How To Plan & Set-up Your Own Virtual Gym Classes
The lockdown period and limitations on how much exercise we can do outdoors has forced people to become far more resourceful about how they can stay active. Although this period is drawing to an end, people’s exercise habits will not. Virtual gym classes and online fitness regimes, in general, have taken off becoming the new norm with the access to thousands of virtual training classes, whether people want an aggressive HIIT workout that leaves them dripping with sweat or a more relaxed and meditative yoga session.
Virtual exercise allows people to exercise when they want, where they want and how they want, eliminating the need to travel and requiring only a smartphone to have a workout at your fingertips. Whether you are a personal trainer, yogi, CrossFitter or just general fitness fanatic and you haven’t yet branched out into the world of virtual exercise, you will be missing out on a huge potential audience and the chance to grow both your online and offline presence.
To help you start to offer your clients or indeed prospective clients a range of live or on-demand, the team of experts at Zidivo have put together a guide on planning and setting up high-quality and consistent virtual gym classes.
Domain and website
First things first, if you are a professional personal trainer or fitness coach and you don’t yet have a domain or dedicated site to direct prospective clients to, you should aim to get this sorted first. Setting up a simple website with a custom domain that is unique to your personal brand or the company you represent allows you to restrict access or monetize certain areas according to pricing packages, separate your content into live streams and on-demand workouts, and interact with clients in dedicated chatrooms to improve your virtual classes as time goes on.
While social media is an invaluable place for sharing mini-workouts or tips for your audience and gaining reach, you don’t want to remain completely at the mercy of Instagram or Facebook when sharing your hard work online. By only sharing your workouts on social platforms, you run the risk of these being taken down or your account being suspended, should you use music or they believe you to be using sensitive language. By all means, use social media to promote your virtual gym classes, but don’t rely on it as a sole means for delivering a service, particularly if you want to make some money from your well-thought-out virtual events that take time and dedication to set up.
Zidivo’s virtual events package is aimed at individuals who may not have a website but that want to share online classes, courses and more with an audience. You can tailor the package to suit your budget, goals and requirements, whether you need an entire website set up with multiple areas or you only need a simple one-page site to share live workouts a few times a week.
Although lockdown may be drawing to an end and gyms may start to offer a certain number of physical classes in the coming months, the world of virtual fitness will not. Make sure to invest in a decent quality and reliable camera, such as a DSLR or camcorder, to offer your workouts in the top-quality long term. While a simple smartphone can be enough for those on limited budgets, your audience is far more likely to engage and react well to a video in a high resolution with a crisp image for them to follow along with.
Once you’re confident in the visual quality of your workouts, think about your audio. Wireless microphones such as in-ear buds or those that you can position nearby to your workout area are best to make sure your audience can hear your instructions and motivational words loud and clear.
Make sure to test each live stream or on-demand video thoroughly before you get started, including your internet connection. Your bandwidth needs to overcompensate for the requirements of your video bitrate to make sure your workouts don’t buffer or dip in and out as this can severely affect your audience’s motivation and your reputation.
Types of videos
Before you rush into recording workouts and uploading them to social media or your website, you should have a strategy in mind. Think about the types of content your audience reacts well to, would they prefer a daily workout in the form of a live stream or a pre-recorded on-demand version that they can follow at a time that suits them? If you can, try to mix it up and offer your clients both live and on-demand videos to appeal to a wider range of people - some people might like the commitment involved in a live stream whereas others may work long and varying hours at work and need a workout schedule they can adapt to their lifestyle.
Asking your audience what they want to see and publishing weekly timetables of the workouts you will be offering allows people to plan ahead and commit themselves.
Whether you are an individual or you are representing a larger establishment or training course, always keep your branding largely consistent. How? Think about your editing styles, your intros and outros, the language and motivational techniques you use and your setup. People love consistency so these are all elements that will play a part in establishing a brand for yourself online.
While it’s important to make sure that the live and pre-recorded virtual exercise classes you put out there are top-quality and representative of your skill level, if no one sees your content, what’s the point? Generating an audience for your virtual classes is key and involves plenty of preparation in advance. You can’t let your client base know about a workout ten minutes before you go live - you need a weekly timetable including the equipment required, time of day, duration and intensity of each workout so your audience can decide which they want to join in for.
Aside from the importance of promoting your live streams beforehand to optimise your reach, it makes people accountable. By getting your audience to commit to joining in for a workout at a certain time, you are less likely to have unsuccessful workouts with people dropping out at the last minute.
Offering virtual exercise classes has never been more accessible or beneficial for professional trainers or gym fanatics to build their reputation and earn money doing what they enjoy. If you are interested in starting to offer your workouts online you can start a free 30-day trial of the Zidivo platform today. Or, for those who want to kickstart a virtual exercise strategy on a larger scale, get in touch for a quote using our live chat.