COVID-19: Coping Strategies And Business Tips For Fitness Trainers, Coaches And Instructors

May 16, 2020
Image of COVID-19 coronaviruses under a microscope

In recent months, the fitness industry has been turn upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only have gyms, fitness studios and workout facilities been mostly shut-down by governments around the world, many personal trainers, fitness instructors and exercise coaches also find themselves suddenly in a limbo, with quite a number finding themselves out of jobs in a blink of an eye.

Short of giving up in desperation and wallowing in self-pity, what CAN fitness professionals do in this unprecedented period of doom and gloom?

The following are some useful tips and strategies that trainers and coaches who wish to rise and shine despite these trying times could tap upon:

Innovate To Survive

To ensure business survival during this pandemic, innovation is key. Since most face-to-face, in-person interactions are no longer feasible during this period, trainers and coaches should make an effort to explore new and novel ways to serve their clients. Taking fitness workouts ONLINE would be a good example of working around the current restrictions. Modern technology utilizing live-streaming apps (think Zoom, Skype, Hangouts etc) and even more conventional ones like emails, SMSes and phone calls – would allow you to connect with your clients while keeping your business going at the same time. For those of you who may need assistance in the areas of innovation, ideas generation or even business re-structuring, this is also a good time to consider consulting with a fitness mentor to help you through this period.

Upgrade Yourself

This period of lock-down is also a great opportunity for all fitness professionals to UPGRADE themselves so as to enhance their credentials and reputation in the long run. For instance, you could use this period to study for a specialized/advanced fitness credential, attend online masterclasses and webinars, or keep yourself relevant and updated by reading industry journals, research articles and other fitness publications. Whatever you do, keep BETTERING yourself with an eye on the future!

Continue Marketing Your Services

The BIGGEST mistake that most fitness professionals make during a downturn in economy is to stop marketing their businesses. Instead, this should be the BEST time to ramp-up your marketing efforts when the rest of the competition is still sitting on the fence or have fallen by the way-side. By doing so, you’ll be giving yourself a HEAD START over the others when the economy picks up again! Whether your choice of social media marketing is YouTube, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or simply a matter of enhancing and increasing your fitness profile on the web, or via email marketing, or even just starting a fitness blog to share tips on training, exercise and nutrition, the rule of thumb is this: Keep On Marketing and Stay VISIBLE!

Work On Your Own Fitness

This lock-down period is also a wonderful opportunity for trainers and instructors to focus on YOURSELVES for a change. Too often, our own fitness take a backseat when times are good and our day-to-day lives revolve predominantly around our clients. Make use of this extra time on hand to prioritize your own fitness and exercise regime, experiment with new workout approaches, or even join in the fun as a participant in other trainers’ virtual exercise classes!

Maintain Your Fitness Equipment

Another great investment you can make in your own fitness business during this period is to do some maintenance work on your fitness gear. As simple as it sounds, it is one of the most IMPORTANT things that you can do for your fitness business. If you own a private gym, give it a proper clean-up and sanitization from top to bottom, with particular attention to high-touch areas. If you have carry-along fitness tools like resistance bands, ropes, medicine balls, gloves etc, give them a good wipe-down (and a dose of disinfection) too!

Connect With Other Fitness Pros

Connecting and interacting with other fellow fitness pros in the industry during this period can truly be a life-changing experience for many of us! There is so much that we can learn from one another during this period, from how to re-align our fitness businesses in order to survive, to exchanging tips and strategies on client attraction and retention, to swapping ideas on the latest technology to use in our coaching and training.

Prepare For A New Start

Like all other pandemics, this COVID-19 scourge WILL eventually die away. The question to ask ourselves is: when its end comes, are we ready for a NEW start? Are we poised to seize the new opportunities around us?

Consider this: in the post-COVID-19 world, people – more than ever before – will be extra cautious when it comes to working-out in environments that have a potential of attracting large crowds and big groups. This in turn may have wide-ranging implications on businesses such as big-box gyms, group training facilities and workout studios.

