As a fitness professional, no doubt, you have already been massively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In a move to survive the current situation, many personal trainers and fitness entrepreneurs have shifted to virtual training and online fitness classes. You still have the power to engage your community and keep them motivated.
Technology has allowed businesses to not only survive but thrive. If you’re new to virtual fitness classes or looking to improve your current set-up, we break down the top tips and tricks for running virtual classes. Whether you’re looking to go live or upload pre-recorded content, you need a good and reliable set up. Try to keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate things. Follow these top tips for running virtual fitness classes and get your clients coming back for more.
1. Technology Recommendations
Technology is often one of the first hurdles when setting up for digital classes. There are a few things that will help give your class a more polished look and make it easier for you in the long-term. You can use either a camera, phone or computer webcam. The most important thing is camera stability. Try to avoid any shaky footage. The best way to do this is with a tripod. Ideally, the camera should be off the ground so that you’re not constantly looking at the floor.
Depending on your set up, you may find that a microphone delivers better sound quality. If you’re filming in an empty studio space or home studio and usually wear a mic, experiment with the sound while shooting. Once you have figured out your set up, make sure you have a stable internet connection. To deliver a good experience without lag or delay, you need a stable connection. If you can, try to make sure no one else is heavily using the internet at the same time.
2. Set Up Your Location
Your location is crucial. When you’re thinking about where to set up your digital studio, consider the following points:
- Plenty of natural light
- A clutter-free and simple backdrop
- Acoustics in the room
Sound quality can be hard to get right. If you’re getting a lot of echoes, try recording on two separate devices – one camera for the sound and the other for visual. You can also try adding soft materials like pillows or blankets into the room to help absorb the sound.
If you’re likely to be interrupted by children or family members, create a recording sign to keep others out why you’re filming. Another consideration is the music you might use. Some instructors send out a Spotify or Apple Music playlist to accompany the class that clients can play in their own house. This is a useful way to include music in the class without worrying about music rights.
3. Test Everything!
Before you dive in for your first live class, test everything. Go through a complete dress rehearsal. Wear the right clothes, test your internet connection, and check the sound. You want everything to run smoothly on the day, so this is a good chance to iron out the kinks before your paying clients join you.
4. Stick to Your Class Schedule
If you usually teach yoga in the morning and a HIIT class in the afternoon, it’s a good idea to stick to your class schedule. It helps to give your clients a feeling of normalcy. They see your face at their regular class slot, and it can feel comforting. Of course, add more classes to your schedule as the demand increases.
5. Communicate Clearly
Make sure to provide clear communication from promoting your class to following up with clients after the class. When promoting your class, include a clear class description. It should tell your clients exactly what they will be doing and why they will love it.
If you’re delivering live classes, send instructions to the audience on how to join. Remember to mute participants before you start teaching. It’s a good idea to have a welcome chat, just as you would in your class. You can then mute all participants and get started.
6. Follow Up After Class
After the class finishes, check to see how your clients found it. Maybe they have some feedback on how to make the next one even better. Not all of your clients will be able to make every class. Upload any live classes to your digital fitness platform so that clients can access a class if they didn’t have the time to join.
7. Have Fun
Finally, the last thing to remember is to have fun. If you’re unfamiliar with the technology, virtual classes can feel a little daunting in the beginning. But, it should still feel fun like a typical class. Your clients love you, and that’s why they’re watching your videos and joining virtual classes. Stay authentic and true to yourself. You don’t need to be perfect; just bring your passion and have fun with it.