Tips For Taking An Online Fitness Class
With today's reality, we all need to adjust to online fitness. COVID seems to be here to stay for a bit longer, and between one quarantine to the next - looks like online fitness is something we all need to embrace.
I must say, if you had asked me years ago if I would ever teach online - I would say no. I did play with the idea of going virtual, I started filming videos years ago, but I wasn't sure what would be their purpose as I'm really a people's person.
I love being physically with my trainees, I love feeling the energy in the room, I being able to chat and really be there with them. But as we all know - life sometimes has different plans for us, and so I found myself teaching online more than I imagined I ever would, and I must say: I truly love it. Once you figure out how it is best done - it can be really great, and it gives me the opportunity to touch many women out there that I won't be able to train otherwise.
After teaching so many hours of online exercise class and gaining so much experience, I'd like to share with you some of my top tips for taking a virtual class in the most successful way, that would make you feel like you're in an actual class in the studio.
Also, this is a great opportunity to mention that if you never took a group fitness class before but always wanted to, this is a great chance to try it out! You can start getting the feeling of what it's like to be in a workout that is full of people, in which the instructor is engaging and paying attention to lots of people at the same time, without the stressful part of worrying about other people watching your every move.
This is reality now, so you might as well give it a try. Who know, maybe you'll even like it :)
Tip number 1 for taking an online fitness class: Size & Position
If you are a regular in a gym, you might have noticed the line that sometimes forms outside the studio's door before a class starts. Everyone wants to head in first, to make sure they get the best seat in the house, with the best view of the instructor. And they are right, I mean, going through a workout without being able to see a single thing from what the instructor is doing, doesn't only makes it hard to follow, but it is also really annoying.
Same thing at home: Make sure you have the biggest display possible (this would most likely be your smart TV, and next in line would be a large screen or a computer), and place it at about eyes level height. Try your best to avoid using your smartphone as a screen. The display would be so tiny that you'll have to get close to the phone every time a new exercise starts.
Tip number 2 for taking an online fitness class: Your Camera
This one is relevant for taking a two-way class, meaning: you see the instructor and the instructor sees you. In this case, place your own camera (phone / computer) as far from you as possible, catching the entire room. This way you won't have to re-adjust it every time you change positions from standing to laying down etc., and the instructor will be able to see your entire body. This can be easily done by connecting a second device [so you'll have one device for viewing (set up as mentioned in tip no. 1), and one far away as a camera].
Tip number 3 for taking an online fitness class: Sound For a clear, smooth experience, make sure to set up the sound from your main screen and not from your phone (if you are broadcasting to your TV or another device). If you participate in a live workout where you want to be heard too, use your headphones as a mic, as this would make your voice loud and clear and would also eliminate background noises (like talking children, barking dogs, street noises etc.). Using your phone or you computer's internal system mic is not recommended. And speaking of phones... Put yours on silence (or even better: on DND mode), so you won't be interrupted.
Tip number 4 for taking an online fitness class: The Space
Make sure you have enough space to move around: Push the couch and coffee table out of the way, remove any obstacles you might fall on etc. Working out on tiles or hardwood floors is friendlier than on carpets, so roll yours to the side if possible.
Tip number 5 for taking an online fitness class: Your clothes
Get dressed just like you would if you were going to the gym, meaning: Comfortable clothes , proper workout shoes (as needed by the class you're taking), hair up and whatever it is that you do to get ready when heading out to the gym. This is important for two reasons: 1- You'll be comfortable moving around, and 2- Getting dressed up and looking at your best is always a great motivator!
Tip number 6 for taking an online fitness class: Get ready in advanced Make sure to prepare everything you need for the workout ahead of time, including a towel for your sweat, your water bottle (an actual bottle, not a glass!), and whichever equipment your trainer asked for the workout. Just because you're at home it doesn't mean you should run to get something in the middle of your workout, as this would interrupt your workout flow and would get you out of focus.
If you are taking a live class, setting up all of the technical stuff in advanced is especially important, as you don't want to be stressed out when class starts and your device didn't connect.
Tip number 7 for taking an online fitness class: Be mindful of your level It's easy to go with the flow in a group class, and to go crazy when the instructor does. That's the beauty of a the group workout: Everyone feeds from the energy of other participants, including the instructors themselves. But this is also why you need to be mindful and pay attention to your own level.
Remember that the instructor has to motivate everyone, from beginners to advanced participants. Although the instructor would (hopefully) give modifications to allow different levels of intensity, it is your job to pay attention and to listen to your body.
Tip number 8 for taking an online fitness class: Have Fun!!! Remember to let go and to enjoy the workout! One of the greatest benefits of an online workout (among many others) is that you can go crazy as if no one is watching. Kind of like singing in the shower... And, even if it's a two-way class and your camera is on, everyone is focused on following the trainer and on what they're doing, no one is going to be looking at you 😉 so just go with it and have fun!