to keep sharp and expand their skill set using social media as a medium. With a few simple keystrokes and clicks, you can register your spot on their website and be connected with some of the best in the business.
The COVID-19 pandemic may always be viewed, overall, as a dark period in our recorded human history. However, all the self-isolations, lock-downs, and continuing forms of social distancing are producing many green shoots of innovation – such as expanding fitness communities of interest. Many health and fitness coaches are creating effective workouts and supportive communities to maintain that social connection we crave. The sum impact of pandemic-induced green shoots will ultimately become the basis for the journey of homo sapiens: wise humans to achieve new heights.
While I cannot wait to see my clients in person to train them, we have to accept for now that there is a new normal. Finding what your clients need first for support is the most important. Align their needs with what you can provide to help them achieve their goals during this difficult time. Until we can see each other again in person, however that new normal may look like, we can still find a sense of success by continuing their health and fitness goals during this trying time.