As a result, Private Home Personal Training Services may be poised for a BIG jump to the top of the fitness chain in the very near future. If this is the case, are you ready to grab hold of this opportunity and be willing to be re-trained and re-deployed as a mobile or home personal trainer instead?

If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing: Life is unpredictable.

Rather than to take for granted that things will always go smoothly or as planned, we need to assume that CHANGE is now the new constant.

Fortunately, the above tips, strategies and guidelines will offer us all a way of successfully navigating through this brave, new world that we live in now.

What A Paid Fitness Session Should NOT Be

June 7, 2018

image of a personal trainer with a clientPaid fitness coaching or chargeable workout sessions led by professional fitness trainers or career exercise coaches have been on the rise in Singapore and many parts of the developed world since the last decade.

Whether these sessions are conducted on a one-to-one basis – as in Personalized Coaching, or in small groups of  5-8 as in Small Group Training, or in larger groups consisting of more than 10 individuals – as in Group Exercise Classes, many individuals today have no qualms forking out money for these instructor-led fitness sessions in the name of better health and enhanced fitness.

However, are these sessions really WORTH the money that you’re paying up for?

And are you really doing your health and fitness any good in the long run – just because you are PAYING up for these services?

How do you know you’re NOT merely being taken for a ride and having every single cent of your hard-earned money ripped off or flushed down the drain?

The following will give you some ideas on how to SIEVE out the real deal from the pretenders, and make sure that you’re really getting your money’s worth for every cent that you pay up for these fitness services.

A) A Paid Fitness Session Should NOT Be A Superficial Workout That Only Makes You Huff-&-Puff.

Within the fitness industry, there are always going to be some trainers whose main goal seems to be nothing more than simply make their clients huff, puff and sweat – all in the name of exercise – with pretty little regard to structure, education nor science involved in their exercise program design.

These trainers somehow feel that if they can leave their clients in a sweaty mess by the end of the workout – by whatever means – they have done a Great Job! And so – to them – all systems go!

And unfortunately, their unsuspecting clients often also go along with the plan, having absolutely NO idea what they are doing, blindly following what their trainers or coaches ask them to do, deluding themselves into thinking that they had a great workout – simply because they had exerted themselves!!

Any credible fitness authority can tell you that Exertion/Effort (or amount of perspiration, as a matter of fact!!) does NOT necessarily equate Progress nor Results nor an indication of Proper or Scientific Exercise Programming!

What you – as a client – should be looking out for in a credible paid fitness program are: sound scientific programming, proper exercise sequence, structure & format, clearly-delineated objectives/goals, exercise suitability, appropriate level of intensity and a focus on fitness education in mind!

The main purpose of any fitness program should NEVER be just to make you huff and puff (and sweat), but to address and resolve the very fitness needs that you – as the client – have.

B)  A Paid Fitness Session Should NOT Be A Socializing Event

Is the bulk of your fitness session spent chatting and gossiping with your trainer about the latest celebrity news, fashion design, stock market movement or even the newest fitness fad??

If so, you are merely flushing your money down the drain!

Make sure that any talking or conversations conducted during your fitness sessions are related ONLY to: the session itself, the exercises/drills/movements that you are doing, your fitness progress or general well-being, and/or other related factors pertaining to your fitness goals!

Anything else besides the above – is just a WASTE of time – and can wait until AFTER the session itself!

C) A Paid Fitness Session Should NOT Be A Marketing/Advertising Gig

Is your trainer or coach more interested in marketing to you the latest “must-have” supplement, powder, gel, gear or gadget out in the market, rather than focusing on your fitness session itself?

Is he/she always selling you the idea that you can only “Build Muscle”, “Burn Fat” or “hit the next level” of your fitness progress – only and only – after you have purchased any of the above “must-haves” from him/her?

If so, our advice to you is this: DROP your trainer or coach now, and start looking for a NEW one immediately!

The sad truth in the fitness industry is: many trainers are actually padding up their training income with lucrative cuts/commissions from peddling “health/fitness products” to their clients.

