The world has been turned upside down by the global pandemic and this includes your role as a fitness professional.  As you navigate your way into the ‘new normal’ you’re likely wondering: how do I transition my in-person services to an online offering?

With today’s technology, as fitness professionals, you can literally train clients, from anywhere, at anytime. This may be the first time you are working as an entrepreneur so below are some of the essentials to starting as your own business – live or online:

Insurance

You may have been covered by the facility you worked with before or had your own insurance that covered in-person personal training or fitness instruction only.  Contact your provider to make sure that you are covered for online training and what percentage of your revenue can come from online sources!

If you do need online insurance, Gallagher Insurance offers preferred rates for canfitpro members.  This insurance covers up to 100% of your revenue coming from online sources!  Our blog post has all the info and links you need to make sure that you are protected.

Screening & Health Questionnaires

Whether you are training or teaching a class in-person or online, always screen clients and potential clients for health conditions.  You must always have an updated Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PARQ+) for all your clients on file.  The completed PARQ+ must be from within the last year or more recently if your clients’ health status has changed.

Clients can visit ePMARmed-X to complete the  PARQ+ questions online where they will receive a health screening, recommendations, and should then send you an e-copy of their results.

Health screening forms can be completed and sent by email, google docs, or another online format that you are using.

Standards and Ethics

As a fitness professional you are bound by your Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and moving online does not change what you have learned and/or can offer safely to your participants.

Standards of Practice for Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors are essential to follow at all times as are the canfitpro Code of Ethics.  Following these will ensure that you are staying within what you are insured to do!

Privacy

Keep in mind where and how you store your participant and client information is also important. As a consumer, you may be familiar with the Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPEDA) and/or the Consumer Anti-Spam Registration (CASL); however, it is essential that you keep these in line with government requirements related to privacy as a business.  In Canada the government websites provided above give guidance and samples for you to use.

Technology

You’re online!  You need to pick your platform and learn as much about it as possible!  Are you using Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, Loom, or another place where people can connect and/or stream content?  This is where you will need to spend some time finding what works best for you and you may need to ‘up’ your technology game.  Check out Hosting Virtual Workouts 101: Connect with Your Clients And Members to help you navigate through the technology.

Keep in mind each have their own security and privacy features that you will need to decide what works best for you, and those with whom you work.

Get started with the webinar ‘Think Yourself a Tech Pro’ to learn more about what IS possible.

Music

We all know that music motivates and keeps us moving.  How you use music in your online training and classes is up to you.  However, to use music you do need a licence and there are many companies offering little, to no cost, music that you can use in a commercial setting.  More information about available music and licensing can be found online. canfitpro will update this listing as new offers and promotions come in during the pandemic.

Practice, Test, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

You did this when you were getting started as a fitness professional – creating programs, trying movement combinations, learning where to stand or how to cue for clarity and success.  Now, you need to do this in a virtual world.  How well can you see your participants or clients?  How does your microphone sound?  Where do you set up so that people can see and hear you?  How can you connect with people while online?

Once you have chosen which services you are offering online you will need to practice, and practice, and repeat!  There is no exchanging the experience and learning you will gain from a trial run, filming yourself, or working with live clients.  Offering your services online is a new skill to learn and may help you remember how your clients and participants feel the first time they join you and learn new skills.

Patience

This may also be your clients and participants first time online too.  Ask for feedback – you might be surprised by what they actually need from you to keep motivated and feel successful online.  They might need tech support, resources and recommendations for quality equipment, or a four-month plan to stay committed.  The people you work with will be just as diverse and unique online as they are ‘in person’.  A one size fits all may not work for all.

Have resources and supports for the tech platform you use, a ‘how-to’ video and best practices available.  Try to anticipate any questions people might have to prepare yourself for any scenario.

The Future

Take a moment to look back and remember why you started as a fitness professional. What is it that motivates you to help people with their health every day?  How do you want to continue doing that in the future?  If you have the capacity to think ahead this is a great time to discover your next adventure.

Some questions you may wish to consider:

  • Do I want to be an entrepreneur or work at a facility?
  • Do I want to train online and in-person?
  • How can I connect with people virtually?
  • What excites me about what I do and how can I do it?

Making the move to online and becoming an entrepreneur, comes with many rewards.  However, it’s up to you to decide if, how, or what your next step will be in your career and evolution.  canfitpro is here to support you, as a fitness professional, and will continue to provide education and services to help you evolve.

Stay safe and be well. Now get out there, have fun and inspire!

Resources

Insurance

ePMARmed-X

Personal Trainers Standards of Practice

Fitness Instructors Standards of Practice

Code of Ethics

PIPEDA

CASL

Music

Trainer+

canfitpro member portal – for online courses, quizzes, and updates related to COVID-19