The world is changing before our eyes and while some people have experimented Zoom or online personal training, it has never been bigger. Ever since COVID hit, Vancouver has forced the temporary closure of many gyms, community centers and personal training studios, many have explored taking virtual sessions.
Is Zoom Personal training for me (Pros of Zoom personal Training)
a) Privacy – one of the best parts of working out at home is the privacy aspect. If you don’t like working out in a big sweaty gym, or feel uncomfortable doing squats with an audience, home is a fantastic place for this.
b) COVID caution – there are many reasons someone needs to be cautious in public spaces, no matter how many COVID protocols are in place at a business. If you are at risk, or maybe caring for someone that is at risk, Zoom sessions are for you.
c) Convenience – Zoom sessions in the privacy of your own home are far more convenient if travel time/parking/transit is an issue – we noticed that a couple clients have actually found that they are far more consistent because they can take out the additional time needed to prepare, account for travel and traffic (Vancouver seems to be constantly under construction, amirite?), and then finally find a parking space. For clients that find this a burden, online training makes this a snap. Plus…your own shower!
d) Location doesn’t matter – during the main part of the lockdown, I was able to do Zoom sessions with a client that was stuck in Montreal, and keep her recovery on track. Had we waited until she came back to Vancouver, that would have put a four-and-a-half month pause on her rehabilitation program and set her back detrimentally.
e) No intimidation – all gyms have a “vibe” and not every vibe works for people. Some people feel uncomfortable in overly sporty or aggressive cultures. Some people shrink away from the constant cheerleading and “hitting PBs!” (personal bests).
Intimidation is something we feel when the vibe of a space doesn’t match what we deem safe. We’ve noticed that with one-on-one online personal training if you don’t like fire engine red walls with big bold black text that scream fitspo mantras at you, you probably don’t have that in your home, or people that like that stuff hanging around in your home…we hope.
f) Can still stay fit while on vacation – yes, as crazy as it sounds, some people want to stay fit while on vacation. Zoom personal training sessions keep things on track while you’re spending the other 23 hours sipping mai tais on the beach.
g) Coaching, accountability and motivation – for some people, accountability and motivation are the primary reasons for seeing a personal trainer. Zoom sessions can be tailored to have a stronger emphasis on accountability and coaching, if that is an important aspect for a client.
With today’s technology, screen sharing, tracking, document and stats review can be done together. What’s measured gets managed, and by seeing progress, clients often report increased motivation…win-win!
But What About the Cons of Zoom Personal Training?
For some clients, the ritual of walking into a gym and greeting friendly faces is part of the fun. Other people find the ability to leave their home or workplace to hit the gym also refreshing and needed.
These are aspects that trainers can help bring in to your Zoom sessions, obviously with modifications!
Other things to consider are aspects of your home. Maybe your kids or pets try to get in on the fun (interruptions), so it would be important to try to designate spaces and scheduled times with your family that this is your time.
With pets, trainers can try to incorporate them into your routine, or keep all the laying down stuff to the end of the workout! With some pets like dogs, both their and your safety will be the first priority. Baby/pet gates can be helpful so they can see you but not get underfoot and allow you to work out without poorly timed kisses.
Another factor to consider if you’re working out at home or office is to set clear boundaries that this is your workout / personal health time. If they’re not aware of your schedule, it might be too easy for them to walk in with a request in the middle of your burpee set, or start getting emails/text requests for you to handle the Jones account while working on hip mobility. Temporarily turn off notifications or put phones on silent during this time to get the most out of your workout.
Wait, you don’t have an entire gym in your condo? Just kidding! If space is at a premium for you, then either space saving, economical equipment is the answer! Let your trainer know what you have access to and they can match up the best program for you. However some health goals might require equipment that you don’t have, have a frank discussion with what you would be willing to purchase, your space availability and your budget with your trainer.
Should I Pick Classes Or One-On-One?
We love both options, so the answer is it really depends on what you’re looking for.
One on one zoom sessions (like telehealth/telemedicine sessions) can still offer the feel of personalized one-on-one sessions, if this is important to you or have an injury/issue that you would like some special attention towards.
Group Zoom Sessions
A lot of studios and gyms have embraced this format as an affordable option for many people. A group class can also offer anonymity for anyone always liked to hide in the back of class and not get noticed by the teacher. We love that group classes can still allow you to see your friends even in isolation and if you join a new class, you can possibly make new friends!
Top Tips on Making the Most of Your Zoom Personal Training Sessions
(1) Don’t be camera shy – we do our best work when we can see you and can provide you with feedback on technique and positioning.
(2) Have a towel and water handy – we like to recommend a water bottle with a closed top so if it accidentally gets knocked over, you’re not dealing with a water spill. We also recommend having water in your water bottle and not a coffee or a tea or a smoothie during the workout. The towel doesn’t need to be a giant beach towel, just something to mop up sweat or roll up to support knees or wrists in certain postures.
(3) Space – Make sure you have enough space – this will depend a bit on what your trainer has planned, so ask them what the plan is. The minimum we tend to see for personal training or active rehabilitation programs is at least one standard-sized yoga mat that fits on the floor
(4) Air flow – open windows if your room gets stuffy. Summertime can be hot in apartments; would a balcony or a different location in your place work?
(5) Workout surface – are you working out on hardwood, carpet or a cement basement? Socks aren’t the best choice for slippery floors, and concrete rarely feels good on bare feet. Do you live in a wood-frame building with people living on a floor below? Let your trainer know that a lot of jumping might not be appreciated and to keep it low impact if possible.
(6) Technology – Log in the day before or early and ensure your wifi connection is solid. Make sure your computer has updated software that is compatible with the latest browser that can support the platform you and your trainer are using (ex: Zoom, Microsoft teams, Facetime, Facebook messenger…)
(7) Software / Apps – Have you been provided a Zoom login link, with login instructions? Do you need a password? If you’re new to Zoom, ask for help with login/tutorial prior to your session.
(8) Equipment – Discuss with your trainer what kind of equipment you have access to, what they’ll need you to have beforehand. Make sure this equipment is within reach and not hidden somewhere in the back yard or in the attic.
Nicole has worked with one of BC’s leading fitness gyms as a top achiever with several awards in personal training and customer service. She is passionate about motivating, educating and expanding the minds of her clients and students to achieve more than just physical fitness. Nicole draws from her background and varied experiences such as yoga, rock climbing, kickboxing and pilates, to provide fun alternatives to “traditional exercises.”