Yes, virtual fitness has become a permanent and significant fixture in our industry. I’ve heard my fair share of comments like “people are just fed up with Zoom” or “clients are so happy to be back at the gym” and those are valid, but don’t negate the fact that online options for health and fitness are now part of our repertoire. Here’s why:
- Habit-Forming Accessibility: in most of North America gyms will have been closed for more than 10 weeks which is long enough for our clients to form the habit of utilizing virtual fitness. It doesn’t mean they aren’t incredibly happy to be back to a bricks and mortar fitness club, but it means the convenience of going from home-to-workout in 90 seconds flat will remain a valuable option. With “lack of time” being one of the biggest obstacles to regular fitness routines most will likely fall into a combined approach to our workouts including virtual fitness, outdoor workouts, and going to the gym.
- The Comfort of Familiarity: before March 2020 online fitness consisted mostly of celebrity workouts or offers from Instagram fitness influencers, but now most fitness facilities and pros have stepped into the virtual world offering an array of free and paid opportunities to their members and the general public. We worked through the challenges with technology and used our incredible resourcefulness to create sustainable health and fitness options virtually. This meant that our clients were able to see, and I dare say feel, the familiar face of the coach and brand that knows their needs and goal, their aches and pains, their likes and dislikes. We were able to provide some comfort during a time when everything felt different and everyday brought a new challenge to face. Virtual fitness is no longer associated only with “big names” but now part of what many qualified fit pros and businesses offer.
What this means for you:
It’s not about set + reps or choreography patterns on virtual; your clients are craving a more holistic experience that goes beyond the workout. Create opportunities for comfort and success in your set-up, intros, cues and coaching, etc. to ensure they leave their workouts feeling like they’ve connected with you and the best of themselves.
Consider moving away from hourly rates and offering packages that include a variety of what you do best based on their needs and goals.
Owners and Decision Makers
It’s likely that some of the members of your team have been earning revenue by providing a similar service to what you sell; be selective in who you’re bringing back and how you’re re-engaging them.
Consider hybrid membership offers that include access and workouts at your facility as well as convenient in-home options such as 1:1 training or streaming group fitness classes. This will increase your accessibility and value for your members regardless of their preferences.
Fitness Education Providers
Fit pros are seeking out opportunities to become even more valuable to their clients which include further education to create more complete virtual packages. This includes specializations such as nutrition, family workouts, injury prevention, etc. If you’re hesitant between recording your live training or streaming I would suggest trying both. Some fit pros prefer the convenience of learning on their own time while others prefer an interactive experience that includes direct feedback.
Nathalie Lacombe, M. Sc. Leadership coach and strategic partner. Joyfully taking your leadership and business to the next level!
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