Health clubs are offering online videos for at-home workouts to ensure their clients can continue implementing their gym routines and stay fit during self-isolation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses to close including gym facilities. The virus can be easily transferred in communal spaces where sweaty rooms and touching are prevalent.
Many gym businesses like Goodlife and LA Fitness have released statements on fair judgments based on payments and how they will keep their clients safe during the pandemic. They have extended the expiration dates and suspended the month’s costs of the clients’ memberships. Some have quickly offered alternative options to keep their customers fit and happy amid the Coronavirus outbreak. For example, Goodlife fitness is offering digital at-home fitness options for its members.
Smaller businesses and entrepreneurial personal trainers are also being affected. Tania Clancy, a personal trainer in Burlington made her passion into a full-time job five years ago.
Clancy said before the outbreak was a serious issue, she would meet her clients either at gym facilities or at her home gym.
In the earlier stages of the outbreak, Clancy did not experience any of her clients not wanting to go through with the workout sessions. Clancy followed whatever was comfortable for her clients, from wiping before, during and after the workouts and washing hands at the end of the sessions.
When Ontario shut down non-essential businesses on March 23rd and heightened the importance for people to practice social distancing, Clancy took some time to think.
“A lot of my clients are long-time clients… and there was no reason to push, I just stayed in contact… and said ‘hey I’m here to support you however I can,’” she said.
Clancy’s demographic is largely in the 40-50 age range. She said there is a learning curve for her clients and herself if she desired to host classes virtually. But since Clancy is close to her clients and she did not want to pressure them with workout content, she showed support by making home programs to work on or FaceTiming her clients, if desired.
Clancy has also organized and hosted daily online classes on her Facebook live at a fixed time to show a 30-minute bodyweight workout. Clancy noted that not everyone has the right gym equipment, and said she relies on bodyweight when training at home.
Those who have no gym equipment have come up with some innovative solutions, to not only rely on body weight when working out. Ahmed Hedefa, a 19-year-old Ryerson University student, said his goal has always been to be “faster and more athletic.”
Before the pandemic, Hedefa would work out five days a week for an hour. After the pandemic, Hedefa now works out every day of the week for almost two hours.
“I don’t know if this is out of boredom or I just want to, but I am not complaining,” he said.
Hedefa did not want to buy gym equipment, so he made weights with what he has at home. For example, he uses a blanket as a yoga mat and a broomstick as a ‘curl bar’ with a bag filled with books hanging off the broom, to work on his biceps.
However, Hedefa acknowledged that staying home has made it more difficult to meet his goals.
“I feel like I’m trying to stay fit rather than gaining muscle,” he says “and now that I’m at home all day, I go to the kitchen more often, and it makes me feel like I need to work out more to balance my lifestyle.”
Hedefa said he’s thankful however that the website he follows when working out offers no equipment at-home workouts.
Many bloggers and lifestyle influencers have also incorporated fitness content into their work. Whether they are new to the digital industry or not, they have used social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube to produce fitness content, showing easy and difficult at-home workouts.