How to serve your members whilst the gyms are closed
Updated: May 11
On March 20th 2020, Boris Johnson addressed the nation and instructed restaurants, bars, clubs and gyms to close that evening and not to re-open, due to the increasingly concerning situation around Coronavirus. It was a worrying time for both fitness professionals and members alike, many of whom rely on their gym community for socialising and keeping mentally and physically healthy. We do not know when this lockdown will end and when the gyms will reopen again. During this time, what can you do as a fitness professional to keep serving your community, whether that is class members or PT clients?
Deliver online classes
Online classes can be a really good way of keeping your gym community going. There are a few different ways you can set this up, so have a read of this blog post if you want some more info on that. You don’t necessarily have to charge for your service, but you do have the option to. You could schedule your class at the same time you have your usual weekly class with those people, or create a new online timetable for all of your followers to join in with, regardless of where they know you from. Online classes are the closest thing we can get to a live class experience right now and can be a powerful tool for giving people personal connection and support.
Post workouts for them do try at home
If online classes aren’t your thing then consider posting workout programs for your community to try at home. You could set up a Facebook group and post a daily workout in it for everyone to try or promote it to a wider audience via Instagram. If you are a PT, this can be a great way of keeping your clients on track with their goals even when you can’t be with them.
As an instructor or trainer you already have a level of perceived authority to your members. They see you as a figurehead for health and fitness a lot of the time and look up to you for inspiration. Posting motivational content for them may be all they need to keep training and feeling good during these times. This could simply be a motivational quote or posting about your own workouts.
Be their accountability partner
Accountability is a powerful tool for keeping you on track. It’s really tough to admit to someone that you didn’t do what you said you were going to, and it is easier than ever right now to fall off the accountability train. You could encourage your members to all share a picture of their workouts or schedule to train at a similar time together each day to help keep each other accountable. Having a good support system is key and being supported and encouraged by someone will mean the world right now.
Be a friend
Beyond the dynamic of class member to instructor, I am assuming that you created a relationship with this person outside the walls of the gym because they like you and you like them. You wouldn’t have accepted their friend request if you had no interest in what they are up to. At this time more than any we need community and friendship. The communities that we create at our gyms are powerful, with people all coming together to work towards a common goal. I personally have made some wonderful friendships through the classes I teach and am really invested in the health and happiness of many of the people who I see every week. Be there for people as a friend, not just an instructor. You could schedule a virtual coffee date with your regular class members at the same time you’d usually have class, or just drop them a message to see how they are coping with the lockdown. The little actions we take during these difficult times will be remembered once the world is back to normal.
These are just some of the ways that we can help support our gym members during the Coronavirus pandemic. As well as looking out for your members, it is important to look out for yourself. Don’t feel pressured into being a fitness superhero right now, running marathons every day and still getting up at 5am. The world is an incredibly strange place right now and it’s ok to feel a little bit thrown. Why don’t you check out these posts on keeping mentally healthy during quarantine and finding motivation to exercise? They may be of help to you or someone you know.