Personal trainers and gyms have been working up a sweat to keep members active during the COVID-19 shutdown. Some are now offering outdoor bootcamps, while others are still working it online.
We’ve checked in with a few across the region to see how they’ve stayed connected with their clients and what their plans are as restrictions start to ease.
As soon as Kat and Dave Crews could start offering outdoor bootcamps, they jumped at the chance. The owners of Hive Progressive Fitness already had the necessary permits from Moreton Bay Regional Council and have been itching to get started again.
“For us it was a rough little ride. We purchased the gym on January 31 this year. We’ve been shut longer than we’ve been open,” Kat says of the COVID-19 shutdown.
Clients were three weeks into a four-week challenge and were feeling strong and confident when the gym had to close. So, keen to maintain that momentum, Kat and Dave did what they could online to keep their gym community connected, motivated and upbeat.
Theirs is a group training facility – it’s not an open gym where people come in and train by themselves, they train together.
“Working out at home is not the same as working out in the gym. They encourage each other to keep going and you can see how proud they are of themselves and each other, when they’re in the gym. You never push yourself at home as you would at training or a group session,” Kat says.
They have a Facebook group for their clients and have been posting every day. There have been challenges, workout inspiration, ideas for workouts at home and posts to make them laugh.
“We even loaned equipment to clients so they could keep going at home. We did what we could to support them in that way,” she says.
With restrictions easing, they’re now able to run outdoor bootcamps for 10 people. They’re offering three sessions a day and will run more if they need to. The gym is likely to reopen from June 15, under stage two of the easing of restrictions. Numbers will be limited to 20 at a time and bookings will be essential.
Kat says they’ll offer more classes across the day to give people more choice and make it easier to manage the number of people in the gym at any one time. They’ve got more trainers to make this happen.
Lisa Beaton says her All Inclusive Fitness community has embraced digital training during the COVID-19 shutdown, but they’re happy to be back at Brennan Park for bootcamps as restrictions ease.
“It’s really busy. This is usually the time of year when it goes quiet because it’s getting colder, but I’ve had four new members in the last week,” Lisa says. “People are sick of being cooped up inside and want to be out and about.”
That’s not to say they were sitting idle during the shutdown, with online workouts and zoom bootcamps keeping them moving.
There was even an All-in April challenge where clients had to do certain exercises every day and during this month, they’ve been doing the 50km in May Challenge – walking or running 50km across the month.
So why has it been so important to keep everyone moving and connected?
“Speaking as a trainer and having a connection with the All Inclusive community … People have strong friendships and connections, they not only miss the exercise, but also miss seeing their friends and connecting with each other,” Lisa explains. “People would go on early (for zoom bootcamp) and have a chat or stay on later and have a chat.”
Lisa will gradually increase the number of people at bootcamp, when she’s allowed to but usually runs small groups anyway. She’s also planning bootcamps for kids.
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The move to online training happened during the first week of the COVID-19 shutdown, with Healthy Booties’ Bindy Caulfield moving quickly to keep her clients moving and motivated.
She stopped running classes early, doing her bit to stop the spread of coronavirus and protecting older clients who were at higher risk.
So, she started daily online classes at 7am, with 75-80% of her clients joining in.
“The others have dropped off but are going to return when we go back to normal,” Bindy says.
The Healthy Booties private Facebook page has been key to keeping members connected, with photos, videos, memes and ‘real’ conversations.
With restrictions easing, Bindy is again offering bootcamps at her acreage property for small groups and there’s plenty of room to move safely.
“We’re doing only what we can do. I’ll be guided by members and what they’re comfortable with,” she says.
“Most of us are mums, so mental health is really important … being disconnected from your social group, home schooling and working from home. We’re trying to keep the stress levels down. After a cardio session in the morning, you’re ready to go for the day.”
Workouts at Suttons Beach have not yet resumed, but Stacey and Sam Taylor from Taylor Made Bootcamp have embraced technology and come up with some interesting ways to keep their clients moving at home.
They’ve used Zoom to run classes online and have been offering personal training via Facetime, but they’ve also issued challenges to their members and come up with active options for the weekend.
And with workout equipment in short supply at most retailers, they got creative …
“We put together a video on how to make gym equipment with what you have at home. A lot of clients couldn’t access the money to buy equipment and weights were selling like hotcakes,” Stacey explains.
“People were surprised by what you can use and it was a bit of fun putting that together.”
The items included a 10L water bottle, reusable shopping bag filled with cans from the pantry, and a backpack filled with cans to use when running or doing push-ups.
Stacey and Sam are waiting until restrictions ease further before resuming bootcamp sessions at Suttons Beach and for now, their members are happy to continue classes online.
“Some clients are happy to stay online for however long … they love the convenience, not having to get up and put clothes on. Some have been doing yoga in their pyjamas,” Stacey says.
Stage two of the easing of restrictions will give them more flexibility with class sizes.
So, what have members missed the most?
“Probably the location. We have a lot of office workers and sometimes they only get to go to the car and home and don’t get outside much,” she says.
“The social interaction as well. We try to have a few jokes online but it’s not as easily done. We’re doing our best on that.”
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