Many have no qualms selling you the “benefits” of such products even if they have absolutely NO idea what these products are all about, or whether these products have actually been scientifically-proven to work, or if they are suitable or necessary to their clients’ needs, or worse, if they have any dangerous side-effects!

So consumers, BEWARE!!!

D) Conclusion

With the current interest and trend towards paid exercise sessions increasing by leaps and bounds across the world – and to a very large extent – even here in our very own affluent state of Singapore, it pays to be EXTRA careful when it comes to dishing out your money for these fitness services.

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you will now know the appropriate course of action for your health, fitness, and of course, your pockets.


Hiring The Right Fitness Provider In Singapore

November 11, 2013

Image of a fitness specialistWith the growth and expansion of the fitness industry in Singapore, more and more people are now turning to professional fitness providers to meet their various fitness needs.

And with the wide variety of fitness professionals available in this country, each specializing in a specific fitness niche, it can be quite overwhelming and even confusing for the average consumer to decide which kind of fitness professional to turn to for his/her fitness needs.

Just as you would not turn to a dentist for a stomach ailment, nor a doctor for a gum problem, it is crucial that you do NOT end up with the WRONG fitness provider for your fitness needs.

Not only would it be a pure waste of your money and time if you do so, but also almost a sure bet that you would hardly see any progress – if any – in the health/fitness area that you are seeking help for.

Therefore, BEFORE you engage a fitness provider, make sure you run through the following checklist to make sure that you get the RIGHT match for your fitness needs.

A point to note also before we present the checklist:

You may come across certain fitness professionals who claim they are able to meet ANY and EVERY of your fitness need that you have – from correcting your posture, to overhauling your diet, to even providing you with needling/acupuncture/body massage/sports apparel/fitness equipment/supplement sales services etc etc!

As good as this may sound, BEWARE of these everything-goes “Jack-Of-All-Trades” super salesmen / saleswomen !

To our knowledge, the truly SERIOUS, SUCCESSFUL and RESPECTED fitness pros here in Singapore are those who are SPECIALISTS in their respective niches: professionals who focus on just a few closely related areas and services within their fitness scope.

They are definitely NOT generalists (or should we call them OPPORTUNISTS???) who try to cater to everything and anything under the sun!

Enough said. The following is a checklist of WHO to turn to – when you are seeking help for a specific fitness need:

Fitness Needs & Their Respective Specialists:

1) For General Fitness Conditioning/ Fat Loss / Weight Gain >>>>> Get yourself a Personal Trainer or a Fitness Coach

2) For Optimum Sport Performance Enhancement >>>>> Get yourself a Sports Conditioning Specialist or a Strength -&-Conditioning Coach

3) For Postural Correction, Muscular Imbalances, Injury Rehabilitation  >>>>> Get yourself a Corrective Exercise Specialist or a Physical Therapist

4) For Mind/Body Wellness >>>>> Get yourself a Yoga Teacher or a Meditation Therapist

5) For Specialized Core Conditioning or Core Rehabilitation >>>>> Get yourself a Pilates Instructor or a Core Conditioning Specialist

6) For Nutritional Counselling or Dietary Modifications >>>>> Get yourself a Sports Nutritionist or a Dietician

5) For Pre-Post Natal Fitness Conditioning >>>>> Get yourself a Pre-Post Natal Fitness Specialist

6) For Specific Medical Issues Or Metabolic Conditions  ( diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol etc) >>>>> Get yourself a Special Populations Fitness Specialist

7) For Other Special Populations ( Kids, Older Adults, Physically Challenged) >>>>> Get yourself a certified fitness trainer in that particular area of need, for example, a Kids/Youth Fitness Specialist, or an Older Adults/Senior Citizens Fitness Specialist etc.

Well, there you have it – a comprehensive list of the various fitness specializations available here in Singapore.

So the next time you need a fitness provider for a specific fitness need you have, not only would you know where to look for one, but also learn how to avoid the common mistakes that other consumers make.